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…
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.”
I am curious, do you allow yourself the quiet reflection time to mosey within the recesses of your thoughts, memories and life snapshots?
Do you take the opportunity to truly notice what makes you smile? What expands your heart with the warm sensation of love?
Our memories offer us a deeper understanding of what makes us happy. What brings us joy and ignites a passion for life. We can use our memories to co-create more in life, choosing with intention to expand and do that which makes us happy, fills us with love, peace and true contentment.
As I allow myself to connect the dots of what lights me up, I discover a continuity over the fifty plus years I have journeyed:
Quality time with people I enjoy and love.
Being enveloped in nature.
Putting words to the page.
Sitting near a crackling fire on a crisp day/night.
Feeling my body come alive when it works out, goes for a walk, magnificently functions as a healthy unit.
Preparing healthy luscious meals for myself and others.
Learning and expanding in the areas I find interesting and have curiosity about.
Listening to music and feeling the emotions it stirs.
Enjoying the warmth of a gentle touch or reaching out to touch another.
The pure eloquent perfection of the rising or setting sun, bright light of the moon and stars, gentle breeze, harsh wind…
The deep truth I find is that if I peel back the layers and feel into life, I discover that I find the greatest joy in the simple pure things. The genuineness of true connection, the pureness of nature, the sincerity of presence and being.
At this time in my life I am hugging in gratitude the amazing gifts of my past. This includes the challenges, for they give life texture, growth, expansion and becoming. I have been blessed to experience immense diversity in my professional and personal life, a very colorful tapestry that makes me smile. While I gratefully embrace my past, I excitedly glance into the future, what comes next, how will life unfold, what shall become.
Isn’t life truthfully always at this crossroad?
We assume that we have many tomorrows, yet we do not know. We take for granted that things will stay the same, yet, change is always a given. We are a funny creature, for we fear change, while begging for it.
In truth, we stand always in the dynamic paradox of what was, is and shall be. A fine dance that is stamped by unexpected percussion within the symphony of life
When I feel back into my life there is a reoccurring joyous sensation about getting into the zone of allowing words to flow upon a page. To experience a connection that is not my brain thinking about what I should write, instead it is a glorious flow that seems to bubble up from some unknown space. I suppose some people take drugs to feel such a high, for me it is a delicious vibration of oneness, a twilight zone where the world stops and only the fluidity of words exist. The other night I was blessed to dip into such a zone. Below is what flowed forth, may it stir within in you a curiosity to question.
“When will we understand the message of time eternal? The infinite wisdom of all civilizations, populations, people and souls?
Our most intimate desires and passions all lead back to the same for every being…
We ache to love and be loved, to truly see another and to vulnerably be seen; all blemishes and raw expressions in full view.
We crave belonging, embodied in a community who journeys our ups and downs, picking us up and letting us fall as we learn to fly.
To feel vibrant, alive, dynamic and of service – needed and wanted by others.
To feel healthy and happy, a reflection of how we honor ourselves and others.
If all “things and stuff” were washed away by the seas of time and we stood naked and exposed, what memories would pick us up? Keep us going? Beckon us forth? It would be the real moments of connected love, the shared joy with others, the sense of belonging.
Power leaves us holding nothing but empty resources which wash and burn away…
Money can buy everything but the sincere heart of others. It does not fill the soul with memories, or keep us warm in the envelope of belonging.
Stuff only makes us smile when it connects us with others, with those we love and cherish. The perfect shoe will not find the prince. The eloquent jewels will not make the heart dance. The stunning outfit will only remind one of the emptiness within.
Power, money, resources, all enrich, make more, co-create and expand when shared with genuine love, grace and respect.
They enrich the joys and pleasures shared with others. They can help to ease the injury and harm of life’s bumpy path. They are not bad or evil, merely unemotional objects that can serve or strangle.
Will the human ever truly understand? Will we ever put down our flags to see there are no differences? Can we stop claiming, blaming and destroying, to discover that the world spins more fully when there are no barriers or walls.
