Make Every Breath Count – a tribute to Art Shirk

Make Every Breath Count is tattooed on my chest (and in my heart) as a daily reminder to embrace the moment and to say YES to life.

Make Every Breath Count is inspired by Art Shirk, a man who lived, loved and died consciously and true to his life purpose in the face of a terminal disease. Art was a coach, a mentor, a role model, a friend, and much more to so many people – a powerful leader!

Art spent his life in service to the world. When diagnosed with a terminal lung disease, he became even more determined to follow his life’s purpose. As his body became weaker, he used his own condition as a tool to learn about life.

In his last entry on, Art reminds us that “The paradise that we seek is all around us all of the time…we have somehow just forgotten.” Read: Surrender: the Art of Living, Loving, and Dying without Training Wheels.

Discover more of Art’s life and his loving contribution to the world in his blog: Comfort Is Over-Rated.

I am inspired to build on Art’s legacy in serving the world by challenging us all to dig deeper into the meaning of making every breath count and choosing to live our best life.



Making every breath count is about living in the moment.

People talk about living in the moment, like it’s some kind of a goal.  I think about what Art Shirk said about living in the moment. What resonates most with me is that every breath and every moment brings awareness to choices I have for the next moment. It’s just about getting through the next moment, and the one after that. In that moment, each decision, each action, each step I choose to take brings me closer to my best life.

But how can we live in and savour the moments we have in order to make choices for our next moments?

Here are 5 ways I learned that helps me live in the moment.

1.  SLOW DOWN and remember that less is more – Simplicity is preferable to complexity; it is better understood and more appreciated.  Declutter your living spaces and get organize.  Simplify your life and reduce stress.  Make time to slow down and appreciate the moment.  Meditate.

2.  CONNECT with self, others and nature – Look in the mirror and notice your beauty. Celebrate your life NOW. Connect more with family and friends.  Party!  Meet new people. Walk in the city and smile at strangers. Say hello to people you don’t know.  Walk in a park and notice the trees.  Walk on a beach and feel the warm sand under your feet.  Go camping in the wilderness. Walk in snow and feel the cold wind on your face.  Stare at the stars.

3.  Awaken your sense of TOUCH –  Your body possesses wisdom that requires deep listening and touch is profoundly nourishing.  Give someone a hug.  Treat yourself to a massage.  Embrace and love your body, it is the only thing you will ever own.

4.  MOVE your body – Exercise, walk, run, cycle, swim, dance . . . anything that gets you in action.

5.  PLAY and have fun – Open up possibilities for bringing more play in your life. It’s about being yourself and having more fun. It is about living in joy and experiencing what it means to be completely human and alive.

How can you be more in the moment, make every breath count and say YES to life?

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