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Contemplating Death

Contemplating Death

There is an inevitable fact that is somehow easy to ignore - we’re all going to die. Our lives keep us so busy, I wonder all the time, are we really “here”? I’m always forgetting to be present in my day to day life, or least take a deep breath and look around me to appreciate how precious each moment is once and awhile. Squeezing in a ten minute morning meditation helps, but doesn’t really stay with me all day. I’m 100% sure this is related to social media and over usage of my phone, which obviously promotes maximum distraction, but I can’t really envision deleting all of these apps or getting a flip phone, so I’ve been on the hunt for a “be more present” hack that doesn’t force me to upend my modern life and work flow.

Then I read about this off the wall app called WeCroak from Ann Friedman Weekly (it’s the best, you should sign up). At first I was fairly weirded out, who wants to pay 99 cents to think about dying five times a day? But then, I thought what other motivator is there? The whole reason to stay in the present is to acknowledge all we have is this very moment - because we are alive. WeCroak was inspired by a Bhutanese folk saying: to be a happy person, one must contemplate death five times daily. Each day, they'll send you five invitations to stop and think about death; they come at random times and at any moment, just like death. When they come, you can open the app to reveal a quote about death from a poet, philosopher, or notable thinker. WeCroak encourages you to take one moment for contemplation, conscious breathing or meditation. They believe that a regular practice of contemplating mortality helps us accept what we must, let go of things that don’t matter and honor the things that do.

Suffice it to say, I’m giving it a whirl, I have a feeling mulling over death 35 times a week will have an impact on my overall outlook, or least give me 35 chances to take a deep breath and appreciate my beating heart.

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