The heart time

 

”I think midlife is when the universe gently places her hands upon your shoulders, pulls you close, and whispers in your ear:

I’m not screwing around. It’s time. All of this pretending and performing – these coping mechanisms that you’ve developed to protect yourself from feeling inadequate and getting hurt – has to go.

Your armor is preventing you from growing into your gifts. I understand that you needed these protections when you were small. I understand that you believed your armor could help you secure all of the things you needed to feel worthy of love and belonging, but you’re still searching and you’re more lost than ever.

Time is growing short. There are unexplored adventures ahead of you. You can’t live the rest of your life worried about what other people think. You were born worthy of love and belonging. Courage and daring are coursing through you. You were made to live and love with your whole heart. It’s time to show up and be seen.”

~ Brené Brown

We all go through phases of development, Eric Erickson talked about the stage of middle adulthood as generativity vs. stagnation.  One of the biggest risks of this stage is feeling a sense of stuckness and disconnection from what you love.  I like to think of middle adulthood as being called  the heart time.  It is time to invest in your heart.  To trust your heart wisdom over your mind.

Prior to that the intellect, and logic have priority with career, family, children, and achieving material success.

Later in mid-life you may have the house, the job the children.  What is left?  Your heart, your unexplored passion, the depth of your soul, asking yourself who am I now?

This is what your 50’s are about.

 

work with me: bring-balance.com

The delusion of permanence

 I remember when I went to australia with my husband in 2000.  We went to Perth and across to Melbourne.  We wanted to check out new Zealand but we said to ourselves “next time” we come back as we had planed to emigrate to Australia.  

We did not emigrate to Australia.  I have yet to see new Zealand.  

How often in my life have I told myself “next time”.  I will buy that crystal, or next time I will walk to the end of the beach.

Recently I went to Sedona to a retreat that is down a dirt road 2 hours from the airport.  After the retreat we had a day or two days to check out the vortexes close-by.  I had heard about Shaman’s cave, it is a tough hike in, quite remote-it is a place where shamans go to gain great spiritual insight.

I caught myself saying “next time we come we will plan a trip to the shamans cave”, putting it off assuming I will be back.  

How often in my life do I delay joy, assuming I will experience it at a later date? What if Janice Joplin is right and “tomorrow never comes”.  

What about fully enjoying a place while I am there.  What if I were to say to myself “I may never be back here”.  That is the real truth of life.  Am I am just waking up from the dream….

Life is impermanent and constantly changing.   What is real is this moment that is right in front of me, and the love that is available to me right here, right now.

work with me: bring-balance.com

 

 

Who are you when no one is watching?

social courage: standing up, speaking up when no one is looking.

Social courage means not conforming to the expectations of others, being willing to show your true self even if it means risking social disapproval or punishment. It means being able to express opinions and preferences without checking to see if they are in line with “everyone else’s” opinions and preferences.” Wikipedia

I remember years ago when I was married to my first husband.  People at his work were making sexist jokes.  My husband came home and told me that he was uncomfortable but did not say anything.   We had a discussion about how to speak up so you don’t lose your job.   He went to work the next day,  and expressed his discomfort with the discussion to those involved.  He did not attack the people, he did not get self-righteous and tell them what they need to do.  He just spoke his truth.

Social courage is speaking your truth, even when no one of importance is watching.

 

 

For us not against us

Last night I dreamt I had a plane ticket and I lost it.  Then I found out someone had stolen my passport photo and I could not use my passport.  I looked up the meaning of this in dream dictionaries and it said that I feel out of control with my life.  Have you ever felt out of control with your life?

Experts tell us hat we really can’t control life, that it is an illusion.  The only thing we can control is ourself.  Even then when we go to sleep our subconscious takes over in our dreams.  How much of our  behaviour is programmed in childhood and then set.   Unless we take the time to examine our reactions we end up assuming it is the other person who has the problem.

My father used to believe that the world was out to get him. What if I grew up relating to the world as an adversary?

I do have a choice now, to look at what I want to believe about the world and the people that surround me.

I choose to believe that the universe conspires for me, not against me.

Happiness

Where does happiness come from?  Recently I heard our unity minister says that happiness comes from inner peace.   Is that true?  Is happiness an internal destination?  There have been times in my life where I had nothing, my husband and were both students.  I was so happy because I had love, deep love and laughter.

Then there were times in my life when I had every material thing I could ever imagine, a house, the perfect couch, a good job and friends.  On paper I had everything, but I felt so lonely and empty inside because I did not have real love in my life.

I asked my current partner where does happiness come from?  He said for him it comes from inside, being able to follow your own compass, despite what others expect of you.

Then we watched “Jim and Andy” a documentary of Jim Carry making the man in the moon movie.  Jim Carey said for him happiness was doing what he loved.  However he got to the point of sitting on the beach in Malibu depressed.   He felt empty.

Gabrielle union was interviewed this week in the NY times magazine about her new book titled we are going to need more wine. 

she said “in her 30’s if someone asked me to name 10 things that make me happy,  I would have said ground beef, butter and imitation crab-not even the real crab!  Most  of us have no clue what makes us happy.  Were always supercritical of our spouses or our friends, or our co-workers for not magically knowing how to be our friend or how to love us.  And its like “How do you even sign up for that when you haven’t figured it out for yourself?”

Happiness is fluid and changes with your self-identity. True? or not?

Thrive

I am reading a plant-based food lifestyle magazine called Thrive.  I flip through it with coffee, looking at the pictures and recipes.  I feel like I am ingesting the images of the food.  I say to myself, “if I had a chef, I could live on plant-based food, it looks so good”  Interesting thinking. This thinking is powerlessness at its best.  It leaves me waiting for the day, when I could hire a chef. It leaves me reaching outside myself for someone to feed me.  Someone who can nurture my body, with the right food for me.

