If I Die Today
My Dearest Family and Friends,
It’s okay to be vulnerable.
Cry. Let it out. Breathe.
And when you are ready, please transform your tears of grief into tears of joy. Please smile and relive the heartfelt and silly moments we shared together.
Even though my heart is no longer pumpin’ blood, please know that my eternal love for you emanates from my spirit.
Please know that I am proud of you and that you graced my life with your presence. You each as individuals have served as an inspiration for me with your respective superpowers. Your unconditional love through good times and bad. Your selfless caring and giving of your time, attention, and energy. You were honest and told me the truth, regardless of whether it was what I wanted to hear. You never gave up on me when I was struggling. You asked me to use my words when I was upset. You were kind, patient, and supportive. Your intellectual curiosity and drive enabled me to develop a similar mindset, a growth mindset. This mindset enabled me to challenge myself to learn and grow.
And by way of you all setting these impeccable examples for me, and through deep introspection, I uncovered one of my life purposes:
To help people maximize their potential through discovering flow and achieving peak experiences.
In positive psychology, flow, also known as the zone, is the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. In essence, flow is characterized by complete absorption in what one does.
A peak experience is a moment accompanied by a euphoric mental state often achieved by self-actualizing individuals.
As I aged, it became more and more evident how finite life is. Life is ephemeral. Every moment is fleeting. And because of this, it’s paramount to maximize our time on earth. To maximize each and every moment to feel alive, awakened, and full. And to achieve this maximization, it requires focusing on the present moment. Time starts to feel boundless and you feel so at ease. I’ve had the privilege to tap into flow-like states leading to peak experiences, and my wish for you is to experience similar feelings.
Prerequisites for me to embrace this mindset were to understand, accept, and appreciate myself fully. To acknowledge that I am greatness as is. I ascended into love with myself. It took 30 years for me to get there.
I also had the realization that when you truly love someone or something (i.e. a child, pet, plant), you give them what they need to flourish: nourishment and care. You give them the platform to reach their potential to grow, live in longevity and ultimately succeed by living a full life.
So to continue my Learnt Up legacy and plant seeds of love within each of you, my asks of you are to:
- Communicate with yourself and connect to your authentic self. Understand why you are the way you are. Identify what you need to let go of and let go of it. Respect yourself. Learn to love yourself to the fullest. Be at peace with yourself. Be and do you.
- Challenge yourself to continuously learn and grow. When you feel stuck or complacent, question how the circumstances could be better. There’s opportunity to make anything and everything better. Be bold and fearless.
- Create joy on a daily basis. Take the best care of yourself, practice mindfulness, see the beauty in everything, and feel all the feels.
It will take time for the seeds to cultivate. With tender loving care, you will begin to flourish, tap into flow, and enjoy more peak experiences.
Please spread my ashes across three beautiful places that cultivated my aptitude to flow and achieve peak experiences:
- The Paideia School (Atlanta, Georgia)| To honor Mother Earth and my roots. My unique high school shaped my authentic self. I had the privilege to be a part of an education philosophy that emphasized community, creativity, communication, curiosity, and openness. To continue the circle of life, please plant a Bios Urn with a Ginkgo tree seed on campus.
- Ka Lae Point (The Big Island, Hawaii) | To honor water and feminine yin. I jumped off a cliff for the first time at Ka Lae Point. I embraced the fear and just did it… and wow, I felt liberated and alive.
- Mauna Kea Volcano (The Big Island, Hawaii) | To honor fire and masculine yang. Mauna Kea is the tallest mountain in the world measured from its base, and many spirits reside within the volcano. I made the pilgrimage and viscerally felt the power.
Please honor my life by hosting a celebratory outdoor gathering commencing at golden hour and continuing through dawn.
Please leave your smartphones, cameras, and videocameras in the car or at home. Be present in the moment. Embrace and regale others by sharing your favorite memories of our time together. Create new connections and memories through intimate hugs, dancing, and laughter.
My musician family members and friends, please share your talents and perform/DJ whatever your heart desires (whether it’s a classical string quartet, melodic deep house, dirty south rap, Disney ballads, the dijeridoo, beatbox… you name it).
My one song request is for someone to sing “For Good” from Wicked on my behalf. An excerpt from the song:
It well may be that we will never meet again
In this lifetime, so let me say before we part
So much of me is made of what I learned from you
You’ll be with me, like a handprint on my heart
And now whatever way our stories end
I know you have re-written mine, by being my friend…
Like a ship blown from it’s mooring by a wind off the sea
Like a seed dropped by a skybird in a distant wood
Who can say if I’ve been changed for the better?
But because I knew you…
I have been changed… for good.
Thank you family and friends for being you and having such a profound impact on my life. I hope I did the same for you.
With infinite love and xo’s,