The Aliveness of Life

I heard this expression yesterday and it got me thinking. Am I living the aliveness of life? Something that can only be experienced in the present moment, because the present moment is the only place where the ego cannot survive.

The ego, the enemy, the voice in our head, the destroyer of dreams. When we’re caught up in doubt, when we feel sad, when our fear makes everything seem so damn hard and when it seems as if life is hurdling every bit of ammunition it can find, hitting us right between the eyes. The ego is at play and it’s winning.

When we suffer we’re usually living in the past, dwelling on the good old days or living in the future worrying about what may or may not happen.

Those of us on a spiritual journey know that being present is the answer, but sometimes it’s really hard to get there. Mindfulness, meditation or even just being aware of our breath can bring us back, but it can seem impossible when embroiled in our own chaos.

Recently I was bombarded by my own ego. One things after another. It felt as if everything I was trying to achieve was a million miles away, I had a confidence crisis and on top of that, a person close to me, continually pointed out and highlighted my inadequacies as a woman, mother, speaker and so on.

I knew it was only my perception of the situation and I’ve always been confident and certain of who I am, but I couldn’t shake off the feeling of discontent, disillusionment and disappointment and even though my level of self awareness enabled me not to react, inside I was really hurt and pissed off.

People will always have an opinion and sometimes no matter how hard we try, we can’t please certain people in our life.

What we see in others is a reflection of ourselves. We’re a mirror, the faults we see in other people are usually in us.

Feelings are temporary, good ones and bad ones. They will pass.

Resisting pain is the best way to prolong it. When you push at the universe, the universe pushes back.

It took me a week of feeling deflated and I gained a bit of wisdom from it. I realised that sometimes I have amazing strength and insight about my life and other times I can’t work out if I’m happy, sad, enlightened, delusional or just plain crazy and guess what? All of it is ok. Accepting the diversity of who I am, then gently guiding myself back to the present moment is the aliveness of life. Letting go of trying to control the uncontrollable is the aliveness of life.

We are not supposed to be perfect and as a matter of urgency, we have to stop trying. We live in a world driven by unrealistic media, who fuck with our heads on a daily basis. They sell us perfection in a makeup bottle or a pair of shoes. Success is the car we drive, love is the perfect relationship and happiness is something we have to search for.

Bullshit!! These are decisions we make for ourselves.

Perfection is the wrinkles under your eyes or the battle scars on your body.

Success for some is getting out of bed in the morning, or checking off five things on the list of a thousand.

Love is all around us. (The Scottish band sang about in Four Weddings and a Funeral) We just need to see it.

And…. We all know my opinions on happiness. Our happiness is within and looking for it anywhere else is dreadfully disappointing.


Accepting our imperfection, our vulnerability, our failings, our struggle, our shortcomings and ourself is the aliveness of life.

Observe, surrender and wait it out. The feelings of discontent and unhappiness will pass. Whatever is making us sad will disappear.

I have an alarm on my phone. Twice it day it rings and the message says, ‘Be Present.’ Post it notes on the fridge door say, ‘Be Present.’ Coffee cups, t-shirts, baseball hats, notepads and pens. I only buy the ones with positive messages on them, reminders to myself.

The message is this; be present, be present, be present. This is the aliveness of life.


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