Tag Archives: freedom

55 – The age of Freedom

I am 55 years old and I feel like my life just started.

When I was a child and a young girl I had such dreams but I was also extremely shy and insecure, so the dreams stayed just that – dreams, my fears were very effective. The few times I voiced my dreams, I was told to forget it. “That’s ridiculous”, they said, “You can never do that. What if you fail?” Does this sound familiar? Fear of failure became the name of the game. And I was scared.

I grew up and had children, 4 of them, and became a full time mother for the next 30 years. I used the time wisely by educating myself and getting to know ME. It forced me to face my fears, to acknowledge that I had taken the easy way out by listening to the negative voices in and around me INSTEAD of just going for that dream, even if I would fail.

One day the children were all adult and had left home, I had only myself to answer to and I realised that now, NOW is the time, this is my chance to dust off those dreams and make them come true!

The world around me says that I am too old, but this time I am not believing anybody but myself. I’m old enough to not care. The only voice I am listening to is MY inner voice. And she tells me it’s time to rock’n roll!

One of my most attractive dreams as a child was to be part of a circus. I wanted to ride ponies and do funky stuff.

Well, guess what? Now I am doing just that; I am part of a troupe that do pony-shows and fire-shows. I do mounted archery; shooting arrows from a galloping horse. If you can’t join a circus – create one!

I also want to do acrobatics in the air, I feel passionate about it. And though I am fit as a fiddle it is far from enough. Besides which, I have a fear of heights. Am I going to let this stop me? HELL NO! Aerial acrobatics? Sure it will take time, who cares? I have all the time in the world and I am on this exciting life journey.

The most important thing I did to this point was bringing up the children. Was I a good mother? I have no idea, but I was the best mother I could be and this goes for everything else I have ever done and will do. This releases me from those oh so painful regrets that I struggled with all the time, I was the master of regret.

So to all you people, young and old; life is an ongoing journey and you never really know where it will take you. Don’t let anybody dictate your rules. And don’t for a minute believe that age is an issue: On the contrary, the older you get, the more freedom and choices you have.

Here some pictures of what I did this magical 55th year of my life

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I don’t have a television

I don’t and I never did. Yes, during the years when the children were growing up we had one though there were a few reasons why it never became a major part of our lives: We lived in the middle of the forest so reception was only good when weather was clear. Besides we lived in Sweden and only had the 2 channels that sort of come automatically, they don’t rock.

When I came to Luxembourg I planned to have one, sort of, but all the hassle, costs and my basic disinterest made it never happen. I had a cheap telly for watching movies, but that went out the door the moment I realized I could do it on my computer…I’m not picky, I just want to be entertained so screen-size, sound etc matters nothing to me. Besides, televisions are really big and ugly, even if they are fancy flat-screens hanging on the wall. Ugly!

And you know, if you are in a room with people and a TV, the people will constantly look at the TV, even if it’s not on and I find that irritating, weird and a bit crazed. There you are, chatting away, having drinks and snacks and the person you’re talking to is constantly looking toward the telly. So you start wondering if they are even hearing what you’re saying? HELLO, I’m here! The whole room is designed around that ugly thing, so wherever you sit (or stand) it’s the main focal point. My living room is a ….Living room. It’s made for movement, creativity and hanging out

I do stuff and I am a very creative person. I love doing stuff; sewing, reading, writing, dancing, drawing, gardening, studying and research…I love my own company and the conversations I, me and myself have are absolutely riveting. Since coming to Luxembourg “we” even do it in different languages… 🙂

People ask me how I get so much done, they think I am this totally speedy doer. I’m not. I just have lots of time to do stuff since there is no disruption of a telly. I do watch YouTube tutorials for things I like to learn; lately I have learned to make silk-flowers and pearl embroidery and I have made some beautiful stuff. I learn to sew better and create the pretty stuff I have in my head but can’t afford to buy. This is what I do when others watch television. Last evening I finished a pearl embroidered belt to go with my beautiful New Look skirt that I sewed a couple of days ago. Practice makes perfect and practice takes time. So if you have creative ideas or want to get stuff done; chuck that ugly ol’ thing and get into action. You will never look back!NewLookBälte

KIDS SHOULD RUN WILD

As kids, my bigger sister and me always hung out together, always. During summers we lived on the farm of my grandparents. There was a lake, forests, animals, outhouses and barns…There was also really nobody to pay much attention to what us kids did, as long as we were back for dinner and dinnertime was always the same. We ran wild during those summers, spending our time in creative freedom…Until we were found out or caught doing some prank, when we would be locked into our room for a day, only to pick up where we left off once we were released again. My sister was amazing at thinking up pranks, I did the planning and more often or not, she would get us caught. We were incredibly creative and energetic; small forces of energy and power that easily could dismantle a small vehicle in no time. We were awesome! There was nothing that couldn’t be turned into a game or a challenge.

