Digging lotus (and lessons on alive-ness)

Most of us spend much of our lives slogging through–head down, heart off, passion quenched. Doing the things we have to do, not the things we want to do.

While I’m sure there are people out there who can find meaning in flossing and laundry, commuting and dinner dishes, bathroom cleaning and lawn mowing, I’m not one of them.

The same can be said for scrolling my social media accounts, indulging in a hand of solitaire at the table, or playing a game of Tetris on my phone. It’s fine, it’s sometimes even a bit satisfying, but it certainly doesn’t make me come alive.

The mundane has its place, but I fear we’ve let it take over.

And then there are the things that make you come alive.

The things that make you grin like an eight-year-old, until your face hearts and your heart glows.

Maybe you get a taste of it when you run outside into the cold when you hear a skein of geese winging overhead or stop mid-stride at the first chords of your favorite song. Maybe you’ve felt it when you’ve pulled over to marvel at a sunset or laughed with friends around a crackling fire.

These are the things to pay attention to.

How often do you feel it, the singing of your heart? The aliveness and awake-ness that comes from doing things that bring you joy?

And so I urge you:

Do more of the the things that make you come alive.

Do more of the things that make you come alive.

Do more of the things that make you come alive.

The active things, that ask you to show up with your body, your mind, and your heart and jump with both feet into the mud (usually figuratively; occasionally literally).

It could be swing dancing or trail running; photography or hiking; bow hunting or watercolor. It doesn’t need to make sense to anyone but you, so paint D&D miniatures or do origami if you want to. It’s yours alone, no need to explain.

These are the active joys that get us out of our heads (and out of the doldrums) and into our bodies–awake, engaged, alive.

This weekend, Lupine and I found such joy deep in the muck of the Mississippi River. We’d been invited on a lotus root foraging excursion by our friend Dwight, something I’d been wanting to do but had never had the chance.

And standing there, waist-deep in frigid water with muck up to my knees, I wasn’t sure when I’d had so much fun, or felt the child-like joy of play so deep in my bones.

It was a day rich with magic and overflowing with joy.

And even though we were numb with cold and plastered with sticky mud when we got home, it was an unparalleled delight. And it was ALIVENESS that I felt. It’s a feeling I don’t often get sitting here behind this screen.

So, friends, here’s my unsolicited advice for the day: figure out what makes you feel awake and alive, then do that. Because life is NOW, not later; not yesterday. It’s today or nothing else.

Go and get it.

Post Script: Have you forgotten the child-like magic and joy of being in love with being alive? Lost on where to find your happy place?

Think back to when you were a child. What active thing brought you the most joy as a kid? Something you’d do for hours without any thought of food or rest. (For me it was playing outside, leaves in my hair and mud on my feet, immersed in nature. And here we are.) What was it for you? Music? Art? Nature? Bike rides? Remember back to Child You, and what you loved most of all.

Your answer is probably related.

(People photos courtesy of Roxanne Martin.)

4 thoughts on “Digging lotus (and lessons on alive-ness)

Leave a Reply