An Important Nite…

OMG! Who was that twerp?

Hello Sweet Reader,

I’ve missed you. Been away for a month, but now back in CA and at my computer. I pray you are in a beautiful way and place.

I thought I’d like to share one of my many adventures of this past month: my attendance in May, with my sweet Laura, at my high school class reunion, on the 50th anniversary of my graduation. Yeah, that’s right, 50th,like in 1960, when the dinosaurs roamed the earth.

I’ve never been to even one of these things, not high school, nor college, so it was quite the experience. Since then I’ve been using the time to digest and process the memory of that event and what it meant for me

During the course of the evening, I remember telling my friend Ken who organized the whole thing that it was way more than a great nite. It was an important nite. At the time, I wasn’t clear on what I meant by that. It was a just a feeling – but as yet unarticulated.

Actually, the first clue I got came in the emailed info package a month before. Included among the expected details such as dress, menu, music, cost and such, was the zinger: “Wheelchair access is available at the main entrance.

“What the hell! Wheelchair? High School? These two items are not compatible! Well Duh Michael…of course! Get a life! You’re 67 and so are your classmates!

Indeed, as it turns out, one of my classmates was using a walker and could hardly see, another came from dialysis, another from a kidney transplant, and….get it? So did I!

What else was “important” for me?”  For one: when, even now, I enter a room full of people, I tend to stay on the perimeter of the room rather than walk to the middle. It was then, and still is, my way. Accordingly, when I was in high school, I assumed that I was totally invisible – not even there. Imagine my surprise when many, many of my classmates during our chats, recalled memories of me, of conversations and of incidents we had shared together. Yikes! Not invisible at all! Imagine that!

And, for many of us, there were conversations wherein other misperceptions were cleared, records set right, and words, which should have been spoken 50 years ago, were finally spoken.

Interestingly, in my own exchanges, not once did the subject turn to our “doings” and our “accomplishments.” Nobody was trying to impress anyone else…all finished with that. Our topics focused on sweet memories, affectionate reminiscences, our families, the meaning of life, and all that other “gooey” stuff. I think that is quite significant.

Wonderful too, was the presence, in picture and in word, of 13 of our dear classmates who have since died, but who were definitely sharing the evening with us. A poignant and useful reminder of just how precious every single day is, and of how lucky we were to be there, remembering them.

I believe that all this is really important stuff. I really do. It was, for many of us a kind of healing event – cathartic.

I live in gratitude mode 24/7. I’m stuck there. It’s a good place to live. I recommend it. I have a practice, which helps me do that. I would like to share it with you. It’s today’s “practice tip”.

Every single morning, when I arrive in that short, sweet zone between sleep and wakefulness, moving from my unconscious state to the conscious awareness that my creator is going to allow me another day of life, I recite five “remembrances.”

Often, when I read or recite these to people for the first time, their reaction is that these are quite depressing and gloomy. Why on earth would I possibly want to remind myself every day of all this bad stuff that is waiting for me?

In fact however, this practice has the exact opposite effect. It serves to remind me of just how precious every moment of my life is, blessed with a loving wife, daughter, family and friends and in pretty good health to boot! Wow!

This not only helps me stay in gratitude mode, but also helps a bit to put some perspective on all this craziness, which is going on all around us in the world every day (this last part is still a really big challenge for me…stay tuned)

So anyway, I figured out only today that all five of these were right there at the reunion, in my face, and on the faces of all my classmates. I now believe that this is what I must have meant by “important nite.”

Practice tip:

Five Remembrances

I am of a nature to grow old. There is nothing I can do to escape old age.

I am of a nature to become ill. There is nothing I can do to escape sickness.

I am of a nature to die. There is nothing I can do to escape death.

Everything I care about and everyone I love is of a nature to change. There is nothing I can do to avoid being separated from them.

My actions are my only sanctuary. My actions are the ground on which I stand. I cannot avoid the consequences of my actions.

Why not try this practice for a month or so?  See what happens, and let me know. (BTW, you can do it any time of day that you like). Also, attached right here is a lovely song by Van Morrison, which touches on the same topic. You probably know it. Enjoy!

In the meanwhile, please,

Be kind to yourself,

Metta,

Michael

About Michael Scott

Michael Scott is a life coach, author and teacher in the San Francisco Bay Area. After spending 35 years in business - coaching found him - and he's never looked back. Michael uses his coaching training and experience, in the service of his clients, as their constant and loving guide towards joyous, fulfilling lives which are genuinely their own. He lives with his dear wife in Sausalito, CA.

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