Category: Inner Peace (page 1 of 14)

What’s truly dear to your heart?

We get so bombarded with so much STUFF….so many messages…so many gadgets and apps and channels and offers and more until we often can’t remember what really truly matters to us.  Much less who matters most to us.

I am inclined to think that many of us baby boomers never really know what our short list is, because we’re never really put to the test.  We never have to consider what it would be like not to have that person in our lives.  We grow up, we go to work, we might go off to school but then many of us come back and resume things.  Same surroundings.  Pretty much the same social circle.

It all gets comfortable.  Easy.  Our world stays pretty steady.

Until a disease comes along, and a few of those people you thought would show up don’t.  Or divorce comes along, and those people who used to sit down the pew from you now look at you differently.  Or your lose your job, and you can’t do that regular monthly dinner out and no one calls the other three weeks.It’s interesting to really learn not only who and what matters most to you, but who you matter most to.  (Bad English maybe, but you get it.)  It’s scary.  Yet maybe it’s incredibly freeing as well.

I never understood how I could go to another job, maybe just a few miles away, and my “friends” from my previous job just dropped me.  Having moved a few times as a child to different schools in different states, I learned how friendship is something that shouldn’t depend on geography.  Yet as an adult, it seems there are those who don’t feel that way.

Then I moved across the country.  Having so many miles between me and my previous life really was instructive in terms of who I missed most, and who missed me enough to stay in contact.  I had an even deeper appreciation of their friendship and love because I felt it as well.  I could also look back at my former city and love the good parts about it.  Taking a big step out of your comfort zone definitely changes you, forces you to grow in ways you can’t otherwise, and in some ways, simplifies a lot of things.

I’ve been told when you make a major life change, you often bring up other people’s fears.  They don’t want you to do it because it changes things.  Maybe it makes them consider if they are happy.  Maybe it tests their relationships.  I don’t know.

But then my life got a little stranger.  I moved again, back to my old home grounds.  (Economics, family, etc…kind of like hitting the re-set button for a few years, then we’ll see where I land.)  But I came back thinking I could reconnect with a few of the people who I had considered friends before.  What happened was and is surprising.

My true, live-in-my-heart friends, were glad I was back and we have picked up where we left off, which makes me eternally grateful because I never let go of them and they did not let go of me even when I was very far away.

But a few others…people I used to work with, or hang out with, or in many cases treat to an occasional lunch or dinner when they were down a bit…they have been a no-show.  A few don’t even answer emails or voice messages. My late mother would probably say well maybe they never were my friends anyway.  But it didn’t feel that way.

I’ve checked my breath and personal hygiene.  That’s not it either.

Times change.  People change.  Maybe Mother was right.

What has been fascinating is doing all this full-circle.  Being in one place for many years, moving to a new place for a decade, then moving back…and seeing what is still true, what never was true, and how you have to always find your own bliss, own peace of mind, and own strength.

I’ve never been the type of person who needs to be surrounded by a lot of people.  I don’t have 300 “friends” on Facebook (no judgment if you do, it’s just not me).  I’m very okay with solitary moments and I can dine, see a movie or travel solo without missing a beat.  I feel more fulfilled in nature than in any other situation, and if you’re going to blast music while walking down a mountain trail, please go on ahead of me so I don’t have to hear it.

And maybe those of us who actually step past the safety zone…who take risks and do things other deem as scary…without a net…who follow their inner voice and are willing to feel the fear, loneliness and confusion that can come with that…maybe we actually do have more strength.

And maybe in the long run, our rewards are greater.

Not more money.  Not the coolest people at our table.  Not necessarily the smoothest road.

But the one that takes us inward, where our real treasures lie.

So if you’re considering going forward, or going back, take care.

Bundle up.

Grab a snack.

Stick to the trail.

Cause it’s not easy…but it’s also not near as hard as never taking that step.

 

“Pursue some path, rather narrow or crooked, in which you can walk with love and reverence.”

        Henry David Thoreau

 

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How’s your tread?

So I’m sitting in a tire and car repair place, having come in for an oil change and being told I need new tires.  Not a big surprise; the ride has been very rough lately.  But disappointing nonetheless as these current tires were supposed to last many thousands of miles longer than they have.  Hmm.  Won’t even go there.

Anyway, they’re just tires.  So even though it’s a cost I did not anticipate, it’s not a disease.  Or death.  Or something else that can’t be “fixed”.  But tires are important.  Without them, I can’t get anywhere (at least not in the society I live in).   And I need to be able to depend upon them.

But think about it.  How many things do we depend on to be there….people, jobs, health, friends…and one day, they suddenly aren’t?   Has it really been that long since we paid attention to them and examined them for any problems?  Has the road been that rough, that we were wearing them down for years without even knowing it?