If we do not learn, we shall again be a lost civilization:
An Egyptian pyramid
An Aztec empire
An empty cave dwelling
A Roman colosseum
A Greek parthenon
An Indigenous burial ground
Our ashes, no matter our color, gender, religion, or heritage, still blow in the wind when we die…
Our bones, skin and muscle become fertilizer as we break down in the earth – no superiority or class distinction spares the decomposing…
Our belongings collect dust, break down and lose all value…
Our homes sit vacant and empty, a hollow encasement of what was once a place to congregate…
We think ourselves wise and better than those before, yet, here we are again repeating the pattern of time eternal…“
I come back to the opening discussion, can you sit with your life experience and memories to discover and choose the things in life that bring you joy, ignite passion and awaken your vibrancy to life?
The view in the rearview mirror can be used to uncover and light up the path before you. You are at choice, hit repeat over and over again, it will give you what you already knowORlook back to dance forward with intention.
My challenge this week for you –
Make a simple list of the things that bring you joy.
Pick at least three of those things to DO MORE of.
Decide how you will bring more of the things you enjoy into your daily life.
Focus on what brings you joy, for what you focus upon becomes more.
Forgive yourself and let go of any thing you are regretting and holding on to.
This moment is a new moment – BE in it!
Until next week, enjoy your “Walking Naked Truth”...
What might you learn about yourself, your family and the world around you if you truly explored the Expectations that riddle your life?
If you were suddenly picked up and placed in the middle of a small village in Vietnam what would you witness that was different? What Personal Expectations about how people should live, might you face? What about how we should eat? What we should be doing? How we dress, communicate, the list goes on and on…
Now you are lifted and placed in the middle of Moscow, Russia. What might you struggle with here? Why? How do your Expectations that are wrapped up in your Domesticated upbringing impact how you adapt?
Next you are carried to the Al Haram Mosque, Mecca, in Saudi Arabia. What would you feel? Why? How much of what you feel is created by what you are taught, what you should EXPECT by being there?
Finally you find yourself dropped into a farm in the middle of Nebraska, in the United States. As you place yourself into the experience what do you now feel? Notice your physical, mental, and emotional reactions. Where do they come from? Why?
As you gift yourself with the awakening to your Domesticated Expectations the world becomes a much more friendly place, for we begin to understand that everyone is living from a place of “taught” ways to BE and DO. As a human BEING what might you discover if you explore the depths of your own desires and passions, setting yourself free from Expectations that do not serve your truth?
On this final day of exploring “Our Emotions” before we move into Expectations, I wanted to offer and recap some of this last weeks offerings. I share the video from “The Beingness Project” Vlog as a reminder that all we have to do is BE. In the chaotic world of today we have grown detached from our inner truth, racing from one “To Do” thing to the next, barely breathing, as we march through life without knowing what we truly feel. The ironic twist of it all, is that we are ultimately driven by “What We WANT to FEEL”, so why do we run from that which we seek, a Domesticated Paradox.
Answer these questions from the heart:
Why are you working so hard?
What do you want to achieve? Why?
Why do you want a lot of money?
Why do you want to have nice things?
Once you have everything you “want” – what then?
Why do you seek love?
What does a nice home and possessions give you?
Why do you desire to travel?
If you really answer the above questions, you will discover that at the root of them ALL, is the desire to “FEEL” a certain emotion. Such as, freedomfelt through financial abundance. Acceptance and a feeling of being chosen, when we are loved. Pridewith a sensation of successwhen we achieve a certain status. Joy, connection, and curious wonderas we travel to new places and meet new people. Peace, contentmentand an inner sense of feeling safewhen we relax within the comforts of our own home. You get the idea…
When we accept the truth that we are driven by the DESIRE to feel a certain way, we open up to the true power of our human spirit. If we first embrace the emotion we wish to experience, the rest will start to become. We must first feel joy within ourselves, to then truly experience it. Freedom is evoked from our own heart and soul, someone does not give you freedom. Peace does not reside outside ourselves, it comes from within. All that we seek exists inside us, once we Choose to own and BE in our desired emotions, our life experience begins to unfold for us.
It gets back to the simple practice of Noticing what you are feeling, Breathing deeply and Choosing what you desire to feel. Then BE it.