At the young age of fifty-five, I find myself joyously standing in the center of that which has been and that which is preparing to blossom. An eloquent juxtaposition that feels like a merry-go-round spinning with exquisite suspended scenes.
In addition to my age gracing me with the realization that a lot of life has been lived, my children now soar off into their own adventures, pushing me out of the nest. As the truth becomes absorbed cellularly I find a gleefulness that encapsulates the carefree wild child I was and the passionate wise woman I am. Uniting and marrying the two for prophetic adventuring. A smile spreads, curiosity ignites, rhapsodic imagination takes flight.
In My Second Half…
I know I am worthy and divinely perfect as I am…
I unabashedly live, love, and explore…
I witness the beauty in the mirror, celebrating the gifts of time…
I gleefully embrace my enough-ness, freeing myself of unsolicited opinions…
I canter at full speed into the arena of my passionate dreams…
I leap with complete faith, burying with fervor the crib of regret…
I acknowledge with great gaiety that I am a success and always have been…
I sever the twine issued by judges, critics and fearful fanatics…
I am free to BE me, gyrating with grace into the infinite expansion of self…
I pledge to live engorged at the table of life…
In my second half, I welcome the rhapsody Carpe Diem…
Yes, everyday is a fresh stretched canvas. A posed pirouette. A barren page. A ballad awaiting melody. Oh what delighted mirth awaits in My Second Half…
Her eyes sparkle with joyful trust, her feet skip with abandoned freedom, her voice rises with no apology and her hands reach for the dust that dances with her in the glittering sunlight. She is free and wild an ecstatic expression of the bliss which always is…
Her face was lined from years of living. Her eyes danced, bursting with memories etched like fireworks on a dark night. Her smile beckoned one to sit and listen. Her legs no longer danced, they lay bent and disfigured on the bed with raw open bed sores seeping at her hip joints. Her vibrant spirit encircled you the moment you stepped into her space, there was no victim in this room, no woe is me, instead one was greeted with dynamic passion, simple happiness, and a peacefulness that gently kissed you on the cheek.
Who are the “her’s” I speak of? The first is me, dancing in my childhood living room, chasing the sun dust I stirred up with my exuberant joy. The second “her” is a divine woman I was blessed to care for in a nursing home years ago. Her aliveness, grace, peace, and love still dance in my memory. She and others I cared for knew a truth, as did the child in me.
What did they know?
They knew that happiness, love, peace and contentment always exist.
They knew that it did not exist in things outside themselves.
They knew that it was accessible in all moments.
They knew that no one could give it to them, yet they lovingly shared it.
They knew it was a choice.
The years and space between innocent curious childhood and the wisdom of one’s latter years is full of “shoulds”, “comparisons”, “judgments”, and the measuring of the self against a society often ruled through fear and distrust. I do not have to sit very long in a cafe before I can hear someone criticizing themselves or attacking someone else. Stories swirl around like the sound of the espresso machine, surging with blame, shame, hurt, victimhood and discontent. It breeds like the flies on the patio tables, snatching up every scrappy morsel to add fuel to why their life is so miserable.
Why do humans choose this?
A question I have pondered since I was five years old.
Why do we let go of our passionate desires to instead choose to fly someone else’s kite?
Why do we slam the door on the pure potential of joy?
Why do we kick happiness to the curb, to welcome and invite stressful frustration?
Why do we say “have to” instead of “get to”?
Why do we choose going through our days and moments on auto-pilot, waiting for someone or something else to make us better?
Do we prefer to wait, to lie on our deathbed watching the autobiographical movie of regret?
Why do we look in the mirror with such self contempt, as young children we loved our reflection?
I ask all of this with curiosity and a desire to understand.
In my sophomore year of college I was blessed to work at an international daycare. Here I witnessed children from all over the world. They danced, played, laughed and cried, living their moments very presently. They saw the world as a frontier to be explored. I sensed that the older children were on the fringe of losing this curious wonderment for life. In their play I observed them mimicking adults, their eyes would change, their jaw would set tightly, their voices would take on a serious tone. The joy, spontaneity, compassion and kindness evaporated, leaving behind a robotic body, controlled by the “taught” mind.
Three years after working in a daycare, I found myself working in a nursing home. Here I discovered the grace and vengeance of aging. I was gifted to share time with souls who lived a full passionate life and others who were embittered with regret. The extreme chasm between the two slapped me stingingly as I would leave one room to enter another. My heart and soul ached for those fighting their own shadow. They carried their anger and sadness like a suitcase loaded with boulders, burdening their final days. These souls expressed through pinches, punches, and verbal abuse while you assisted them to the toilet, shower or dining hall. Off the clock, I cherished the moments I got to sit and listen to the stories from those celebrating life. Stories of falling in love, having children, riding in a car for the first time and rising above struggle. Reflections of the gentle flow of seasons, years, experiences and the pure grace of a life lived fully.
