How to Enjoy Life Fully

My mom recently sent me this interview with 88-year-old Bodhi Hanna Kistner on things she’s learned in her lifetime, and I found her words really inspiring:

“Enjoying life doesn’t mean being unreasonably excited all the time. On the contrary, as I became older I realized that the first step towards finding the joy of life was to accept reality openly and sincerely, accept everything as it is. Reality is not perfect. But it is important to face the truth. This attitude works wonders.”

It’s a good attitude, isn’t it? In the midst of what feels like a lot of things happening all at once, I’ve gone so drastically and quickly from feeling okay to feeling really not okay. But if I take a step back and simply observe my life at this very minute, without any expectations and fears and worries and thoughts about yesterday or thoughts about tomorrow — I’m greeted with a wonderful hush.

Here’s my reality: It’s morning. My washing machine is humming its rhythmic, sloshy song. Bright green leaves are emerging on the tree outside. Birds are busy. I’m hungry. And I’m alive. Alive!

The other day, I met a friend for a walk and we took our dogs to the beach. The tide was low, and as the pups played in the surf, I found myself envious of them, of their ability to play with such uncomplicated joy, like children. It sounds silly, but think about: a dog has no choice but to live in the present, in one reality to the next. If I had scheduled a vet appointment (her least favorite thing) following that trip to the beach, it wouldn’t have affected how much fun she was having right then — she would have had no way of knowing. She lives only in the present, in her present. And see how much fun there is to be had there?! It’s a lesson to us all…


Image by Sara De.

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