Being alive


Know, really know you are alive!

Do you ever stop and truly appreciate how amazing it is to be alive? To have this moment , to have this life? You can think and have the awareness you are alive. Yet this knowing on it’s own is not enough. To truly be alive is to experience life through you.

I do not write to you today to remember your biology. I write to you today to remember you through the senses.

Your breath is there reminding you each moment that you are still here. Here to live and do what you want. Here to choose the direction you want to go. Each moment. Yes each moment is a reminder that you are alive.

When you stop and breathe, focusing on your breath, you realise that this precious gift is there all the time keeping you going keeping you in this world.  The simplicity of such a powerful and amazing physiological process is an act never to be taken for granted.

For it is in the breath that we can stop and remember our self. To stop and notice the breath is the one sure fire way I know to remember you are here.  From there possibilities and options are endless. Breathe, you are alive.

Play some more. Add in sound. What sound can you play with that you enjoy? Anything counts. You may like music of a certain type. Add this music to your moment. If you are in your house turn up the volume and feel it.  Go outside. Close your eyes for a moment and listen. Hear, really hear what is around you. Street noise, nature, loud, soft, close, far. All are reminders that you are here amongst the living, experiencing this world. Hear, you are alive.

Play some more. Look around. See what you normally don’t see. Experience your surroundings. See how much you can notice, how many details you never saw before suddenly stand out. See the world come alive around you. A dust speck to a raging orange hued sunset. All will do. The key is to see and be in the world around you, not separate.  See the diversity, see the similarities. Look up close, look afar. All in your view is open to scrutiny, discovery.  See, you are alive.

Keep playing. Are you ready? Let’s get tactile. Touch. You choose what you touch. You choose  what you want to explore. Maybe you simply glide your hand along the chair or cushion you sit on. Maybe you dip your feet in running water. Maybe you grab a handful of earth from your garden. Maybe you actually feel your clothes, your skin, your hair.  Everything you touch, whether a part of you or separate, is another experience reminding you that you are alive. Feel, you are alive.

Luckily we have more senses. We can experience being alive through taste. How much fun is that?  Yet do you ever stop to really taste what you eat or drink? Treat each bite, each sip as your breath. Let each morsel nurture and nourish you. Treasure the experience. Step it up and eat and drink consciously.  Mindful of your eating you will almost feel each taste bud enjoying the food passing through your mouth.  Pick foods you love. Try some you have never eaten before. It’s all good fun reminding yourself you are alive, is it not?  Taste, you are alive.

One more wonderful way to know you are alive, smell. Perhaps in your attention to breath you got a whiff of something good or bad. Well here is your chance to give in and pay attention to the smell. Notice them all. What do you pick up? Close your eyes. Focus only on what you smell. What do you notice? Choose your food one day simply on how it smells.  Walk into a shop of soaps, candles or whatever else evokes connection to scent. Indulge. Go outside. Smell the nature around you. Smell the city around you. This is where you live.  Driving a car? Roll all your windows down, slide the sunroof back and soak up the experience. Imagine you are like a dog lapping up the air as you drive along. You can do this. Exhilaration. Smell, you are alive.

These reminders are with  you wherever you go - in a meeting, on the train, walking the dog, sitting on a bench, lying in bed and many more.  

So this week I invite you to join me in this fun.  Practice and play being conscious of being alive.  Build this idea into your day to day. No need to set aside special time. Just make sure you do something, anything from the list above.  Truly stop and notice just your breath.  Look around. Smell the air. Feel with your touch. Savour your food. Listen with more than your ears.

Then bring it all together. Celebrate being alive. Have fun! Play.  How?  Move, speak, engage with others. Share your experiences. Remind yourself you are alive and here. Then show others how great it is to be alive, to be you, to be here.

Wouldn’t the world be a better place with a bit more joy shared around?  No need to wait for it to come to you, create it yourself.  How?  Play with being alive.  Who knows it might become catching.

Oh and if all this seems strange, out there or silly then maybe you need to start simple. Smile and laugh at the notion.

Feedback welcome!
Over to you. I would love to hear from you on how you got on with the above. Please feel free to send me a note or connect with me further.


Jenn Shallvey