It has been over three years since my life changing experience of surviving a tornado in Tuscaloosa, Alabama occurred. It is definitely an understatement to say that the F-4 tornado shook up my life – literally and figuratively. April 27, 2011 changed me forever and there is no way to separate this truth from where I am today. Up until that series of terrifying moments, I always found myself so busy that it was a rare occasion for me to truly embrace little and big life moments with myself, my family, my friends, or my extended community. I usually found myself rushing to the next appointment, commitment, or thing without giving much thought to residing in the present moment before one thing ended.
There is a line in Just Barely Breathing, one of my favorite songs by Killswitch Engage, that asks a monumental question, “Are we alive or just breathing?” Take a moment to genuinely reflect on this question. Now silently answer the question. I honestly think most people are guilty of breathing and rushing from minute to minute rather that basking in the present moment.
Ernest Hemingway once wrote, “Try to learn to breathe deeply, really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell. And when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough.” I wholeheartedly agree with Mr. Hemingway and have been hell bent on being alive fully since this life-changing experience. Stay tuned to read my next blog post tomorrow to find how Starbucks saved my life and how a tornado challenged me to eat, drink, and savor life every day.
Until the Next Post,
P.S. The personal pictures below provide a glimpse of my life-changing experience. I look forward to sharing the extensive story tomorrow.