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11 Ways Death Has Taught Me To Live

If you had just 9 months or 6 or 3 days left to live, what would do with your time? Now here’s a reality check: there is a strong chance if you had that short of time left on this earth, you wouldn’t be able to do many of those things.

I have lost friends to the mountains and a few to horrible diseases. One thing all of these people had in common: their lives abruptly changed the minute the avalanche came down or the minute the diagnosis occurred. I always believed that what mattered most in those moments was just how much they had lived before those days. At 38 years old I learn something new about life every time someone in my greater circle passes on. Each time a life is taken I push myself to live a little deeper. For that I am forever grateful for those that have unknowingly taught me these important life lessons:

1. Be graceful in all that you do. Move slower, be confident and positive in all the moments of life.

2. Trust the process. There are far too many things in your life that you do not have control over, sometimes (aka most of the time) it’s far better to just trust that things will work out then to let the stress overcome you.

3. Say more yes’s. Yes to your kids. Yes to your friends. Yes to your workouts. Yes to time outside. Yes to adventures. Yes, yes, yes to ALL the things that matter to YOU.

4. Say no when it doesn’t feel right. We do far too many things out of pressure and obligation then we should. Spend your time how you want to spend it and say no to all the other stuff that has little meaning.

5. Risk it. Take chances. Jump with two feet into the unknown. You never regret the things you do but always the things you don’t.

6. Go places. Travel far away from home to new cultures and try out new spots close to home. Take so many adventures and see as much for this world that your cup is overfilling with experience.

7. Experience joy daily. There are so many small moments in our days that we can see joy in. If we were just a little bit more present we could truly experience the simple joys found in smiles, laughter, walks, fresh air and home cooked meals.

8. Keep the important people close. Call your mom. Facetime your buddies. Send your husband cute notes. You don’t have to live close to feel close.

9. Take pictures. Lots of them. In ordinary moments and in the most exciting ones. Freeze time with your camera.

10. Smile. Often. Or all the time. Through the good and the bad. It helps, I promise.

11. Lead with your heart. Make decisions with your soul and not always with your brain. The heart knows best.

So pack your bags. Open your schedules. Experience the moments. BE open and let go all at the same time. Let us learn to live from those that have left us, some far, far too early. <3

Two hikers enjoying sunrise from top of a mountain

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