A couple years ago I read Neville Schute’s On the Beach. Set in Australia after worldwide nuclear war, it shows how the Aussies react knowing that they are going to die, as soon as the Coriolus effect brings the radiation down under.
I was talking to a group of students about it, 8th grade boys, and said something like, “if you knew you were going to die, what would you do?”
Immediately, they started describing bunkers, and food stockpiles, and how they would fight the zombies. (Wait, you mean there aren’t any zombies at all in the book? Lame.) But wait, I told them, in the book, there’s no way to stop it- the radiation will get there, the characters know they will die, the only question is, how will you spend the rest of your life. Some characters drink their way through a wine cellar, others race cars, one, oddly, decides to sober up and go to secretarial school. Would you rather dig into a bunker with your stockpile, or go sailing?
On the one hand, the book is about nuclear apocalypse, but on the other hand, we are all going to die. Do we want to live life in a bunker, or enjoy the sunshine, go to the beach and live?
What does this have to do with yoga, you ask. It is yoga off the mat, I guess, connecting what we want out of life with what we dream about, and what we fear. (I read in a “blogging how-to” article that a blog post is supposed to solve a problem, that’s why people read them. The title is supposed to hint at the solution. I obviously did not learn that lesson!)
I recalled the conversation with those 8th graders a few days ago, and it got me thinking. I do love my life (not every minute…but mostly) and I feel like what I am doing is right for me. How about you?
I started by describing a conversation, I’d like to end with an invitation to a conversation- I know I will die, but I can choose how to live the rest of my life, how do you choose?