On the day of my 40th birthday I was supposed to be at a hip physical therapy course, but in a way of being that I’m mindfully cultivating, I decided, spur of the moment, that there is another way that my birth day should be spent. So I changed my plans.
The day prior, I had just spent an afternoon in my element, offering my loving hands and healing heart to the dear family of one of my best friends who died on Monday. Giving massages to the family members who are grieving, sharing stories, savouring the richness of life and the gifts that we all bring to each other’s lives, filled me up in ways I cannot explain. Sitting in the car listening to Krista Tippet discuss the power of listening and stories and the value of the sensual life, I sat in my car and just listened. To my heart, to my inner child, to my 40 year old self. What do I need to do to mark this milestone in my life?
40 has been a marker for me. For the last few years, as I’ve watched it approach, it’s felt like a midway point. I’ve asked myself questions like “I still have over half my life left, what is that going to look like?” or “Can I live this life for another 40 years? What needs to change?” Self-admittedly these questions have created a bunch of discomfort and restlessness, leading to things like new business ideas, more travel, more healing, less stuff. Some of it really messy, some of it really fun, some of it foolish. But somehow, as I sit on the precipice between the last 40 years and the next 40 years, I feel like I’ve arrived at some answers. My searching has lead me, in a round about way, back to home.
So you are probably wondering what I chose to do with my day. With a blank slate, what would you do to celebrate you?
As I was sitting in my car, listening about listening, feeling pain in my heart about the lose of my dear friend, giving myself time and space to feel into what I should do for this birthday day on the horizon, what came to me was a coming home. To my roots, to my self. So I drove to my mom’s house, where I spent many years of my life (photo is of me by the front door) and melted into her warm embrace, the embrace that only a person who had known me my whole life can give.
Birthday morning arrived as I awoke from my slumber leisurely. Being at my mom’s house, my childhood home, it felt comforting but fresh all at once, like I was experiencing it anew (after all, I am forty now, totally different). She had already gone to work so the house was silent except for the familiar hums and clicks of the house that I knew like the back of my hand. I laid in bed, noticing my body as it touched the sheets, and I was filled with gratitude for how this body has allowed me to experience so much richness through my senses over the last 40 years of life. I giggled inside with the thrill of what’s to come. I got up and noticed a sweet little birthday message on the counter from my mom, that she so thoughtfully left before her busy day at work. As I entered the shower, and soaked in the deep warmth and cleansing spirit of the water, I noticed the familiar faucet that I have turned so many times before and the distinct smell of the water of my childhood that I’ve never noticed as being distinct before. As I relished in the uniqueness of the smell of the water, I felt a sense of awe at the diversity and plentitude of life experiences to be had.
After choosing a coffee shop that crafts their own syrups and finding the perfect spot to sit in the sun, I met up with my oldest and dear friend Molly. Although I see her rarely, each time we meet I feel like I’m drawn right back to the center of my being. I’m spent time writing and thinking and taking in my food and drink. Looking forward to ending my day by spending time with my mom and my grandpa, my roots.
Throughout the day I’m noticing. How great it is to be me, to be here, to feel all the deepest darkest and lightest brightest. The witness the whirl of life wrapping around me as I stand still at the tipping point, between my life that’s to come and the life that has been. From this vantage point and solidly grounded in my center, from this place of home, I set this declaration moving forward into the next half of my life.I will be all of myself, all of the time.
I will not dim my light to make another feel better nor will I try to be something I am not.
I am done with relationships that do not serve me and do not let people into my life that don’t adore me for being me.
I offer myself fully to those who’s paths cross mine without giving too much away.
I stand strong in my power and center and wisdom and unabashedly share it.
I appreciate the gift in every moment, whether it feels good or not.
I commit to continued growth as I come more fully into my true nature and wholeness each day.
I ride the current of life with curiousity and surrender, not pushing, not pulling, but with playful ease.
I release attachment to material things and cherish connection to nature and humans. Simplicity is king.
I immerse myself in the beautiful organism of my family and embrace each day that we can share in love and adventure.
I step into the role of mother as a deeper priority, above all else.
I cherish my husband and his abundant gifts that he offers in support and adoration.
I play, work, cry, run wild, breath deeply, sing loudly with all of my heart and soul. Radiantly alive.To each of you, as witnesses to these declarations, I am honored to be seen by you.
And I wholeheartedly support you, too.By honoring my self and loving me fully, I gift myself the best birthday gift I’ve ever gotten or given.