Friday, July 13th, 2012
Blogs | Sociology of Sheena
Todd Skinner ~ Day31 (Birthday Thanks)
Birthday Thanks is a 31 day blog challenge focusing on people who have influenced, shaped, affected and changed my life. My birth was awesome but my ALMOST 28 years of living has been enhanced by the people I’ve met along the way.
Today, I am grateful for Todd Skinner.
First, I should tell you that I never met Todd Skinner.
I first learned about Todd Skinner after he died. I read his obituary in October of 2006 in the New York Times and I was deeply affected by his life story. I’ve written about Todd before and I’ve even made a video about how he inspires me. You can view that HERE.
Still when I thought about the people who have inspired me along the way, he was one of the first to come to mind. Todd lived his life on purpose. He lived his passion. It seemed nothing else mattered but his purpose and passion. It seemed everything he did, every business decision he made, every mountain he climbed furthered the cause of his passion and purpose.
When I read his obituary for the very first time, I was struck with how at that time, my life did not match that mindset. I knew I wanted to change. I was working in the hospitality industry. I was partying almost every night. I was drinking too heavily for comfort. Some of my days were a blur and at the time there seemed to be one drama after the next.
Todd’s life and death was a wake up call for me.
In the midst of exploring my faith and discovering my own spirituality, I just lost all sense of decorum. Actually, I simply lost my way. I decided no one was going to tell me what to do so metaphorically I didn’t even pay attention to the street signs that told me “danger.” I got lost. Todd’s obituary was one of the bread crumbs that brought my heart back to surface and my calling back to the forefront of my priority list.
The other thing that stood out about Todd, aside from his extraordinary life was the way in which he died. He died while climbing a mountain. He fell. It is extreme and heartbreaking but perhaps aside from dying peacefully in his sleep, I’d imagine that if he had a choice in his death, that would be it.
That was a huge wake up call for me. We CAN die at any moment. I could have heart attack right this moment as a I type this post and Sheena as you know me, would be done. Knowing that, I’ve wanted to position my life to a point where I could die at any moment. That means that in every moment I need to live my passion and purpose. I don’t want to work for a company for years on end that doesn’t nothing for me. I don’t want to die while eating a cheeseburger from a fast food joint. I don’t want to kill over while watching a rerun of Law & Order. When I must leave my body, I want it to be while I’m in the middle of living my passion or purpose. Because of that desire, I am challenged to make EVERY moment count. Even when I cook dinner, I want to cook the BEST dinner ever. Even when I shower. I want to take my time. I want to feel my skin, smell the shower gel and enjoy the flow of water against my skin. I want every moment I spend with my friends to be full of joy or support or celebration. I want to make art that matters and that says something. I want to create timeless videos that show wonderful life lessons and great discussions. I want to live a life that if I died at any moment, I will have died in the middle of purpose and passion.
Todd Skinner taught me this lesson. I think of him often. Therefore, today I am grateful for Todd Skinner and for the life he lived. Todd, you will always be in my heart.