Tag Archives: aging

Getting Out of the Way

Dolly Parton and her 1964 Cadillac. Vintag.es

There are times in life when the best thing we can do is to get out of our own way. I feel oftentimes, unwittingly, we block the very things we desire from entering into our life. We don’t mean to. We aren’t intentionally putting up a road block. But the energy that powers the Universe is similar to the energy nestled in the walls of our home, it works the way it works. You can’t yell at your outlet. You can’t beg the lights to turn on. Either we work – with it – or we don’t.

A lot of what I’m doing currently is just that; stepping aside so the energy of the Universe and my higher self can step in. Its easy to get caught up in the minutia of life. My analytical, need-to-get-things-done brain will go into hyper drive. I don’t fault myself for this. Growing up in an alcoholic home my mind had to be on high alert most of the time. Always looking for indicators of the conditions around me. I carried that forward, and in some ways its served me well. But it can also disconnect me from the flow.

Have you ever noticed how some of the best things in life have, seemingly, come out of the blue. You hadn’t even known certain hues were possible until, by chance, you were in the right place at the right time to catch that particular sunset. Or, someone came into your life, appearing almost out of thin air. And it was just the right person at the time. If you had to plan it, you couldn’t have because your mind couldn’t conceive beyond its own history. It only knows what it knows. 

So sometimes, we block energy, the Universe, All That Is, by holding onto what has been. We envision or plan based on historical data. We can’t imagine a color we haven’t yet seen. Most of us can’t imagine a smile not yet given to us. Whether we mean to or not we all possess a set of blinders. The Universe does not. The Universe knows that the very thing you desire might be something you haven’t yet experienced. 

Then, the best thing to do is step aside. Be open. Try to be a bit more childlike with your wonder. Allow yourself to be amazed. Even if those things are simple and appear insignificant. They aren’t. The energy behind it is far from insignificant. Its the exact energy you’re wanting to dabble in if you’re wanting something new. Especially, oh especially, if your life has stalled and feels like each day is a repeat of the last. 

I was recently caught up in wonder. Pointing at things in amazement. New things. Different things. Beautiful things. Things I didn’t even know existed. Like a small child, I was in awe. I wasn’t thinking about things working out. I wasn’t thinking about business plans. I wasn’t thinking about the rate of financial returns or chapters of books. I wasn’t thinking about deadlines or obligations. I got out of my way for a bit. And in that moment I let something new creep in. I allowed myself a moment to shift my energy. Oddly enough, not long after, that shift helped with the minutia. More importantly, I got out of the way long enough for the Universe to bring into my life things I didn’t even know I needed. But dear reader, once I was presented with it, I knew I had needed it.

So as you step into your day, if you can, do your best to step aside. Get out of your own way. Set aside ideas of how it should be. How its always been. And be open to the unplanned, unimagined. Allow for something new.

Sane

In Relation

I’ve been thinking how our life experience is not meant to be insular. Everything we do is in relation to something. Its through our exposure to others that we learn about ourselves. I should say, we have the opportunity. Often, we see others as being separate from us. I don’t believe that’s so. 

People bring out the best in us. They can also bring out the worst. The key is that its being brought out. Meaning, it was already there. For the most part, they didn’t create it.

I think we can meet the most detestable of individuals and, depending upon where we are within ourselves, it may not ruffle one feather. We don’t resonate with their energy. We don’t operate on their vibrational level. We witness it. We see it. But we aren’t it. But also, we can meet the most lovely of individuals and, depending upon the love we possess within ourselves, we can either bask in the mutually swirling love or not notice it’s even there. We can’t experience beyond what we are.

Life is constantly giving us opportunities to take stock of where we are. Its near impossible to not know where we reside vibrationally. We work in relation to others and experiences. How we handle life reveals where we are within ourselves. I have many moments where I have to stop and tell myself to acknowledge how I feel. I do this during both good times and not so good times. I do this because there are moments when I am truly baffled by myself. And in those times, I have to ask myself why something is making me feel so peculiarly wonderful or bothering me to the point where I stare at the ceiling at 2am; causing me to kick a foot out from under the covers in exasperation.

