Aliveness project

Our world needs to come ALIVE. You need to come ALIVE.

June 05, 2021, was an unforgettable day in my life. A hot and sunny summer’s day starts out as a romantic parents’ getaway in the beautiful center of medieval Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. My husband and I are taking scooters to pick up delicious hand-made Italian ice cream at a lovely place just on the other side of the Old Town hill. I’m looking around as if I were a tourist in my hometown. I’m feeling the warm sun and the light breeze on my skin. I hear birds singing amidst the voices of the busy town. “What a beautiful day,” I think to myself. 

A moment later I realize that the speed has started to increase, just as we head downhill. I look for the brakes to slow down. And I can’t find any. As if in slow motion, I hear myself shouting to my husband, “Where are the brakes”? I see him turning around and looking at me, horrified… And then.. my happy and satisfied life almost ended in a split second as I hit a brick wall at the end of the downhill road while going full speed on the scooter. My whole life runs before my eyes in a flash of a second. All of the moments when I felt truly alive. All the people I’ve loved. All the experiences I’ve had. I don’t regret any of the things I did – only the ones I didn’t. And yet, I thought to myself, so many things are left unfinished in my life that I simply can’t die just yet… 

The next moment, I am sitting on the ground. I see unfamiliar people running around, and my husband is calling somewhere. I hear them saying something I can’t understand. I touch my head and see my hand all covered with sticky, red blood… I can’t feel anything, and everything happening around me seems like a bad nightmare… My romantic date ended in an emergency room…

Luckily, I just had a few stitches on my head and bruises all over my body, which healed quickly. Today, a barely noticeable stitch on my face keeps reminding me to ask myself daily, “Am I truly alive?”

Isn’t it funny that we only start truly living when we face the reality of death? I know I did. That day I decided that, next time, I would be prepared to face death without regrets that I haven’t really lived yet. Now, I live every moment of my life as if it was my last. It gives me the courage to be myself and live fully. In a year, I have done more things I have never done but always wanted to than in all my previous years. I don’t want to die, not yet. But when my turn comes at any point, I want to be able to answer those questions with a solid, confident YES. Have you lived? Have you loved? Did your life have meaning for yourself and others?

What would your answer be? 

We constantly search for happiness & success. We seek fulfillment, joy, peace, and freedom. We are on a constant quest to find more abundance, more money, more love, more confidence, deeper meaning, and higher purpose. 

We enroll in course after course, read book after book, and hire coach after coach in the hope of finally being ready, being enough. 

We keep searching for the ‘right job’ that we will be passionate about, or a quick way to get rich quickly to live our passions.

We keep going from one relationship into another, hoping to find Mr. or Mrs. Right, who will finally bring us love and happiness. 

But we seem to be going in circles, never reaching the elusive land of ‘pure bliss’, thus letting real life pass unnoticed and unlived. Longing so much for something on the outside without fully realizing what it is that we are so desperately missing.

It is as though we have all fallen into a long and deep collective sleep. We gotten used to our lives. We take our lives for granted. Our lives became dull, repetitive, and boring. We are living every day the same, day in and day out, without really thinking about how we truly want to live. We believe we are afraid of death, but in reality, we are scared of living. 

We don’t plan or consider if this is the life we intend to have. Instead, we wake up in the morning and drag ourselves out of bed, feeling exhausted just by the thought of doing the things we have always done, talking to the same people, fighting the same battles. Hoping to survive through the day so we can repeat the same vicious circle tomorrow. We are feeling dead on the inside and unconsciously participating in the Walking Dead reality show season ‘N’, happening in the real world, not on Netflix. 

We are blaming COVID, the economy, politicians, war, etc., for being depressed, anxious, sluggish, unhappy, ill, broken, and lacking the motivation and energy to change any of that.

The real problem is that we don’t know who we are and what we want. So we are searching for the wrong things in the wrong places. 

Howard Thurman, an American author & philosopher, said in 1974, “Do not ask what the world needs, ask what makes you come alive, then go out and do it because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” Unfortunately, not many have heard him. Today, more than ever, the world needs to come alive. We all need to come alive, to become again excited and filled with energy, action, and curiosity. 

