The Meaning of Life

i LOVE how wonderful the Universe is sometimes. Other times, i rage into the darkness and feel like i have had enough of being alive. i am a woman of extremes it seems. i feel things deeply. Just about everything.

So when i feel delight and joy, i feel it completely. When i feel anger, sadness, and despair, i feel it equally deeply. Sometimes these feelings come in waves that are only moments apart.

And that is how my life has always been—except for the years i completely shut down and went numb because i did not know how to process it all. And sometimes, i still go through moments like that where i go through numbness and shut down.

But mostly, i work to remain present, open, loving, accepting, and in the space of gratitude. And the result is, i often end up having some pretty magical experiences.

Take for instance, these past couple weeks. As mentioned in the previous post, i was playing soccer, and i severely injured my knee. i was planning on going to the Caribbean to continue my search for a home. i always feel so much healthier and happier when i am in or next to that Sea. It feels like my cellular DNA restructures itself, and i feel lighter and brighter and so much healthier in what feels like mere moments. But with the injury, my life got rerouted… again, and now i find myself back in California (even further away from the home i am so deeply longing for) figuring out how to be here for the next few months, going through surgery and physical rehabilitation.

And yet, at the same time, i am recommended to a specialist who when he hears what i do for my life’s work, has his assistant work a miracle to get me scheduled in for surgery within a week, even though he is completely booked for almost a month. He has the surgery center opening a slot for him earlier than they normally do for him and he is coming in much earlier than he normally does, so that i can get on the road to recovery in time to be able to make it to my east coast events in early September.

And even my cab drivers are Angel messengers because this is what happens if we choose to focus on the gratitude and miracles of life. We always get what we are looking for. If we look for reasons to be upset, we will get proof overflowing of why the world is a mess and our lives are not as good as they “should” be. If we look for reasons to be happy and pleasantly surprised, we will find that. The “glasses” we put on every day have a whole lot to do with what we end up “seeing” that day.

So here’s the taxi drivers’ stories. The day is Monday and i am going to get my MRI to see what has happened to my knee. i crutch 15 minutes to the BART(Bay Area Rapid Transit public transportation system) and then take a cab from the BART stop i get off at to the MRI center.

The wonderful guy whose cab i get in is so helpful, asking me what he can do to assist me in getting into the car, and telling me to let him know whatever i need that he is there to help. He is so incredibly kind and helpful and supportive that i find myself so deeply touched that i am a little teary-eyed (i am such a mush.) He is a well built, strong, muscled arms, big shoulders, African American with a jaunty cap, twinkling eyes peering out from underneath the slightly tilted brim, and a big, generous smile.

When i finally get all settled in and we are on our way, i ask him how his day is going. He replies, “I always tell people, there are only two kinds of days… Good Days… (and with a dramatic pause) and Better Days! People ask me, ‘Well what about when something goes wrong?’ and I always tell them, ‘Well I’m alive ain’t I? Well then, it’s a Good Day!’”

He goes on to talk about how all people seem to care about is money and how unhappy most people seem. He says, “Now people like you for instance… here you are on crutches with a hurt leg, but here you are smiling and being nice and talking with me about how much we have to be happy about. See, that’s what life is about! It’s about being thankful and about being happy and sharing with others! Otherwise, what’s the point?! Life is too short and too special for sure to waste it being unhappy and ungrateful like so many folks do!”

Amen! Axe! (pronounced a’shay) Hallelujah! That’s Right! Fo’ Sho’! Hell, Yeah!

Damn, i love the Angels among us! That cab driver is a preacher of the highest sort behind the pulpit of a steering wheel.

And then, on the way back, my cab driver is a Sikh from India. He has a turban wrapped around his head which is a Sikh religious custom, with eyes as equally twinkling as the previous taxi driver, but even a little more mischievous glint in them for sure, and a wonderful accent with an upward lilt at the end of his statements that just feel light and happy.

He asks me, “Out dancing were you? A bit too much tequila?” As my draw drops in shock, he lets out a belly laugh, knowing i would never expect a Sikh cab driver to let out a statement like that. He is clearly enjoying himself and his shock value.

i burst out laughing, saying, “Well, not tequila and dancing this time, although you certainly have me pegged because when i do go dancing, it usually takes a bit of tequila to help me work up the nerve to get out on the dance floor!”