And with the things that upset me, if I’m brave and honest enough to dig deeper – I almost always find an area within myself that’s been spotlighted; where my true feelings don’t match what I tell myself.

Telling yourself something does not always mean it’s what you believe. With somethings we’re all talk. We make that discovery when exposed to something unexpected. It’s up to us to heal it or ignore it. I don’t believe we are meant to be perfect. We don’t have to do anything. But I will say dear reader, often when we ignore something it’ll circle back. Usually, growing with intensity and depth.

I’ve been through some rough stuff. And it’s entirely up to me how I view those events. Some I’ve handled well. Some not so well. What I know is this, I didn’t want any of them. But they were brought into my life for a reason. I may never fully know why. But I see what came from them. What I chose to take from them. And in many ways, as almost unimaginable as it may sound, I’m not entirely sure I’d change anything. I lived through them. So what I’m trying to say is this: whatever it is that you may be experiencing, take a moment to pause. Listen to your body. Pay attention to how you feel. What its telling you. Listen without judgement. You need to be your own safe space. And in the moments when you feel completely ripped to shreds. Just know that you have within you everything you need to pull from the moment what is necessary to rise higher.

Sane

Change of Plans

Good evening, dear reader. I’m here. Only now I’m writing under a moon that shines onto towering oaks draped in Spanish moss. You see, I decided I needed to make some changes. This change was completely under my control. And it felt good. But it comes on the heels of a lifetime of change that always felt beyond me – as if a force was flicking my life like a toy; watching it spin. For what spiritual reason I can’t say. To test me. To see how I would respond. To see who would show up within me. To give me an opportunity for growth. Perhaps all the above. And I did. 

But there’s something about that kind of change that can really get to a person after awhile. That’s the thing with growth. The taller the stem, the stronger it needs to be to stand. And all of that sounds wonderful conceptually and philosophically, but it can be a bit rough in the undertaking. And yet, here I am. And here you are. Still standing. Still growing. Still slaying dragons and overcoming. 

In retrospect I’ve been able to make sense out of most all of the challenges that have come my way. Oh but I wish so many of them weren’t necessary. So I spent the day reflecting on why. Why is it necessary. I walked the ocean and let the brisk breeze speak. And They said, yes. But let us tell you why.

It’s not so much the challenge. Its who we are in those moments. What and who shows up within us. These things we perceive as punishment aren’t punishment at all. Its part of the deal of living on this spiritual plane and whether we understand it or not or remember it or not, which we don’t, we knew it before we emerged. 

This brought me little comfort. So I went deeper. Why is it we must lose things of value. Why do we sometimes have to let go. Their reply: It depends. Sometimes it has nothing to do with us, but it still provides an opportunity for expansion. Sometimes it’s because what we held onto was holding us back. There are times when the very roots we create under the belief of ensuring stability are the ones that tie us down. In other words, the reason varies greatly.

Life will change. Just when everything is set in place. Just when all our plans have been carefully crafted. It happens to us all. Sometimes we are the one who get to spin things and completely pull up roots. And maybe that’s what we need to do every now and again. Something out of the norm. Something unexpected, unplanned. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves that we aren’t as passive as we believe. And the calendar is a tool, it holds no guarantee. So take stock of how you feel now. What’s working. What’s not. What is it you’ve been waiting to do. And maybe you can’t do all that you want just yet. That’s okay. Take baby steps. Tiny little increments that have a way of shifting your vibration dramatically.

So whether you’ve changed your plans or Life has changed them for you – keep walking. I’ll be walking with you.

Sane

PS I’ve decided to take the next year to live a nomadic life. Thus far I have explored the peculiar islands lining the Georgia coast, stared at an armadillo, had lunch with some wild horses. Caught a wicked bout of covid. Had my tarot cards read in Savannah. Got pulled over by a Georgia State Trooper. And met an exceptional person who reminded me that we shouldn’t wait on life.

Unpacking Under the Solstice Sun

Carole Lombard Twentieth Century

I believe in living in harmony with the Universe. At least trying. So today, the summer solstice, marks an important occasion. It’s the longest day of the year. The day in which we’re the closest to the sun. Today, the sun is giving us all it can give.

