Now Is All There Is

October 10, 2011

It’s in times of loss that we typically step back and think about the meaning of our own lives and our connections with loved ones. Thoughts of things we wish we had said or feelings we wish we had conveyed haunt us as we attempt the futile task of rewriting history in our minds.

Yesterday, I lost a friend, and right on queue, I’m replaying the last conversation I had with him in my mind. It’s not that I have any huge regrets, but there isn’t closure on that conversation, and it was on me to send an email to punctuate it.

Bryan was my partner in the first real business I started. I learned a lot from him, and grew as a person and as a leader while working alongside him for 4 years. We didn’t see eye to eye on many things, but we always had mutual respect for each other.

And I always knew he had my back, no matter what.

NowHe died doing the thing he loved – racing motorcycles. In the 15 years I’ve known him, nothing has ever made him come alive quite like this. He knew that he was pushing it out on the track, but he loved living life ‘on the ragged edge.’ He found joy in this, and ultimately he met his fate this way.

We all have things that light us up, and we all make decisions on how much to include these things in our lives. On Saturday, I asked the question ‘what lights you up’ on Facebook.  Here are a few of the responses I received:

  • Art
  • Children Laughing
  • Stand up paddle boarding with dolphins
  • Reading a book under a tree on a sunny day
  • People who care
  • Sending out inspirational messages

Had Bryan responded, I have no doubt he would have included track racing on the list. So, today, I’m celebrating his life and his determination to live it to the fullest every day. I’m thankful for his friendship and for the opportunity to have learned so much from him over the years. He helped me become the man I am today.

I’m a big believer in The Power of Now, and I strive to live my life with no regrets. We aren’t guaranteed any future, but we do have Now.  In fact, Now is all there is.

What about you? What lights you up? Do you have enough of it in your life Now?


  • Reply Dana October 10, 2011 at 9:40 am

    Beautiful, Brandon. Great way to honor Bryan. You’re in my thoughts and prayers today. {{hugs}}

    • Reply Brandon Sutton October 10, 2011 at 5:28 pm

      Thank you, Dana. I appreciate you thinking of me.  ::Hugs back::

  • Reply Lisa MB October 10, 2011 at 11:04 am

    Big hugs to you, Brandon.  So sorry about the loss of your friend.

    And to honor you & Bryan, I will answer “what lights me up?”  Vulnerability, giggling babies, silence, hugs, long (and deep) convos with friends.

    May your NOW find you immersed in what lights YOU up. xo

    • Reply Brandon Sutton October 10, 2011 at 5:30 pm

      Thanks, Lisa, and big hugs back to you.

      I LOVE your mention of silence in what lights you up.  Eckart Tolle talks about this in Stillness Speaks.  It’s a fantastic message if you don’t already have it.

  • Reply Daryl Denis Bredenkamp October 10, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    Loss affects us all at some time, but we are mostly ill equipped to deal with it. I agree with your consclusion that we should live in the present. Hope this is also of some use:

    • Reply Brandon Sutton October 10, 2011 at 5:34 pm

      Thank you, Daryl. I appreciate you passing that on.  Will check it out shortly.

  • Reply sylvia October 10, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    Je comprends ce qu’on peut ressentir j’ai perdu mon pére et il a fait beaucoup pour les autres et bossé comme un ouf pour partir jeune d’un cancer alors qui ne fumait et ne buvait pas et ce qu’il me fait vibrer aujourd’hui c’est de me battre pour lui et de défendre ce qui polue et ce qui pourrai nous enléver un jour au gens qu’on aime au quotidien!!! je fais autour de moi un grand sourire et faire rire les gens car je me dis faisons comme si on pourrait mourir demain : “aimons, adorons,défendons et donnons” jusqu’à ce que le vent nous emporte !!! encourragement !!!!