He nods his head knowingly, and says, “See, i know what life is about… life is about to be happy! Most people, see, they walk around with the things in their ears, listening to their own things, not looking at anyone, not smiling, not caring. Most people, see, they are unhappy! They do not know the meaning of life. They do not know they are missing the meaning of life by walking around not paying attention, not smiling, not caring. They miss the whole point! The whole purpose of life is… Be Happy! That, my friend, is the meaning of life!” He say with a huge grin and emphatic shake of his head that i thought for sure would dislodge the turban from his head, but no, it stayed firmly in place.

i think to myself, “That turban and this man are pure magic!” i say out loud, “You got that right! Can you believe how many people going through life never realizing that life can be so simple and wonderful?!” i feel the huge grin splitting my face, as i smile and laugh with delight that now, here, in one day, two taxi drivers are basically delivering the same exact message in their own unique ways. The message that life is simple, if we only allow it to be and commit to living life simply… to be happy and grateful and kind. That is the meaning of life. And that makes a WORLD of difference in this world!

We pull up to the BART station and i clumsily remove myself from the magic yellow carpet ride. i hobble into the station and for some odd reason feel so on top of the world that i think i can maneuver the down escalator. Or maybe more appropriately, i am so blissed and blessed out, i am not thinking at all. i try to step on the moving stairs, and of course, completely lose my balance. Luckily, i am cognizant enough to shift so that i fall backwards instead of forwards. As i land clumsily on my butt, my crutches going flying, and my hands crash into the metal steps, which shred two of my fingers. Blood starts pouring from the cut in my thumb, and all i can do is laugh hysterically as i basically throw myself off the end of the escalator to keep from getting completely broken up at the bottom of it. i am laughing so hard, tears are pouring out of my eyes.

And i say out loud, “Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! Life is GREAT!”

And that my friends… is the meaning of life.

In case you were wondering.

Love,
julia

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Published in: on July 9, 2010 at 7:11 am  Comments (18)  

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  1. You write so beautifully. Everything you describe I can see in vivid colors, so perhaps you are already IN the Caribbean after all, where all one’s senses are brought to the boiling point of clarity! I was born and raised there and cherish that clarity, but I found that my true Home is in Norway, where I live closer to the freezing point of clarity – lol!. It is exciting that you are looking for your Home, and you will find it….or it will find you. 🙂

    Thank you for the extraordinary blessing you are in my life. You taught me a GREAT deal during your lectures at the OMEGA Fearless conference in NYC in 2004, and you are with me most every time I explore the woods near our home. You are a voice of the true reality of life in my heart as I go about daily life, and I often think about what you did for and via Luna. Blessings!!!!!!

    I will be sending a ton of healing energy to you over the next weeks and months. Remember, sports injuries are “sooooo coooool”!

    Love and Light, Meg

  2. It’s funny how a story about falling down can be so uplifting…

    So to be clear, what you are saying is that you don’t need “crutches” to live a happy life? 🙂

    Thank you for another engaging look into the inspiring life of Julia Butterfly Hill…

  3. Escalators Happen.

    LOL!

    But seriously, I think it’s important to remember that there are LOTS of GOOD PEOPLE out there – Angels, as you call them – who still remember that Life is just a ride…. (a cab ride?)

    And that it’s perfectly OKAY – to ask some random stranger to hold your hand – the next time you get on to an escalator.

    If it was me – I’d just carry you – crutches and all. That’s the LEAST I can do for an Angel with broken Butterfly Wings!

    Happy Healing, Julia! =)

    Love,
    Mathew

  4. Julia,As someone who cares deeply about your well being i deeply wish i knew how to best be present,hold space and support you when you feel like “you don’t want to be alive anymore”,in those most wounded places.Feel free to enilighten me about how i might show up for you in a way that you feel is the most liberating,nurishing and supportive.If you wish.

  5. Thank you! Yes, I was wondering! DAMN, YOU’RE GOOD!!! and life’s too 🙂

  6. jbh
    I want to echo support and at the same time wish u didn’t need it (yin/Yang). but i am quickly learning your resiliantly able to not only survive in this creul world but evercome it to find the angels we all have around us. LIFE is confusing if we don’t keep it simple and shut down sounds like were I have been at since the wife crossed over, without even realizing it. you are reminding me MY LITTLE SPECK is preventing me from seeing a sky full of opportunity that my “complaints” have allowed to become. a home in foreclosure has freed me to become mobile,greatly decreased possessions means increased trust in almighty for daily needs. loss of jobs allows me to apply my ministry, nursing, pastoral, demolition, construction and recycle skills in short order vs the standard ” i’ll help when i get a day off.” etc. etc. now when I find a need I pull in my truck, trailer, and tools we go to work. amazingly things get done in short order no more excuses…

