“I hope it is true that that a man can die and yet not only live in others but give them life, and not only life, but that great consciousness of life.” ~ Jack Kerouac

1. Hijack the sacredness of any given moment.

First and foremost, Kerouac’s words have taught me to embrace every possible heartbeat of this life that I have somehow been graced with. His epitaph reads He honored life and through that statement my aspirations take seed.

All of his life he was surrounded by a milieu of sorrows, from the death of his brother to the constant guilt of leaving his mother alone while he traveled; yet he surged through his time with the gusto of ten men, hitch-hiking from coast to coast and spending lone nights at sea. From all-night jazz parties at the height of the beat craze to holy meditation on a sunrise mountain.

Yes, he had pain…but “Why think about that when all the golden lands ahead of you and all kinds of unforeseen events wait lurking to surprise you and make you glad you’re alive to see?

2. Take the leap.

Kerouac wrote “There was nowhere to go but everywhere, keep rolling under the stars.”

Two years ago, while living in the U.K. I met an American girl studying at a local university. On a mid-May rooftop night, with six weeks until she was set to return home, we decided to begin our long distance relationship.

There are times when you have to put your faith into life and take big chances.

Two months later, I was sitting on my suitcase under a three a.m. yellow moon, outside Newark International Airport. Alone and eager, having just landed (for the first time) on American soil with only a copy of Desolation Angels to keep me company on a 12 hour layover. The leap had paid off.

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Rylen Feeney is an educator & practitioner of Chinese Medicine, Amma Therapy, Wholistic Nutrition and Herbs.

She is founder, co-owner & director of
The Wellspring School for Healing Arts and in private practice at Pearl Phoenix Health in Portland, Oregon.

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