Sometimes death (or in this instance the thought of death) can bring out the best in you.
When you are faced with your own mortality and the possibility that your time on earth is coming to a screeching halt, you are forced to focus on what really matters. What is really important in your life? You are kicked off the couch that you have been lounging back on for the past 20 years, and woken up with a few slaps across the head.
If you knew that today was your last 24 hours on earth, how would you spend it? In bed eating chocolate? Telling all of your friends what you really think about them? Giving something back to people who are struggling?
Here’s some ideas for that perfect last day:
1. Wake up early!
You have very few hours left…why are you wasting them in bed?
Get up and go for a walk. Take your dog! Greet the new day. How awesome is that morning sky? Breathe in some fresh air. Say hello to all of that cafe owner who is setting up early. Check out your amazing neighbourhood. If walking isn’t safe or just not physically possible, then get up and sit on your balcony or in your back yard. You can still be grateful for the day and take in the beautiful world around you.
2. Drown your cells in goodness!
Eat a damned good breakfast. Feed your body the nutrients that it is craving for. Make an sexy red juice, with carrots, apple, lemon, a fresh beetroot and a slice of fresh ginger! YUM! Or mix up some free range eggs and gluten free toast…layer up some parsley and throw in some fresh baby spinach. Remember to savour every bite.
3. Be grateful!
While you are eating breakfast, write down 5 things in your life that you are grateful for today. Perhaps it’s the home you live in, or your pet cat who wakes you up purring every morning. Maybe you are grateful for your a particular friend who always knows the right thing to say…It can be anything.
When you have finished put the list on your fridge door, or fold it up and pop it in your wallet, so you can look at it throughout the day, and add to the list.
4. Be determined to see the good!
Today you will seek out the goodness in the people and the universe around you. Be on the watch for kindness. Wait for beautiful moments. Hear the gentle and friendly words people say to each other. Notice the way people go out of their way to help and to contribute to the world around them. Believe me, you may be surprised how much good stuff has been bubbling away every day, under your very nose! Remember: We see what we want to see. So today, consciously choose to see the good!
5. Take a risk!
I’m not talking about walking across the Grand Canyon on a tight rope. Just a small risk at first. Really, what do you have to lose? It’s your last day…so go and speak to that person that you have always wanted to say hello to. Dance with your love in the supermarket. Better yet, buy them a big bunch of flowers and kiss them in the street! (Wild right?) Sing some songs for loose change on a city street corner. Give that public speaking gig a go. Join that one day art class, or meditation class, or tap class. Jump on a plane and take a mystery ride to another city. Perhaps you could write that letter to your local MP (Minister of parliament) about the issue that you are most passionate about. Learn how to say hello in Spanish and then test it out at the local Spanish cafe. Write down 5 small actions that you are a little scared of trying…then call up a friend and do them all together, one after the other.
6. Be your own news crew!
Document everything that you do today by filming or photographing yourself. Get other people to take photos of you. At the end of the day, you can look back at what you have achieved.
7. Take a break and eat some more!
This time take yourself somewhere special. It could be your favourite cafe or restaurant. Perhaps you have a friend or a family member who cooks up a storm. Maybe this is the time to have ‘high tea’ at a fancy hotel. You could dress up and invite a friend to take tea with you. Or perhaps its time to buy some really good Italian bread and yummy cheese, and have a picnic on your lounge room floor with a glass of wine and a good book. Remember to love your body and feed yourself well. Savour every bite and think about nourishing the hundreds of tiny cells that make up YOU.
8. Do something good that is out of the box!
This could be a game changer or it could be a small gesture. Go out of your way to make a difference in someone’s life. Instead of thinking that ‘somebody’ should do something to help that person, why don’t you do it? Why can’t you be the hero for the day? Or ‘pay it forward’?
9. Love someone.
Now you may not have a partner or a love interest. This could be someone who is a friend or a family member. Most of us have someone we love in our lives. What would you want them to know if you only had a hand full of hours left? Tell them that you love them. Hug them. Kiss them. If you can’t physically see them, then pick up the phone or have a Skype session. Perhaps you could write a letter, or and email. Or make a beautiful card and leave them with a message about how much they impact on your life. Make sure that the people in your life know that they mean the world to you and you love them with all of your heart. Remember that they can’t read your mind. People need to be told. Besides its good for your soul as well as theirs.
10. Love yourself!
How odd that this is often one of the most difficult things to do. We are usually very practiced at not liking ourselves much at all. Most of us are very quick to point out what’s wrong. Our nose is too long, our thighs too fat, we have pimples, or frizzy hair, or we’re too skinny. Today do something different. Today take a good long look at yourself in the mirror and instead of focussing on what you hate, only see the good. If you are really struggling, perhaps you can treat it like a bit of a game. Find three things that are cute about your body. Maybe that’s your smile? Now find two things that are strong. Perhaps you have great calf muscles from walking? Now find one lovely thing that not many other people have. Now look at yourself and tell yourself out loud what makes you a beautiful person. How do you contribute in this world. Are you kind? Do you try to help people? You don’t need to be perfect to be loved. In fact all of us are imperfect by our very nature. But we are still worthy of being loved, particularly by ourselves. Life is way to short to waste time hating ourselves!
At the end of the day…
So when you crawl into your bed at the end of today, think back on all that you have done, created or experienced. Of course it’s not your last day on earth today. You should have another 24 hours tomorrow. But how much more of an extraordinary life will you live if you experience every minute with all of the joy and energy you can muster? With an innate sense of scarcity and urgency. Your life may not be ending, but it’s true that you will never have this moment, or this day again. How wonderful to live a life that invests in every moment and every day knowing that it is a precious, once in a life time opportunity.
Truly then, you will live every day as if it’s the best day ever!
‘Wake at dawn with a winged heart, and give thanks for another day of loving.’ – Khalil Gibran