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…
During this time of “stay at home” it has been easier for me to find that sweet spot, the whisper tucked between the multiple layers of silence. It is a vibratory space, one that is texturally exquisite and infinite once you empower its presence. Most people I meet are unaware of its existence. Many are afraid to allow it to surface, for in doing so, they would be called to enjoy their own company. Releasing all busy-ness. Freeing oneself of the obligatory do. Gracing the moment with just being.
The resonating whisper that is so eloquently wrapped amidst the divine layers of silence is the supreme land of freedom. It lifts one out of human suffering, suspending all time and place. A space of paramount intimacy where the in and out breath merge with grace. Quieting the pulsating ebb and flow of blood. Soothing the heartbeat to a gentle murmur. Inviting the skin to relax and float upon the coagulated mass beneath its protective sheath. All that separates evaporates. Leaving in its wake the galactic interconnection of all that is…
One can witness the ethereal whisper, it is –
the pause before a new born takes its first breath…
a blossom thrusting the first petal forth…
a soft crack exposing a hatchling…
the heavy dark clouds at the edge of releasing the first raindrop…
the buoyant zone crossed by the mind embracing sleep…
a mother quietly viewing her child…
the moment a leaf touches the water…
The transcendent whisper perpetually summons, alluring one to tiptoe into the omnipotent realm, an invitation to vibrationally dance upon the edge of contrived human existence and the sempiternal expansion of all that is.
What might we discover about ourselves and the cosmos we float within if we welcome the layers of silence, beseeching the centriole whisper to swaddle us in its infinite glory? Could we potentially navigate our human existence with a newfound harmony? Rising in vibrational crescendo to a state of tranquility?
I invite you today to find the whisper. Allow yourself to float within the unparalleled effervescent freedom of the whisper.
Outside my bedroom stands a glorious cherry tree. I call it the cotton ball tree, for in the Spring it becomes a round white fluff ball balancing on a dark gray leg. When viewed from the other side of the pond, it receives grand compliments like the belle of the ball, dressed in regal finery.
She is the first to don her green as the winter wanes, preparing and fueling herself to burst forth with voluptuous magnificence. Watching the tightly wrapped buds as they expand in preparation to expose themselves, beckons one to be patient. Then it happens, the soft white nearly translucent petal leans back, inviting the others to join her, telling them it is safe to open up.
It is a grand party, they dance and wave on the currents of seasonal change. Quietly role modeling for the nearby trees that the time is now, a merry invitation to play.
I am awed by their extreme courage and strength, such delicate baby soft petals do not give way to the last ambushes of winters gusts. They stay perched in their efflorescence perfection. I am mesmerized by their unabashed elegance and enraptured by their swirling soft perfume.
The time of fading looms. They cling to the final glory days. Intense gales with blurring rain try to undress the dignified queen of trees. The fair ivory petals do not forsake her, they stay, grasping to the last days of their eminence.
A blanket of white bares the truth, fading with quiet acquiescence they fall. Knowing that their time in the sun has come to an end. They exalted the rising of Spring, tempting others to brave the change, now with extreme fortitude, they accept death.
I sit in admiration of their unpretentious valor, for they did not try to burst on the scene before they were welcomed and they do not linger longer than they were invited. There is a resplendent acceptance that life cycles, birth, life, death.., birth, life, death….
As the sun worships their last moments in the cradle of leaves, I too stand in adoration of their benevolent presence and passing. Our time shall come again on the ebb and flow of seasons. I thank you humbly dear blossom for the reminder that everything has its season, blooming in perfection with the raw truth of impermanence and fragility in the presence of time.
As discussion begins to formulate around going back to work, I find myself in deep reflection. What did I learn about myself during this time? How do I feel as I stare down the barrel of returning to the 9-5 game established in this society?
My family and friends would easily share with you that I have never been very good at staying within the lines of “societal expectations”. Since I was a child there is a different drum that beats in my heart, like a far off voice, it beckons me to follow my heart’s desire, or as Joseph Campbell’s famous quote wisely shares, “Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls.”
What a tightrope tap dance it has been for me. Like doing the “Hokey Pokey” I sometimes put my little foot in, however, more often I am yanking it out quickly, fearing it will get sucked into the quick sand of society. So many times along this journey I have quietly wished that I could be “content” with the cookie cutter society we’ve established, “just “Baaa…” along Fawn, follow the flock, be happy with what is, stop walking off the path,” I whisper to myself. The voice of “reason,” as some would call it, became even louder when I brought children into this world. In reflection, I wonder at moments, what if, I had chosen a path more in line with my values, like the movie “Captain Fantastic”. Of course part of my dream involved not doing it alone, I wished for that partner who also desired a sustainable life upon the land. Sooo.., I gave up on that dream, or better stated, I put it on the shelf where it has collected dust and cobwebs for years.
