Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Happy to be an Outcast

(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

14 comments:

Tess said...

Hey my kooky friend, couldn't agree more. Clarissa Pinkola Estes says:

"The real miracle of individuation and reclamation of the Wild Woman is that we all begin the process before we are ready, before we are strong enough, before we know enough; we begin a dialogue with thoughts and feelings that both tickle and thunder within us. We respond before we know how to speak the language, before we know all the answers, and before we know exactly to whom we are speaking."

I love the phrase "tickle and thunder".

betsy said...

Such good news.

Sue said...

Awesome and inspiring. You are becoming or have become a crone. But not the wizened, dried up old hag version that's been handed to us. No, you're the wise, free version, you have become immune to much of what society tries to chain women up into. What I hope to become more of as time goes on :)

The Pollinatrix said...

This is the most wonderful, inspiring post I've read anywhere in a long time. Hallelujah! is all that comes to mind as a genuine response.

Dianna Woolley said...

Woohoo!!!!! count me in:)!!!!! Xo

claire said...

To the most delightful outcast I can think of: Brava!

lucy said...

tess - "tickle and thunder"... how fabulously appropriate!!! thanks for sharing the quote. from one kooky friend to another!!! xoxoox

lucy said...

hey sue - your words are very special to me. it's so funny how i cringe at the word "crone". probably need to do a little exploration around that, huh? however... your version and description make me proud to be a crone. thanks so much!! xo

lucy said...

polli, dianna, claire & betsy - i cannot think of better "outcasts" to celebrate with - whether or not you want to be included, i'm counting you in (or is that out)? ;) xoxoxo

Sue said...

PS: Remember I said I was writing a story about annealing? Well, the character is a glassblower but there's not really a whole lot of annealing going on, but I can email it to you if you still want to read it :)

Cathy said...

Just reading your words opens up more space inside, inviting more play and freedom! Thanks for your inspiration!

Tenar said...

We always belong and are at the center of our own true perceptions and sense of place. It's trying to conform, or any betrayal of who we really are, that gives that sense of outsiderness. Walking in a crowd can be a lot more lonely than walking alone. Happy to be an outcast, indeed, an excellent insight, Lucy, thanks.

lucy said...

cathy - you are most welcome! it's one of my greatest hopes to invite others to more play and freedom!! so glad to hear i succeeded today :)

lucy said...

tenar - thank you for your wise words. betraying who we are is indeed a very lonely place to be - better to live whole-ly on the edges, huh?