I’ve been slowly reading A Year to Live by Stephen Levine.
In it he is describing his journey of really looking at his life as if he only had one year to live. In it he offers many poignant insights into the experiences of people he has personally worked with in the dying process. I’m reading it along with a lovely group of women and we talk a bit about what shifts we have in our perceptions of our daily lives as we read along.
The most interesting bubble up for me has been how I often perceive myself at “war” with time. I want more or want to do more activities in a fixed length of a day. So as I’ve been reading just the first 40 pages or so I keep finding myself doing less. Just being with my sensations and even feeling fine as I accomplish less. I’ve been wondering when I will start feeling guilty for stretching out on the couch a few hours each week and watching my son play or even indulging in solitaire. Often I just contemplate my current state of mind and body. So far all the things that must be done are getting done and I’m definitely less often in a stress mode of action. I have had more positive interactions with my family and have been staying well fed and hydrated.
The concept of what would I let go of if I only had one year to live has been pervading many of my contemplative moments. Needless to say I’m disposing of quite a few things that no longer bring me joy and get in the way of me enjoying other aspects of my life. As my space is clearing, time seems be more of a friend and as I let go of controlling time, I seem to find more internal space. So as I read along further I hope to share more insights I receive with you. In the meantime if you are curious I can highly recommend this book as a clear, concise and profoundly loving way to review how we live our lives.