  • Reply sylvia October 10, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    je rectifis je défend pas ce qui pollue je le dénigre et si j’aurai une ardoise magique je tournerai volontier le boutton en m’exclamant”BYE” pour effacer ces désagrément et je l’intitulerai nettoyons la planéte !!! je sais je dois sembler être d’un autre monde et je pense peut être avoir un lien parenté avec Francis Lalanne, quoi que on vient du même coin!!!En plus Francis assure dans danse avec les stars!!!je suis pas du genre a voter mais là cela s’impose !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Reply sylvia October 11, 2011 at 3:21 am

    A toutes les personnes qui ont perdus une personne importante laissez aller votre peine et surtout ne la retenez pas… laissez couler vos larmes et ensuite cela passera avec le temps!!! moi je n’ai pas suivi ce conseil et cela ma pri des années pour m’en relevé et c’est super dur de perdre quelqu’un quand on est enceinte et encore plus dur de le voir partir devant ses propres yeux!!! satanée cancer !!!

    • Reply Brandon Sutton October 11, 2011 at 8:44 pm

      Thank you, Sylvia. I’ve only had a few moments where I could reflect long enough to let my tears flow. I know more will come in the days ahead. I appreciate your support, and hope you keep coming back. Thank you again.

  • Reply Al Smith October 11, 2011 at 9:39 am

    Thanks Brandon.  So sorry for your loss.  Thoughts and prayers for you.  What lights me up is sharing a positive message with people.  Witnessing people doing what they love. (Like you). Helping someone turn their life around. Really making a difference in someones life. Seeing my sisters grandkids laughing and playing.  Practicing Gratitude. and of course, The CARE Movement.

    Thanks again for all you do to help others and the positive impact you are having on the world.


    • Reply Brandon Sutton October 11, 2011 at 8:45 pm

      Thank you, Al.  It’s amazing how much these comments mean in times like this. Your thoughts are very much appreciated.

  • Reply Laurie Sutton October 11, 2011 at 11:05 am

    Thanks for sharing this, Brandon, I love posts that stop me in my tracks and remind me that Now is all we have.  It always simplifies my perspective and makes it richer.

    What’s lighting me up right now is finally having enough time and space to connect with my Real Self.  Expanding my spirituality has always been a passion of mine, and this time is such a blessing.  Moving thru it while also moving thru a gorgeous Indian Summer just makes it all the more brilliant.

    Peace to Bryan, and peace to you, my friend!

    • Reply Brandon Sutton October 11, 2011 at 8:47 pm

      Thank you, Laurie.  This whole experience has made it even more clear to me that Now is the only thing we have. I strive to maintain this awareness as I go about my days.

      Good to hear that your connecting with your Real Self.  That lights me up just hearing about it.  🙂

  • Reply Jami October 12, 2011 at 12:24 am

    So very sorry for your loss, Brandon. This is a beautiful post, and as usual you convey what so many of us feel but rarely if ever express. After an incident last year I realized that I just had now and have been trying to live it ever since. For a month I controlled what I ate by asking myself, “will it be the cookie or death?” Facing diabetes can be a frightening experience. It let me know that even something as small as a cookie (or another sugary treat) was not small at all.

    What’s lighting me up right now is working on Garden the City 2012 installing 10 themed food gardens in the BEAD and working on changing the city’s law’s against chicken ownership. I am sure many would find this boring and tedious, but I think of what opportunities I can help create to alleviate food insecurity and possibly make room for urban ag’s green businesses. That and the time spent with my kids!

    I am sending a virtual hug to you, Brandon, and I hope it warms your heart if only a little bit.

    • Reply Brandon Sutton October 12, 2011 at 8:33 pm

      Thank you, Jami.  I appreciate your thoughts, and especially you sharing about what lights you up. It’s exciting for me to hear about other people who are actively living live and pursuing things that have deep meaning to them. 

      Hugs right back to you.  This warmed my heart a lot actually! 

  • Reply Ibosarge October 17, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    Brandon, So sorry about your loss. What a great tribute to a dear friend. Back in my younger days I owned and sponsored a racecar. When that car would crank up at the track it would get your adrenalin pumping.
     What lights me up, hearing my grandchildrens voice, children laughing. Watching and helping communities working together.
     Thank you for sharing with all of us. God bless you.

    • Reply Brandon Sutton October 18, 2011 at 6:07 pm

      Thank you, Lori. I love that you mentioned communities working together.  That such a gift, isnt’ it?

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