I was inspired today by the following quote attributed to Ellen DeGeneres:
“ Life is short. If you don’t believe me, ask a butterfly. The average lifespan of a butterfly is 5 to 14 days.”
This got me to thinking. For sure, I thought. That’s true. The older I get, the shorter life seems to be. What can I do to make sure my lifespan hits closer to the “14 day mark”? I’ve come up with a few ideas. Its not only about how many years we’ve got, cause face it, that’s kind of out of our control. For me it’s more about expanding the time we have so it doesn’t just feel like time is “flying by”. How can we do that? Here are some ideas:
- Strive to spend some time each day immersing yourself completely in the “now”. If you are slowing yourself down, and using all five senses to experience each moment to the fullest, time will expand and create the illusion of “more”.
- Related to #1, time spent in quiet contemplation is time that “feels” longer because it has “meaning” attributed to it. I think this is because thinking about what we do, and who we are, adds richness and depth to the experience of being human. It just makes the time feel longer, bigger, and more.
- Say “Yes” to new experiences, even when you’re not sure how you are going to like them because they are out of your “comfort zone”. I learned this lesson from my sister-in-law after she lost her husband of 45 years. A wise friend told her that the way to begin a new chapter of life is to take the risk of doing something that is beyond what you might imagine you would like. It’s really the only way to stretch yourself into the new person you need to become. A new and “novel” experience actually heighteners and lengthens our experience of time. Besides, who knows where you might meet your new best friend, or the love of your life?”
- Practice gratitude every day for everything you are, everything you have, and all of your experiences. What seems clear to me now from the perspective of more advanced age, is that our labels of “good” and “bad” for particular experiences become meaningless as the experiences retreat into the past. We can see, for example, that an experience with domestic abuse paved the way for an increase in our self-esteem, and the appearance ultimately of a partner worthy of us. I also think that truly feeling grateful brings in more of what we actually long for. We are “happier” and more “content”, and in that state we actually will live longer.
So that’s it…. those are my thoughts.
Give flight to your butterfly,… live long and prosper