I have been struggling to come up with a topic for my first very first blog post. I’ve been thinking that I should be writing about the things I seem wedded to at this point in my life: Things like being as honest as possible with my adult children, even about that which makes me and them uncomfortable and things like my spiritual growth which right now means, meditating, journaling, chanting, and identifying and moving into my soul’s purpose. But the thing that is alive for me NOW, what is truly calling me right NOW is what the next iteration of my life will look like, feel like and be like. The life I imagine and vision but cannot yet touch. The life that will take hold once my children are all in college or in their work lives, the life after my jobby job as a corporate lawyer, (should I dare to leave or be forced out of the security of that which I have tried to create most of my adult life), the life that is simpler, the life that flows, the life that honors all that I am becoming.
After 50, some people seem to get pretty serious about finding the next thing. It’s like you suddenly realize that you probably have less time ahead of you than you have behind you and consequently, you need to make stuff happen like lickety split. It’s kinda like the “if you snooze you lose” part of the life game. The part where if you close your eyes for too long, you’ll wake up and be 70. While I don’t have any idea what’s next…yet…what I do know is that whatever form it takes it will be of my own conscious creation. In my twenties things just seemed to happen to me (although I know they really didn’t). There was very little purposefulness and “life things” just seemed to pull at me from the outside. There was constant external distraction to which I succumbed, and I simply followed where I was led. A little like an invisible string attached to my core that beckoned me this or that way. Whatever was guiding me at any given moment, I did that thing. After marriage and having children, I was appropriately pulled by my duties as a wife and mother.
But right now, I realize that for me, life is all about intention or at least it’s about to be. And the truth is, I’m really scared by that. Scared to actively make a decision and get it wrong, scared to upset others by awakening my rediscovered wildness, scared to try something or be something…new. However, I know that it’s time to feel scared and do it or be it …anyway. It’s time for courageous dreaming and courageous action. It’s time to be about not letting life slip away before I do; about stepping up and into life as fully as possible; about exploring passions, alternative careers, unexplored interests and loves. It’s time to awaken to the knowing that I can love deeply the people that I care about, but not love them so much that I sacrifice myself and fail to move forward in the way that is needed. It’s a little like finally making friends with the willingness to disappoint. Many of us have spent lifetimes doing the right thing and being worried about what others might think. For me it began with my parents, then my peers and spouse and somewhere along the way with my kids. It made for lots of incongruence. I was at times an imposter, always slipping away to activate and nurture the internal part of myself that needed attention. The part of myself I didn’t know. My meditation teacher once told me that meditation will shorten the distance between who you are inside and who you are outside. Through my practice, I’ve gotten closer.
As I navigate this next phase of my life I do so knowing myself better, trusting and loving myself more and realizing that I’m in a good place to make good decisions that will result in favorable outcomes. I know that if I do what is truly right for myself, it will be right for everyone in my world. I remind myself constantly that one of my biggest regrets would be the choices I didn’t make or the chances that I didn’t take that I knew in my heart would be right for me at any given time. Bracing myself for my next steps I lean into the words of Muhammed Ali, “He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.”
Kelli — this is inspiring. I want to do one of your retreats. I’d like a special one for Salem alumnae. Please get in touch! Love, Rah