Living Life For The Sheer Joy Of It

Life isn’t measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away.


I left the house early this Christmas Eve morning to get a hike in before jumping into the final preparations for this evening’s gathering at our house.

There’s one section of Highway 12 on the way out of Sebastopol that reminds me of images of the African Savannah. It’s a wide-open expanse of field dotted with Oak trees and flowing gently into rolling hills in the distance. This morning there was a thin shroud of fog sitting over this landscape and the sky was filled with streaks of puffy, orange, sun streaked clouds.

I kept sneaking glances over to the right, admiring this beautiful scene as I drove, sensing that the sun was getting closer and closer to the horizon and hoping that it would make its appearance before I drove into the section of road with thicker trees that would block the view.

And just as I was thinking how much I wanted to see the sun come up over the hills in the distance, I glanced over and there it was: The brilliant, deep orange half-circle of the sun seeming to sit on top of one of these hills in the distance.

I had never seen the sun rising with such clarity and intensity. The slight fog seemed to both mellow and intensify the sun simultaneously.

This sight was so visceral and so unexpected that it broke through the defenses of my mind and entered directly into my heart. This vision opened me to the joy of being alive.

Gratitude, joy and wonder filled me and tears filled my eyes.

It seems to me that these moments of uninhibited joy are more reflective of our natural state then the vast majority of our time. This joy is normal. This joy is why we have come to this life.

We spend so much of our time “getting by,” and handling the day-to-day tasks of our life, we don’t often give ourselves the time and space to experience these moments of pure joy.

That is why when moments such as this break through the clutter of our mind and our over-filled lives, they have such power.

In that moment, when I saw the sun, sitting there on the horizon, so beautiful, so inspiring, so unique, I understood – for the first time all over again – that these are the moments we are here for. These are the moments that cause us to say, “yes” to life.

And somehow this vision, this message, this experience, this saying “yes” to life ties in to this season. Because, whether you celebrate the turning of the Earth towards the light, or the birth of a great master, or the rededication of and gratitude for the miracle of light, this time of year is a time of re-birth, of re-awakening to our reason for being here in this life.

We have passed through the darkest time, the longest night, and are now heading back into the light. What better time of year than now, right now, to reconnect to the parts of us that want to say “Yes” to life. These positive parts are always saying Yes.

And in this season of joy and peace lets all take the time to practice saying “yes” more often.

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      6 Responses to “Living Life For The Sheer Joy Of It”

      1. Mike Shea on December 27th, 2006 10:16 am

        Thank you for a beautiful written blog. You have brought joy to many of us. For that, I thank you from the deepest part of my heart for being here on this earth with us. Yes to life and being alive today!!

      2. Edward Mills on December 27th, 2006 8:33 pm

        Thank you Mike. I’m putting my hand on my heart and receiving your words fully!


      3. Hueina Su on December 30th, 2006 1:06 pm

        Ed, what a beautiful post. It really resonates with my heart. Thank you for sharing it with the Carnival of Healing.

        Intensive Care for the Nurturer’s Soul

      4. Raymond Salas on December 30th, 2006 5:08 pm

        What a wonderful post Ed! I felt the power, serenity, and beauty in your words. Thank you for sharing this holiday gift with all of us!

        With gratitude,

      5. Edward Mills on December 30th, 2006 9:03 pm

        Hueina and Raymond. Thank you both. Coming from wonderful bloggers/writers like you two, these words are a great gift.

        Have a wonderful New Year.

        Warm regards

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