This unexpected time to truly just be with myself and my children has graced me with the opportunity to dust off the values and characters on the shelf; informing the spiders that they will no longer keep them company. In complete honesty, I started to dig into the protected chambers of my heart and soul when my son left for college three years ago, for his his sister was not far behind him. What did I desire for my second half of life? Where did I wish to live? Create, share, explore..? That time is now!
Pulling out my tightrope dancing shoes, gathering my dusted off values, passions and dreams I sit down to visit. Like grass erupting through concrete, the lusted for aspirations blossom anew. Pulling out pen and paper, my forever best friends, I make a list. What did I love about this “stay at home” time?
I loved not commuting to work.
I relished the quietness, listening to the layers of silence as they expanded.
I fell in love all over again with putting words to page, allowing my muse to dictate the flow.
I joyously celebrated the dream to “work & live” in the same place.
My body, mind and spirit relaxed into the beautiful simplicity, the washing away of chaos, stress and worry.
I celebrated the chance to only let in what inspired me, stirred my desires and ignited my passions.
Relishing the completely present time with my children, sharing meal creations, conversations, movies, games and walks.
Letting my body move without an alarm clock or tight schedule.
Sinking more deeply into the grace that nature offers in her infinite wisdom.
The gift to stay away from the chaos of the city, keeping my distance from the negative energy created by stress and angst.
The chance to play with new ideas, free of demands and interruption.
Allowing my quiet introverted soul to breathe deeply, embracing the peace that always is…
What did my list tell me? Certainly I can go back to “normal”, get back on the merry go round of commuting, punching in and out on the time clock, maintain a home, car, blah, blah, blah… Or I could begin to seriously listen to that far off voice. Encouraging the whispers of my heart and soul to rise in serenade, to crescendo into the new future.
I am curious, as we continue to navigate the COVID-19 phenomena,
What are you learning about yourself?
What is important?
What are your desires and dreams?
Do you want to go back to normal?
Were you happy?
Is this a new opportunity?
A chance to reflect, dust off forgotten wishes?
I shall conclude today with another powerful quote from Joseph Campbell –
“We’re so engaged in doing things to achieve purposes of outer value that we forget the inner value, the rapture that is associated with being alive, is what it is all about.”
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…
Guess What?… Uncertainty struck! It showed up with earth shaking realism!
And it continues… Idaho has experienced 37 aftershocks following the 6.5 magnitude that rattled everything last evening. According to the National Weather Service it was the second largest earthquake in the world for March 2020.
One would say, be careful what you say, type, or think, for you might get a real life example.
When I look in my review mirror, it is dotted with such moments. All in their own “glory” and unexpectedness. When I sit with those life experiences, really feeling into them and exploring their “aftershocks”, I am humbled, for they all lead to what comes next. More powerfully they have sculpted who I am today. Chiseling out the aspects of myself that did not serve or fit my new expansion.
This time in our world with COVID – 19 is another such opportunity. It is having many aftershocks for us to see and personally know, each and everyone of us is being hit by its quake in some form.
What will we choose to do with the experience?
Will you go back to life as it was?
Will you start out being more thoughtful and reflective in your daily choices, only to shift back to your norm?
Will your children, family, friends have the same memories as you?
During your “stay at home” time did you “numb out”, distract yourself, or embark on a new “self-love” behavior and habit?
Did you take this opportunity to make changes?
Did you reach out and connect with others?
Will you go back to the job you hate or did you work on your resume, determined to create change?
Did you learn to appreciate what you have or continue to take it for granted?
I think the thing that always baffles me is why do we “need a wake up call” to create change? Why do people not take action steps daily towards their dreams?
This time has gifted me with the opportunity to reflect more deeply. I can honestly say that I have never truly given up, despite unexpected derailments and intense uncertain times, I have never fully given up. I still have three dreams that intertwine to co-create the life I intend to live.
They are in process, they are becoming, they are a part of who I am….
I am at choice to enjoy the journey along the way or get frustrated because it has not fully happened yet. Which sounds more fun to you? Personally I prefer the first, for I do respect, honor and know that life is absolutely splattered with Uncertainty! So, I choose to aim my rudder towards my desired destination, celebrating that there will be moments when it is a wild ride (here are a couple of those opportunities). I hang on with a sense of adventure, vulnerable openness and joy for the present moment.
What aftershocks will this time offer you?
Will you be a passive apathetic bystander?
Will you take action towards your dreams?
Will you reach out?
Will you embark on a new journey?
Will you cradle with gratitude the blessings in your life?