Forward 25 years: I have 4 children ranging from age 2 to 10. We live in the forest on the farm of my grandparents, on the other side of the lake. I had only one rule for the children and their myriads of friends that came and went: “Don’t even look at the well or the train tracks”. That worked. Once those kids were out of the house, I would not see them for hours and I had no idea where they were or what they were up to…They were running wild. I figured that they were so many so if somebody would get hurt, the others would get help. I found remnants of their games; a hut they had built 600 meters into the forest with mattresses and stuff they had dragged out there, it must have taken days, weeks. The kids would come home with torn clothes, scrapes, dirt and huge tired smiles. Sometimes they told me what they did, more often not. But I always knew; I used to be them, the child running wild, finding adventure everywhere.

Now they are grown up and I enjoy listening to their stories of what they did. Sometimes I am slightly horrified and so glad I didn’t know at the time. When listening to them I see that they learned so many skills; communication, planning, executing a plan by working as a team. Fairness, sharing, helping, assertiveness (try being the youngest of all; it’s mighty hard work being allowed to participate as other than a slave.) And I realize that some of the most important stuff I learned was in the time when I was a child running wild. Such kids are always clever.

THE QUEST

The Road-trip I took was actually a quest; something I have known for years had to be done but which I also dreaded, pushing it on the future year after year. And now I did it! Though I had second thoughts when cars kept breaking down…

Life is a forward motion and we have to leave things behind, it’s as simple as that. The place I have lived and loved almost my entire life is one of them. Somebody else owns it now and it has become my past. I choose to go forward, not backwards and that means that I have to let it go. I will never go back there again and it is liberating. What surprised me was that it was easier than I thought. 🙂

I left for my trip with no expectations, my only focus was to make closure with my past. Along the way situations, people and places happened and I had the time to just be in it. Instead of going into the past, I found myself in the present and the past had lost its grip on me.

Letting go is empowering and it opens up for so many new and different possibilities, some (or most) of them completely unexpected. Life is truly an adventure.

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!

…and then came Body

Let’s stick with Body for a while; the joy of body in well-being is severely underrated. It’s always about exercise, food, stay fit, don’t get too fat or too thin… I think a lot of people find this intensely stressful and have problems incorporating a healthy (and happy) body-view in their lives because it’s boring. Being fit and healthy comes from joy, if you don’t find joy in your regime, the body will not answer in a positive way; you will get crabby from not eating enough and pains from a training program you don’t enjoy. Or you will get so stuck in staying “fit”, that it blinds you.

For me it’s dancing and the work with horses, this keeps me fit. Not because I am looking for fitness, but because they are highlights in my life. Being fit, healthy and strong is the added bonus. I also like my short, intense interval trainings because I like the feeling of my muscles. 🙂 I don’t have to think too much about it since it is all “automatic” somehow. I eat because I get hungry and I sleep well because my body is happy to rest and my head gets quiet.

So try finding something you really like; walking, dancing, riding, running, drumming, football…Whatever. As long as it keeps you moving you will stay fit because your body and mind will wish for it. No more boring exercise and complicated diet-schemes. Clean up your food (easily done) and get that body moving. If this puts a smile on your face, stay with it. Our bodies are made to move and when you give body what it needs you can wave goodbye to hurtful stress, illness and depression. Moving body is the fastest way to an instant high…What’s not to like?

FEAR

Fear is the most effective way of control. Fear is one of the strongest emotional drives within every individual; Fear of dying, fear of failure, fear of being shunned, fear, fear, fear.

One of the biggest fears in society is about money and economy; to not have enough. Upon this fear one of the biggest institutions in society is built; the banking-system, the great ruler of wealth. But look what happened; the banking-system crashed and actually not that much changed for most people. They still go to work, collect their pay-check, pay their bills… The monster was slayed, and the expected crisis to every last person didn’t materialize. And now, a couple of years later, there is already talk about a rising of the economical system…this crash was apparently quite easy to “heal”.

So what happens when we are ruled by fear: We stop taking chances, stop dreaming, stop changing, stop advancing. We stay in our place and hope that nothing bad will happen to us. We are afraid to lose our belongings, status and security and we are totally prepared to close down our creative inner sources to stay in the illusion of safety. Fear breeds jealousy; towards the people who have more, or the ones that follow their dreams and, most of all, towards those who keep their freedom and joy.

So let’s strip away fear; its like the onion, layer upon layer of excuses, programming and ideas: Start with the obvious fear and question yourself through the layers: For each question there is an answer that needs to be questioned, until you reach the very core where release will be your prize. You will learn so much about yourself and you will start seeing possibilities like never before. You can do anything you like, usually the only thing stopping you is – fear. So go for it; start questioning yourself.

FEARLESS: