If there were a checklist of everything you wanted to accomplish throughout your life, what might be on it? Some people call it their ‘bucket list’, and include things out-of-character, like skydiving, backpacking across Europe, and climbing Mount Everest. While these things are exhilarating, life would still be complete without them.

So what other things might you include on a bucket list? Things like finding love and friendship? Or maybe earning a certain degree or reaching a given level in a profession? These “accomplishments” all carry meaning into your life, but we’re still not hitting the nail on the head.

If someone were speaking about you and your life, what would they say? How might you be remembered? They might share stories that make others laugh or cry—memories that bring your personality to light—your humor, enthusiasm, zest for life, inner joy, love for others, and more. Sure, all of the things that were mentioned earlier add color to your story, but the things you will be remembered for are what make you unique deep within. How you live your life, follow your passions, and treat others on your journey speaks volumes to those around you.

Life is a cycle of continually discovering ourselves. Through our endless experiences, whether exhilarating or mundane, we learn a bit more about who we are every day. It is up to us to pay attention to those experiences and to bring them within so that our inner spark can shine freely.

As William Wallace once said, “Every man dies. Not every man truly lives.” Death is a natural part of the cycle of life. And many believe that after we die, our spirits live on in those around us and in the spaces we occupy. It’s very easy to get caught up in an endless cycle of responsibilities and forget what it means to truly be alive. We don’t know when our journeys on Earth will be over. That plan is not in our hands. Every minute you are breathing deserves to have meaning.

So, don’t put your life on hold. And don’t wait for tomorrow. Experience life today. Feel the cool breeze on your skin, breathe in clean, mountain air, explore the world beneath your feet, be kind to yourself and to those around you, and never stop searching for who you truly are deep within. What’s on your bucket list?

Mind, Body, Spirit, TCM

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