Its almost as if the Universe is giving us extra time to examine those things that are working and those things that aren’t. Its a time to look at what we are carrying forward. We are energy. Everything is energy. Every thought. Every action. All things slowed down to the extent that they become manifest into a touchable mass. And those things softly floating in our head. All of it collects. 

Our pasts hold energy. And we often carry it with us every day. If we did this with only those things that delighted us, then that would be one thing. But the human condition being what it is, we hold tighter to those things that have caused us pain. We stack and pack them; reflecting upon them often. Like luggage, we have pain and hurtful words neatly folded and stored away. Then lug those bags with us wherever we go. Convinced they’re invisible unless we choose to show them to someone.

The reality is, they’re always visible. Like attracts like. Those suitcases radiate an energy that is felt by those around us. Most importantly, its felt by us. Dimming the brightest day. Haunting the most peaceful of nights. Interfering with our view of the world. Interfering with our view of ourselves. 

Some people carry their baggage like trophies. Like a high maintenance diva rolling in with carefully crafted designer luggage. Others merely have a backpack with a few hastily stuffed items. They try to travel light. Although the latter is much healthier than the former, today is a good day for all of us to set the bag down, and release what’s inside.

So today, I plan to do just that. I’ve done so much self work I’m always a bit shocked when the Universe shows me something new. Something hidden in there that I’d missed. But something was shown to me. It made me cringe. But I will write it down, and burn it under the abundant sun on this longest day of the year. Then I plan to play, even if just for a moment. To take in the world like a child, with wonder and delight. Setting aside my worries. Just for today. Wherever you are, and however you can, I hope you do the same.

Sane

My Fellow Mariners

Greta Garbo Harpers Bazaar 1930

I’m convinced life is easier for those born with a smile on their face. Maybe I had one. I don’t remember. And with both parents gone, I have no one to ask. But, if I did, then fairly early on it faded. Conflict started early. Growing up with an alcoholic meant chaos was just a breath away. Oddly enough, even though that conflict has never left me, I’m generally highly optimistic. And prone to bouts of spontaneous laughter. I even laugh by myself. I really can’t stand seriousness. But I’m like the water. I also have waves. 

I’ve worked hard to understand and master the waves. But they are what they are; they can easily interfere with my vibrational frequency; my outlook; my ability to move forward. Instead of gliding over glassy water, I’ve often found myself manning the helm trying to make sure no harm is done as the bow plunges low. Its exhausting. But it has given me a deeper appreciation for life. One that can’t be found on still water.

Nothing really compares to the feeling of looking back at what I’ve gone through knowing I made it. And every time the waves appear I get better at navigating them. I can’t say its thrilling in the moment. But much in the same way sleep never feels so good as it does after a hard days labor or a meal more delicious than after having gone hungry, nothing makes you feel more secure within yourself than knowing you can handle it when things go deep and life gets funky. The smile afterward is hard fought. 

I had a wave catch me by surprise recently. It shouldn’t have. I saw the storm coming. But I was lazy. With all the chaos in the world, the last place I wanted to find it was within me. Yet, there it was. Once alone, the outward smile faded and the wave crashed. I think some of you know the feeling.

As much as I dread those moments, my life has always been made richer because of them. Perhaps its because during those times I am forced to shut everything out and use laser sharp focus. And when I do, I hear more. I see more. And afterward when I am able to smile again, I smile wider. I dance freer. I play harder. I linger longer at the glory of nature. And most importantly, All That Is speaks clearer. 

We are all living our own journey – unique to us and only us. All going at our pace. Growing in our own way. For some its profoundly slow. Those who haven’t been wet a day in their life or don’t even understand the metaphor within these words. For others, we’re launched forward by a hard wind. I tend to gravitate toward fellow mariners. Those trying to figure out why they’re here, how it all works. Those who had to swim when they didn’t even have a boat. 

