On the other side of forty, the aging process is just beginning. The body starts responding differently, like a new animal; slower, but also stronger in so many ways.
There is a profound familiarity of self, which can be beautiful, like a long-time lover, a favorite pet, the feeling of home. It can also be weighty – physically – as your metabolism changes – and spiritually, as patterns and cycles repeat for the zillionth time and you wonder, “Will I ever be free?”
Aging can be a groove worn so smooth and deep that escape seems impossible, ideals are held tightly to caving chests as the awareness of your mortality offers up teasers of its absolute imperative.
Aging can also be the illumination of a self, deeper and more secure in its sacristy than you ever could have imagined, the revelation that your commitments have become a meaningful life, and your resilience has already moved mountains.
You have survived.
Years of conversations, problems solved, elating, despairing, observing – gifts us with a pitched clarity of seasons, as well a decidedly decreased bandwidth for bullshit.
What you *don’t* want starts getting real fucking obvious.
2016 has been, what so many people are calling, a dumpster fire. (Which would be hilarious if it wasn’t so true). The relentless stream of global and humanitarian crises lives in our consciousness and spreads out into our personal experiences of disappointment, isolation, fear, and loss.
And yet, it’s also possible that it’s less of a dumpster and more of a crucible. That we’re burning off what is no longer serving us, making radical (albeit painful) shifts as the ills of our cultures rise up into the light to be wrangled into elimination. The fires are transforming dull iron into the golden re-alignment with earth and mother medicine, and each other. Perhaps this *is* the time when we finally fuse, and rise together.
Why not? We already know how to survive. We already know what the bullshit looks like. Burning away the excess is painful, but not lethal. (From a soul perspective – plenty of what’s burning is insanely lethal). Everyone I know has lost or left more people this year than they ever have before, myself included. So many people died. So many people are just no longer in my circle of friends or family.
In short, I’ve learned that people who lack kindness, self awareness, empathy, and the ability to contribute, uplift, or support in any real way are not really my people. And it’s ok to walk away.
I’ve learned that, when appropriate, I can repay brutality with brutality.
Sometimes that’s the only language toxic people understand. And that doesn’t make me an asshole.
The high road isn’t always effective. Non-violence isn’t always the answer.
I’ve learned that I can dig through the darkness of blind belief by asking, listening, and staying in conversations that make every cell of me uncomfortable, so that I can be delivered into greater compassion and action on the other side.
What I’m on about is that, barring actual death, we have got this.
Historically, no matter how down and out we (the “we” who are reading this) have been, we’ve had (for the most part) clothes to wear, food to eat, shelter, and someone in the world who loved us.
We have no reason to believe that this will be different going forward.
That’s the story I choose to believe, anyway. The better one.
Because another thing decades of experience has taught me is that maybe nothing matters. Maybe we’re a cosmic mistake. But there is great power and magic in words, in the stories we tell, and in the belief that our lives do hold a force for the good, the beautiful, the just.
And I want that.
I want that for all of us.
Lastly, sometimes the thing that helps soften the edges, shorten the fire, quell the pain, retell the narrative isn’t about what you know at all… it’s about who is supporting you.
And I want to support you. That’s my work. That’s what gives my life meaning. Seeing my clients relieved of the emotional, spiritual, and physical weight that keeps them from the joy they came here for.
We can spend the time finding the most elegant solutions to your most pressing challenge, I will witness your sadness and your success, I will offer up my finest resources from my library of helpers, healers, and ideas, you can ask me about entrepreneurship, health coaching, prison experience or justice, or we can talk about your priceless physical health and how to carve a path to feeling more comfortable in your skin.
Or we can laugh, cry, rant or just shoot the shit. It’s your hour.
Truly, I’d love to connect with as many of you as possible.
Click here to buy a single coaching session with me.
And then I will get back to you (manually) with an email to schedule our time!
We are better together.
The art in this post is by Roberta Zeta. Go support her. Buy her work. Share it with others who will buy it too.