In my forties I found myself teaching language arts to junior high students. Here I witnessed the cross over in technicolor poignancy. A few young people desperately clung to their innocent pure belief that anything is possible, that one could reach for their dreams with unbridled passion. The majority of the students had given up, they did not dream, instead they chased visions of their future painted on the wall by parents and society. They swallowed hard the doses of expectations fed to them with the famous mantra, “When I have lots of money I will be happy, when I get my degree I will be happy, when I buy a house I will be happy, when I marry I will be happy, WHEN I… I will then be HAPPY”.
Ironically the joke is on us, for much of life is lived between the wild child and the wise elder. Thus I am forever grateful for the life altering gift of witnessing snapshots of age through my diverse professional life. They have graced me with an awareness and microscopic view that life is really just a brief sojourn. A brief interlude to experience as I choose.
Today I watch the sun dust with the pure delight of my four year old wonderment, I dance with unlimited joy, for I am not young, nor old, I am in between, kissing each with gratitude for their wisdom.
Today I invite you to join me, breathe deeply into the child you once were before life manipulated you.
Today I encourage you to take back the string to your own kite, feel it dance freely upon the wind.
I wrote this piece originally over a year ago, today it whispered at me, beckoning me to share in this time of change upon our planet. We all sit unexpectedly in a space of suspended uncertainty. As we float between what was and what is becoming, we are being graced with a crystal ball that plays scenes from childhood, while positioning the paint brush towards a canvas of our elder years. Posed on a precipice, can you hear the whispers of grace and freedom? Or do you cling to the chaos of fear?
The wise gentle elders I was blessed to care for no longer inhabit this plane, yet the way they embraced their journey is written in permanent marker on my heart, soul, and mind. I shall not lie on the bed sores of life embittered and shriveled, I shall dance vibrantly in the sparkling company of dust particles…
The one thing that is for sure, change occurs. It is a part of everything. Everyday there is change. Seasons, aging, growing, learning, experiencing, building, expansion… If we embrace this truth, we free ourselves to enjoy, relax and let go of the need to control.
If you are a parent, would you ever wish to stop your child’s expansion into adulthood? As a child once yourself, would you have wanted your parents to control your becoming? From birth we are changing. We can fight it or embrace it with joy, knowing it is a part of life.
As I look in the mirror seeing the gray hair, the smile lines, the change in my skin, teeth, body, I am at choice to LOVE what I see, celebrating the grace and gifts of aging – or – I can fight it, hide it, color and mask it. Why? Who do I deceive in this denial?
I personally love watching the seasons flow. Each season has such unique expressions. There is continual change from one day to the next. The ducklings become adult ducks. The leaves and blossoms arrive to cycle into death and back again. Even in places where the seasons do not shift, there is change, nature is perpetually morphing.
Today what if you accepted the Truth that life is full of Change? What if you not only embraced this reality, you actually chose to celebrate it. How would such a shift impact your life? Would you stop worrying, stop trying to control, relax and allow?
People change, thus relationships change… Jobs shift and adapt to what comes next… Everyone exists on the timeline of life, aging is a part of the journey… Your life adventure infuses you with new understandings, growth, discoveries, lessons and glorious experiences – how fun to embrace with Truthful knowing that you are Changed by all of it.
I am one who embraces change with curiosity, openness, trust and faith. As I flow with Change, I am free.
Today’s Walking Naked Truth Practice:
Today notice your reactions to change. As you notice, decide if you want to react like a victim or celebrate with trust.
Begin to become aware of how “fighting change” has impacted your life.
As we come to the close in our exploration of Transformation, I wish to share the magic bullet which truly awakens massive Transformation – Gratitude.
When we lean into the power of gratitude we open the flood gates to an infinite expansion into the sensational feelings of love, joy, abundance, peace, contentment…
Try this – it is a simple practice to get you started in the dance towards Gratitude.
When you feel yourself frustrated with someone or something, stop to notice.
Take in a nice slow breath, hold it, then exhale slowly.
As you exhale shift to Appreciation. What can you Appreciate in the now moment.
It does not have to be about the frustrating issue, it can be about something else when you start.
Continue to Appreciate, bringing it back to the subject at hand. Maybe you can Appreciate the person, the opportunity to learn, to practice letting go, to embrace your power of choice, to be open to hearing something different, etc…
As you Appreciate you will notice how quickly you shift out of Frustration and into a space of Gratitude.
