Sleep used to be my favorite thing in the world to do. Showering held a close second (and, luckily, still does).
I’m pretty hard core when it comes to getting some shut eye. Belly flops have been my main mode of transport into bed. Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve loved tucking my hands under my pillow, embracing my favorite activity like a teddy bear. I can also fall asleep almost anywhere. Moving cars and airplanes rock me to bed like a baby. I have multiple pictures of me, taken by friends in college, fast asleep in a room full of lively partying. Just before Christmas last year, my cousin sneakily snapped photos of me drifting off in the middle of her living room, where at least five other people were taking shots of whiskey (see featured image).
Now, being awake is my favorite activity. I actually wake up early, voluntarily and with little effort. Over the past month, my typical day begins with a long walk outside, a taste of the cool mountain air, an eager tug felt through my glove as my excited dog guides me through the snow. Instead of feeling lethargic all the time, I feel full of energy. My interactions with other people, my time spent alone, and everything in between, are filled with genuine vitality.
What am I doing differently, you might ask, that could explain the new way I experience my life? Three big things:
1. Living life for the now, instead of for the later. What’s happening with me at this very moment is life. I want to make it good now, not hope for it to get good later.
2. Embracing myself for who I am. I enjoy wearing socks when I sleep, and I sang the same Taylor Swift song shockingly loud at least four times in a row while driving to Tahoe last week. Woot woot, how awesome!
3. Connecting with my surroundings. i.e. being present to whoever I’m interacting with and whatever circumstance I’m experiencing. Listening. Sharing. Taking it all in.
Of course, there are distractions in the form of iPhones and Fireball all over the place that I succumb to at times. However, when I look at what’s important to me in this very moment, it’s the real connection I feel to people and to life when I’m clear-minded, empty-handed, and open.
No matter what your favorite activity is, I hope it makes you feel truly alive and awake to life as it is now.
With courage, love, and intensity,