On Being Okay with What Is.

If this is your one life to live, what would you do differently today?

Just so you know, that was not the opening line I had intended to write when I sat down to create this morning – it is the one that appeared. And, as writing here is all about a continuous journey to learn how to ‘trust the process’, I lwrote it out and am now shifting from what I had intended to write about to exploring the question..

It’s a good question. What would you do differently if you embodied that truth? “This is your one life to live.”

I think at every age, my response would be different.

Off the top of my head, in my teens, I’m pretty certain I’d not have worried so much about trying to fit in and what my peers thought of me and spent more time asking myself if I like the person I’m becoming.

In my 20s, I’d have not moved back to Canada from Europe because of a boy. I’d have been more thoughtful of my next steps and, rather than just let life happen, I’d have spent more time meditating on ‘Who am I and want kind of human being do I want to be. What kind of life do I want to create?”

Yet, here’s the thing. While it’s fun to look back and ponder ‘what would I have done differently’, the fact is, I can’t change the past.

Today, asking myself the question, “What WILL I do differently today?” creates an open slate of opportunities and possibilities, along with a smile on my face!

The smile, because I recognize the trap in the question.

Think about it. To determine what to do differently, I have to be clear on what I’m judging as needing changing or releasing, along with the fact, if they need changing – I haven’t been doing anything about them!

Also, if I’ve got a whole slew of changes I want to enact in my life, every day I continue to do the things that don’t work for me, puts me further and further away from living (and aging) with grace.

Which… just so you know… was not what today’s column was going to be about when I recorded my video this morning!

Which… brings me back to something I’d like to do differently today.

Let it go.

Not worry about the creating of the videos and blog, and instead, allow them to be what I want them to be – my musings and rambling, discourse on aging in which others who feel inspired join in through their comments/feedback/questions or simply watching and reading.

So… while today’s video does not quite align with this post, I’m going to be okay with it’s disconnect.

Why? Because having spent a great deal of my life looking for ‘the connection’ in everything, I am choosing to simply be real, present and okay with what is.

I’m choosing to let it be as it is so that I can be as I am… Pondering the questions of aging, musing about the beauty, the hardships, the changes and the confusion I feel about this thing called, ‘getting older’.

Thanks for joining me. Your comments, likes, thoughts and ideas make a world of difference!

Much gratitude.

The Aging Tower of Power

I spent some time on the weekend journalling about the question I want to explore this week as part of this series, Dare Boldly: No matter your age.

The question for this week is: What does it mean to age with grace?

In my journal, I wrote, “I wish aging…” and then challenged myself to write all I ‘wished’ about aging.

Some of my wishes were self-explanatory; I wish aging didn’t show so much on my face and I wish aging didn’t come with so much baggage and confusion.

One of the wishes I wrote made me laugh, (and wish I hadn’t written it if only because it was soooo ridiculous! 🙂 ). I wish aging wasn’t such a felt experience.

What on earth do I mean by that?

Well… I’m still wondering.

Fact is, aging is a felt experience. I feel it in my body. I feel it in my emotions. I feel it in my thoughts.

Wishing I didn’t ‘feel’ it is like the quote my father used to trot out whenever I’d say something like, “I wish I could go to Paris with my friends this weekend,” when I had a summer job, couldn’t get the time off and was saving for a new something or other. “If wishes were horses,” my father would say, “beggars would ride.”

Fact is, wishing anything to be anything than what it is, or who it is, or how it is, doesn’t change what it is or who it is or how it is.

Tower of Power (Choices Seminars)

In Choices, a self-development program I coached in for over a decade until COVID caused its Canadian demise, they teach the Tower of Power. (I recommend you not google ‘Tower of Power’. You’ll come up with an R&B band and reference to a sexual position. I was not prepared to click on the second reference lest my Inbox become inundated with unwanted emails!)

In the Choices vernacular, the Tower of Power contains four statements. As you progress through each, you either choose to continue or, acknowledge you have no energy around making that wish into reality.

For example. I wish I could lose weight. I want to lose weight. I can lose weight. I WILL lose weight.

As you claim your position within each statement, you activate your will to fulfill on your wish – or not. For me, the ‘lose weight’ has evolved into, “I WILL feed my body healthy foods and activities.”

In the case of my statement, “I wish aging wasn’t a felt experience, I laughed so hard I almost had one of those little piddly accidents that sometimes happen with aging – and if you don’t know what I am referencing, lucky you! 🙂

See, when I encounter such a silly (not to mention futile thought – and yes, I know both those labels are judgments), I really do have to give my head a shake.

Life is a felt experience. Aging is as integral to living as breathing. How can it not be felt?

Once I got over my amusement, I got serious about my Tower of Power and how I could put it to work for me to move me into a more constructive, positive and inspiring framework.

Here is what I came up with using I wish, I want, I can, I will as my guidance:

I wish aging was a conversation full of love, celebration, and acceptance of all its gifts.

I want aging to be a conversation full of love, celebration, and acceptance of all its gifts.

I can make aging a conversation full of love, celebration, and acceptance of all its gifts.

I WILL make aging a conversation full of love, celebration, and acceptance of all its gifts.

That feels better. Especially as I breathe into the power of my will to create just such a conversation, here.

And in that power, I know I have the will to turn up here, in all my truth, vulnerability, scars, bruises, confusion… and hope, as we continue to grow deeper into this conversation, one word, one step, one idea, one day at a time.


