Live Meaningfully – By Ayesha G. Shenk, M.A.

Generally, I try to make the month’s article germane to something going on seasonally or socially. Given that there is very little about the aforementioned that compels me to write at the moment, I will instead riddle you with commentary that is germane to me.

I believe I have now lived enough life to have navigated both the ebb and the flow of fortune. There have been moments, no matter how ‘self-aware’ or ‘differentiated’ I try to be, that have found me metaphorically (and perhaps literally) on my knees willing the pain to pass; and there have been those in which the air smells too sweet for the senses.

I know the wandering of those having lost what feels like everything, and I have blithely tapped my foot to the beats of beauty as they are found. I see in my clients the gamut of destruction and resurrection that I have seen in my own reflection over the years, but this red-hot moment reminded me to enjoy when the stars are burning bright and the moon looks like it may stick around forever.

Tonight, in an old familiar way, reminded me of all that I never knew I never knew and the tears of gratitude flowed…

Life has offered some unsteady footing and the future is forever the mystery that remains one step ahead, but tonight He again filled faith in all the empty holes. All the promises, all the dreams, all the visions, though they may’ve taken on a bit of a different hue… really could have come true.

No matter the stories I have the honor of hearing every day, I find myself awash in my own loss of perspective more often than I care to admit. But some times, some nights, offer a brilliance that lights the whole spectrum of color enough that it comes into focus. It’s those moments of (what we in ‘the biz’ call) existential flow to which are worthy of holding on tightly and taking the ride until they burn up and your feet land firmly back on perfunctory ground.

I talk a lot about gratitude, about what life is or should be, about that to which to aspire, but today how about we just capture the moments that do happen. How about we remain invested enough in our lives and in the haste and the wreckage of modern day to catch the fragments of light as the come passing through. Catch them long enough to inhale and hold them for just a few seconds longer so they have the opportunity to burn just a bit of their image onto our insides.

The sound of your second grader singing in the shower

The genuine giggle (without eye-roll) of your tweenager when you do something silly

The dog laying his weary head on your lap after a long day of waiting for your return

The exact moment in which you catch the look of the one you love loving you right back

The merciful end of a long day as you rest your body in bed

The first notes of your favorite song as you turn the key in the ignition

The answered prayer that seemed so urgent until you moved on to the next

This life, this breath, this love, this now.


Till the next time,

Be Well; Live Meaningfully.


Ayesha G. Shenk, M.A. practices at 2150 Park Avenue North as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and can be reached at or 407-796-2959.



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