Tue, Apr 27, 2010
This week I was given a challenging assignment: Write a 400-word description of what is most meaningful to me and how I live in alignment with that daily. My answer is going to be included in a book with responses from 100 other people, including Desmond Tutu, Jean Houston, and Deepak Chopra. Talk about a writer’s dilemma! How do you sum up what’s most important in just 400 words? Well, here’s what I came up with…
I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how to live a meaningful life. I’ve spent a lot of money attending seminars and a lot of hours engaging in practices to help me live my best life. From all of my inquiry, I can summarize what I’ve found to be most important in one word: Love.
Yes, I know, that’s not very original. But ultimately, that’s what life boils down to: The whole purpose of being alive is to grow in the ability to give and receive love.
I don’t mean Hollywood or Hallmark kind of love, but unconditional love–love as a state of being, the essence of who we are–what I call “love for no reason.”
I’ve read numerous accounts of near-death experiences and most include a “life review.” Many say that during this review, they were asked only twoquestions: How well did you learn your life lessons? And how much did you love?
It seems that love is our main job here on earth!
So if love is our job description, then the most important thing we can do is to find that ocean of love within us and bring it to the world–to ourselves, to our loved ones, to strangers we pass in the street, to everyone and everything.
There are a number of things I do on a day-to-day basis to connect with that essence of love inside. See how they might help you “practice love” in the world.
1. Take time daily for silence through mediation, prayer, or walks in nature. I’ve been meditating since I was 16 years old, and it helps me connect to the universal field of love within.
2. Move your body. When I get the energy flowing in my body, through dance, hiking, or any physical movement, I feel more vital, alive, and loving.
3. Throughout the day, ask yourself the question, “What’s the most loving thing I can do right now?” The answer may be to stay up late to finish a project or to pamper yourself with a bath-to help a friend or to say no to someone’s request.
4. Trust that this is a friendly, loving universe and that life is on your side, just as Einstein suggested. Believing that it is helps me welcome everything that happens, however challenging, as a gift to support my opening to love.
If “how much did you love” is part of life’s final exam, maybe it’s a good idea to prepare now to answer that question well. I don’t think this is the kind of test we can cram for at the end!