Our Town: A plan to live life to the fullest, best

Dr Tom Ferraro

How do I live this day?

As a psychoanalyst I’m asked many tough questions by patients each day.  

“How long for the cure? What is my biggest problem? When do I get to become happy?” 

All tough questions but last week I may have been asked the toughest question of all. 

A patient  asked “Doctor, what is the right and proper way to live each day?” What she meant was how does one live each day to the fullest and for the best.

The question is more in the domain of philosophy then psychology and I told her that our greatest philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche posed the same question back in 1882. He wondered “Why have not the philosophers attended to the only real question of import; how does one live this day or this week or this weekend or this holiday?” 

This question still remains life greatest mystery and the fact that it remains unanswered gives us the freedom to try to find the keys. 

Everyone will answer this differently but I think that there are three paths that we all must find each day. The hint to this mystery is found in the three phases of a day; morning, noon and night.

Phase I, The Morning: 

Every morning is filled with promise, energy and hope. It is another beginning, a new day and the sun rises to greet us. 

Get up early enough so that you have at least two hours of leisure before you have to leave for work. 

The morning is a chance to be with nature. Your morning coffee should be sipped on your porch under your awning. Do not turn on the TV, for television is the robber of our life. 

You have far more to learn by looking at your irises then you do by listening to Matt Lauer. He may look good but he doesn’t look as good as your irises. 

When coffee is done take a walk around your neighborhood. Mild exercise of walking is the perfect way to start your day. It clears the mind, fills the senses with peace and allows you to do your planning for the day. 

Walt Whitman and Herman Hesse were both believers in the morning stroll.   

And I dare you to feel depressed as you stroll down Custer Avenue at 7 a.m. 

I have learned that the one thing all our great painters and writers have in common is that they live amongst nature. 

Winslow Homer lived in a little house high above the Maine coastline on the cliffs of Prout’s  Neck.  Henry Miller lived in Big Sur, Calif.  

Frank Baum, the creator of the Wizard of Oz, practically  stayed  in the Hotel del Coronado on the beach in San Diego half the year.  

Nature feeds the soul of the artist and it will feed your soul too. 

Phase II, Noon:

The transition to Phase II begins on the drive to work!  

And whether you are a child of 13, an adult paying the mortgage or a retiree, everyone needs purposeful work  in order to gain a sense of achievement, meaning and self-esteem. 

Work is the only way to find these things. And this is when anxiety and hesitation sets in. 

All of our goals and dreams require effort and that means risk. Risk brings anxiety and its twin brother,  procrastination.  

To cope with that problem we all need courage  so that we can advance upon our goals and dreams.  

Dorothy got a kiss on the forehead from the Good Witch of the North and she defeated one and all after that. So here is my kiss on the forehead of every reader I have. 

Every successful person I have met or have treated all share a sense of courage and the ability to act without  hesitation. 

This may be the greatest of human skills. 

Courage is the theme of many  if not most films which show somehow who nees courage, finds courage and then uses courage to get where they want to get to. To live a day well you must live with courage. 

Phase III, The Night: This phase of the day begins on the ride home.  You have worked hard  all day long.  It is time to reward yourself.  Night time is time for a good meal, a dessert, a glass of wine, some TV, a nice shower and if you are very lucky the pleasure of your partner’s body.  

And the day always ends with a sunset and rising of the moon.  

Your prayer to the moon God should go like this. 

“Thank you moon God for being so beautiful. I will always try to slow down enough to enjoy nature’s beauty every morning. I will exercise courage each day to achieve my dreams and to always take full pride in my efforts. And I will reward myself at the end of each and every day.  Goodnight moon God. ” 

And if you remain very still and listen very carefully you will always hear the moon God whisper down to you from above “Do all these things each and every day and you will find yourself in possession of  life’s greatest  secret. You will understand how to live each day well and to the fullest.”

About the author

Dr Tom Ferraro

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