Will you empathetically honor and assist those most intimately struck by this virus?
I have grown to understand that some of the most profound changes in life happen over time with small simple daily action. We do not have to have an earthquake, tsunami, or pandemic to create change in our life, we just have to Choose to step, “putting one foot in front of the other…”
On that note, I wish you well on this glorious day, that shall never be again...
The title of my blog site is “Walking Naked Truth”, if you check out the “About” page you will get an in depth explanation of this title. In today’s writing I come to the page wishing to embody and present the “naked truth”, so we may “walk” towards that which we fear and face it.
At this unusual time in our history there is an increased sensation of fear, worry and stress as I discussed in my other blog site – “The Beingness Project”. Where do these feelings bubble up from, why are they on the rise, paralleling the numbers of COVID-19 diagnosed cases?
It has been my experience in this life journey that humans have this belief that they can control. That they are in control. That they “make things happen” and “make things stop”. I marvel at this belief and unspoken desire to force the flow, versus be in the flow.
The raw truth, everything is always “Uncertain” and actually “out of our control”. We merely choose to steer the rudder, or attempt to push life the direction we want it to go. Often there is this feeling or belief that we are making it happen. Is this true? Let’s explore it.
Someone in your family moves away, gets sick or changes an aspect of their life, does that impact you?
A tornado spins through your town, does that change life?
Your boss lets you go, does that impact your present reality?
You win or inherit a million dollars, does that create change in your life?
Your child falls and breaks a leg, will this change daily life for you?
You birth a healthy baby into your life, will life stay the same or be in your control?
You know that I can go on and on and on, for the truth is, one never knows. Often we are blessed to have life flow along as we “think it should”, keeping us in a state of belief that we have it all under control. In a mere second it could all change.
Here is the glorious freedom in accepting that life is a journey of “Uncertainty” , you ALWAYS have the opportunity to CHOOSE how you will react. No matter what is happening, unfolding, or becoming you get to choose how you will BE in that moment. You are also at choice with how you will feel as you decide what you want to do next, create, have, etc… (Explore this more deeply in a previous post)
COVID – 19 has us all staring down the barrel of uncertainty. Sitting deeply in the truth that something we cannot see is actually in control. We can choose fear, we can choose worry, we can choose to be stressed. However, I prefer to choose quiet reflective calm. Breathing into the truth that I can choose how I want to feel right here, right now. (Here is a worksheet for you to play with). I know I cannot change the virus. I know I cannot personally cure it. I know what I can do to support my family. I know what I can do to help others to the best of my ability. I know that it will CHANGE, another given truth. Change is always taking place.
I personally like to look at what I fear, worry about, or allow to stress me out, for as I truly notice and investigate, I quickly discover that in truth “I am okay”. As I calm down and breathe more deeply into BEing okay, I can more easily explore the deeper cause of my concern. In doing this I then realize that by letting go with trust and doing the best I can, the vulnerable open space I step into puts me back into the natural flow of life. I stop trying to swim upstream and force the tide. (See relevant post regarding 2009, when I did “lose” everything)
I invite you, I invite all of us, to breathe deeply. To look at “uncertainty” with the realization that it is not just now that this is the truth, but always. Then we can breathe more deeply into the space with gratitude, for this means we can let go and choose how we want to feel right now. Walking with acceptance and inner knowing that life is an uncertain journey, we empower and accept each individual unique path. There will be bumps along the way, some may even change life drastically, yet, each person is at choice to choose how they want to feel in the NOW moment.
I believe it is a gift to experience the spectrum of emotions we are given as a human – joy, sad, loss, happy, anger, excitement, anticipation, concern, doubt, fear, love, grace, worry, peace, etc… I like to recognize and feel the diversity of emotions life offers me. I get to honor them and reflect on why I am feeling that way, what I want to do with it and if I wish to change it. If I allow it all to flow, versus holding onto the emotion, stuffing it, or blaming someone else, then I am calmly free to move into what I want to experience and maybe even learn from the process. The power I have is in CHOOSING how I will react and BE in the life experience that is always unfolding and becoming.
At this time in history we are being given a chance to see, feel and understand ourselves more deeply. Life is uncertain. I think it would be a very boring journey if we could control everything. Uncertainty stimulates a journey, an adventure to learn, grow and expand into what comes next. Uncertainty is an empowering bridge to a life of choice. It gifts us with opportunities to practice choosing how we want to feel and BE.
So lets look at Uncertainty with Naked Truth and Walk forward into the flow of life –
How do you want to feel?
What about this pandemic worries you the most?
Can you look straight at that worry/fear?
When you look at it from your heart and not your mind (turn off the news), does it shift?