I have always loved the phrase ‘Carpe Diem’. Usually translated as ‘Seize the Day!’, it is actually probably better translated as ‘Pluck the Day!’. This second version implies that the day is like a ripe fruit, perfect at that moment, not earlier or later. I love the way that ‘Carpe Diem’ reminds us to live mindfully in the present moment, and to live each day with awareness and meaning.
Carpe Diem was used by Horace (Quintus Horatius Flaccus (65 BC – 8 BC)), in his ‘Odes Book I’:
Dum loquimur, fugerit invida
Aetas: carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero
While we’re talking, envious time is fleeing: pluck the day, put no trust in the future
This sentiment fits very well with the Buddhist teachings of impermanence. Impermanence teaches us that everything changes. Nothing lasts for ever. We can’t put our trust in the future.
This may sound depressing but impermanence can be very comforting when we find ourselves going through a rough patch in life. We can remind ourselves that nothing lasts for ever and this will pass. Mostly though, impermanence encourages us to make the most of the present moment, not to ‘waste’ time and to use our time as positively as we can.
So if we are to live life to the full we need to feel well.
Do you feel well enough to squeeze the most out of life? If you don’t then maybe now is a good time to look at your health holistically and make some positive lifestyle changes.
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