How many of us flip through magazines, and watch the food channel aka food porn, with no intention of cooking the recipes. My friend watches the food channel and eats chips as her entertainment.  A quick hit of a fantasy, just like porn, and then go back to our mundane life.

The plant-based movement really intrigues me.  It has a sense of decadence to it, and an inclusive lifestyle.  There is a no deprivation energy– just abundance.

I realise I have waited my whole life for someone to feed me well.

What about feeding myself?

Do I do the same with love?

Do I wait for someone to give me the love that will nourish me, heal me and fulfil my soul?

Dr. Barbara D’Angelis, best-selling author of the Choice for Love  talks about giving ourselves what we really need.  She equates it to getting on a plane hungry, assuming they will have the food you need.  “It is like starving yourself and expecting someone else to feed you”.

Now is the time for me to start feeding myself.  Feeding my body what it really wants; food that makes me feel happy instead of sad. Yesterday I made a roast, potatoes and greens. After dinner I felt content, energetic and proud.

Now I am re-evaluating everything I ingest.  Taking in entertainment that uplifts me, rather than leaving me feeling beaten down, by viewing violence and pain. Feeding myself great protein and tasty treats.  The protein is real love and connection, with myself, my partner, and my beloved dogs. The tasty treats are meditation, love, sunlight, cuddles, and thankfulness inside and out.

A great chef designs recipes that are deeply satisfying.  How do I learn the recipes that makes up the menu for my life?

In 2018 I am going to become the master chef of my body, mind, and spirit.

I want to Thrive.

 

 

A different world inside….

When you get to a certain age you have fewer years in front of you than behind you.  You can stop and evaluate your life.

I believe that the first 50 years of my life I have spent trying to figure the world out, trying to figure life out.  Working very hard to manage life to get what I want.  I have spent all my energy wanting to understand motivations, people and systems.

Now I feel I am moving into the heart phase of my life.  Letting go of the need to know, letting go of the insistence of understanding the world and people.  Letting go of the hard work to constantly quantify people and experiences.

As a child I thought that if I understood and had knowledge it would protect me and keep me safe from the outside world.

As an adult I know…….

Most of the universe is unknowable.

So much of life is a mystery.

When I focus on needing to know, needing to understand; I narrow my bandwidth for the divine to flow in.  I can only know what is in front of me.

The next 30 years I want to spend experiencing the mystery of life.

I want to flow rather than understand.

I want to love rather than evaluate.

I want to discriminate rather than assess.

I want to share the love that I came here to share, for myself and others around me.

If we all did this we would have a very different world!

“Courage and daring are coursing through you. You were made to live and love with your whole heart. It’s time to show up and be seen.”

~ Brené Brown

Going down the mountain

Sitting in our backyard in Boulder is so nice.  We can hear the trees and the creek.  Two fat squirrels are chasing each other through the overlapping trees that have not been trimmed in 30 years.  The squirrels in Bolder are brown and fat.  The mountain squirrels are lean and gray.   We walk down the circle stone path and find a blackberry bush by a stone bench and sit, picking the sweet September blackberries.

This is our new home in Boulder.  We had to leave the mountains and go to the city to find quiet.  In Breckenridge we heard fire alarms, garbage trucks and food delivery trucks arriving for the downtown restaurants all day.  For a town of 4,500 there were at least 4 alarms a day.  Not to mention the tourists who alarm their cars in the parking lot accross from our old Breckenridge house.

Sitting here in our Boulder, the house energy is wonderful. We rented it from a couple who in their 60’s.  They decided to take a contract teaching in Burma or the union of Myanma.  He is an english professor, and she is a video producer, both on an adventure now that their two boys are in college.

This couple have lived in this house for 30 years, raised their kids in a one bedroom cottage.  As the kids grew they added 2 tiny rooms,  an extra bathroom but no closets.  It feels like a small cottage in the city.

They built a shed that became the boys bong hut in their 20’s.  When we looked at the house the bong hut had truck seats, and a Bob Marley wall hanging, and lots of butts in the ashtray.

Now we have painted it and converted it into our meditation room, a quiet sacred reflective space with a mosaic red lantern, and a tree of life bronze wall hanging and lots of cushions for sitting.

Looking around the garden I notice an orange wheelbarrow, and my mind flashes back to my first marriage,  and our first house in 2005.  I was thrilled to have a garden of my own.  Owning a house was good, but a garden that I could invest in, and did not have to leave was priceless for me.

I spent most summer days in the garden.  One day my husband arrived with a beautiful top of the line metal wheelbarrow in enamel blue, with gorgeous wood and blue enamel handles.  I cried.  He said it was the best one on the market.  My heart and mind flash back to that moment sitting here in this garden in Boulder.

This house has a great mature garden that backs onto a creek.  It has brambles and overgrown areas that remind me of my grandfathers garden in Eaglescliff – Northern England. We used to play hide and seek through the raspberries and rose bushes.  When I grew up and went back to my grandfathers garden, it was so small, but it felt like a labyrinth of secret places.   I can imagine a young couple moving to Boulder, him a young english teacher, her an aspiring filmaker, watching their young boys running around the back yard, playing hide and seek.

We can’t wait to bring our 3-year-old husky down from the mountain to this new house. She can hide in the shade of a tree,  or chase the brown chubby squirrels through the underbrush.   I am sitting at a square wooden table that is weathered and grey, and has four benches around it.  I imagine great barbeques and good discussions at this table.

My heart is like the old weathered wood.  A little worn, but plenty of life still left in it.

Cheers to Boulder!