“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” ~Harold Whitman

May 27th, 2013

The fountain in the center of campus is dry, lifeless.  It’s almost October.  The inscription at the base of the fountain reads, “In Memory of a Beautiful Life.” It commemorates Mary Tomlinson Lanning, Class of 1912, a sophomore who died much too young from typhoid fever.

It brings me to wonder, What is a beautiful life?  Isn’t all life beautiful?

What are we missing when our lives are not beautiful?  Love?  Nurturance?  Joy?  Connection?  Are beautiful lives measured by recognition of achievement?

I consider my life thus far to be beautiful.  My greatest achievement?  Giving birth to and raising a beautiful daughter, who now has a beautiful life of her own.

I think I figured out what I want to be when I grow up.  I want to be an even better me; this is a life-time achievement.  I am the creator of my beautiful life.  I decide how I respond to pain, to joy, to obstacles, to musings.  I try to bring awareness to every moment and check in to see how I am responding.  I have come alive as a result.  I have pushed through the fog of adolescence, the fear of inadequacy, the feelings of hopelessness.  I stand on the mountain top, and from here I can see why I took such an arduous path.  It has brought me to the best view.  My fountain overflows and I am alive in mind, body, and spirit.

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