Today’s article is close to my heart because it’s the foundation of my business. It’s why I do what I do.
Exactly one year ago today, I wrote a blog post on the top five regrets of the dying. I keep those regrets in the forefront of my mind because I want to learn from the wisdom of those that have lived longer than I have.
I want to live with no regrets.
To refresh your memory or read that post for the first time, check it out here.
It was the most read blog post for awhile, so that tells me something. It tells me you want to live with no regrets as well.
But this post is about the TOP regret of the dying as observed by Bonnie Ware, an Australian palliative care nurse who recorded people’s dying epiphanies in their last 12 weeks of life. And she noticed some themes. Over and over and over again. This is the top theme.
1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
Bonnie goes on to write: “This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.”
If you were to ask yourself this question right now, “How would I live my life if I didn’t fear what others thought or expected of me?” ~ what would you do differently?
What part of your life are you not being True to yourself. True to your heart in relationship, in career, in your home, with your family, with your body, time for yourself, creativity, or in communicating with others?
I asked this question to my “Deepen your Practice” meditation group last week. I loved the responses! I heard answers such as, “I would say “NO” more with a smile on my face” (meaning not needing to justify or explain why the answer was no), another person said, “I would say “YES” more to opportunities with people instead of staying at home where I’m comfortable,” and another person answered, “I would follow my desire to creatively write.”
When we finished, they all made a commitment to themselves and the group that they would do these things. That is being alive! That is the path to living from your True Self. From the part of you that really wants to be alive, to step forward into the unknown and take risks. This is the spiritual path.
Here are 5 tips to being true to yourself:
- Answer the question with your eyes closed: “What would I do differently if I didn’t fear what others thought?”
- Notice your answer (you know you’re on target if it feels scary).
- Write it down and tell someone.
- Make a commitment to do that one thing by taking one action this week in doing what you said you would .
- Do it. One step at a time. One day at a time. It doesn’t have to be the whole enchilada all at once. Take a deep breath. Remember – one step at a time.
Categories: Heart Centered Living