Last week I was just going about my business, just letting my mind wander to wherever it wanted to go and suddenly, out of nowhere, thoughts started demanding my attention. The question that came to mind was this: How much of our lives do we spend in some sort of anxiety or worry and how much of that anxiety and worry stems from our fears about what others think of us. So I grabbed my journal and started letting the words pour out onto the paper. Here is what I learned. Before 9:30 in the morning I had worried about all of the following:
- What! It’s 6:18 and I am just now waking up! I am nothing but a lazy person! (Mind you, I am retired and had nothing on my schedule for the day.)
- Oh No! We don’t have any hot water this morning due to a water heater malfunction! I have to shower and wash my hair. My hair looks dirty. What if someone came to the door and saw my dirty hair. What would they think?
- I can’t leave the bedroom because the bed is not made. I must make the bed every day. What if someone stopped by and saw that our bed was not made. What would they think? That would be totally unacceptable!
- We need to get our propane tanks filled today. We have two that are empty. What if the power goes out and we have to use our grill to cook meals and our tanks are empty. What if the power was out for several days? We can’t be caught unprepared.
- I have to get my couch blanket and pillow put away. If anyone saw those out, they would know I took a nap yesterday and they would think I was either sick or lazy. How embarrassing!
- It’s 9:00 and I am still in my pajamas!! What the heck is wrong with me! Take a cold shower and get yourself dressed for Heaven’s sake!
Right now, when I read this list I’m pretty sure I am losing my mind, but, if you are really honest with yourself, l bet you have a list of your own. Maybe your things are not my things, but we all have a list of things.
What if we all gave ourselves permission to be our authentic selves? How different would the world be if every child had pursued their childhood dreams without fears about how to make enough money to survive in a world where we have to pay to live?
This entire thought process lasted a couple of days. And then this happened. A random post showed up in my social media feed that struck a cord deep within my soul. Here it is.
“Some of us don’t want to be tough alpha leaders. Some of us just want to write and wander the garden and breath in the sky and nourish and nurture and quietly create new pathways and live our lives as our art.” To know the earth as poetry. – Victoria Erickson, author, Rhythms & Roads.
Have you ever read anything so beautiful in your life? For me, these few lines sum up who my authentic self is. For 50 years I felt like I had to scratch and claw my way through life, over achieve on every front, be “successful” no matter what, when all of that went directly against who I am on the inside. On one hand, it makes me sad to think that I am just now figuring this out at age 60 but on the other hand, I am so grateful that I am now able to see clearly what I truly want out of the next 30 years of my life.
What I want for the next 30 years of my life is to have a little cottage on the beach on some sparsely populated island far from the noise and strife of “the real world”. A place where coconuts wash up on the sand, where drift wood from distant locations finds its way to my art studio, where I can breath in rhythm with the waves, where the locals come by for a chat, where I can take amazing photographs to document the magic of the universe and live in peace with my husband, our dog and a few chickens. I want to pull fresh fruit from the trees and fish from the sea. I want to snorkel over reefs to see the wonders that lie below. I want to feel the sun on my face without worrying that it will give me wrinkles. I want an endless supply of paper and pens so that I can document every amazing thing I see every day and I want to pass my journals onto future generations so they can know what it means to live an authentic life.
So, that is my dream. What would you do if you could look deep in your soul, find your true authentic self, and live your most authentic life? I would LOVE to hear about your dreams.
Thanks so much for being here. Until next time …