In seven sections representing essential domains of life—Time, Home, Style, Enthusiasm, Caring, Purpose, and Spirit—Alexandra Stoddard shows us how to celebrate every moment of life. This treasury of brief essays is chock-full of the wise ideas, personal anecdotes, and practical strategies that have inspired millions of her readers and audiences to live more beautifully and meaningfully every day. She helps readers form their own personal philosophy for living as well as discover specific, small actions that build tranquil time into the most hectic day, add lightness and energy when needed most, elevate a passing moment into a vivid memory. She encourages readers to "take stock, and rethink everything. We need to make the connection between how we spend our time and how well we live our lives."
With each essay offering a memorable mindset for living, Alexandra's observations are searching ("What is your deepest desire?"), surprising ("Lower your standards"), encouraging ("You have 8,766 hours a year to act wisely"), and whimsical ("You've gotta have a look") and are certain to spur readers to new levels of insight and joy.
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About the Author
Author of twenty-four books, Alexandra Stoddard is a sought-after speaker on the art of living. Through her lectures, articles, and books such as Living a Beautiful Life, Things I Want My Daughters to Know, Time Alive, Grace Notes, Open Your Eyes, and Feeling at Home, she has inspired millions to pursue more fulfilling lives. She lives with her husband in New York City and Stonington Village, Connecticut.
Read an Excerpt
Time AliveCelebrate Your Life Every Day
By Alexandra Stoddard
HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.Copyright © 2005 Alexandra Stoddard
All right reserved.
Now Is the Only Time We Have to Live Fully and Well
For eternally and always there is only now,one and
the same now; the present is the only thing that has no end.
-- Alan Watts
Our time alive is brief by any standard. Now is the only opportunity we'll have to give our life meaning and find satisfaction in our daily lives. We will not be given a second chance.
Each of us is given an unknown amount of time alive on this planet. While we are alive we live from one moment to the next. The seconds become minutes. Sixty minutes become an hour. The time to be all that you dream of becoming is now -- right now, right here where you are. It is said that the ancient Greeks whispered to each other every morning, "If not now, when?"
We have no guarantees or certainties; the only certainty we have is this present alive moment, this precious gift of time. When we breathe deeply in this specific point in time; when we stay focused and really pay attention, we give our lives significance. Our big moment is now. Our moment of truth is now. Our entire life depends on our wise use of our moments.
We put our time alive to good and proper use minute to minute, moment to moment, in the course of our waking time, or we lose it forever. Now is here, not there. We are alive only now, not then.
When we bring ourselves into each moment fully, intensely, enthusiastically, we're awake to the magnitude of our lives. Time can't be revisited, changed or improved. The only time that we're able to think and act intelligently, to fulfill what we believe is most important, is in our time alive now.
When we begin to live from point to point, we fill in the dots of time beautifully and well. When we concentrate fully on now, we become enlightened. The air is more clear, the sky is more blue, the light is so brilliant it dazzles our imaginations. We can experience the big picture of our lives in our present consciousness. We see the acorn and envision a forest of oak trees. We understand that the baby we are holding in our arms will one day be a grown mother who will hold her baby in her arms. The flow and continuity of our lives is all present in this moment. When we appreciate the truth about our time alive, we're able to put great value on every moment because we're able to see the great possibilities for living beautifully and feeling lasting inner happiness.
At this moment, we are making memories for a future time. We don't live now in order to be able to look back at our past; our past is moved forward into our present time alive through the blessings of our memory. Our now moments encompass our past and resonate in our unknown future. Our beginning, middle and end are enclosed in a circle of now awareness.
When we purify our thoughts in this moment, we are free from our past and are able to let go of anything that has been holding us back. We're here now. The only window of time we have to love our life, love ourselves and love others, is when we're alive. We're able now to touch, to taste, to smell, to hear and to see all of the wonders around us. We're alive to the tenderness, the kindness, and the love that is inside us and everywhere. We're truly alive and all is well.
The past is no longer alive. The future has not been born. Living well now is creating eternity. Our future entirely depends on this present real-life moment. When we live fully and well now, our time alive is sacred.
A man must have a share in the passions andactions of
his time, at the peril of being judged not to have lived.
-- Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes
Excerpted from Time Alive by Alexandra Stoddard Copyright © 2005 by Alexandra Stoddard. Excerpted by permission.
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