I was fondly recalling a favorite classic Sesame Street skit with Robin Williams trying to determine whether or not his shoe was "alive". Remember that one? His criteria was that things which are "alive" breathe, eat, and grow. His attempts to find signs of each of those activities fail and he walks off with a banana in his shoe.
I'm sure you eat and breathe, or you wouldn't be reading this blog. But does that mean you're ALIVE?
I think the most pertinent criteria of really being alive is growth. How are you doing in that department? (And, no, the size of your rear end does not count!) What's the last thing you learned? Learning is an important part of growing. When's the last time you tried something new?
But here's my own criteria: How do you FEEL? Do you really feel alive and vibrant, full of energy to do whatever you want to do? Do you have goals and are you actively working toward achieving them? Do you have things you're excited about? If so, perfect! Congratulations! You're ahead of most of the world.
But if you're not, why aren't you? What's in your way? What's holding you back? Because life is more than eating and breathing and it's too short to go through feeling even sort of dead. When you're actually feeling sort ot or mostly dead, it's hard to imagine feeling any other way, but I've been there and now I'm not and I can tell you that feeling ALIVE is much better and you CAN get here.
When I was depressed, I read every book I could get my hands on to figure out how to get out of that dark place. I learned to play a little mind trick with myself to create growth. I would make a deal with myself that if I just got out of bed and onto the treadmill to work out, I didn't have to do a single other thing all day long. I could consider I had accomplished what I needed to and take the rest of the day off. Guess what happened? By the time I got off the treadmill, I had endorphins pumping through my body, so I was feeling much better. Plus, I had the benefit of feeling proud of my accomplishment. And you know what? I always did something else that day. Even though I had given myself permission to do nothing, I felt better enough that I always accomplished at least one other thing. And then I had even more to feel some healthy selt-esteem about, whether I cooked dinner for my family, ran a load of laundry, or both.
If you're not feeling totally alive, please ask yourself why that is and make the decision to do ONE THING good for yourself today, to lead you further along the spectrum toward "Alive" and quit settling for "Mostly Dead".