So to my fellow mariners, smile with me. You’ve earned it. Whether you are still underwater, making discoveries about yourself, life, and how we are all interconnected – finding your purpose. Or those who are, for a time, sitting on the bow enjoying a moment of calm. I want you to know, there’s a reason why you are here. You are moving forward quickly. You add to life because you navigate the waves. Every time you emerge, you do so with something more to offer. And if you can’t smile just yet, you are not alone. And you will again. 

Sane

Broken

Harpers Bazaar, Katharine Hepburn 1932

Good evening, dear reader. It’s been awhile. I hope you’re well. I hope life is making sense. I hope you are smiling often. And I hope when you look in the mirror – you appreciate what you see. I think that is why I’m writing tonight. I felt led to slide my work aside, and say something to you. I haven’t a clue yet what that is. So in many ways, as always, we will be reading this together.

As many of you know, I’ve always felt broken. For the longest time I saw this as a flaw. A deficit. Something lacking. It took years for me to view it differently. And I’d be lying if I said there weren’t still times when my view needs a readjustment; when I need to center and reconnect with the deepest and highest version of myself. And then as if someone cleared the grime from my windshield, I can see clearly again. And this is what I see.

Sometimes we need to break what is to allow for what can be. Sometimes we need to break old patterns of thought, beliefs, long held hurts and memories. I can’t say why life pummels us the way it does. But I do know it matters what we do with the broken pieces. I grew up feeling broken, which made for a rather rough start. Was it necessary. I can’t say. 

But I can say, once I decided to look at those pieces; to examine them and deliberately choose to create something out of them, something of my own making – life changed. I think everyone is a little bit broken. But I also believe some of the most beautiful things in life, are born from the space between those broken pieces. 

It takes courage to hold these pieces in our hand. They’re sharp. But they are also beautiful. They are you. They are me. I’m still building a mosaic from the pieces I find within myself. An exhibit piece I hope to craft until I take my last breath. Those pieces are what allow me to see deeper into the eyes of those before me. Those pieces are what allow me to hear the words not spoken; sitting quietly behind the words that are. If it weren’t for the broken pieces within myself I wouldn’t have half the compassion for others that I do – not to mention the compassion I have for myself.

Life reflects are beliefs. So tonight, as we sit with spring hesitant to take the stage, I ask that you use this moment to spread out your broken pieces. Privately, lay them before you. Stand back and examine all the jagged edges. Notice the irregular shapes. Some small. Some large. Some still holding much of their original shape. Others, reduced to pebbles. And run your fingers across them. They didn’t break easily. Not one broke on its own. Something happened. 

Life isn’t meant to be stagnant. You are meant to change. You are meant to morph and evolve and grow and become. It may hurt to hold some of these broken pieces. If it hurts, it means you need to heal, release and allow for something new. Allow that piece to be part of something new – Its waiting for you to transform it – Every piece is waiting for you.

I like to think of myself as a beautiful mosaic. I am all of my broken pieces, rearranged, and deliberately transformed. But also, I am the spaces in between. I am newly formed pieces born of my own creation. I am multi-colored and consist of every shape imaginable. And I wouldn’t trade one broken piece for smooth, flawlessness. This mosaic is me and its so much more than its original form.

Sane

Better Days

Myrna Loy Vintage.es

With all the fuss of the holiday season, or perhaps for you personally, no fuss at all, but instead dread and loneliness – I want to say, give yourself something this year. Meant just for you. Kept close to your chest. 

Give yourself the gift of optimism. I know, it sounds whimsical. As if nothing more than fairy dust. Its not. You would be wise not to underestimate the magic inherent to this most special feeling. Because there is magic within optimism. Truly.

If you are bold, share it. But what matters most to me is that you feel it. You can keep it all to yourself if you like. And if that feels best, do only that. Feel it within. 

Humans possess these most peculiar things called feelings. For what purpose. I’ll tell you. They represent where you are in the moment, and represent your vibration; emitted to the world around you and far beyond. The Universe responds to your feelings. You respond to your feelings. Your feelings – vibration – sets the wheels into motion. The essence of what you feel is then repeated in your life, over and over. So as you let go of this past year, and turn to face the one before you – give yourself the gift of optimism. 

