blog > Posts tagged "personal transformation"

Preparing my Funeral by Misha Lyuve

Jun 9, 2012

are-we-ready.jpg

So a few weeks ago I started with this cold. Every day I was hoping that next morning I would feel better, but within a week’s time, it just got worse. And then I’ve been in and out of it. I tried juicing and antibiotics, chicken soup and acupuncture, vitamins and working from home, hot baths and restful weekends. The bug didn’t seem to be leaving. And I thought, maybe, just maybe, it’s my time to go. Ok people, I am not trying to be dramatic here or anything. But the bug was not going away and, I don’t know about you, I have thoughts in my head all the time.   

Also I recently wrote a song that has the following verse: 

But I am not afraid to die
You can take me if you like
All my bags are packed and light
I am ready for the ride 
  

As for any compulsive planner, I don’t think it was that unreasonable for me to start planning my own funeral. So here is the list of rules I came up with:
- please no drama; light crying/sobbing is alright
- dress code: bright and festive; comfortable for dancing and jumping around
- funny memories and jokes are ok 

Then I started to think about logistics. Nowadays one needs to consider environmental impact of his death (in fact, I found an article “8 ecologically friendly alternative to burial “). Then there are inheritance implications. And don’t forget social media unwinding strategy (you gotta read Bury me on Facebook.) The logistics gave me so much headache that I decided that I’m just not ready yet to deal with it, and I might as well keep living.   

By the way, this is how my song ends and I am yet to sing it live:   

And I am not afraid to die
But I don’t think it’s yet my time
So let me play and sing and rhyme
And be afraid and be alive. 
  

Thanks for reading.

And Life is NOT going to be the same by Misha Lyuve

Apr 8, 2012

When was the last time you experienced something that made you feel like life is not going to be the same? I say these moments define the level of your aliveness.

… I am hanging out with a year and 2 month old Brooke. She can’t walk by herself yet and for the past several weeks she has been thoroughly observing her twin sister’s moves. Brooke can grab on to big fingers of an adult and walk like that. But this time around I’m taking away my hands. She stands for a second semi-puzzled. And then she makes her first step by herself. And then another one. And another one.

What I found most profound in this situation is the expression on Brooke’s face as she took her first step. There was joy in its purest sense. There was a clear understanding of consequences of this event – the toddler somehow unmistakably knew that her life wasn’t going to be the same…

Can I for a second be jealous of children? – they are lucky to experience these transformational moments in abundance. As adults we require, for the most part, a very conscious effort to reach them. They come with awkwardness of doing something new or something old in a completely new way. And those new ways come with self-consciousness of graceless falls and embarrassments of getting up, that youngsters don’t have a concern for. I’ve just experienced it yesterday, working for the first time in a recording studio – but this might warrant a separate blog posting.

Looking at Brooke making her first step – please answer in the comment section, what did you do that made you feel like life is not going to be the same?

A blurry photo by Stephanie Woo, Brooke’s & Mackenzie’s mother and a founder of the wisest parenting blog Montessori on the Double.

You are a Rock Star, old lady… by Misha Lyuve

Mar 25, 2012

So I am walking on my street and I see an old lady with a walker crossing West End Avenue. The traffic light is turning from green to red, and she is right in the middle of the road. The wind blows and you can see how it rips into her small body while she is holding on to her walker. She has these really big glasses, but I don’t think she can see much. As I help her to get to the other side, we chat and I find out that it is her first time out after the hip replacement surgery. She is on the way to McDonalds. She is in excellent spirits. In fact, she is thrilled.

Now I am done with my errands and on my way home. The lady is still stubbornly pushing her walker – she is a bit more than half way through the block where I left her off…

I set goals. I am in action. I question myself daily, annually and lifely whether I have accomplished enough. I use comparison to others to judge myself… or them. But what’s really an accomplishment? What’s enough?

And all I want to do is scream at the top of my lungs – Good for you, old lady! You are a rock star! - For getting yourself dressed and out of the apartment, walking against wind and traffic. Keep pushing that walker!

Thank you old lady for letting me see how differently a definition of an accomplishment is written for each of us. Thank you for allowing me to appreciate the efforts people around me make to live their lives and push their walkers; how those efforts vary in size and scope; how they are not always seen and, if seen, not always noticed and, if noticed, not always acknowledged.

And what are you pushing?

p.s. Unfortunately I didn’t take a photo of the original lady, but the one here is one of the local troopers.

An Enlightening Ride by Misha Lyuve

Mar 17, 2012

Every New Yorker knows how important it is for your cab driver to take the shortest and the quickest path to your destination.

So on my way from Washington Square to Upper West Side, my cabbie takes 6th avenue up – that would raise anyone’s eyebrows. But when he is starting to make a left turn on 47th street, I can’t help but scream out: “Are you really taking me through Times Square???”

As we are stumbling through traffic among other cabs, vans, ridiculousness (pardon my judgment) of stretched lemos and big eyes of overwhelmed visitors, I am fuming. “What was he thinking?”, “This is outrageous”, “How dare he be so disrespectful of my time” and even “How unprofessional of him” – the guy is about to get it from me.

…Suddenly my mind stops for a second, as if I get pulled out of my head into the space from which I can watch my cab, Times Square and my upset self from the outside. And I realize that I don’t know who this person taking me home is, how long he’s been driving in Manhattan and what kind of day he had. And I can also clearly see different paths in which my life can unfold from this moment on – like me giving him a passionately condescending speech and then being upset myself for the rest of the evening; or him throwing me out of the cab in the middle of Times Square; or me joking with him about the hurdles of New York City driving; or finding out where he is from; or just not saying a word.

When I land back into the back seat of the yellow cab, I’m no longer upset. There is nothing to do or to say, just to acknowledge that sometimes I can feel so much, at the moment it seems so true and wants to get expressed so fast – but it’s better to keep it to myself.

Thank you.

Why Your Dream Matters by Misha Lyuve

Jan 17, 2012

Do you have a dream?

We’ve got used to someone else taking care of our stuff. We hope that our doctors will heal our sicknesses, our government will make our society work, our families will support our choices and our teachers will educate our children. And we might be just lucky enough for this all to happen…

But who do you expect to follow your dreams?

I’ve always wondered about my “selfish” dreams – the things that I want to have, accomplishments that I strive to make happen, joys of life that I am eager to receive – do they count? But now I am clear, if you lack enthusiasm or courage, time or money, friends or skills to follow your “selfish” dream – is there even a chance for bigger ones?

Following a dream awakens our spirit, sparkles us with exhilaration of being alive like nothing else, has us be unreasonable and gives a meaning to our actions (even if temporary)… And if you care for education of your children – the best lesson is parents following their dreams.

The party you support might lose next elections and then will win them back, doctors might change their mind about what’s good for you, your kids will get their A’s and C’s, some new members of your family will arrive and others will go – and within this wild dance of life, there are YOU and YOUR dream.

Follow it.

Can you imagine how alive and bubbly our planet would be if people just minded their own dreams? – That’s my dream. And what is yours?

The dream by Marc Chagal, 1939