When my life took a serious turn, swerved out of control then crashed and burned violently 6 years ago in a devastating end of the family I had lovingly and painstakingly created and nurtured, I was forced to take a very solemn internal assessment.
“What did I want to be when I grew up……. this time?” I had already dreamed the dream, fostered and fed that dream and birthed the reality of it with near impeccability. I was raised and groomed to be a “no-holds barred” mother, homemaker extraordinaire, homebirther, homeschooler, holistic health expert, gardener, organic chef, doting wife and partner, church volunteer and devotee, community outreach leader, ongoing student, and fitness advocate. Tall order…… yes? I was undaunted.
How do I dream again? How on earth would I know what I wanted when I had mastered the art of taking dictation from without and obediently ascribing? Did I even know what I wanted or how to listen to that part of myself anymore?
The only thing left to do was to do something I was afraid of. Yep, I had to stir myself up internally and step out onto the proverbial ledge… and leap! So I did! I jumped out of a perfectly good airplane, with a highly reliable, ex-military jump expert attached to my backside, but jump I did….. with enthusiasm and glee! And “something” mighty powerful awoke within me….. my solar plexus gasped for air for the first time in over a decade and wailed a loud infant wail of “YES”!!! I AM ALIVE! I AM AWAKE! I AM BACK BABY AND I AM HERE TO STAY!!!
Shortly thereafter I made a log that would soon after be referred to as a “bucket list” made popular by a movie that shortly followed, and it would hold every adventure that somewhat awed or frightened me that I knew I must dare to take on.
Since that time I have skydived twice, rode an electric bull, sang public karaoke solo, danced on a bar, dropped backward into a zipline ride, parasailed in the gulf, flew shotgun in a helicopter, simulated skydive in a wind tunnel, ridden “bikeweek” on a motorcycle chopper, scuba dived, and most recently, rode an official NASCAR solo on the ride of my life!
As it is my desire to maintain the divine claim of living fully in my body, mind and spirit, I regularly expose myself to opportunities such as this. In all honesty, driving a NASCAR independent of a driving supervisor unnerved me immensely, which was exactly the point. This was grossly exacerbated by the fact that the security information video presented to all drivers that intended to take their lives into their own hands that day, was completely glitchy. It ended up being narrated by the “no-nonsense” well weathered staff member that spared us no details regarding the layout of the track, definitions of the major turns and markers, but managed to discuss how many ways we could flip our stock car and uncontrollably careen into the infamous wall.
The handful of brave souls that had purchased the same “NASCAR Experience” that I had for that day were left vacant of pertinent safety details, and equally vacant expressions.
By the time they suited me up with the official helmet and gear, established radio control to the track boss and very efficiently strapped me into my driver seat to the point of constriction, I realized that I was beyond human help. As a matter of fact the dials displayed across the dash were indiscernible to me and there didn’t appear to be time to figure them out before I was sent out onto the foreign track ill prepared.
In that precise moment, all that I had gleaned from past knowing and experience became crystal clear…… I was Divinely supported by my steadfast Guidance that absolutely had my back and I had the distinct ability to “feel” my way through this insanely cool experience. So I shut out the world and eased into an acceleration and visceral thrill that every soul should have the opportunity to own. The track boss broke my silent world with brief but eager compliments and encouragement to move to the next band of speed. I smiled at his challenge and leaned more into the accelerator, howling at the rush of the vehicle underneath me. One round and I am cheering myself aloud….. a second round and I am mastering this thing,… rushing past another driver on the 3rd turn I take it up a notch and by the 4th rounding of the track I have grown a savvy new skin for this speed thing and I am owning it! I obediently dropped my speed at the end of my “personal NASCAR experience” and slowed into Pit Row flawlessly and brought my Jack Daniels mobile to a purring halt.
YES! This IS mindfulness! This is the experience of being fully embodied, alive in my skin and completely connected with my Solar Plexus and the desires that it’s wisdom reveals to me. This is what it is to live the life unlived and make it my own. And there is so much more to come! The hot air balloon ride has been scheduled for a warm May afternoon at sunset….. and then, who knows? What a life!
What life are you choosing and is that life worthy of you?
The joys of life can only be fully savored when there is a degree of “balance” in our lives.
How do you choose to manage the duties, responsibilities, relationships and professional commitments that are yours to grow and maintain?
My “first” life’s focus was nearly exclusively on family. I was raised to be my mother. She personified the consummate homemaker, mother, charitable volunteer, wife, neighbor, church goer and coordinator extraordinaire! It was clear to me and each of my 4 other sisters that she was the goal, or at least the role she played and how she played it.
I tried that dance, for the most part rather successfully, always placing my husband and children first in every equation, avidly studying in my holistic profession and applying its benefits directly and almost exclusively to my family first. My years of education, travelling abroad in pursuit of knowledge and growing my career came to a standstill. I had my priorities and I was expected to fulfill them. I even found that I wanted to.
But as all life’s roads diverge and challenge us with new opportunities, I too found myself in new territory as a single mother and provider of my 4 children and was genuinely lambasted by the demands each of my new vocations required of me. Where were the hours to be a full-time mother? I still have children requiring homeschooling, which I provided up until that point, how to address my children’s’ educational needs? Who will make the meals, read the endless school papers and put the children to bed? How on earth are all these other single, professional mothers doing this? Who, for heaven’s sake has time to volunteer in the school or show up for the dreaded parent-teacher conferences?
I was completely displaced. I had many, many anxious questions and eventually I realized that I simply wasn’t going to be stellar in every single one of my endeavors! Really? OH YES!
So what was most important to me, personally? What were my emerging values and where was my precious time going to be the most meaningful?
I decided immediately that my previous values and heartfelt devotion to family was still primary and unshakable. My children would only BE children for a short time and those years could never be recalled and lived fully once gone.
At that time and today, I find my balance in the day-to-day while holding my anchored notion that they, my children and now, my new husband, came first. Now that doesn’t mean that I drop a client to take the family for ice cream. What that means is I haven’t shifted the drive to grow and serve through my practice at the expense of my dearest ones.
So, this summer we took several, scattered weeks off to attend my family reunion in Colorado and my husbands reunion in upstate New York. We had an impromptu weekend with dear friends in Myrtle Beach. We turned these trips into memory building extravaganzas! We filled each juicy moment with adventures and thrills, to include ziplining through the majestic Rocky Mountains, packing ourselves en mass into an overfull Rockies baseball game and enduring the waves of rainstorms unshaken, singing and cursing through the gridlock and traffic of the New Jersey turnpike, insatiably playing rounds of canasta with the in-laws, storming through New York City with the aunts and uncles conquering one city block at a time, and being lulled into slumber under a full moon over the water, on a blow up mattress off the balcony of our friends overfull condo!
Did I lose business? Did my income diminish somewhat? Was I as rested as I could have been if I had chosen to stay home and serve more clients, teach more workshops or write more blogs? Perhaps. Was it totally and completely worth it? YOU BET!
You see, the Universe is unending abundance,… the ultimate giver. There was more clients to be met, more business to be made and many more dollars to show up in my life.
The point is, I am finding my balance. I am living fully, loving completely and holding time in precious now that it is. And enjoying it too!
Have you found yours? Carpe Diem!!!