(Abba Nilus) said, “Happy is the monk who thinks he is the outcast of all.” (Nilus 8)
“Both the inner monk and inner artist are border-dwellers. Neither fit neatly into mainstream society as they both call us to new ways of being and seeing. The monk calls the world to spaciousness and presence rather than rushing and productivity. The monk takes the hard and demanding path of inner work and growth when the world constantly offers possible ways to numb us from these struggles.” - Christine Valters Paintner
Living on the edges while fully participating in life is a paradoxical way of being. For some reason I am reminded of the movie “Field of Dreams” where the principle character, Ray, played by Kevin Costner received the message, “If you build it, they will come.” This prompted Ray to step out of the normal paradigm of life into something that appeared crazy to the world around him. His rewards were more magnificent than anything he could have dreamed.
My life has turned into a field of dreams. It happens by living on the edges moment by moment. Stopping to smell the roses. Being in awe of the fresh green sprouts pushing through the earth. Cherry blossoms burst into full bloom and take my breath away. My world continues to expand as I follow my heart’s desire.
Living life as an “outcast” is exhilarating (while also holding moments of isolation). At a time when my peers are extolling the woes of aging, I’m in the best overall health of my life. My passport acquired in 2003 is annually adding new countries – sometimes as a woman traveling alone (gasp). I started graduate school at 47. Skydived at 49. I’ve been known to break into fits of uncontrollable laughter for no apparent reason or run through a public fountain in the midst of gleeful children. I am more in touch with God/Spirit/Life than ever before even though I “left the church” years ago. My children are quite “nontraditional” and still I’m a very proud mama.
The top comes down in my convertible if the temperature breaks 45F and it’s a particularly sunny winter day. I say 'No' at times when others expect me to say 'Yes'. A pink tutu topped my Christmas list last year. Crows call me Magic. Friends call me Crazy. I call myself Brilliant. (Audacious, huh?)
My cat, Aslan, can occupy my attention for hours by purring in my lap or doing circus tricks with my spouse. Bella, my desert ship, always makes me smile even though she snarled at me during her break. (I might have done the same thing.) My world is driven by Spirit. Refining and expanding lead my way, because even though what I have in this moment is Enough, I know abundance is my friend and thoughts of scarcity keep me limited.
I offer gratitude for my trials and rejoice in new opportunities to learn. I rage & scream & bellow at injustice, and then I let it go. I don’t “play nice” anymore. Nice kept me locked up like a prisoner for too many years. I am kind and I am free. Sanity is boring. Kookiness means loving life as it is. If this is living on the edges – it rocks!!!
Where do you long to break free and live on the edges? Invite your inner monk and artist to guide you toward the border. Perhaps you're already there. Woohoo! Let's play!!
Bella © 2010