Midlife Awakenings

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, quoted by Peter Freed in “Prime: Reflections on Time and Beauty”

Katharine Krueger ~ Journey Of Young Women

Learn to mentor girls, guide Girls Circles and offer Coming of Age

JourneyOfYoungWomen.org/Mentor-Girls

Art by Sylvia Pavlova

-this is a reblog.

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Shit Happens. People Kick Butt

Can you embrace your life? Can you adapt when it’s necessary?

I have a friend who radically changed her life. Yeah, some bad things happened. A lot of bad. Divorce. Robbery. But she didn’t stay with the bad. She recreated her life with the opportunities that came like winning classes to a local martial arts studio.

But any one thing doesn’t change a person. We make choices. Do we handle the crisis? My friend did. She trained instead of staying home and eating ice cream. There’s a wall of trophies and a rainbow of belts displayed in her living room, and she earned every one of them along with some sore muscles and broken toes. She kicked butt.

It should be considered right to live and enjoy living. To be well, happy, and to express freedom, is to be in accord with Divine Law and Wisdom. – Ernest Holmes, The Science of Mind

My security is not my house, my car, or my friends. I’ve seen it all wiped away because of a stupid mistake, a bad judgment call, or even a difference of opinion. Families split. Friends choose sides. Fortunes are lost.

Tomorrow can be a different day with a new job with circumstances you would have never seen coming. You could be laid off your current position. A window of opportunity then opens. Where will you go?

We seem to strive for security in the form of external stability and conformity, yet the very essence of life is change. – Energy and Personal Power, Shirley G Luthman

Safety isn’t a destination. Your ability to adapt with life is your safety net. Can you pay attention to what’s happening around you? Or are you ignoring the clues?

Shit happens. People kick butt

Power of Choice

In the early 1300s, Scotland was at war. Each man was defending his right to be King. Swords in the air, blood on the soil, raw power. You can read about Robert the Bruce here. It’s the strength of the fighting man. Right?

It makes me wonder, what is power? Am I a person of means? Rich people appear dominant, and so do those who have a higher status. These are traits we usually have to acquire or inherit. So how does someone ordinary get power? Or are we stuck?

Power is making decisions, and whatever course you are charting, I choose you, my husband.

It’s time to understand where we are. The crossroads. These are days you want to tell your grandchildren about. I do hope someone takes notes. Why? There is a drama of contrasts playing on the stage for the world to see.

We have politicians in mock battle pretending to be warriors. They’ve puffed their chests and beat their drums while marching through the streets on their way to nowhere. It’s all talk. Loud sounds. Build up the beat. Build up the beat. And yes this strategy works.

Charisma, you’re a pretty tune. But can you feed the people? All of this drama has taken our attention from real needs. How do we rebuild our school systems and prepare our children for the future? Can we make our cities better for families?

My power is my choice. I don’t pay attention to their mock battles. The shadow boxing is a distraction. It’s only keeping us from doing real work.

There are many examples we can follow. To their actions, we should pay attention. Women who decided civil disobedience was a good thing, who created their power by the Women’s Suffrage movement. The Doctors Without Borders who chose to go into areas of crisis, putting their lives at risk. They do this by choice. This is their power. And they give this power to their patients in the form of health.

Elizabeth de Burgh: [to Robert the Bruce]
Power is making decisions. Power is not allowing yourself to be buffeted on the tides of history. Instead, it is choosing a boat, climbing aboard, and hoisting the sail. I choose you. And whatever course you are charting, I choose you, my husband.

Read more: script from outlaw king

I choose to find out the truth. To look past the lies. Ignore the arguments. I remember why I am here, my power, my love, my reason for being. Do you know yours?

Things That Are Lost

  • Socks in the dryer
  • Teddy bears left on vacation
  • Virginity on Prom night (cliche)
  • Money at the casino
  • My hearing after a Thirty Seconds To Mars concert
  • A place in line if you leave
  • Old men sitting in coffee shops
  • Tolerance

It seems we no longer appreciate the obsolete or outdated. While I was pondering lost items, I realized we had forgotten tolerance. This easy to be with attitude is accepting, never strict. Being tidy, as in the book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” written by Marie Kondō or the minimalist movement, suggests life is better with less.

Minimalism has been with us through the centuries. It’s been the balancing force used to expose the excesses of Royalty and the Catholic Church hundreds of years ago. Monks lived this way as a lifestyle, but others lived in holy protest.

Collections are not the same as hoarding. There are few items which please me, and I love them enough to collect them, stack them, line them together on shelves long enough to gather dust.

A book that I have read and shelved still brings pleasure. Although this passes the Tidy Up test, usually it fails the minimalist movement’s criteria since I own more books to place than I have shelving

Here’s is my dilemma, I am picking up the vibe from Society that I should pare down more. And more. A clean home is good, but what if I had a sanitary? The holy grail. Paring down might become the current recent alternate religion I rebel against.

Listen to your guidance on this. It’s possible you’re a two pair of jeans person who only needs one good towel which you wash every other day. Or something of the sort. I have two towels, and I can last a week, but only you know your comfort level. I love my books even though they are alone, collecting dust.

Thriving

The flip side of survival and the fear of failure is thriving. Thriving shouldn’t be difficult. How is it so difficult to win? To succeed? Well, the difficulty is when you have achieved, what’s next? You’ve met your goal. Do you coast or do you keep pedaling?

Keep pedaling. This is why slow growth is better than the lottery winning. If you’ve slowly grown a business you got there and grew into your success. Lucky breaks give you false hope.

