Fran Braga Meininger
What does it mean to live deeply? Is it a state of mind, a lifestyle full of exhilaration, stimulating and meaningful conversations and intense relationships? Is it feeling my emotions stir within me, acknowledging them, allowing them to engulf me and owning them? Yes, for me it is all of that and more.
Living deeply is the answer to the angst of this era of transition. It is how I navigate this time with my long-term goals accomplished, my life lived, knowing I’m not out of time. It is a way to stand in the dim light of discomfort and look the unknown in the eye without backing down, taking a chance and leaping across the abyss that stands between me and what comes next.
It requires sitting with myself, quietly listening to those voices that have chattered for so long in the recesses of my mind, making it impossible to be content; finally summoning them forward to hear what they have to say, determining for myself whether they serve to move me forward or belong to my past, welcomed as a part of me, then released, to remain silent and satisfied for being heard. It is considering options that forever have felt out of reach, unrealistic and frivolous.
There is a certain stage in life that comes around many times. It is the stage of unrest. It rumbles under the surface of my awareness like an earthquake rolling in. I feel the disruption long before it arrives, unsure at first of the source. I feel unsettled, anxious, malcontent; ready to step out and make a change.
But being a responsible adult, I usually do my best to step out of the wind before it picks up speed. I find many reasons to hold myself back. There are others who depend on me, responsibilities and an image in which I am overly invested. I am after all, who I am. But I wonder now, am I? Am I a static beings or am I ever evolving; reshaping my reality, expanding my awareness as life moves on around me? Can I seek out and embrace new experiences and grow into a life that may be different and unfamiliar? Can I break free of doing what is expected and comfortable? Am I ready to open to the unforeseen and allow it to play out in front of me as I step into it?
There is a romance, an emotional appeal, to running off to a new place to start a life that seems, from a distance at least, exotic and carefree. But can one find happiness anywhere if they have not found it everywhere? There must be a way to live richly wherever I am, to live deeply for all that means and this is the era of my life in which I learn how.
Living deeply is a chance to feel, seek and enjoy all that life has to offer with the intention to savor it before my flame burns down. It is giving air to a spark, for no other reason than to see if it catches fire. And when it does, living fully in its glow.