I believe that all of us, ultimately, want to feel a sense of aliveness, which is the essence of life. Just look at children; you will find them most of the time in this very state of being alive. Open to life, open to opportunities, open to miracles.

Somehow, as adults, we seem to have forgotten to be alive in the busyness and complexity of our serious lives. I just hope you wouldn’t have to remember it the hard way I did.

Do you remember the last time when you felt genuinely alive? If you don’t feel alive daily, maybe it’s because you are not really living. Just think about it for a second.

Are you true to yourself, or are you living somebody else’s life? Are you pursuing your own goals and dreams? Are you exploring the world and learning new things? Are you doing things that make you feel happy, fulfilled, and excited? Are you feeling full of energy by the end of the day?

Or are you avoiding trying new things so you won’t look stupid? Are you talking yourself out of your dreams so you won’t fail and face disappointment? Are you doing what others want you to do to make them happy? Are you trying to fit in and hide who you are from yourself and the world to feel accepted and loved? Are you feeling drained and empty when you get back home from the day filled with ‘important, urgent stuff’?

It is your life. If you don’t become selfish and start being who you truly are and doing what makes you happy and gives you meaning, you will never feel truly alive! 

Your purpose and your mission come alive only when you do. And believe it or not, when you start doing things that make you feel alive, you inspire others to do the same. To be inspiring, you need to be inspired, and you need to be alive. You can only truly change the world when you start with yourself. 

So focus on being alive every day in every area of your life.

Look at all aspects of your life and ask yourself:  “Am I truly alive? And what makes me feel ALIVE in this area?” Look at your relations, career, health, body, hobbies, etc. Accept where you are without judgment and commit to bringing more aliveness into all those areas. Keep asking yourself: “Am I fully alive in this relationship, am I fully alive in this conversation, am I fully alive in this task? And what would I do if I was fully alive?’ 

Feeling alive isn’t a fake attempt to just ‘be positive.’ Feeling alive is a choice you must make as you go through your day. It’s an attitude you choose to view your life and the world around you. When you are truly alive, you are satisfied with what you have and what you do in your life and are excited about what life has yet to bring you. You do what you like and change what you don’t. You take full responsibility. You are ready to die at any time and thus make it a priority to live every moment fully: no regrets, no unchecked task lists, and no fear of the future. Just here and now.

So what prevents us from feeling truly alive?

  • We keep ourselves busy, doing on autopilot the things that drain our energy, just because we ‘have to’ or ‘should,’ without stopping and asking ourselves, “What do I really want to do?”
  • We are hiding our true personalities from ourselves and the world. We are playing safe and putting our big dreams on hold in an unconscious fear that, otherwise, we will not fit in.
  • We are afraid to look inside and discover who we truly are and what we want and do those things that make our hearts sing. So we keep going to boring jobs or stay in unfulfilling relationships just not to be considered selfish. 
  • We keep ourselves stuck in a tiny box, created by our beliefs and limitations, leading a life of quiet desperation, yet secretly wondering what if… 

One of the most incredible things about being a human is our ability to reinvent ourselves. Make a decision and start designing your life in a way that excites you. If your life’s going well, you might only need to make a few small changes, but there’s always some area you can improve. But if your life’s not where it could be, or should be, then change it. Change everything about it you don’t like. It is your choice, and it is your responsibility.

Make a decision. Open a FUN BOX.

Find out who you truly are.

Understand what makes you feel alive.

Now go out and do more of those things.

Break the barriers of shouldn’t and have to’s and build borders to protect your wants and desires.

Open up to selfishness.

Xplore what makes you alive, expand on what works, and extract what doesn’t.

Being alive is not a destination; it’s a journey to make your life worth living. And the best thing, the more you focus on being alive, the more alive you will feel.

I’m launching an ALIVENESS PROJECT to raise global awareness around the topic of being ALIVE and inspire people to focus on being more alive everyday in every area of their liveness. IF you want to learn more and join me, write to me olesija@goal.ee