Once, a long time ago, a woman wondered, “What happens when you die?”
She was so obsessed with the thought that she was determined to find out.
The woman lay down on the floor, closed her eyes, and imagined herself dead.
She felt her limbs go stiff in rigor mortis as awareness left her body and she exhaled for the very last time, until she was gone.
The woman’s soul rose from her body and turned to see her dead self lying on the floor. She was triumphant.
“Now I shall know what happens when we die,” she said.
A man with dark skin and wearing long robes appeared and took her hand. As she gazed into his black eyes, his head flickered from that of a man to that of a jackal.
“I am Anubis, Guardian of the Underworld and Master of Secrets,” he said. “You must go to the Scales.”
Anubis led the woman up a long staircase, up, up, up through the clouds and beyond into a vast desert in the sky. Sand blew past their feet as they walked.
They came upon the Scales, balancing two empty bowls. Anubis set an ostrich feather onto one side. The scale scarcely moved.
“I must weigh your heart,” he said. “If it is lighter than the feather, you may proceed to heaven. If it is heavier than the feather, your soul will be devoured by Ammit.”
The woman shivered and nodded. She had to know the truth.
Anubis reached into her chest, pulled out the woman’s heart, and set it on the scales opposite the ostrich feather.
The scales tipped back and forth, back and forth, settling. The woman stared as her heart, still beating, was outweighed by the feather.
“How can this be?” she asked. “My heart has known sorrow and despair, hatred and anger. It is surely much heavier than a single feather.”
“Baba, there is nothing in your heart when everything is allowed to move through it. You need not fear these heavy feelings that blow through like storms across the sea. Your heart feels all, yet remains lighter than a feather.”
We are dying. We are all dying, with every moment passing away into the next.
So what’s the point?
Nietzsche posed the question of eternal recurrence, the theory that the entire universe and everything in it will repeat infinitely.
How would you live if you knew your fate was to live the same life, the same events, having the same thoughts, over and over again?
Would you shrink your world to the safety of your tiny cave to prevent as many misfortunes and random tragedies as possible?
Or would you dare to go any and every where your heart desires to press the boundaries of existence?
The truth is that I don’t know what lies on the other side of death. One day, perhaps I’ll discover what lies beyond the veil, like the woman in the story.
Perhaps, I, too, shall know the reckoning of my heart.
I remember the moment I began to wake up to this idea of Fate.
Several years into my marriage, I picked up my head, looked around and said, “How did this become my life?”
Like the Talking Heads song, “This is not my beautiful house. This is not my beautiful life.”
And it was beautiful. A beautiful man, house, business, dream.
But it didn’t feel like mine. I was only living as half of myself.
I could have despaired. I could have attempted to explode my life and marriage to start again.
Instead, I stumbled upon the words of Frederick Nietzsche:
“My formula for greatness in a human being is amor fati: that one wants nothing to be different, not forward, not backward, not in all eternity. Not merely bear what is necessary, still less conceal it—all idealism is mendacity in the face of what is necessary—but love it.”
Love your fate. Love what is.
It is into this acceptance that I began to fall.
This IS my beautiful house.
This IS my beautiful life.
Though kicking and screaming at times, I began the long, sweet, slow surrender into what is.
Something strange began to happen.
The more I stopped fighting with reality, the more space opened up, and in this space I could see what was hidden from me before.
I could see my life as it unfolded.
I could feel the universe as it moved through me.
I began to move.
Sometimes with much thinking and deliberation, and the suffering those thoughts brought with them. I felt the judgement of those thoughts about what I was allowed to do, what I should do, what I must do, what I had to choose.
Each time I returned to the stillness of amor fati, the way became clearer.
I fell more and more in love with life as it is, without the need to change it, and when I no longer thrashed against the contraints of my life in a desire to make it anything other than what it was…
…my life began to change.
I left my loving relationship of 22 years and my home in New York, my pets, my successful business, to travel the world as a pet sitter, letting the world move me where it will.
I discovered that many of the things I thought I wanted no longer moved me.
I was moved by strangely ordinary things. A simple life. Simple loves.
I stumbled into and out of relationships bearing bizarre and priceless gifts.
Life brought me to my knees again and again, each time inviting me to surrender.
To love what is. To love this experience of now and everything it holds. To let that be enough as it shows me the truth that this is everything.
Inviting me to come home to Now.
What if you come home to everything your existence holds in this moment?
What if you let go of everything else and just LOVE IT?
What if you realize that perhaps you’ve been loving it all along, even your desperate struggle against it?
From this place, from this surrender, where you are home…
Oh, the games we shall play! What stories we shall tell once we know that none of them are true!
What is the story your heart longs to tell, the song your soul longs to sing?
This is what you were born to do, and Now is when you were born to do it.
Play With Me: Now is the Time to Create Your Joy
It’s time to step out of the struggle and into the light of what brings you joy.
Everything you seek is only one thought away.
I’m searching for entrepreneurs on a mission to change the world by simply sharing what they love.
If this is you…
WARNING: this isn’t a “discovery call;” it’s a real session where you can create and explore anything you like. There’s no pressure and no sales talk unless you’re interested in learning more.
This is my free gift to you.
If you’re curious…
Yours in creative play,