Near miss

Driving north, for hours upon hours. Headed for a family celebration.

Darkness comes swiftly. Teen comments on the compact darkness, very different from the much-lighter darkness of the town we live in, which is, throughout, well-lit. Too well-lit, I sometimes wonder? Never that pitch black night, that only is experienced when far away from well-lit towns. Where the darkness is so dark, it’s as if it’s of higher density, more compact, the air itself has a richer texture to it.

Driving on dark roads, through the forests of southern Sweden, up through Småland and Östergötland.
Hubby behind the wheel, teen beside him, me and the tween in the back.

Wham!

Hubby slams on the breaks, and I look up, through the windshield. See a roedeer in the middle of the road, just a few meters ahead of us, looking me straight in the eyes. It skips towards the side of the road, and when we come upon it, it has just made it past the width of the front of the car.

Roedeer jittery jumping to safety into the forest, leaving us in equal safety in the car.

Near miss.

Heart pounding.
Tween asking why we slammed the breaks, being the only one who didn’t see the roedeer. ”I almost slammed my head in the car seat in front of me”, he whines, chocked when he hears what just *almost* happened.
Hubby driving on, shaken, like all of us, including the roedeer.

But for the quick reflex of hubby, what might have happened?
Gratitude filling me, all of me, from top to toe. Pulsing within, along my racing heart.

Near misses.
Sometimes, they bring a gift. A wake-up call.
Sometimes, they pass unnoticed, and the gift is not brought into awareness.

near missesThis near miss – a gift. Reminding me to make the most of what I’ve got, here, now, today, in this very moment. Enjoy what I have, and remember to take pleasures in the small things of life. Such as a look shared between hubby and wife, in the rearview mirror, as the car speeds ahead again, albeight a bit slower than before. The realization, in that shared look, that life is both precious and gorgeous, and we’d better make the most of it, because it can end, in an instant. And it will. Sometime. Until then, I’ll take this near miss as a gift of life, a reminder to live a life that matters.

Creeping up on me

Afternoon has just come, I’m sitting on the plane flying home from #SethinLondon, and it’s all creeping up on me.

A lack of sleep. A multitude of impressions, of intake, words, questions, new friendships forged, heartfelt hugs from people I didn’t know walked the Earth a few hours before.

Slowing down.
Letting it sink in.
Exhale.
Feel like I’m coming in for landing, in so many more ways than physically.

The chill in the cabin makes the hairs on my arm stand up.
Inhale. Exhale.

Look out the window at the landscape of clouds, so many layers, thick, thin, white – grey – blue in a billion hues. Seen from above they truly form a landscape. Like moutain plateaus, separated by crevices, nooks and crannies, as well as the steepest ravines. Seen from below they look like a silken parasol, a light and flimsy fabric, yet still able to shield me from the sharpest rays of the sun.mattersYawn.
Chills running through my entire body.

Yawn.
Body telling me to rest. Close my eyes, take ten of solitude and silence.

Shake and shiver, tired, elated, inspired. And grateful.
For everything I have, all that I am, and all I will be.
All there will be.

Float away.
Happily.
I am alive, and I get to do work that matters. I get to live a life that matters. What a gift I’ve been given. And you too. You know that right?

Extraordinary means extra ordinary

I’ve written before about the podcast of Julia Butterfly Hill interviewed by Chris Martenson on Peak Prosperity. Find it on iTunes or here: http://www.peakprosperity.com/podcast/85294/julia-butterfly-hill-living-meaning

Julia talks about having something worthy to give our lives to and deconstructs the word extraordinary in a great way:

I really do see so much in people, this desire to have something worthy of giving our lives to, because we give our lives to so much that really is not worthy of it. And I think even if people are not completely conscious of that, their spirits, their hearts, their souls feel it. And that is why we turn to self-medicating and numbing ourselves with shopping, over consumption, movies, television, drugs, alcohol, and all these things we do. Because there is something deep within us, even if we do not recognize it and cannot name it, that wants to have something worth giving our lives to. So there’s something powerful about that arc of what takes ordinary and makes it become extraordinary.

I tell people the only thing ”extraordinary” means is ”extra ordinary”. Extraordinary people are ordinary people who come up against something that calls out their greatness. And they choose to say ”yes” to that calling even if they do not know where it is going to lead them or how it is going to end, but they cannot choose to walk away. I call it the choiceless choice—that we could choose to not say anything. We could choose to walk away. But to do that would kill off a piece of ourselves. So even though we could say no, we have to say yes. And there is something about having something deeply meaningful to say yes to, to give our lives to.

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There is something quite liberating in the deconstruction of the word extraordinary into extra ordinary. Sometimes I think the fear of not being extraordinary makes people doubt that they have something to give to the world, that their gifts are not good enough. I disagree with that. I think a few extra doses of ordinariness is just what the world needs. What’s your ordinary gift to the world?

The gift of today

Upworthy continues to deliver. This time on the gift of today.

I haven’t come across Louie Schwarzenberg before, and am glad I did today. Watch this 10 minute video and rejoice in the gift of today:

I loved that clip. And lo and behold, it’s actually just 50% of the TED Talk Louie gave. Here’s the full version:

Do you take notice of the gift that today brings?