I want you to actually, deliberately give it to yourself. You deserve it. And no one is going to give you this gift, except you. I don’t know what is before you. I don’t know what has happened over the past year, two years, or decade – or for some – your whole life. I do know that many have endured hardships that’ve made it hard to find the joy in life. I know this feeling. Oh dear reader, I know it well. And I would be lying if I said I don’t still struggle to find the joy, every now and again. It happens to us all.

Joy exists. It’s on the path. Getting there starts with optimism. It starts with hope. It starts small. Its the first step. Take it. Within everything, find something that is going well. And if not well, then not horrible. And if that’s not doable, if what’s before you is void of any hope – shift your gaze. Please. 

Look to nature. It always possesses optimism. It never fails to show what can be. It never fails to show the promise of change. Out of tough times, buried under the cold hard ground, can spring life. How a magnificent flower can possibly push through the dirt is beyond me, but it does. And so can you. 

I like to think that little seed buried under all that weight, is optimist. It wants to see what rests ahead. It is hopeful that if it follows the urge to move forward it will, one day, see the sun. Often, I feel like that seed. Buried. But, I’m moving. And eventually I will see the sun. And more often than not, I have and do and will. 

So together, let’s let go of this last year. Regardless of what went down, let’s send it off with love and light. And together, give ourselves the gift of optimism. And with that, turn our gaze upward – to better days. 

Sane

Dig a Little Deeper

I think it’s becoming inescapably clear, something is going on. Of course, science said we were going to be in this boat. This level of a pandemic. But I’m talking about more than that.

Sometimes when I’m walking, looking up at the trees – listening to them speak – I’m reminded that its not all about us. We’re just one of the many inhabitants on this glorious planet. And as remarkable as we can be, we can also be absolutely loathsome. Everyone and everything matters. And I think something is trying to remind us of that. Something is giving us the opportunity to care not just about ourselves, but for one another and everything around us. To care for what’s under our feet, as well as who’s standing next to us.

I don’t know when mankind abandoned humanity. I’m not sure if it was ever in fashion. From all my research it seems we’ve been a pretty inconsiderate lot since early on. We live in a world where kindness is seen as weakness and hurting one another is seen as strength. Not to me. I’m still digging and mining for the best in mankind; the gold that runs within the hardened rock. It’s there. It’s malleable, its allowing, and its more valuable than the hardened substrate around which its surrounded. 

What if all of this awfulness were an opportunity given unto us to do right by one another. An opportunity to respond. Do we hoard or do we give. Do we step forward or run away. Do we strike out or embrace. Are we kind or indifferent. Do we follow through or do we ignore. The prompts are continual.

Mankind has always had to endure calamities. We do collectively. We do individually. Thats nothing new. And yet, it’s how we respond that shapes what unfolds next. How we respond shapes how we see the world. And the world responds. We have a beautiful symbiotic relationship with the world, which includes the earth. And, those around us.

I can’t say I’d blame the planet if it simply shook us off. It’s given us ample time to respect it. Like a negligent partner, we haven’t listened. And the Universe has given us more than one chance to care for one another. So if like a dog with fleas the planet decides to rid itself of us with a thorough shake, I think I’d understand. And yet, I want a chance to say…

it’s not easy being an individual with individual thoughts and feelings and history and dreams, while living in a world surrounded by other individuals. It’s just not. But some of us really do try. We love the smells you offer. We love the darkness with its stars. We love the sun with its warmth. We love smiles from strangers. And our hearts fill when we see people helping one another. And they do. And as heartbroken as we are for the behavior of some, it’s not the behavior of most. Most care. Most are strong enough to be kind. Most want to see everyone thrive. Yes, we have some horrific bad apples out there and they are doing a lot of damage to the collective. But, I ask that you listen beyond the loudest and look past the most demonstrative. Dig deeper for those who are nestled between. Because within those hardened layers you’ll find gold and precious stones; the kind, the unselfish, the jewels of what humanity can be. Still flawed, in need of polishing, but we’re doing our best. 

