When you are feeling low, ready to give up remember the words of Edgar Mitchell, the former astronaut: “I feel almost as if I’m operating under orders… just when I think all is lost, I put my foot down over the abyss and something comes up to hit it, just in time”

Our lives are there for the making. Dare we take up the challenge? Dare we push ourselves to our utmost potential? Dare we miss this opportunity?

We cannot avoid being challenged in life but we can avoid being defeated. Start adopting positive attitudes that can turn things around – there is no other way.

Write your own imaginary obituary, stating all the things that your new life embraced, all the achievements that reflect what you want to be remembered for, then go out and live that new life. If the obituary is flowing, shining, bristling with energy then live that new life.

Healthy relationships depend on healthy people.

Be open and receptive to making new friends for in that fresh connectedness you will undoubtedly flourish and grow further.

We cannot afford to become entrenched, fixed in a mindset that restricts us from living a fullness of life. There always exists a need to assess and re-assess our values, opinions, judgments, actions, and behavior in the light of a regularly changing world. And if we refuse to undertake this exercise we will have to live with the consequences. The only constancy in life is change itself so recognize this reality and work with it as best you can. Either we manage change or change will manage us.

Always work in the spirit of: ‘ adapt and thrive.

Re-invent yourself, bring wonderful freshness into your new life not necessarily by making grandiose changes but by looking at the small things and reflecting on how you can ‘ play around ‘ with them in order to tread a new path – one that will liberate you from the old.

We must honor all that is noble within us.

Live your new life as an experiment – taking risks, challenging assumptions, trying different things, not being afraid to push boundaries, not afraid of failure, it’s all really about opening up to experimentation in order to grow more.

St Francis was working on his vegetable patch one sun-drenched, summer afternoon in Umbria when a brother came up and asked him what he would do if this was the last day of his life. He replied: “Carry on hoeing.” A simple, yet profound response. He was in the preciousness of the sacred moment, freed from attachments to the past and future. Not desiring to be anywhere else, not fragmented or displaced but fully present in wholeness and beauty of a special moment, in a special place. Which begs the question: could we say this about our lives? If not we must search for what will give our lives completeness and fulfillment and live it like there is no other. That’s certainly what St Francis did.

There is only one word that can transform your life and that word is ACTION.


Michael Lewin

Michael has served as a Trustee of the Buddhist Hospice Trust, been a Committee Member of the Lifestyle Movement, which is dedicated to simple, green living and was a Member of the Gandhi Foundation. A few years ago he spent two years living in community, in a Franciscan Friary, engaging his time with meditation, walking, yoga and deepening his writing practice He has spent the last twenty-five years teaching and supporting a variety of different groups ( eg, young offenders, young unemployed people, children at risk, children with special needs, adults with learning difficulties and adults with mental health needs ). For more about him visit

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