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“Love life. Engage in it. Give it all you’ve got. Love it with a passion because life truly does give back, many times over, what you put into it.” – Maya Angelou

bigstock-Portrait-of-children-in-th-of-45208336It was natural to fully dive into life when we were little.

We raised our hands when questions were asked, made best friends with everyone on the playground and were both the first ones in and the last ones out of the pool.

Then we got a bit older.

We stopped raising our hands quite as much; stopped opening up to others; stopped even wearing our suits to swim parties! We started making more excuses and stopped being as active. Why is it so easy to become a passive bystander instead of engaging fully in life today and the possibility of tomorrow?

At my neighborhood Fourth of July parade last week, I was reminded of a less conventional parade that epitomizes actively diving into life. This parade took place during college, which seems like a lifetime ago. There were no politicians angling for votes or pickup trucks decorated as floats. There weren’t people lining the streets. In fact, there wasn’t even a single bystander watching from a folding chair, blanket or atop a cooler.

 You see, to be AT this parade you had to be IN the parade. Let me explain.

Friends and family were invited over just before the fireworks were scheduled to start. As the parade was about to commence we explained to everyone there would be no audience, only participants. We instructed our loved ones to get out of their seats, off their blankets and into the parade line. They could choose to hop on a bike or march in pairs; wave a flag, bang a spoon against a pan, sing or whistle. Whatever struck their fancy, as long as they were part of our parade.

And so the parade commenced.

Our roles, music, voice and method of transport mattered much less than our collective celebration together. We all had a blast! We fully engaged and let go of our egos. We sang, marched and celebrated together. Our motley group even attracted a few random neighbors out for a walk with the dog or an evening stroll. The laughter grew, enthusiasm increased and movement expanded.

There is no doubt that our youthful exuberance as college-aged kids encouraged the playing, the singing and the marching. But there is also no question that because we all actively participated, we all enjoyed the experience more deeply.

My friends, today I invite you to once again participate fully in life – as fully as you did when you found wonder in sparklers, joy in sno-cones and peace in holding your parent’s hand! March with me. The time is now to quit waiting for the executive, the parent, the spouse, the pastor, the friend or the politician to do something for you.

Instead, choose to become the change you long to see personally and professionally! (Join my Ignite Life Today program to begin the change you want in your life now.)

Choose to get back on your swimsuit and into the pool! Choose to lift your voice, sing your song and lead your parade.

Your world is ready for a movement like this. Let the fireworks begin!

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0 replies on “Put on Your Suit & Dive in”

Thanks John! At age 55, you’ve validated what I often find myself contemplating (the difference between holding back in life and just “diving” in)! When I over-think(i.e. should I get all the way into the pool and get my hair wet or just dip, should I run with the grandkids or just watch from the sidelines so I don’t get all sweaty, etc…), often times I take the “safe” route…I know the times that I “dive” (i.e. going all the way under the water, running with the kids, biking, etc.), those are the times I feel most alive and connected to living. Thanks for reminding me of the importance of participating in all of life’s adventures!!

Sister Mary, thanks for sharing and for ALL that you do! It is a choice we make – as “grown ups” – to keep enjoying and living life to its fullest! So today make that choice to get sweaty, jump ALL the way in and leave those sidelines. J

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