Or maybe we just get used to the bumps, potholes and other challenges of covering ground day after day, week after week, year after year.  So we don’t notice when it really does get too slippery.  When we need to slow down and take stock of things.

When you’re young, you just assume everything is going to last.  Then you get older and look back and it’s sobering how many people have drifted away.  How your tastes have changed.  How you no longer consider staying up past midnight a thrill (or even a possibility).   Then there’s your body.  Wow.  Who knew you were actually going to age.  I mean, there should be an owner’s manual that helps with the maintenance of a body after 50.

Pain relievers.  Orthotics.  Reading glasses.  Knee wraps.  The tread gets a little thin.   Can’t take those corners quite as fast.  Little harder to see at night.  Maybe walking will burn as many calories as running.

And like a set of tires, we need balancing ever so many miles.  It’s so easy to get so caught up in day planners, meetings, calls, obligations, commitments, you name it.  I think back to pioneers who had breakfast, worked in the fields all day, had dinner, went to bed.  Granted, they didn’t live past 35.  But they also weren’t worrying about the text, the email, the instant message, the social media post or whether their cable provider is going to raise their rates.  Balance wasn’t an issue for them.

I think it is for us, and I think that getting older gives us the right to achieve balance any way we can.   And maybe, ironically, that means more time and space for us to just be…and less time worrying about all the other jazz.

I’ll leave here with a new set of tires, and the ride home will be much smoother.  Maybe I need to look at a few other areas of my life…check under the hood…and get things on a smoother road.  Cause I want to keep going for a long, long time.

 

“Happiness is not a matter of intensity, but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony.”

             Thomas Merton

 

 

 

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Happy Birthdays to Us!

Rites of passage.  Whether it’s turning 50, 60, 70, 80, or beyond, we feel them.  They get our attention.  They get the attention of everyone in our family and circle of friends, because they can’t believe we are whatever age we are.

Big birthdays sober us. They remind us of our immortality.

But they also can be quite emancipating.  They tap us on the shoulder and urge us to look ahead down that trail, and wonder where it will take us.  Where do we want to go?  What do we want to achieve?   Are we done chasing goals of the past?  Are we ready to take a breath, or is it time to gear up for new challenges?

There’s a sadness to passing from one decade to another.   Who doesn’t pause a bit when they realize they can’t quite move as fast as they once did.  Can’t get on the floor to play with the dog and get up quickly (or at least, without some assistance).  Can’t eat all that spicy food without raiding the medicine cabinet at 2 a.m. for the antacid.  Can’t even stay up late…and late has gone from 11 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.

Still, there’s a giddiness to growing older.  You just have to look for it.

You have permission to give up some things.  Stop worrying about so much.  Know that you have gained wisdom the younger set doesn’t yet have, (even though they’re convinced you don’t know what you’re talking about).

Smile a bit more.  Nap a bit more.  Take it all in.  Or not.

If you’re coming up on a big birthday, turn it on its head and think about what gifts it can bring.   More time to travel.  Walk on the beach.  Wear a floppy hat.  Stop dying your hair.

Or start dying it purple.

.When she turned 70 last year, actress Sally Field said, “I’ve gathered strength behind my years, I owned them, I’ve earned them, I’ve deserved them, I have a right to have them. Behind my years I have value that doesn’t come when you’re 50 or 40 or 30 or 20, it doesn’t come until you’ve been in that saddle for a number of years.”

Amen!  Here’s to rocking the wrinkle however you can.

Here’s some other thoughts on jumping into that next decade:

“The aging process has you firmly in its grasp if you never get the urge to throw a snowball.”~Doug Larson

You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt; as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear; as young as your hope, as old as your despair”.~Douglas MacArthur

“In a man’s middle years there is scarcely a part of the body he would hesitate to turn over to the proper authorities”. ~E.B. White

“The first sign of maturity is the discovery that the volume knob also turns to the left.”.~Jerry M. Wright

“I think your whole life shows in your face and you should be proud of that”. ~Lauren Bacall

You have come a long way. You’ve endured a lot of struggles and pain.  You’ve touched more people’s lives than you will ever know.

And you are still here!

Celebrate!

 

 

 

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Peace. Just Peace.

 

Peace.

Simple peace.

No murders.

No neighborhood shootings.

No children crying in fear.

No mothers mourning their dead.

No persons finding their homes vandalized with words of hate.

No young people running from bullies.

No racist labels shouted from a passing car.

Peace.

Simple peace.

Patience, instead of revenge.

Empathy, instead of judgement.

Love, instead of hate.

Help a neighbor.

Smile at a stranger.

Remember someone in need.

Consider that everyone has the right to be who they are.

And let them be.

Peace.

Simple peace.

2017 can be a year of peace.

Let’s make it ours.

“All we are singing is give peace a chance.”

       John Lennon

 

 

 

 

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