    I like your idea of “what glasses to wear” it hits home as i recently had to switch back to glasses after years of contacts and feel boxed in behind them. but also can see much better if i take the time to maintain them. thx again for the updates. had a dream were i saw a woman on crutches near pensacola assisting with tarball clean up who reminded me of your love for the sea.she vanished just b4 i went to talk w/her. Hope your search is as much about life as the goal. a comedian i knew used to tell how life is about boxes… ultimately every time i have one built you have made me look at some part of it and break out. thx for the encouragement and happy thoughts glad your first on the surgeons day and tell him for me he best wear his eyeglasses clean your VIP TO MANY OF US. and not to be too nursey but have you had a tetnus shot easy to forget em =) happy thoughts for a quick recovery …don’t forget to increase your protien vegans heal so much slower post-op blah blah i’m sure you hear it too often already. sbv out

  7. I was going to say “oh your poor thing,” but now I’m thinking, “how amazing to realize how precious this moment is WHILE you’re in the moment!” Simply “happy and grateful and kind.”

  8. Dear Julia,
    I am praying/meditating that you will have patience in the coming months of surgery, therapy, and recovery. There may be a point where you are just so frustrated that your recovery is taking so long and that your knee is so swollen. You get tired of relying on people to help you with the basics. It’s ok. THe surgery works. Following my own lengthy recovery from knee surgery I can truly say, “The lame walk again, bicycle again, hike again, do child pose again.” It takes time. Sometimes I felt like the surgeon completely messed up and I would never really be able to hike again and that sunk me into despair. The therapy was slow and painful at times. At those times in your therapy and recovery you just have to lie around for days and be a slob. But it is truly miraculous modern knee surgery. You’ll walk again and return to all your old activities. In ten months or a year you’ll do child pose flat out again. And from then on you will wonder at the simple act of your own walking, when you think about it. And that is truly wonderful. Best wishes —sam

  9. All I can say is: WOW!! What a wonderful journal, Julia! What a totally uplifting story! I am very grateful for it as I feel that my life is going through a state of flux and I need perspective – which you just provided! I am very sorry to hear about your knee. My wife had a bad skiing fall over a year ago now. Fortunately she only stretched her ligaments – did not tear them. She was recommended very good physio which helped a lot. I send you lots of healing energy, patience and smiles! I would recommend Traumeel for your inflamation and a product called Recover by Purica – powerful stuff!!

    Namaste,

    Grant

  10. I wish you to recover as soon as possible, as best as possible
    Anyway, many of us were just wondering about the meaning of life

    Greeting
    From Italy

  11. Thank you for sharing that wonderful story. You are amazing.

  12. After I read this great blog, I had a similar experience with how wonderful ‘Angel messengers’ are.

    It was pouring down rain as I came out of the post office, and of course had my hands full of mail and no umbrella. As I’m plopping my flip-flopped feet into puddles, I see a guy walking past me under a large umbrella. Next thing I know, he’s insisting on walking me to my car!

    A truly amazing and simple gift that I had to share.
    🙂

  13. Hey, just a few words, so are these symptoms from atrophy or evolution of some sort?
    lots of love.
    J

  14. I just crossed paths with you in an interesting fashion to say the least. Until now I never heard of you as no doubt you never heard of me. I know for fact that I can be of great assistance to you with your concerns and your battles with the IRS etc. Please Google my name to sort out the truth and fiction for yourself or simple click on my YOUTUBE channel and check more info in the video entitled High Finanace for Dummies and give me a call or send me your number will ya? Trust that you will enjoy the conversatin. 902 800 0369

    Veritas Vincit
    David Raymond Amos

  15. Hi Julia. Marc here. Thanks for the beautiful reminder. We are the World and the World is Us. I met you at the Gesundheit Institute about 10 years ago and was touched by your lovely spirit then as well.

    I wish you well in your endeavor to find home. To become more of who you are. There’s an acupuncture point (since G! I’ve become a Classically trained acupuncturist) named “Guest House” which is about, amongst other things, becoming more at home in our bodies. And since outside resonates with inside, it might be a good point for you, as you resonate your way to wherever home may be for you. You could even do acupressure on yourself; if you look up “acupuncture KI-9” on a search engine, you’ll find it.

