Hurrah! Today is the bonus day of the year. Do you celebrate or observe anything special on the extra day of each intercalary year? Maybe you simply note that today means that the end of February “leaps over” one of the days of the year, or advances two days instead of the usual one day as happens during a “regular” year.
There’s a lot of mathematics and astronomy involved in figuring leap years and leap year days. I won’t get into any of that. If you need to brush up on the technicalities of today, there are plenty of science websites for you to consult. All the particulars of Earth’s orbit and rotation are quite fascinating. It’s good to know about these things.
Personally, I treasure Leap Day, mainly because it seems like a big gift. Even though February 29th is a regularly scheduled event, it still seems like a bonus that has been granted to us from the Solar System. Special gifts often cause me to ponder and think about the nature of abundance. Just thinking about abundance brings about feelings of gratitude.
Why is thinking about abundance and gratitude such a big deal?
Besides causing us to feel happy and to actually enhance our physical health, these thoughts help to guide us along our life paths by keeping us focused on positivity. When we feel the tug of cynicism, thoughts of generosity and thankfulness bring us back to constructive mental attitudes. When we choose to feel happy and constructive, we enjoy life to a greater degree.
I feel grateful to receive this extra day, partly because it reminds me to be thankful for the other days we experience each year. Being aware of and glad to have a bonus day has caused me to wonder about my last day. How would I spend an extra 24 hours, should they be granted, to postpone my death for an additional calendar day? This is the power behind using our death as an ally rather than an adversary.
When we remember that each day brings us closer to our personal demise, we can either feel morbid dread or this awareness can ramp up our motivation to live life to the utmost. Using death as an ally is an ancient, powerful practice that wisdom traditions have utilized to energize and empower individuals and civilizations.
It’s easier to procrastinate if one believes there is endless time to accomplish a task. However, smart people have learned that deadlines cause us to finish our assignments.
For example, we might feel some trepidation each April as income tax filing day approaches. The deadline motivates most procrastinators to finally complete their tax documents before the Internal Revenue Service imposes penalties for failure to file on time.
We all have a personal deadline or a limit to the length of our lives. If we are not suicidal, we don’t know, for sure, what day that deadline is. An individual’s deadline might be just a few moments away from now, or many years into the future.
When I remember that I have a deadline approaching, I want to complete whatever it is that needs to be done. In the larger sense, knowing I have an ultimate deadline, motivates me to remain focused on my legacy. Death, as an ally, reminds me to live my life, not waste it. In this sense, thoughts of death are positive, not negative.
It all comes around to how I want to use each day. Will I utilize it for goodness’ sake or will I space it off and take it for granted?
How will you use this bonus day, today?
The Blue Jay of Happiness hopes you use this opportunity that only comes once every four years, to reject apathy and negativity. Remember to love your adversaries, then go on to follow your most positive dreams.