Monthly Archives: June 2012

ROAD TRIP

I won’t be posting for a while since I am going on a road-trip to Sweden for a couple of weeks. I am driving in a little old car with a small engine…Not made for auto-routes as her fastest “comfort-zone” is about 105km/hour, so patience will be required. I was supposed to go in my wonderful strong car, but her engine fell out (see an earlier post) so I am now driving my daughter’s car. Life is full of interesting surprises. At first I was upset about this, I will, after all, be driving about 4 000km…But given some time and contemplation, I decided on turning it into an old-fashioned road-trip where anything can happen.

I will be dancing in Amsterdam (and hopefully in other places as well), taking pic-nics by the roadside, visiting friends and family, checking out every interesting place I see and stop whenever I feel like it. This is new to me. Usually I zip back and forth as fast as possible, stopping only for gas and a pee. As the departure date draws near, I am finding myself childishly excited about my trip. Friends around me chuckle and ask if the car will even survive it. Of course she will! We’re gonna have a grand old time….Did I mention that she has an amazing stereo?

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The magic of age…

We have reached a time where people live and stay active longer. Gone is the grandma of 50 with one foot in the grave…She has turned into a funky go-getter who is hungry for life and action. The idea of staying young has invaded every aspect of being; how we look, act and dress…We want to stay forever young.

As a woman I am, like every other woman, influenced by society and the “forever young” notion. I look at my sagging jaw-line thinking; “Just a little tuck there and I would look younger”. Though I always know that I won’t do it, I have played with the thought just like every middle-aged woman does, whether she admits it or not. What is shocking is that the thought is there, as easily as the thought of buying groceries or a new dress. What happened to our self-respect?

Women have three very defined periods of their lives; girl-hood, the mature woman and the aged woman. The defining line between these periods is menstruation, it starts and it stops. In our society many women past a certain age feel washed up. It is difficult to find a job, especially if you have chosen to be a mother, even worse; a stay-at-home-mother. (If people only knew what leadership skills a stay-at-hom-mom has, not to mention the organization skills worthy of a general!) We are constantly compared to young women when it comes to looks and in the magazines the models in the pictures are teenagers.

Women fear the onset of menopause, this dreaded thing that marks the place of no return. It doesn’t make sense at all. Women should celebrate this, it is a mark of freedom for a woman. No longer will she have to be prepared to be a mother (and this, trust me, is a purely biological instinct), her children are more or less grown up, she has a stable situation in society and she has a wealth of wisdom. More often than not, this new funky woman is hungry for life and experiences; a new job, travels, trying new things. In the Cathar tradition this was the point when a woman could choose a new path in life, such as priestess (considering that she had more experience about life than most) or a clan-elder. Amongst nature-tribes this changing time for woman has no name, and women hardly suffer any physical symptoms.

Ladies, age is beauty. It looks different but is nonetheless beautiful. The beauty of age is the life-map drawn into a woman’s features; her joy and sorrow, experience, wisdom, knowledge and understanding. Age does not necessarily mean physical deterioration; this is the largest misunderstanding of all. We can stay strong and fit for as long as we like if we respect and take care of ourselves. I can still, at 51, do all the things I did at 20 and I am as strong and healthy as I always was.

Check out this lady for some inspiration: pkg-vassileva-yoga-teacher-guinness-record.reuters

I used to have a fear of aging and now that I have become the aging, I embrace it. The wisdom and patience I have acquired, the knowledge and understanding is mind-blowing. Yes, I miss the easy beauty of youth, but I also remember all my fears and insecurities that no amount of youthful beauty could sooth. In a way I feel like I can now start my life exactly the way I want it and I am counting on plenty of amazing and fun years ahead!

