Just moments ago I was lying in bed with my cat, Aslan, snuggled on my chest. My head is a little achy and I'm bemoaning the fact that it's gray again and the temperature probably won't top 60 degrees. I'm not getting any writing done. I'll never be an author. The spiraling thoughts began. I have a choice. I can lie here in bed (if that's what feels good) or I can show up for myself and do something different (which today feels even better.)
Even though I've changed positions, my cat is still in my lap, because he knows exactly what he wants and he goes for it. Every day. Every moment. There's none of this I'm too old or it's too late business. If he wants to eat, he eats. If there's no food in his bowl, he meows. If there's no one around to feed him, he goes and takes a nap. He's in charge and so are you.
I choose to take care of myself by being TAO (transparent, authentic & open). As someone whose profession is helping others, it can be a little tricky. For some clients it's quite disturbing for them to see that I have "off" days. On the other hand, some people are bothered when they think I'm too positive and only see the bright side of everything. It's a fine line to walk (and no doubt I make mistakes), but being TAO is what it's all about - especially when it comes to being TAO with ourselves. So, I ask again. What kind of life do you want? Do you already have it? Great! If not, ask yourself why not?
I just read an article that highlighted the successes of people whose careers are taking off when society says they should be checking into the retirement home. Actress Betty White has revived her career at age 89. Jeff Bridges just won the Best Actor award at 61. An eleven year old is a singing sensation on America's Got Talent (or some show like that). These are people who've chosen to follow their dreams and defy what society calls "normal." My sister is another one. This amazing woman just had her first one woman art show and is joining me in a 1/2 marathon on Saturday (btw - neither of us are experienced runners.) While she's not a contemporary of Betty White, she has surpassed Mr. Bridges by a few years, but you'd never know it in either attitude or appearance. She is phenomenal.
People recently have been saying to me, "You have such an interesting life," and they're right. But it hasn't always been that way. I didn't own a passport until I was almost forty-five, but once I got the travel bug and realized I could do things differently, the world has opened up to me. I went back to graduate school around the same time and embarked on a dreamlike journey of transformation that I don't see stopping anytime soon. I'm doing things and taking risks that scare the heck out of me, but still I'm going for it. I've learned to see beauty in the smallest things and bring presence to everything from food to breath. The list goes on, but bottom line: I started showing up for myself.
So, I ask again: What kind of life do you want to live? Who or what is standing between you and your dreams? My guess is your answer will show up the next time you glance in the mirror. Think about it and consider taking a hint from my cat. He's in charge and so are you.
In invite you to visit me at Diamonds in the Soul to learn more.