In The Warp and Weft of Life

Yesterday, I shared a metaphor about how to me, life is a runway – I have more behind me than in front of me.

Others shared their view of life as a highway.

I think it is the beauty of this space in life where every perspective has value. There is no one metaphor for life. It is a journey and as so many people chimed in and said, it’s about quality and living each moment we are here to its fullest.

Curious, I went in search of other metaphors for life and found these on VeryWellMind, along with some wise counsel on the importance of occasionally checking our metaphors for life to ensure they are not limiting. Where once they worked, maybe today they don’t.

Some examples of metaphors for life from VeryWellMind include:

"Life is a song; we each get to write our own lyrics."
"Life is a puzzle; you can only see the picture when you put all the pieces together."
"Life is a garden; with care and love you can cultivate beautiful flowers."
"Life is a classroom; you'll always be learning new things."

Metaphors are important. They ignite the imagination, give us a visual context that can open us up to new perspectives by comparing a figurative example to open us up to seeing a situation, person, thing from a creative/different viewpoint. s

The metaphor I used yesterday of the runway was triggered by a conversation at the board retreat for THIRD ACTion Film Fest which I attended on Saturday. (If you haven’t checked THIRD ACTion out – DO! – though I’m sorry if you’re not in Canada you won’t be able to view any of the films online.)

In the retreat, we were talking about ageism. A couple of my fellow board members said they’d never experienced ageism.

I shared the story of how, when I was looking to leave the workforce in 2019, the board had asked if I would stay on. I told them that in good conscience, I could only commit to a maximum two-year timeline. Their response was, “We need more runway.”

That phrasing has sat with me for a long time. I’ve been curious about it — when I gave a two-year timeline I was acutely aware that at almost 66 I wasn’t sure if I had the energy and drive to continue to hold such a high-pressure, demanding role. Especially as the role of an Executive Director of a not-for-profit is seldom 9 to 5.

I had other things I wanted to do in my life and, as so many people commented yesterday, Quality counts.

Quality time with my beloved, my family, quality time doing the things I love, like writing, painting, walking, teaching art-journalling, and participating in art shows – are all very important to me and my mental health. Not to mention my overall sense of well-being, feeling balanced, and embodied in this present moment.

All of which, inspired me to consider what metaphor best describes my life today.

Life is like a giant loom upon which I weave, every day, a beautiful tapestry that is the living picture of my life.

Of course, as I am a wordsmith and love to dive deep into what stirs my spirit into soaring, I had to write more about my tapestry…

My tapestry is made of up beautiful, colourful ribbons. Each ribbon brings its own value, tone, hue,depth, width, and sense of being to the warp and weave. Some ribbons are woven all the way through, some ended their journey into the tapestry long ago, and some I’m just discovering as i continue to load my loom with vibrant hues of life unfolding in all its mystery, majesty and wonder.

How fast I weave is up to me. Life itself will determine when my tapestry is done. All life asks of me is to keep weaving as much joy, laughter, beauty, peace, harmony and Love into the warp and weft of my life, every day.

Do you have a metaphor for your life?

If you do, I hope you feel this is a safe and courageous space to share it.


Episode 13: Dare Boldly: No Matter Your Age – Metaphors for life

Does Age Take Away Permission to Be You?

When I went looking on Dr. Google for a definition of “What does it mean to Act Your Age” I was fascinated to a) lots of reference to it means don’t try to act so young/you’re not. along with b) a reference to it being a ‘cultural assumption’.

As we age, I learned much to my consternation, age gives us permission to do certain age-appropriate things and it also takes away permission to do certain age-inappropriate things.

One of the examples was, it is not appropriate for a 30-year-old to play with Lego. Ha! Tell that to my son-in-love! In fact, when he and my eldest daughter were married, his parents presented them with a house as a wedding gift — it was a Lego box full of pieces that would build their house. The box was accompanied by a lovely speech they shared at the wedding about how he LOVED Lego and he and his mother would play with it for hours.

He still loves Lego and he and his son, play with it for hours.

Does being over 30 take away his permission to do that? I don’t think so!

Which of course led me to thinking about the things I don’t do because I tell myself, “I’m too old.”

Those thoughts were rather daunting. Because they are there. Like, after a rainfall when I’m walking with Beau and I come upon a big puddle of rainwater lying in the middle of the sidewalk, I have this inexplicable desire to jump in it and splash away like a bird washing itself in a birdbath.

Too often I don’t. Well, actually, if there’s no one around I often will. Which makes me realize that (too) often, I take away my permission to do some things because I’m afraid of being judged by others — even strangers!

Well… awareness is the first step of taking action.

As Iwona commented yesterday –  “It is I, ME, who chooses to be who I am, to be relevant in the context of my thoughts, my actions as they relate to others. Age plays a very important role for with age comes experience to be a better being, to know how to be relevant in the greater scheme of this place we call the universe.”

I invite you to examine the things you no longer do that you loved doing in the past and ask yourself, “Is it because I think they’re inappropriate ‘for my age’?”

Of course, there are things our bodies invite us to let go of as we age. I no longer run marathons. I have arthritis in my feet and running hurts. That’s a ‘smart’ decision.

But other things, like splashing in mud puddles, lying in the grass and watching the clouds float by, running through sprinklers….

Watch out world! It’s a no holds barred kind of journey!

Thanks again for joining in the conversation. I so appreciate your presence, insights and light! You make this journey much brighter!