Finally the world has come alive with spring! There’s no holding back those buds from blooming, those birds from building nests, or those gals from wearing open-toed shoes. They are in full carpe diem mode…seizing the day! So, how about taking the season’s cue and partaking in a little carpe diem action of your own?
The spirit of carpe diem is refusing to let another day go by without sucking the juice out of it. It’s about breaking out of autopilot and engaging in activities that make you feel ALIVE. And you don’t have to up and move to Morocco to seize the day…you can do it within the life you’re already living. An enlivening action today could range anywhere from asking out that special someone you’ve been admiring from afar to cuddling that cozy cat lying in the sunbeam to taking a small action in launching that business you’ve been dreaming of to singing on the top of your lungs in the car.
I can already hear the litany of excuses running through your head for why now isn’t a good time to seize the day: I’m too busy, I’m too tired, I’ve got 10 pounds to lose first, I’m broke, I’m waiting for someone to seize the day with, I’ll play with my kid tomorrow, someday soon I’ll start planning my dream trip…Well m’dear, snap out of it because “tomorrow” and “someday” are not days of the week, life is finite, and at this rate you’re going to procrastinate living until you’re DEAD!
For me, nothing hits home the concept of carpe diem more than cherry blossoms. I live in Toronto and for a few precious days each spring, 2000 cherry trees here in High Park burst into breathtaking powder puffs of pink and white petals…nature’s cotton candy! Now, spring is always a crazy busy time for me so I spent many years procrastinating away my opportunity to take in the cherry blossoms. Three years ago though, I played hooky in the middle of a workday to finally take a stroll under the majestic arches of fluffy blossoms and couldn’t believe I’d waited so long to experience this…it was like magic in petal form! Afterwards, I started thinking about how even if I am blessed with a long life, I might only have 40 or so more chances to see the cherry blossoms. A mere 40 more chances to experience something so beautiful! Well, that realization has gotten my butt into gear to get out there every year since. And even though a weekday stroll in High Park seems like one of the last things I have time for right now, I’ve gotten word that those trees are blossoming so I am about to play hooky to go drink in their fleeting beauty.
Isn’t it time for YOU to start drinking in the fleeting beauty of your life? If you’re ready to start carpe diem’ing it up (yes, I’m taking great liberties with Latin here), I’ve got a list below of enlivening activities to help get the juices going! But there are also two very important questions to start posing to yourself at every turn today:
What will help me come more alive in this moment?
WHAT THE HELL AM I WAITING FOR?
Alright Precious One – go out and Seize the May!
CARPE DIEM ACTIONS
1. Treat yourself to a pleasure you’ve been “saving” (that special bottle of wine, that long bath, that new album you downloaded) and give it your singular focus.
2. Take time out to play with your kids or animal companions and really absorb their unbridled enthusiasm
3. That project you’ve been dreaming about starting? Give it a working title or write a paragraph about how it would feel bringing it to fruition.
4. Book a reservation at that restaurant you’ve been eyeing all year.
5. If you have a musical instrument in your house, take it out and damn well PLAY IT!
6. With the next person you encounter today, ask yourself, “What’s awesome about this person?” and then really savor them.
7. Do 10 minutes of research into a trip you’ve been yearning to take.
8. Use that gift card you’ve had in your drawer for eons.
9. Try an art class or an African dance class or a vegetarian cooking class!
10. Play hooky midweek to take a long meandering walk through spring in bloom (bonus points for doing it barefoot!)
“My heart that was rapt away by the wild cherry blossoms — will it return to my body when they scatter?” – Kotomichi