Are you Living? Or Are you Existing?

Something I know very well. For most of my life, my choices were based on what was happening externally. What did the world want? What would be pleasing to the people around me? What can I choose or do that would gain me the most acceptance? How can I continue to get reassurance that I am liked and that there is harmony? How can I avoid conflict? 

A very exhausting way to live. Never in flow. Always in resistance. Resistance with myself. It was scary to just be. What does that even mean? 

It wasn't until 2 major things happened in my life - I became a mom and I became an entrepreneur that things started subtly shifting. I didn't even know it. Next thing you know, I'm making leaps and bounds, selling my law firm and living a life I always wanted. 

But, because this is a life long journey, the lesson was sure to come back again.. and so it did. This year. I got the stage I wanted. TEDx. And I got poked. Over and over again. Worried. Tormented. Until I wanted to give up. I actually thought about giving up -  a recurring conversation I had with my husband - because I was scared. Terrified. Scared of doing great. Scared of doing bad. Just plain scared. All of a sudden I didn't know what I was doing anymore. And it spread. I started questioning EVERYTHING. I had an infestation of doubt. And I stopped all of my daily tools, routines. I became exhausted. 

And then a week ago my father had a stroke. His health took a downward turn and he found himself helpless with little movement and lots of sadness. Wishing he had more time. Unfulfilled wishes. And it was a slap in the face. Everything I was taking for granted. Seriously?? This is how I was going to let it all go down?? 

I'm sad for my father. I'm thankful we spent time together. I'm humbled by the Universe and it's profound messages. I'm grateful for my life and I wouldn't have it any other way. 

I want to live. I don't want to wait until it's too late to feel alive. Because feeling alive doesn't just have to be a momentary thing. We can have this more times than not - I know this. 

So my question to you is - are you living, or are you just existing?