“The Journey of a thousand miles, begins with the first step.”
To me, it all comes down to having peace of mind inside the final five seconds of your
In the final five seconds of our lives, the only true currency we possess are the
relationships created with the time we were given. As I reflect back on my life,
everything else is meaningless in comparison. It seems the older we get, the clearer this
becomes. Money, possessions, no, not even time, matter when it’s gone. The only thing
that matters is what we did to create and secure our legacy, which is told in the very
unique story of our lives.
That special distinct story makes us who, and what we are. We have lived our lives with
the strengths and abilities known only to us, and it serves us for the better part of our
lives. We live a life of existence, one day ahead of the next, with the hopes that our
circumstances will improve. We strive for this, and aspire to ensure that our children have
a better, easier road to that success than we did. Then one day, our time is up. For some it
is sooner than others, yet we’re all given the same abilities to prepare for our undeniable
and eventual demise to ask the great question; at the end of your existence, did you
secure a firm understanding of how you wanted to contribute the unique story of your
In our final moments, everything that ever mattered gets measured on a scale of “yes” or
“no”. If your time ends suddenly, is your soul fully prepared and complete with how you
lived your life? More importantly, did your Loved ones and those who mattered most to
you, know how you felt about them?
It’s a negotiation for survival at its fullest which make reasons and excuses irrelevant.
When you’re confronted with your own mortality, all the money in the world cannot buy
you a do-over. There are no second chances. Those precious seconds are compounded by
the fight for life, and the need for being understood. The fulfillment of our legacy then
becomes open for interpretation. If you’re able to convey your last words to have closure,
or be surrounded by your Loved ones, you have completed your life and its interpretation.
Some leave this life with financial life insurance for their family and Loved ones. Yet,
rarely do we leave emotional life insurance to provide closure for our beloved. We work
our entire lives toiling to create a legacy, to lose it at the finish line of life because we
don’t attain closure in aspects that matter. This leaves us with words unsaid, and the
opportunity for closure is lost forever. The impact of this affects our family, friends and
community in a way that we’ll never comprehend. They carry this burden with them for
the rest of their lives. This lack of closure might land as regret, guilt, humiliation, and
shame. Then they repeat the pattern to their Loved ones before they pass over, and it
continues on in our children’s children.
I wondered why I was never raised with this thought. It was never brought up or talked
about in my family. Like most people, I ended up getting caught up in the world of
accumulation with a feeling of invincibility. It took an event in my life that rattled my
core belief system to uncover this. Looking back, all of the things I chased as a young
man were the illusions of fulfillment, as I was left with the moments that defined my time
Life flies by in the blink of an eye. We often don’t prepare for our death because we
arrogantly think we will always have more time. There will always be a tomorrow. We
take for granted we will always have more time until we don’t, and I was certainly no
different when my time arrived.
Before I realized it, the headlights of that truck filled my vision, and my life flashed
before my eyes. I had heard that in the moment when your life flashes before your eyes,
in that instant, the gateway to your entire life opens up. It was only at that point when the
headlights of the truck trapped me on a collision course, all of this flowed through me
like a limitless waterfall cascading into a bottomless pit. Endless memories surrounded
me, stories, moments, thoughts. Pure clarity showed up as I had never experienced
That was the final moment of clarity in my life. I had heard alcoholics speak of it when
they realized they were powerless over alcohol. Well control was my alcohol. When I
chose to accept I wasn’t ever in control, it was as if everything became clear.
I was left with the feeling of complete inner peace and tranquility, even though I knew it
was over. So instead of making a funny face, I actually smiled. It wasn’t the kind of smile
that spreads from ear to ear. Instead, it was a drole, peaceful smirk. I smiled because I
knew I had arrived at the end, and I was complete. It had been the journey of a lifetime to
get there. However, when it arrived in that moment, my soul was prepared for death.
“Rosebud.” I said
A man cannot be defined by one word, but in that moment, that word represented all that
I had learned in my life. It encompassed the lessons that took me an entire lifetime to
comprehend in a belief system which filled me up with a complete, fulfilled satisfaction,
and that has made all the difference in my story.
Every story has an ending, which creates a new beginning. My story starts with the death
of me. In my beginning, I left my body and transitioned to see the moment I was born. I
saw the look on my mother’s face when she held me for the first time. She looked so
young that I had forgotten who she really was! A portal opened into my childhood, which
enabled me to experience an array of moments and memories. The more vivid and
significant the memory, the more I saw. I was surrounded by the energy that was my life
by all the people who contributed to it in every way.
I watched my father as he pushed me on my first solo bike ride. I saw my three year old
self concentrating so hard on my right of passage, that I didn’t see the tears of joy in my
father’s eyes as his son pedaled away on his own. On my first day of school, I saw my
great-grandparents, who have been dead for many years, picking me up, kissing and
hugging me as they sent me into the school yard. Endless memories from my childhood
passed in front of me. Every first moment I ever had played out like a detailed tapestry which was my life. I chose to hear The Beatles for the very first time again, and it was a
musical gift which never left me. This realm created the experiences which filled me with
memories in my never-ending story.
Musical Interlude #2: “The Letter” by Harry Gregson-Williams from the feature
film, “The Town”
I saw all the people who had come and gone, supporting me, my life and my transition.
When this happens, you are brought back to that one moment which changed the
direction of your life. This moment is presented many times, in many different ways over
the course of your life. Only when you are at a high level of consciousness can you
identify it, and choose it. Once this happens, you are on the perfect path for you.
Everything happens for a reason and a purpose, and it supports you on your path. There
are no coincidences on your journey. Even though obstacles may appear to impede what
we think we want, we are always supported and given what we need. The more
“coincidences” that occur on your journey ensures you’re on the right path. Your path is
filled with omens, signs and rewards for following your heart, and yet most of us walk
through life not noticing or identifying them.
So in my moment, I was transported to a seat on a train. I began looking around to see
where I was. I looked to my right, and there was a large window with the countryside
speeding by. I panned back to the left, and looked across the train car. There, directly in
front of me sat The Sentinel staring at me with those wonderful eyes.
The Sentinel welcomed me by transitioning to an elated smile on curled lips, as I sat in
confusion. Then, all the connections fell into place, and my thoughts assembled. I felt an
overwhelming feeling of support and understanding, and that’s when I recognized those
eyes, and who the Sentinel was!
“It was you!” I said in astonishment.
“Yes! You chose me.” said the Sentinel, still smiling with a sense of delight.
“It was YOU the whole time? But how?” I asked.
“I told you that everything was lining up for you; the right people were headed in your
path, the events of it were unfolding in perfect collaboration, and that you would find
Love in every sense. Very little of this would’ve been apparent as it unfolded, yet in
hindsight, you would see the stunning design, and you chose it! I can’t tell you how
wonderful it is for you to be able to see me again! Do you remember how it started?”
The Sentinel sat looking at me, patiently waiting for the clarity that was about to find me.
It was the final lesson I was to learn for my journey of a lifetime. I sat in bewilderment
again, until it all came back to me.
Even though I had arrived at the moment which altered my path, it came down to how I
arrived there. It was one step, one decision, one action which propelled me onto my
“My trip to Europe, you were there every step of my journey, weren’t you? I was never,
ever in danger. It led me to you! You did this for me?”
The Sentinel sat smiling at me with a face basking in delight. “Yes, I was never far away,
I was always nearby, but you did the work. I am so proud of you! Welcome Tristan, you
That’s when I flashed back to how it all began.
My journey started when I was twenty-six. I remembered it all began on the hottest day of the