We live in a culture that loves to give us expiration dates about many things. Now some expiration dates are really good to live by. I’m thinking of food expiration dates. I tend to abide by these for the sake of my health, but what about an expiration date for ourselves.
Isn’t it possible to get excited about starting over, having a new beginning at any age?
I get that it can seem challenging to start over later in life, especially as the years creep up on us just because of all the cultural programming about aging. It can seem even more challenging if you find yourself in circumstances now that you tell yourself you ‘should” have been on top of a long time ago.
What if you find yourself starting over because something happened that wasn’t what you had planned?
What if you’ve experienced an unexpected setback?
(ie. divorce, financial crisis, health crisis, etc.)
This can feel like the end of the world. I know I’ve been there. I’ve literally found myself filled with fear and anxiety at different times in my life when the bully in my brain gets a grip on me and starts to fill my head with all kinds of loving and supportive thoughts. (Yeah, right!)
I’ve had times in my life where it’s taken me some to pull myself back together. There are times the bad days far outnumbered the good days. It’s always been a work in progress.
I think we can end up doing a great disservice to people when we’re in the “personal development” field by using language that is blaming as to why people find themselves in circumstances that they “should know better” about.
I always think of it this way, our life is in whatever shape it’s in because not because we’re good or bad, right or wrong, successful or unsuccessful. Our life is in whatever shape it’s in because of programming and wounding. Now can one use this as an excuse to have things stay as they are? Absolutely, but even that is due to programming and old wounding.
So what could help in circumstances like this? A circumstance where despite everything, you just can’t seem to get lasting traction moving forward.
Here it is…
Acceptance, Acceptance, Acceptance, Acceptance.
“You yourself, as much as anyone in the entire Universe, deserve your own love and affection.” Buddha
Learning to accept ourselves no matter what. I did use the word learning because we do need to learn how to be self-accepting.
In this success-driven, high-octane world we live in, this can be really challenging, because every day, throughout the day we get programmed to blame ourselves for not trying hard enough, not getting it right enough, not pushing hard enough…on and on…and on it goes. Consider the following:
“Anything forced into manifestation through personal will is always ‘ill-gotten.'” Florence Scovel Shinn
What if there is another way?
What if all the pushing and striving and trying so hard is actually the thing that has you feeling like it’s too late to begin again?
What if there is a gentler, kinder way, that’s actually way more powerful than the pushing way through our personal will?
What if you can learn to release all of the self-blame, self-recrimination?
What if you find out that self-blame and all the pushing that goes along with that, is the very thing that’s stopped you from receiving into your life the things you’ve long desired?
This isn’t the Quick-Fix Academy I’m speaking from here, that’s often promoted in the personal development world. It’s not the Try Harder Academy either.
It’s best said in the following quote:
“You may wear out your iron-soled shoes searching for what arrives without effort when the time is right.” Chinese Proverb
This quote speaks to the exhaustive pushing and searching the egoic self has us circling around in. It’s the way we’re taught in the culture we live in and yet so many people are in fear of the future and in fear of what’s presently happening in their lives,because it’s really landing for them that all of their trying and efforting is not really paying off. It can pay off to a degree but notice how you talk to yourself when the things you want don’t come into being.
If you really pay attention, I’d say it’s highly likely you blame yourself for not getting what you want. The self-talk is likely about you’re getting it wrong or doing it wrong. This is exhausting.
See how the following quote has you feeling:
“Just sit there. Don’t do a thing. Just rest. For this separation from God, from love, is the hardest work in this world.” Hafiz
I don’t know about you, but for me the first time I read this, tears welled up in my eyes. I knew there was so much truth in this and yet my programmed, high octane brain, railed against this.
My brain was flooded with thoughts like:
Wait. What? How is ANYTHING going to ‘get done’ if I’m not on top of it? Truth be told, my brain still finds ‘accomplishing’ exhilarating…and exhausting if I’m not taking action from inspiration.
If I’m unconsciously crapping all over myself with thoughts like, “Come on girl…pull the Nike slogan out and follow it. ‘Just do it.’ Try harder. I know this path intimately and it truly is exhausting when action is taken from this programming.
I so get what Hafiz is saying here. Being quiet and still…IS the hardest work in this world for me. It’s absolutely a work in progress and yet, not so deep down within myself now, I have this knowing feeling that it’s the path I’m meant to be on.
Now you may be rolling your eyes as you read this. You might be like…
“This gal is smoking the funny stuff.”
“Oh she’s one of those peeps…she’s hopped in the woo-woo-woo train.”
I’m at a place in my life, where this is where I’m meant to be. I’ve done (and still do catch myself daily) efforting and striving and slowly detoxifying from my Doership Academy. And let me add, this is not at all a passive path. It’s filled with conscious awareness and taking action that feels inspired to me.
It’s also filled with the need to keep course correcting, because when I find myself on board the ‘just do one more thing’ and then I can chill out, I really find I need to take a step back and regroup myself and consciously practice allowing guidance and direction to come to me. I still get caught up and confused at times about what voice is driving me in any given moment. But this is ‘the work.’ This is the hard part. “Who is running my show right now?” and yet paying attention to this is beginning to make all the difference.
I feel more and more fear and anxiety leaving my being and it’s being replaced by trust and faith creeping in. And even so, this still can have me wondering why I’m not so worried all the time anymore.
It’s the ‘how good can you stand it’ challenge. Amen and hallelujah. I consider this to be a good challenge for my psyche now acclimating to times of more ease and even flow. I’ll take this any day of the week and twice on Sunday, thank you even if at times I’m uncomfortable without all the pushing and striving.
Have you ever gone through any life events that are asking you to begin again?
Are you struggling to begin again?
Do you find you feel a bit down and out because time is passing and you’re life still isn’t where you want it to be and yet the thought of trying and efforting for something new feels more than a little exhausting to you?
I’ve found that there really is another way.
If so, I invite you to join me and some really cool people who feel similarly for 21 Days to Your Mindful Midlife Makeover.
We start on Monday, August 5th. It’s 21 group calls that go for 60 minutes. It ends on Monday, September 2nd. (Your weekends are free.) The time for the calls is as follows:
12:30 pm -1:30pm PT
1:30 pm – 2:30pm MT
2:30 pm – 3:30pm CT
3:30 pm – 4:30pm ET
7:30 pm GMT
All calls are recorded so if you can’t make them live you have access to all the recordings and if you’re a Facebook person, you have access to the FB Group so you can also participate in that way. If you’re not a FB person you can email directly and I can include your questions on the calls.
To learn more and to register click here: 21 Days to Your Mindful Midlife Makeover
We’d love to have you join us!