Right now, more than ever before in my life time, it is important that we remember to live life for today. In my latest journal, I explore the art of memento mori during COVID, and why it is so important to me.
Firstly, Memento Mori is a Latin phrase that means, ‘remember you must die‘.
Although, it does seem quite morbid, you can use it to improve your mental health and wellbeing. Therefore, let us explore the concept of dying tomorrow.
- What would you do differently?
- Would you love anyone differently?
- Who would you forgive?
- What or who would you be grateful for?
These are such important questions to ponder. In my case, I’m learning the value of not limiting my life any further than I have to. Let me explain.
It’s important to live life for today
My anxiety and negative outlook was causing me to miss out on life. As a result, I was closing myself off to family, friends and the outside world. Because of my continuing feelings of impending doom, I felt safer alone. Thus, the more this continued, the more my anxiety grew resulting in poor mental health. Also, the concept of wellbeing was none existent.
As a consequence of this damaging behaviour, I was most certainly not aware of the concept of ‘live life‘ for today.
Most importantly, I need to point out that I did not realise what was happening to me. Subsequently, I stopped going out with my camera and exploring beautiful places. When I did get the urge to be creative, my feelings of impending doom grew. Unfortunately, I stayed in because I wanted to feel safe however, it was unknowingly, worsening my anxiety. Sadly, my depression was growing and subsequently, I was sinking further into my very own abyss.
COVID Teaches Us a Lesson
Thankfully, I am recovering from my dark days of anxiety and depression. Moreover, I believe the lessons that I am learning about challenging fears is helping me to cope.
Many of us, including myself are facing the reality of death coming far too soon. Upon reflection, I now realise what I have got to lose if I am struck down by COVID-19. Although I am frightened of catching this awful disease, I’m not allowing the fear to control my life.
Without a doubt, this Coronavirus pandemic is taking far too many lives across the world. As a result, it is clearly generating a lot of fear. We need to achieve balance, in order to maintain a brighter outlook on life.
How do we achieve balance?
Of course I am seeing so many people struggling with these rules. As a result of this, the fear that it is generating, is in abundance. The fear is becoming contagious in itself and even I am struggling with it.
Additionally, I am constantly being mocked and accused of being paranoid over trying to keep me and mine safe. Of course I’m scared of catching it, but I’m not flouting the rules or taking unnecessary chances. At the end of the day, I personally do not know what is conspiracy or truth. However, I appreciate and am wonderfully grateful for what I could be putting at risk.
Life your life for today!
Live life for today is a motto that is still as strong today as it was centuries ago! Therefore, presently I am grateful for downtime while I enjoy creating my self-care routine. In addition, I am enjoying meditating and going inwards to find out who I am. My enjoyment of living life today is improving my mental health and wellbeing. As such, I am no longer dwelling in my past or future growing feelings of impending doom.
Being impatient and flouting the rules, may be coming from a place of fear. Therefore, if this sparks something in you right now, please consider how many innocent people you maybe putting at risk.
If your mental health and wellbeing is at stake, then carefully consider what actions you need to take. Clearly, a sense of balance is required here. Sometimes, we need to consider making sacrifices by spending time apart. Together, we can thrive on feelings of hope and optimism instead of surviving in fear. In addition, each and one of us are facing extremely difficult circumstances right now. Therefore, if you need to break rules, do so but please think of others in the process. Can you minimise the risks you must take?
Finally, judging other peoples actions is coming from a negative place. Of course, this is what a lot of us do, including myself however, recognise it and see your truth. What is this persons action triggering in you? Why can you not let it go and live life for today?
Live life with gratitude
Now, let’s go back centuries ago to the days of the plague.
We clearly have so much more than those poor people had back then.
Imagine lockdown without modern technology such as phones, television and radio. Obviously, a lot of us take these for granted, but thankfully they can clearly help us cope. They are a lifeline for so many of us.
How many of us take for granted having a roof over our head or having reliable transport to get from A to B?
Have you been taking your health and the health service for granted, but now can see how much we need it?
Subsequently, the more time I spend in lockdown, the more I realise how much my happiness and self-worth means to me.
Clearly, many of us are now realising that money and wealth isn’t the be all and end all in life.
Furthermore, you can’t go out freely and spend your money as many business’s have closed. This may be either due to lockdown or they have sadly gone bankrupt. Many of us are in the process of losing our incomes and some have lost it already.
Times are increasingly becoming more and more difficult however, I realise that money isn’t the root of my happiness. Moreover, it is self-worth, it is my loved ones, it is giving and receiving LOVE that matters!
Finally, this brings me back to another message of Memento Mori symbols.
We are all the same in death, no matter what our status is in life.
Money doesn’t matter at all in the face of death!
Live life for today with my help
Being creative is an important factor in managing your mental health and wellbeing. Therefore, I receive so many benefits from my photography.
Moreover, I love photographing headstones that feature memento mori art. Furthermore, I also appreciate the importance of the message those stoneworkers and loved ones are conveying.
They have stood the test of time and here I am today, realising just how important it is to life life the best that I can. Being happy means so much to me now and adopting a self-care routine does wonders for my inner-strength.
Gemstones and Healing is my very own business providing mental health and wellbeing services. If you would like to work with me as your mentor, please take a look at my various services and see how I can help you.
The benefits of being creative
As I have already mentioned, being creative significantly improves your mental health and wellbeing.
When I am out with my camera or I am editing my photographs, I am 100% absorbed in what I’m doing. My mind isn’t off worrying about the stupid argument that I had yesterday. Also, I am not in the future worrying that I might catch COVID. I am bloody well happy and I live life to its fullest!
Being present helps you to life life for today
I AM 100% IN THE PRESENT MOMENT DOING SOMETHING THAT I ENJOY!
Think about it!
That game that you spend hours playing on takes you away from it all doesn’t it?
That creative project or book that you’re engrossed in, takes you away from from the constant worry and you feel calm, and relaxed.
Being in the present moment and using your senses is far better than being elsewhere and it makes you happy.
When I am not feeling creative, I love to take myself on a walk and pay attention to the things that I don’t normally see. This is known as mindful walking and it will help you appreciate the beauty of life.
All you need to do is listen to the sounds that you don’t normally hear. Smell the scents that you don’t normally smell and pay attention to the surroundings as you walk. Isn’t it time that you live life for today?
Below you will find some of my favourite Memento Mori art. If you would like to purchase an image, please get in touch.