Nicolae Tanase: Mary, what is the meaning of life?
Mary Knysh: Although I do not claim to know the meaning of life, I can share what I feel brings meaning to life. It is really quite simple, we are here to share love and gratitude. We are born into our own unique set of circumstance and as life unfolds, we have the opportunity to live, learn and grow with the events that flow to us and through us.
Life is like a river originating from an unknown source. It moves along many smaller streams as it goes along and in the end it returns to where it began, back to the unknown source. Along the way our waters meet and merge with many other life rivers. If we are listening and remain aware, we have the splendid possibility of sharing and learning from others. These connections and collaborations bring new knowledge, joy and ultimately transform the way in which the river of our life flows.
When life’s waters are not forced in one direction or another they can flow effortlessly along their natural pathways of intuition and curiosity. One can discover a life that has imbedded within it a deep sense of meaning, purpose and connection. A quality life is one that embraces and engages our creative potential while simultaneously connecting and inspiring new experiences with those we meet along the journey.
Ten years ago I had the great honor of spending many months with my beloved mother as she was dying. It was during this time that my thoughts were consumed with the meaning of life. There is no greater test to your belief in the meaning and value of life than when it is slowly slipping away from someone you love and adore. My eldest daughter, Jubilee, a hospice nurse, shared with me her perspective on life’s last moments as her Grandmother was dying. She said that most people she had encountered during their last moments of life wanted to know three things; do you know how much I love you, was my time here meaningful, and can you forgive me for anything I may have done along the way to hurt you? The forth and final question from many was “is it okay for me to leave now?”
Life is as fluid as a river, always changing and evolving from one moment to the next. The events and people along the way can mean everything or nothing. It is up to you and your ability to accept, embrace and as often as possible appreciate each new twist and turn along the way. Every day offers fresh new opportunities for us to experience connections, support and communication with those around us.
I believe that life is an experience to be treasured and shared. As we flow along the pathway of our lives, the people, places and events that we encounter are the jewels that spark the truest meaning in our lives.
It has been my experience that when I can tap into a grateful attitude for the unexpected events that appear along my life’s path, I can better appreciate the journey. Life’s destination is not the goal, as in the end the river flows back to where it began. The meaning of life exists in the journey it self. The present moment, here and now, offers the greatest gifts that we can receive and give.
Let the river of your life unfold with freedom, joy and curiosity and take time to reflect on your journey with love and gratitude.
~Mary Knysh founder of Rhythmic Connections, an innovative company advancing education, health, and creative development through drum circles and music improvisation. Mary is a workshop facilitator and trainer; creativity, leadership and communications consultant and coach; professional musician; recording artist and author.
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