We are good at striving. Making changes, adjusting, sacrificing, but actual thriving seems so dull sometimes. Oh, yeah we all have the fantasy of buying an island and not having to work for a living, but how long would it be before we would want more? A month? Six months? A year maybe? Somewhere in that time, you start feeling the itchy feet. The need to contribute is too great. Building something even if it’s only a garden is a rewarding experience.

Initiations Into Adulthood

When I was a girl, I became curious about butterflies and cocoons the same as many children do. I’m impatient. And I was trying to help when I peeled the extra bits away for the butterfly. Helping.

No one has a perfect childhood. Reading this might cause a few people to cringe or even flash into old traumas. Fair warning. But stay with me, there’s no graphic material here.

At a certain age, sometimes a gang of men will hire a local professional woman for their young member, to initiate him into manhood. Maybe some of you don’t believe me, but it’s a thing, and it’s secret.

Why do they feel the need to interfere? Nature does her work quite well. There are too many violent stories already, and they aren’t trying to be helpful. Most children are beautiful if you leave them be. Please, don’t peel away the last layer of protection.

Too many altar boys are awakened sexually by those who are supposed to be their caretaker. A disgusting abuse of power and violation of innocence.

There are uncles and aunts, grandparents and parents alike who have done not such sunny initiations, the same as those priests, children unprepared, non consensual, and usually leaving pain and confusion on the child’s part.

Who is protecting our children?

Embrace Your Wild

Some of life is without a right or wrong; a should or shouldn’t. Bedtimes can be suggestions. If a lifestyle isn’t working, you can adapt it, toss or edit it, remove the parts that don’t work.

You’re not locked into the same white walls or the same voting pattern of the past. Purple, yellow, or green are the right colors to use also.

For goodness sake, wake up and live a life that is comfortable for you! Let’s not waste another day mourning yesterday’s stupidity. Coffee’s brewing.

Wolf and Woman

This Is Where I Live

This body, life has left some marks. These last few weeks I’ve been poked and tested but, it is the only one I have. It’s my living space. I have to treat it in the way that helps it work best. If I overstress it with high expectations or overwhelm it with too many activities, it will start throwing alarm switches until I listen.

This last week my body has started reminding me that while frugality is admirable, stinginess is cruel. Pushing myself again past my limits for my job and staying up too late, this creates pain in my muscles, and a massive headache.

A couple of years ago my washing machine quit so I had been “making do” until I could save enough to buy a new washer. While that sounds admirable, I wasn’t frugal for a purely financial reason. There was a massive chunk of ego that wanted to boast of how worthy I was! Quite a laughable thing once I realized what a tricky thing our psyche is. After taking a step back and looking at the situation, I went to a local home improvement store and financed a washing machine. Yes, I could have waited, but it was stressing me unnecessarily.

Have you ever tried to push a shopping cart with a broken wheel? That’s how it felt. I kept going, kept working because that’s what I do. I keep pushing because I know I can. I’m active and capable, right? But, when I took care of my needs, I realized how tired my enduring had made me. When I stopped trying to push the broken cart down the aisle, I could release the burden I was carrying.

Real

I have unrealistic expectations of myself, and I frequently don’t allow myself to live in the moment.

  • I choose not to kill my soul with harsh criticism and unrealistic expectations.
  • I choose to let joy and life flow through me so that when the time comes, I can also bring joy to others.
  • I choose to be a part of life in the now and not above it. The future is sometimes frightening, and I don’t want to face it, but there is always a way. There is still a simple step. It’s not always the boastful, shiny, impressive way, but there is a solution.
  • I choose to glean the joys of yesterday, and like seeds in the garden, I will sprinkle them with honor and watch them blossom.
  • I choose to honor myself, as I am, even all the jiggly parts.

Dare To Be Great

One of the tendencies I find most troubling in contemporary culture is that of mistaking cynicism for critical thinking. – brainpickings.org

It takes effort to be strong. Conscious thought and awareness are needed to bring out the good in others, but if you can do it some of the time, most of the time, try. Because not trying, not even bothering to show up, is inexcusable. And turning bitter is usually the result.

Anger, resentment, sadness, grief are the leftovers of loves unfulfilled. Unplayable songs, words we held inside a moment too long.

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat… Roosevelt’s Writings

Scarred But Not Dead

I loved frogs and toads when I was growing up. I’d capture them and hold them in my chubby hands. I loved their exotic skin and long legs, but mostly it was their soft underbelly where I could feel the beat of their tiny hearts.

We’re drawn to babies. Kittens, puppies, and youngsters of all varieties. Kittens pounce and attack, batting at fluff. Their playfulness can make even an old crank of a person smile. Because somewhere inside that cranky person there’s still a child. Life wore him down, and he forgot how to play.

accept yourself

as you were designed

– rupi kaur, Milk and Honey

I was driving home today and stopped at a red light, my hand automatically went to rub my neck. Tight muscles. When my fingers touched my pulse, I jolted with a thought. I’m alive. Corny. But the thrill was the same as touching the tiny animals, the frog’s pulse. I rubbed it again, and yes my response was the same. I’m thrilled to be alive. And to feel my pulse. Is this crazy?

Life is a strange and fragile moment. You can take machines apart and put them back together without causing much damage. Tinker with it until you get it running. But people and critters are not as easy to piece together again. We do surgeries, but we are hesitant because if the life goes out, we haven’t learned how to retrieve it. So, no, I don’t think I’m crazy for being overjoyed or even ecstatic about being alive. Being alive is fantastic and beautiful. And I don’t want to forget about the beating of life in all of us.

You have scars, wounds, and bruises. Don’t let them keep you from living. It’s possible you might need help or therapy, don’t give up on yourself. Don’t let anyone else bring you down. Be your best. Live.

image from Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur