Alive to experience it

(~2 minute read.)



In the past few years, Kaylene O’Shea and I have had many discussions about courage; we’ve shared stories of when we have been courageous, when others have been courageous and our hopes for a courageous humanity.  In many, if not all of our conversations, Kaylene has used the phrase “I am alive to experience it.”  This phrase has influenced me to be more mindful of, and grateful for, “it.” 

Kaylene is our guest blogger today and offers her guidance.

In Kaylene’s own words …


Hello there,

I have been asked by Dina  (aka @CourageChick) to write a piece on a phrase that I use frequently! So what is the phrase? “I am alive to experience it.”  “It” is anything that life gives to me.  It can be good, not so good or downright awful.

Regardless of the situation though, I feel blessed to be “alive to experience it.” 😊

In thinking about the phrase, I have been asked often, what has prompted me to use it and how did it arise.

I am a mature person who has had a very fortunate life. Suffice to say, it was not always thus. That alone gives one an appreciation of how good life is despite the bits that may not be quite as we would like.

Over the years though, the wisdom of age has helped me cope with situations that may have left me feeling not so blessed to be here. Those same years have meant that I have lost some wonderful friends and family from my life. Friends who have left this life way too early and had such a lot to live for and to give to our society. One of those very dear friends was a 35 year old woman who died from a rare cancer. I will call her Althea to protect her privacy.

I was part of Althea’s cancer struggle for 2 years. During that time, Althea gave all she had to stay alive. The fact that she lived for 2 years after her diagnosis is a testament to her sheer determination and will to live.

In watching Althea’s struggle, I came to fully embrace how wonderful every day above ground is and how life should never be taken for granted. The silly little things that we can all get hung up on really don’t matter.  And we can come to more fully understand that “they don’t matter” when we appreciate that we are here to experience it.

More recently, I lost another very dear friend who died within 6 months of the diagnosis.  He was 55!! I described him as a “force of nature” as he had so much drive, energy and enthusiasm for life. Again, taken from this life way too early.



These pansies bloomed at the time
Kaylene’s very dear friend died.
“They gave me some brightness and cheer
during an unhappy time.”


May I therefore offer some guidance then on the not so good moments in one’s life. When stuff happens, the question I ask my beloved are these questions:

  • Are you injured?
  • Has anyone died?
  • Does it really matter in the bigger scheme of things?

If the answer to all of the above is a resounding “no,” then I say, “consider yourself fortunate because “you are alive to experience it.”

Written for all those who can see life for what it really is – a wonderful experience on multiple levels, and for those who want to be able to see life that way. 😊

Written from the heart by Kaylene O’Shea.

When asked by Dina for “2-3 sentences about you that I can include with this blog,” I found myself asking “what do I say about me?” Here goes😊. I am fortunate to have come from a humble background.  The first person in my family to attend university. That just means I was more academically inclined than my sister and my parents, and I was driven to gain a post graduate university qualification. My parents lived in a time where education beyond 13 years of age was not possible so university was out of the question.  That background has shaped me and I am proud to say that.  Life is a joy but sometimes in the craziness of the corporate world, it is easy to lose sight of that.  I haven’t skied the highest sloped or cycled around the world. My epiphanies come when I have my gardening gloves covered in soil and I am knee deep in pulling out weeds and then planting new life.  Thanks Dina for the opportunity to share a little about me😊.

blue flowers


“I think nature is so clever to create such wonderful colours.”   (Photo taken in Noumea)

Kaylene can be contacted on:



Kaylene, thank you for your courage in sharing  your stories and wisdom.  I am very grateful.


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