    There’s a whole set of Classical meridians called the Extraordinary/Evolutionary 8, which open the opportunity/invitation for an individual to connect the various aspects of their lives. According to the tradition I study in, our bodies and experiences molt away, so to speak, every 7-10 years…roughly speaking. And these meridians help midwife/connect this process. I’ll put a download link for some writings about them. Actually, this link opens a transcript of my teacher, Jeffrey Yuen, speaking about these special meridians. He comes from a strictly oral tradition, so this is the closest thing to a book from him.

    http://www.capachina.org/Readings/olde/8 Extras by JYuen001.pdf

    I’d be honored to treat you with acupuncture if you’re ever in the Cold Spring, NY vicinity; I live a few miles away from Pete Seeger.

    take care,

    Marc

  16. re: the link as posted doesn’t work. in order to read the transcrip, cut and paste the entire line, all the way to “.pdf”

    m

  17. …OM… …JULiA… …AM…

    …NAMASTE… . …NAMASTU…

    …DESDE SIEMPRE AZ SiDO UNA LUZ ViVA…

    …UNA FLOR… …DE AKEL MUNDO DE UTOPHiA EN KE TODOS KEREMOS DESPERTAR… …EN KREALiDAD…

    …ES UN HONOR ENCOTRARTE ASI SEA ViRTUAL… …PARA DARTE LAS GRASiAZ…
    .
    …GRACiAS A Ti… …PUDE CREER TODO POSiBLE… …CUANDO EN ESE ENTONCES…
    …AUN NO SABiA Mi CAMiNO…

    …TAL VEZ ME SUVi AL ARBOL DE LA ViDA… …MORi Aiii… i VOLVi A RENASER…
    …AHORA KADA DiA ME DESPHiERTO…

    …KOMO SEMiiiA… …SEED… KE KiERE GERMiNAR AL SiELO… …PUJA Mi ALMA…

    …ALKAMZAR LA LUX… …A TODA KOSTA…

    …VUSKO HASTA REVOLKARME EM Mi…

    …EL TEMPLO DE Mi KUERPO…

    …ESE ARVOL KE TODOS SOMOS…
    …LAS RAMAS… …DE NUESTRA KOMXiEMXiA… …PODER iiEGAR…
    …ALA MEDULA i SAVER DE Mi LA RAiZ…
    …DE Mi EXiSTEMXiA…

    …SOLO KiHERO SER FRUTO…
    …i EMTREGARME AL ETERNO…

    …ALGUNA VEZ ME KAi… …ZENTi KOMO Si UNA MANO GiGANTE ME KiSIERA KiTAR LAS PiERNAS…
    …UN DOLOR MUY FUERTE…
    …KOM EL TiEMPO ME LOGRE PARAR DE NUEVO…

    …i KOM EL PASO DE MAS TiEMPO…
    …KOMPRENDi… …ESE SUSURRO…
    …DE AKEL TRAMSE…

    …KADA KAiDA ES UNA OPORTUNiDAD PARA BESAR LA TiERRA…

    …i DESiRTE… …TE.AMO… …ViDA… EN LA KARA EN EL ROSTRO KE LO ES TODO…
    …LA NATURALEXA KE NOS RODEA i SOSTiENE… …ESTAS LAS RAiSES KOSMiKAZ DE NUESTRA EXiSTEMXiA…

    …PACHA.MAMA…

    …JULiA… …KE EL ETERNO SOL TE iLUMiNE…
    …KE LA LUZ GUiE TU KAMiNO…
    …i KE EL AMOR TE RODEE…
    …A KADA DiA… A …KADA NUEVO DESPERTAR…
    …A KADA BRiSA DE ViENTO…
    …A KADA NOSHE PARA SOÑAR…
    …KE PROMTO TODOS RETORNEMOS A NEUSTRO HOGAR… …AKEL KE DESDE SiMEMPRE AMDAMOS VUSKAMDO…

    …i KE SOLO NUESTRAS ALMAS… …REKUERDAN…

    …KE HERMOSA KE ESTES POR AHi TAN …ViVA… …GRASiAZ… …BELLA.FLOR… …DEL ARBOL DE LA ViDA…

    …EL CiELO i TODA LA MADRE TiERRA…
    …SAVEN DE Ti… …TE SiENTEN…
    … i … …TE… …AMAN…
    .
    …JULiA…
    .
    .
    .
    …AMOR i LUX… …EM.Ti… …SER i STAR…
    .
    .
    .
    …TE.AMO…
    .
    .
    .
    …O…

  18. Julia: As co-founder of People’s Park and Ohlone Park in Berkeley, co-founder of the Berkeley Tenants Union, Women of the Free Future People’s Office, People’s Pad (first youth hostel in Berkeley), currently Chairman of Gardens on Wheels Association (preventing and reversing childhood obesity using martial arts, enhancedcivility, etiquette and grooming in the parks and gardens setting with peer-to-peer teaching, and I do the parental nutritional coaching), I praise your efforts to be part of or form an intentional community. I wish to do the same here.

    Your admirer, Wendy Stephens, Alameda County Women’s Hall of Fame


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