I don’t believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive. ~Joseph Campbell

When was the last time you felt really alive? I mean that you felt at the core of your being just pure life, vitality and passion. When you didn’t feel lethargic, resentful, achy, sad or any sort of ailment? I bet for many of you, it has been a long time! I know it was for me…a few years ago. Yet, thankfully, today I feel more alive and in love with my life than I ever could have imagined!

I remember reading Paul Coehlo’s book, The Alchemist – it was a real turning point for me in my life. If you haven’t read it, I would highly encourage, in fact, I’d even urge you to read it, if you haven’t. It is an amazing tale of a boy who sets off on a journey to find his dreams. The part that I remember is that along the way to his dreams he stumbles upon a crystal shop that has dusty crystal. He goes in to tell the owner that if he’d clean his crystal he might actually sell more crystal. The owner hires him and he proceeds to clean the crystal and the shop begins to truly thrive. As it does, the boy stays on longer and continues to support the owner with the shop, until one day he realizes he is stuck in the crystal shop. That is, he has stopped continuing on in progressing towards his dreams and has been lulled by comfort, complacency and the material gains that have resulted from working in the crystal shop. When he decides to set back out to go after his dreams, others think he is crazy for leaving the comforts and goods he has attained.

I remember at the time I read this, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I felt constricted in my throat and stomach – I too, was stuck in the crystal shop. How long had it been for me since I had truly felt alive and even dared to go after my dreams? I was stuck in the comforts of every day life, having things, acquiring things, buying things and pretty much living in a dead state. I was so numb I didn’t even know what my dreams were at that point. The funny thing is I was also sick with all sorts of random things at the time. Interesting how the body let’s you know it when things aren’t right, when you aren’t in alignment.

The bad news is that it took me a while to do anything significant about it. The good news is I finally did wake up and start pursuing my passions again and living my life fully and feeling oh so alive. When was the last time you felt really alive? Are you stuck in the proverbial crystal shop? What will you do to turn your life around and start heading in the right direction – in the direction of your dreams, in the direction of your heart? Don’t get stuck in the crystal shop, because as you do, your body, mind and soul begin to wither with it. As it was said in Shawshank Redemption, “You can either get busy living or get busy dying.” May you get busy living and start really feeling alive again.

You can find me on Twitter @pilarstella and Facebook at www.facebook.com/pilarstella.

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