I always think I won’t know what to say or that I won’t have enough to write about – that often keeps me from writing and posting on this blog more frequently. I’ve been told I could post more regularly; I’ve been told people relate to what I’m writing/saying; I’ve also been told that sharing my experience helps others. Sooo….. I shall keep writing, although perhaps not often enough.
What I’ve been grappling with recently in this mid-life crisis of mine is a struggle that seems two-fold. Internally I keep pondering the question: “Can I really keep doing for the rest of my life, what I’ve been doing for the first part of my life?” The immediate answer seems so obvious to me – heck no. Honestly I can’t even fathom it. And yet at the same time I can’t imagine what else I would do or how I would get to a place of doing something else. I feel pregnant with the need for change and yet completely unsure how life could look different. And that combination of thoughts is somewhat terrifying.
This might be the curse of being Pisces.
At the same time I’m finding myself more and more drawn inward and so the desire to even share thoughts like this is less comfortable than it would have been say twenty years ago, (back when I was oh so extroverted)… Thus the idea of not only writing this stuff down but then posting it publically is starting to feel weird. And the fact that this feels weird feels even stranger.
Ah Kathleen, who are you anymore? Still a Pisces, that much is for sure.
I do know this – I am someone who has embraced the idea of change. I know it’s always going to happen; I get that many times what seems like a “negative” change from one perspective often turns into a really great opportunity. I get it. Truly. I’m also ready for change – almost eager for it; let’s shake things up I tell the Universe. Bring it on. And then I wait.
What I’m grappling with now is how the change is going to happen (OK and maybe a bit of when the change is going to happen). But on the how I simply have no clue and that feels scary because as I mentioned above, I can’t imagine not having some change. I also struggle a bit with how much to push my own agenda on the change and how much I should defer to the grand plans of the Universe. I have experience pushing my own agenda of change and have come to realize that I don’t necessarily have the best or right idea of exactly what needs to happen and when or how it needs to happen. Sometimes the best things that have happened to me have, well, just happened to me… once I let go of needing to chart a specific course.
Maybe it’s fear of the future. Maybe it’s not being present. Maybe it’s wanting to be in control. But I’ve been working on all that stuff and have been for years and actually feel more present than ever before. And hey – maybe that’s it. Maybe – thanks to the work I’m doing, the Svadhyaya (the yoga term for self-study), the meditation, seeking out meaningful teachers, and the different ways I practice being present with myself and others…. Maybe because of all this I’m feeling and noticing life in an new and altered way.
And maybe, just maybe all of this has coalesced right around this midlife time… just as it’s supposed to or often does for those of us who care to look? I’ve been reassured by those wiser and more experienced that I that this is a familiar path.
The downside of this path and process is that it can be exhausting, sometimes depressing, and often very uncertain. I suppose the upside is that it can reconnect one with humanity, broaden our sense of shared connections with other sentient beings on this planet, and ultimately it holds out hope for some transformation.
Tonight I found myself highlighting passages from my Shambhala magazine, a monthly treasure I so look forward to reading. It helped me get clear on a few ideas swirling aimlessly around in my head. From an article about Sakyong Mipham Rinphoche’s upcoming book The Shambhala Principle a particular sentence stood out. “One of the book’s core messages is that how we feel about ourselves has a direct effect on society” (and others with whom we interact). This gives me much courage to keep on the path and keep on this journey of self-discovery for I know how easy it is to fall into despair or feeling helpless and I don’t want to carry that feeling out into the world to those I love and those I have yet to know and love.
The following sentence from the same article also resonated with me: “Although at times we may feel deficient in our ability to embody basic goodness, even glimpsing such a possibility can have an immediate and profound effect on us, both personally and societally.”
Yes! So true – and again, so full of hope and encouragement to stay on the path and embrace the journey. Even the fleeting glimpses I have had of experiencing life differently and more wisely have been so illuminating. It is what gives me hope that there is something worth striving for on the other side and also what gives me strength.
That’s what I’ve got for now.