Imagine Your Funeral

The average person takes 672,768,000 breaths in a lifetime.

One day, you will breathe your last breath.

One day, you will die.

You, and everyone you know, will cease to exist.

I think that deserves some thought.

I rarely think about dying.

The young, we think we’re invicible. But we too, will some day die.

Take a moment and imagine your funeral.

What do you look like?

What kind of person have you become?

What day of the week is it?

Is it a cold, damp day?

What do the skies look like?

Are you buried under a tree in a grassy field?

Do you have a tombstone?

Are your ashes scattered out to sea with friends and family gathered on the beach?

Do you have children? Are your children there?

What are people reading for you?

My grandma, she says she wants her funeral to be more like a party. She says she wants everyone to be wearing bright colors and enjoying themselves. She does not want it to be sad day.

My sister says she wants “Here Comes the Sun” playing the background.

What are they saying about you?

When you look back on your life, do you wish your priorities had been different?

How many of us will regret being as uptight as we were?

A nurse in the UK recorded the top five regrets of the dying. There are as follows:

1. I wish I had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

“This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.”

2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
“This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret, but as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.”

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
“Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.”

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
“Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.”

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

“This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content, when deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.”

Do any of these resonate with you? How will change your deathbed regret?

Find the rest of the article here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2012/feb/01/top-five-regrets-of-the-dying.

If I looked back on my life from my deathbed right now: I would have let myself be happier. I would have chosen to be happy more.

It is estimated that the average person has 70,000 separate thoughts each day. The crazy thing is, most of these thoughts are the same thoughts you had yesterday and the same thoughts you will have tomorrow. Our minds are filled with the same mental chatter day in and day out. Schedules, money worries, work concerns, relationship issues, kids, ordinary daily concerns that leave no space for mental silence.

I want mental silence.

So, this Monday, I started a sub-project of Surfer Stoke: I will meditate every day for ten minutes for at least a month. November is officially “Movember” or Meditation November (and of course, Mustache November). I read somewhere that when you make charts to track your progress on a project, it creates accountability and ensures that your project will be more successful. Thus, I made chart. The days with smiley faces on them are the days I meditated.

I’m doing this because I want to be the best and happiest person I can be, and meditation has been proven to give people a greater sense of well-being, more energy, better relationships, etc.

Secondly, I do believe it gets you closer to God, to a God, to something.

I have consulted a few books to start out. I read Superconscious Meditation by Pandit Usharbudh Arya D. Litt and Wayne Dyer’s “Wisdom of the Ages: 60 Days to Enlightenment.”

I think we forget that we need silence. We are not all like Buddha, we can’t abandon our lives to go into isolation and find Enlightenment. But you can sit in your car and watch a sunset. Really feel the water on your skin in the shower in the morning. You can notice your breathing throughout the day. Look for those gaps in the chatter.

Learn to be silent
Let your
quiet mind
listen and absorb.

-Pythagoras (580 B.C. – 500 B.C.)

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