My neighbor passed.
Here in the heart of Texas when people die we say they passed, as if simply on their way to something better. A Buddhist concept if I ever heard one.
We didn't know each other well, as he recently moved in, but we'd meet in the early morning as he walked his dog while Chewy walked me.
Anyone who likes dogs can't be all bad.
Just a day before he passed peacefully in his sleep we stood in the street chatting about the weather.
Things happen fast.
With newborns we have up to nine months to prepare for the arrival in the house, and while all babies don't have the advantage of a loving warm family to support them, each represents opportunity. Babies are the epitome of renewal and hope.
As a father I can attest to the universal flow of energy that greets each new baby with the unspoken hope and conviction that maybe this child – this generation – will get it right.
But in passing, sometimes delivered so unexpectedly, we don't always get advance notice. How to live a life knowing the end is inviolate and inevitable?
The elusive “balance” we seek is hard to proscribe – its different for each of us. Yet pay attention to yourself: your body and mind will tell you when you're out of balance. There is no guarantee of tomorrow, so find ways that work for you to be present in this moment with all the people you care about.
As Ram Dass told us so long ago, be here now.
A life is made of moments lived and moments passed: increase the ratio of the former to latter.
Few things in life bring as much joy as giving back. Whether its time, talent or money find a way to support the things you care about. Opportunities range from civic to social, from high art to low tech: there is a place for you.
And here's the best part: the more you give the more you get. Make a difference in your world.
Not all of life's events are good, yet at some point we have to choose what we'll take from them. Those who live a fuller more satisfying life are the ones who draw meaning from all events, accept their own part in each, and leave judgement aside.
Divorce, financial trouble, passed over for promotion? Hey, I've seen it all. But are these really troubles? I have healthy kids happily pursuing their own lives who know their parents love them unequivocally. That's worth more than my bank account or business card.
Life's lessons can be tough, but all lessons teach us if we but choose to learn.
The circle of life continues unabated. We only get so much time in this domain.
Take a few moments every now in active reflection to turn your living into a life.
Chewy and I are going for a walk.