Although I spent limited time with Levi, it only took that brief period in time to recognize what an incredible individual he was and how happy he made my dear friend of nearly 30 years. And joy is a ripple effect. Her happiness brings joy to her family which brings joy to all of us who care for them. Levi left us yesterday and my heart breaks for Brooke and both their families. I hope his passing brings as much inspiration to the people he touched as his life did.
I often hear the phrase “live life inspired” and I don’t think I ever quite understood what it meant. Although I’ve always had visions for my life, I’ve never considered myself a dreamer. An optimist, yes. But not a dreamer. I don’t always follow the rules but I never had the inspiration to move so far from the rules that you don’t even remember what they are. I recall the first time I met Levi about 5 years ago. I chalked him up to a quirky granola type and didn’t think much more about it. I was in my late twenties and very much absorbed in my own life.
Fortunately, I had the pleasure of spending time with him again a year later when he and Brooke were just beginning the visions of their Digital Detox project. This time I was a little more intrigued. He was like part business man, part hippy..it was very confusing to me. At the time, I was grinding it out for “the man” 50-60 hours a week and had no direction in my life, let alone dreams or inspiration. To be honest, his drive intimidated me and I envied that he and Brooke had dreams for their life beyond the 9-5 world.
Unfortunately, life took us all in different directions (quite literally) and I didn’t see Levi again after that vacation. Thanks to vehicles like social media, I kept up with their journey and admired his and Brooke’s life from afar. They were making their dreams happen and on their own terms.
Last year Levi was diagnosed with brain cancer. It was honestly so big I never really wrapped my mind around it. And while his life was winding down, mine just went on- ticking away. The past few months have been an incredible whirl wind for me and I have started to learn how to dream. Dream about what is possible when you choose to just believe in yourself and your heart and forget about the rules. When you truly dig deep inside and say “I am better than this” or “my family deserves more”.
The day before Levi passed, I sat down and made a “reasons why” list. I was slow to start but then I couldn’t stop and suddenly I understood the phrase “live life inspired”. To me it means not taking any moment for granted and seeing inspiration in everything around you. Taking every moment of laughter or tears or even bordem and allowing it to give you inspiration. Taking something from every encounter, however brief.
It dawned on me this past week how envious I had been of Brooke and Levi and the life they had created. But it was in this moment when I realized that envy was a choice. I could choose to be envious or I could choose to be inspired. It was simply a tweak in perspective. I found that incredible. And then I realized, I had been inspired by Levi. Someone whom I only spent a brief moment in time with but who had impressed me for life. And for that, I am forever grateful. And for that, I will attempt to appreciate each relationship I have regardless of its depth. And I promise, at least for me, that Levi’s life is forever an inspiration.
Life is more precious than we will ever know. For some it is long and for others it is short. But for us all, it is finite. It may be impossible to seize every moment but make it your goal to try. It is often said not to take for granted the ones you love but I believe it is equally important not to take for granted those you don’t. The people who are in your life for only a brief moment but make a lasting impression. Every moment is worth savoring. Good or bad.
We love you Brooke.