Sane

The Sun is Still There

Did you know dear reader, that regardless of how dark the skies may appear sometimes, buried under thick clouds, the sun is still shining. It’s easy to forget that. Its easy to forget most anything we can’t readily see with our eyes. And yet our eyes are so terribly deceiving. 

We tend to only see what we expect to see. And depending upon how we feel, the lens through which we view the world gets shaped. So, imagine if you will, that you are not in a good place emotionally. Your world will represent that. There is no other way. Your lens has grown narrow.

There are two things going on: one, of course, is the half full half empty perception. That lovely trap where instead of seeing our glass as half full – we view it as half empty instead. Its easy enough to do. Humans are so flawed when it comes to certain things. Appreciation being one of them. Instead of seeing what we have, we see only lack. Quite quickly, that energy becomes us. We vibrate lack. We see only lack. If someone were to place a feast before us, or friends around us, we would only see the things that are missing. Life gives us our vibrational match. It works no other way.

The other thing that sometimes happens is, life has beaten us down to the point where our skies are dark. Something is moving through. We keep trying to see the sun, but can’t. And its not from a lack of trying. Its just in the moment, things are rough. Life gets rough. So if you are going through that right now, my sweet, dear reader, I want you to know – it will pass. And during that darkness, know this: the sun is still in its place. It’s still shining. It hasn’t gone anywhere. Those clouds are temporary. This moment, this situation is temporary. Hang on. Dig deep. Breathe. Take comfort knowing that as quickly as those clouds entered, they will leave.

Take this moment to nurture yourself. Find the light within you. Go deep. Get still. Repeat: this too shall pass. Because it will. And remember, the sun is still shining. Like everything, this moment is just temporary. Don’t be afraid to look out with a wide angle, even when its dark.

Love to you.

S.

The Stories We Tell

Lately I’ve been thinking about the stories we tell. The ones we tell others. The ones we tell ourselves. We do it so naturally we aren’t even aware. And yet the stories we share reveal the frame through which we view our life; our past and possible future. 

The truth is, we aren’t the stories we tell. We aren’t our past. We aren’t what has been to us or what we have done to others. We aren’t our occupation, or lack thereof. We aren’t defined by numbers; our zip code, bank balance, years of life or size. We aren’t any of these things. We are, however, how we view these things. Often its the very stories we tell that keeps us from living the life we desire. If everything possesses energy, and we know it does. Then when we tell stories that no longer honor us, we keep ourselves in bondage to what was. A place we don’t want to be. Maybe its where we once were. But that was then. This is now.

Our story is for us to write. And every day we are granted a blank page. Each of us is here with purpose, with something to contribute. Granted, many don’t know it. So let me share what I feel it is.

We are joy. We are meant to feel joy. We are love. We are meant to feel love. We are meant to rise above limited understandings and narrowly framed beliefs. We’re here to see those around us; and to do so with compassion. We are here to smile broadly and feel deeply. To stand in our truth and understand how we got where we are. No blame. No shame. Then move ahead. Always moving. Always crafting an ever evolving storyline that fits our designed narrative.

Today I am not who I was yesterday. Not really. Close. But not exact. Today I choose to see myself in a better light. I choose to make more time to find my joy. And if I fall short, I’ll start fresh tomorrow. I am the author of my life. And if I don’t like how its reading, I change it. I am not meant to hand over my power or pen. I am not meant to let those around me decide my worth. Instead, I am to find it myself. I fail often. But I’m getting better. I keep changing and moving forward until I notice that I’m smiling more, I laugh easier. And when I see those around me I know they too are on their own journey, at their own rate, on their own level. It’s not for me to judge. I’m not to look down. I’m not to put them up high. I stay in my lane and work on me. Love myself. Love my neighbor. Fail. Start over. Fail less. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

These are the chapters I’ve been scripting as of late. Its the perfect time to decide who you are. Every day is. I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life, dear reader. But I’ve also gotten a lot of things right. I can’t say I would do a lot differently, as I really enjoy how all those ups and downs have created the person typing these words. I am not my past. I am me. An ever evolving soul who wants you to know that you are what you decide. Decide well. You are worth it.

Sane