Dying For Sex

“You needn’t die happy when your time comes, but you must die satisfied, for you have lived your life from the beginning to the end.”-Stephen King

Recently I binged on a six episode podcast in a span of 24 hours.  It was beautiful, poignant, and emotional, and I had to share this.  The series is called Dying for Sex.  It’s a conversation between two best friends, where one particular friend has stage 4 cancer, divorces her husband, and explores her sexuality with the time she has left.  It contains such beauty, humor, rawness, vulnerability, and inspiration.  It serves as reminder for one to think of how do you want to live your life, knowing that you will die. 

       How often do we forget that we are going to die?  That is the only certainty we have.  I’m not trying to be morbid or focus solely on the negative here, but it is true.  Yet, when we know this and can hold this in our hands, it reminds us of the preciousness of our lives.

       This is a foundational principle in Buddhism.  In fact in Bhutan, people remind themselves five times a day they are going to die to bring about their happiness.  If you have problems doing this, you can buy an app called “We Croak,” which will remind you.  I purchased this years ago, and try to remind myself how precious life is frequently.  

       When you know death is imminent, you cut out the crap, and live a life aligned to what is most important to you.  But the truth is none of us know when our time is.  What are we waiting for?  What do you need to do to live in alignment with your values?  What is on your bucket list? 

More info on the podcast : https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/dying-for-sex/id1495392900

Artist Date to Rodin

This past week, I took myself on an artist date to the Rodin Museum.  For those who aren’t familiar with artist dates, they are something Author Julia Cameron suggests we do weekly to deepen our creativity.  Basically we treat ourselves on a date, whether this is to a park, film, beach, or even the $1 store.  Often we wait for someone else to do activities with, but in this we treat ourselves, regardless how big or small.  This is a concept I love, and even used to recommend it to clients.  

I’ve been living in Paris for over seven months, and I had only been to this Rodin museum twice in those months.  It was a museum I fell in love with 18 years ago when I first visited Paris and one part of me thought I may spend my days here volunteering at the museum.  That didn’t happen, it was a beautiful warm (but not hot) day, and perfect moments to spend Rodin and his sculptures.  

Rodin’s works speak to me, as I felt he was one of the first artists to display in sculpture the intensity of our emotions.  This includes not just victory, but the suffering, longing, pain, ecstasy, wonder, and contemplation.  Although he’s most known for his piece The Thinker, there’s so much more depth to his pieces.  This is what calls out to me in his work.  I am someone who veers to the optimistic, perhaps in the past of demonstrating toxic positivity.  This blog is called It Only Takes A Smile, for gosh sake.  But over time, I have been learning the beauty that exists in suffering, complexity, and despair.  I am not idealizing these emotions, but they are part of our human existence and also part of our internal and collective shadow.  There’s a necessity to embrace the totality that life has to offer, and I appreciate the artists who can share humanity’s vulnerabilities (and sometimes their own). 

On a future artist date, go to a local museum and examine the versatility of the works available.  Embrace both the dark and the light.  See what stirs inside. 

“One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.”-Carl Jung