There is always something you can find to be grateful for. You are still breathing. You have a physical body. There are people who care about you. Your pillow is soft and comfortable when you sleep. You are human and thus at choice. The list goes on and on and on.
I challenge you to put this philosophy to the test.
For the next 2-3 weeks wake everyday thinking about everything you are grateful for.
Then as you go to bed, do the same thing, it is one of the most delightful ways to drift off to sleep.
If you want to really ramp things up, write a list of at least 10 things you are grateful for everyday in a Gratitude Journal.
At the end of this time or during, let us know what you experience.
I have no doubt that amazing things shall begin to unfold and become for you. You will be in awe with how joy just seems to bubble up from within. You may find yourself inspired and surprised by the incredible serendipities that happen.
Can’t wait to hear about your Transformational journey with Gratitude!!
In my last blog, I presented some of the opportunities life has gifted me with to explore Choice, to choose being a “victim” of my life story, or a “hero” lifted by gratitude.
Are you tired of hearing yourself tell the story about what “happened to you” AGAIN?
Are you ready to let go, surrender, forgive and thus open up space for more?
Do you prefer to repeat life patterns over and over and over again?
Do you enjoy being stuck in mediocrity and suffering?
Writing that last post was very difficult for me, I hear people say you have to share what you’ve come through, so people can relate. Yet, why? Why do I want to focus on that which was? Why would I not wish to live and celebrate in the here and now?
As I work with clients, and teach classes/workshops I am often shocked by how most people want to carry around their “sad story”. They choose to stay stuck between yesterday’s negative experience and today’s opportunity.
I wish for all people the pure Grace of Beingness! The Freedom, Peace, Joy, Expansive Gratitude and Playful Wonder of this space just makes me smile from within, creating a simple giggle.
I close today by asking you, “How do you want to journey life – stuck in your chosen suffering or dancing in the grace of Being?”It is Your Choice….
Today I challenge you, write down all the “stories” you have told over and over and over again while holding a negative emotion/energy.
Ask yourself if hanging onto this story serves you?
We shall explore more tomorrow.
If you Choose “Learning to Dance in the Grace of Beingness“, then continue to join me, for we shall explore more about Beingness and then next week dive into Transformation.
What has brought me to this page to write about “Beingness”? In the chaotic busy world we live in, it almost sounds backwards from what we are taught. “Just Do It” is the mantra, right?! The key word there being “DO”.
I respect and honor that life does requiring us “Doing”. However, I have learned the hard way, that if you do not first live from that place of “Being” the DO is like swimming against the tide in a hurricane.
Who am I to write such stuff, you may ask? How can I remotely know how challenging life can be?
Well, life has gifted me with many opportunities to vulnerably surrender into the pure grace of BEINGNESS. I’ve had so many opportunities to “give up”, feel like a failure and choose not “good enough”.
Here are a few of those cutting edge times (perhaps you will relate):
I watched my car get pulled away because I could not make the payments. Leaving me and my two young children with our walking feet and bikes for a year and a half (my daughter was in first grade, my son in fourth).
I closed the door to my home of sixteen years, as the mortgage company took possession, for I could not make the payments. This amazing home grew me up as a woman, witnessed the birth of my two children and graced me with solace and peace in the storms of life.
I have lost jobs without warning, leaving me with no way to provide for my children and self.
I have juggled working three jobs to make ends meet.
I’ve experienced having only a $1.76 to my name and wondering how I was going to feed my family and keep a roof over our head.
I went back to college full time in my forties, while working a job and raising my 6 year old daughter and 9 year old son. At this time we had no car.
We had to move in with an incredibly gracious family for five months. Three teenagers, three adults, one bathroom in 1800 square feet. My 16 year old son and I were roommates during this time, his bed rested less than two feet from mine.
I had every penny garnished from my bank account by a credit card company. The money was for rent, food, and living expenses for my children and self. It was ALL gone. Discovered this loss as I tried to pay for our groceries.
These are just a few of the times in my life where I was pushed up against the wall to make a Choice.
The pure state of “Beingness” is the loving grace that calls one home to a truth beyond verbal sharing. It is the infinite calm in the storm, the peace in the chaos, the light in the dark… In a world that teaches “Do”, I wish to help you remember and discover the empowering gift of “Being” – for it is the loving, peaceful center within the storm.
What an amazing week it has been to explore our Expectations. Now it is time to decide for yourself which Expectations serve you, creating more in your life and which ones burden you, limiting your growth and joy?
Life is a constant journey of becoming. If we notice, breathe into our personal awareness and then choose for OURSELVES we start to travel down the path that is uniquely our own.