carpe diem, peeps. (for reals!)

 So I woke this morning to find out of a sudden and unexpected passing of a friend, Larisa. Although we have not spent time together on a regular basis in a couple of years, she still had an impact on me, even through her Facebook posts. I originally met Larisa several years ago while working on a contract position having to do with depression in pregnant and post-partum women. Turned out we had several friends in common – she was just one of those people. A connector. She is one of the most INSPIRING people, and the words I write are not a “well – she passed and let’s think of something nice to say.” She was TRULY a remarkable person.

Larisa had an impact on everyone she met and EVERYONE liked her instantly.

Oprah says that we are all responsible for the energy we bring to a room, and I fully agree with this concept. Larisa LIT UP a room. She’s the kind of person who called everyone dollface and sunshine. She had the biggest SMILE, was usually LAUGHING and fully enjoyed life.

Her last post on facebook happened to be a link to a Harvard Review blog about purpose in life. Very appropriate.

So here are a few lessons learned that we could all learn from Larisa:

She lived life to its fullest. She was creative and fun loving. Went to Mardi Grås if she wanted.  She took every opportunity to wear glitter, a costume, a pink wig or tutu just because.

She took risks. She held two master’s degrees, sported a few tattoos, and ran her own baking business for a while.

She was compassionate. She worked in healthcare and she was also there when anyone needed a listening ear and caring soul. Her master’s degrees were in counseling and public health (she and I had the public health degree from Emory in common).

She shared her talents and gifts with the world in every regard. She was a teacher to all without meaning to be. She was smart and creative, and was an amazing baker.

She was her true AUTHENTIC self with no apologies. Her Facebook page is filled with tons of LOVE, memories and crazy fun pictures of Larisa being Larisa.

In my opinion, she took action and made things happen. In 2010, she invited me to participate in a book club she decided to co-create, which was a breath of fresh air for me at the time.

She was a great example of the ripple effect. It was practically impossible to not feel happy when in her presence.

She was resilient. If something went wrong, she would deal with it and move on.

So all of this said, I’d like to ask what LEGACY would you like to leave?  Something to ponder.

 I’ll end with this excerpt from Tony Robbins that ties everything together nicely.

 “Live life fully while you're here. Experience everything. Take care of yourself and your friends. Have fun, be crazy, be weird. Go out and screw up! You're going to anyway, so you might as well enjoy the process. Take the opportunity to learn from your mistakes: find the cause of your problem and eliminate it. Don't try to be perfect; just be an excellent example of being human.” ~Anthony Robbins 

Prayers, healing thoughts of love and light to her family, friends and long-term boyfriend would also be appreciated! Go forth and enjoy your weekend, friends.

As always, please be sure to share any insights below!