It is thought that significant emotional experiences can alter one's values. People who face and conquer life threatening events quite often become more present or 'in the moment' paying more attention to nature and relationships and the ordinary activities of life.
The ordinary is so often taken for granted, such as noticing the smells and flavours of a simple meal; the words of a familiar song; the small wins of a normal day; the playfulness of the family pet.
I recently experienced a car accident on a multilane highway at high speed having been hit from behind by a fully loaded tractor trailer. The laws of physics and a wet road allowed me to come out unscathed in what could have been a final event in my life. As I was spinning and being hit by the tractor trailer and a panel van I remember thinking, without any fear, that 'this is it'. It turned out that it wasn't.
Having been on a personal journey of awareness, the experience simply strengthened my intention to live in the 'now'. The bonus is that when I write in my journal on a regular basis that 'I am happy! I am confident! I am alive!', the one that trumps them all is that I am alive! It no longer is taken for granted. I feel it, I know it, I revel in it. [Russell]