BREAKING FREE

(Freedom by sculptor Zenos Frudakis )

We are always trapped by different things; ideas, judgments, emotions. Like invisible bonds they hold us in a place that is no longer relevant. We sense it, the entrapment, but we don’t know what it is or why and there is always fear of the unknown. There is a saying in probably every language: “You know what you have, but you don’t know what you will get”. It is like a warning; “don’t change your ways, you don’t know what will happen”. But let’s turn it around, let’s see it as an encouragement; If you are in a bad place, it might get better if you break free, even though you don’t know where it will take you. You will never know if you don’t try.

Sometimes the urge to break free is so strong it takes your breath away and this urge has to be acted upon. If not you will probably find yourself sick, stressed and depressed, suffocating under a weight that will not lift. We are not meant to be static, change is life. Most of us are afraid of change, not knowing what it will bring. This is the greatest fear of all and it is strong enough to keep us in a bad place.

We know that when we break free from whatever it may be, there will be a crisis both within us and with those around us. There will be rebellion, strife and estrangement from dear ones. We will feel lonely and misunderstood. Breaking free takes courage and it takes time. The first place we find ourselves in is loneliness. This has to be. It is a time of silence and contemplation, of understanding our need for individuality and finding a new life path. Then come impulses; people and happenings that fit with our new reality enter our lives and we are not lonely anymore. The world around us start mirroring our choices in a positive way, making us grow stronger.

There will always be a price to pay for breaking away from your “group”, whatever that group may be. And there will be abundant rewards once you face your fears and pass through them.

DEAR DIARY…

For many years in my life I wrote, I was miserable (in every sense of the word) and would pour it out onto the pages of my diaries. All the secrets, pain and frustrations, my entire wounded self crawled into those books; pages upon pages of despair. I never wrote in my happy moments, never recorded the amazing things that happened to me; just my misery. I started writing at 18 and at 40 something I had quite a collection. These books I stored in a wooden chest with a hefty lock and I painstakingly dragged this chest along to wherever I moved. The lock was to make sure that nobody would read them, mainly my children. I didn’t want anybody to see my pain and my secrets. It was a veritable recording of my victimization.

I brought the chest to my new country and stored it in the attic. But here something in me finally changed. The act of coming here, of choosing something so huge for myself and having the courage to listen to that inner voice telling me to go changed everything. I let the victimized self go, she had no more place in my life and I now chose power. When the first spring in my new house came, I opened that wooden chest for the first time in years, removed all the diaries and built a bonfire in the garden. All those books were burned. I didn’t open any of them, didn’t read one single word. I spent the day in the garden, sick as a dog, burning them books to cinders. In the evening I took a shower, went to bed and slept off my fever.

The next morning as I woke up I felt space; it was as if I was lying under a clear blue sky. The familiar, poisonous weight of all that misery was gone and I felt free, clear and ready to get on with my life. That bonfire cleansed me; a lifetime of despair literally vanished into thin air, the weight of it finally off my shoulders and for the first time I felt empowered. So if you are hanging on to old wounds, throw them on the fire and let them go. You are what you hold on to and you are the only one with the power to change that.

I still write, I will always write. Now I write about learning and teachings I receive. I write about the miracles that happen to me and I share what I write in teachings and through this blog.

OWN YOUR POWER

What is power exactly? Is it having a say over others? A big mansion, lots of money, an important job? What do we read into the word? Does it have a negative ring?

Lately I have been working around the idea of power and found that it is usually something we apply to others; people having power over us or people having power in a group. When I ask people about their power, they either say they don’t know or they say they don’t have any. Things “just happen” to them.

Here I’d like to speak of personal power, your power. We all have power over ourselves and our lives even though it doesn’t always feel that way. We do have the power to choose our beliefs, opinions and reactions. We have the power to cast off old wounds and negative ideas. And we need to start owning that power.

Once we realize that we own the power over ourselves and what we create in our lives, we can start creating from ourselves instead of giving our power to something outside ourselves that, more often than not, make us miserable.

So try it, say it out loud: I OWN MY POWER, I AM MY POWER. Feel how wonderfully liberating that feels.