03/31/2014 04:55 pm ET Updated May 31, 2014

What's Your Magic Number?

Your magic number. We all have one, right?

No, its NOT your age, ideal weight, or the number on your favorite athlete's jersey. It's not that one lottery number you play each week nor the winning number on the craps or roulette table in Vegas!

Your magic number refers to the number of heartbeats you have until you leave this physical world... until you pass away.

As a huge health and wellness passionista, I used to believe (barring any uncontrollable circumstances, accidents or uncertainties) that I could increase MY odds of living longer... that if I ate a nourishing, healthy diet and exercised often, that I could beat the odds of actuarial science and live beyond 100 years. Is that possible? Maybe? But who is to say? Will my diet and lifestyle choices really increase my number of years here on earth?

Well, if you believe in fate or destiny, the answer is NO! Your magic number IS your number! Your heart only has so many beats God/universe has predetermined for you.

The magic number concept intrigues me. While I look at life in the most positive way, I have to share an event that greatly affected my life and made me really think about our number of years (and heartbeats) here on earth. A few years back, while I studied on the Teacher's Path at the Chopra Center in San Diego, I had the wonderful opportunity to attend many lectures and workshops led by Deepak Chopra (himself) along with several other intelligent and inspiring members of his staff. One of those was the late Dr. David Simon.

Dr. David Simon was a Chicago native and graduate of the University of Chicago Medical School. He was a board-certified neurologist and an expert in the use of holistic healing practices. He co-founded the Chopra Center with Deepak. Dr. Simon taught many of the workshops I attended. He was an extremely healthy eater, very spiritual, practiced yoga and meditation often. He devoted a great deal of his life to inspiring others to be healthier and spiritual. He authored and co-authored many fantastic books about health and wellness. He knew and professed that LOVE was all healing. He inspired me! Then, in 2010, he was (self) diagnosed with a brain tumor (to the surprise of many people) and passed away 20 months later at the young age of 60.

I was in shock! How did HE get a brain tumor? How could HE die? Suddenly, my health and wellness bubble burst! I didn't understand how someone who seemed so healthy, so giving and "practicing his passion" could have a brain tumor and die. His magic number arrived! His heart beat its last beat. And his body left our world.

At the moment I learned of his death, I was sad and disheartened. I only knew him as a wonderfully spiritual teacher, but I was especially upset about losing him. I couldn't make sense of his death. It made me really wonder if all of the things we profess and do to increase our health and longevity are simply in vain.

For several months I tried to come up with reasons for his passing. Finally, my perspective began to shift. We all have a finite number of heartbeats. And even if you believe in free will (which I do, as I navigate through my own life journey), you will only live to the moment of that last rush of oxygenated blood to your heart... that last heartbeat.

So the question becomes, "How do YOU want to live out those beats?" Healthily, comfortably, kindly, compassionately, love filled, blissfully? That choice IS yours. That IS your free will navigating your path of life toward that finite heartbeat. So make great choices about avoiding extremely risky behavior, eating nourishing foods, exercising, embracing each day, each moment, loving those around you and beyond you. The "real" world consists of more than your "bubble."

Make each day count. Explore your desires, your dreams, and your passions. Practice those passions which not only help YOU, but can help others. Forgive those who have wronged or hurt you. Find humor in most circumstances. Don't take yourself too seriously... you were put here on earth to be happy. Live in happiness. Live in optimal health. Learn. Explore. Learn more. Give to others for the sake of the joy it brings to both them and you.

You will never really know what your magic number is, but others who live beyond you will. So wake up to the life in front of you! Appreciate all of the wonderful things it offers you and make time to share all of your unique gifts with this world. LIVE up to that last heartbeat with great reverence for your beautiful life!

How will you spend your remaining heartbeats?