Tag Archives: retirement

What will your story be today?

I haven’t found it yet.

Not after cleaning and clearing out the back half of the basement and organizing my art supplies.

The Reading Corner

Not after clearing out the far corner of our bedroom (the reading corner) and organizing books and papers, clothes and paraphenalia.

Not after reorganizing the entire kitchen, culling dead spices and aged out dry goods.

And not after purposefully not filling my calendar with coffee dates and wine encounters.

I still haven’t found it.

My rhythm in the post-retired in the process of rejuvenation life.

And yes, I know. It’s only been seven weeks, four of which I spent away. But still… throughout my working life, my days were prescribed by the known of my routine; dependable, predictable regardless of unexpected happenings, crises and daily demands.

I feel adrift. Cast-away. Free-falling through time.

In the dissonance of my discomfort, I struggle against the flow and search for meaning in my life even in the presence of knowing, there is no need to search for meaning. The meaning is present when I am present in my life.

Ahhh. The ennui of taking myself too seriously!

Yesterday, Bernie at Equipose Life wrote about her search for her rhythm and I had to smile. I’d been wondering about the very same question since getting back from my month long trip and had been planning on writing/meditating on it today. Once coaching at Choices Seminars was over, I had this wide open playing field, and I was struggling to stay calm in the center of my life.

I think I’ve forgotten how to play in unscripted, unmarked spaces. To simply be in the moment of being rather than the rush of doing.

It’s possible I’ve spent decades forgetting.

And now, in the sudden onslaught of unscheduled time, I am peering too far into the future searching for some glimmer of what happens next.

I close my eyes and breathe deeply.

Patience grasshopper. Patience.

There is lots of time to figure out the future. There’s no other time than now to be present in today.

I take another breath, and the wise woman within whispers to my heart. “It’s okay. This unease will pass. Open your heart and bring your sights closer to home. Step lovingly into the space you’re in. Do not criticize yourself for feeling unease. Celebrate your willingness to be in its presence. And now, let go of looking into tomorrow. Today is calling.”

I open my eyes and smile. I am worrying about an unknown future when today is calling me to be present to its many gifts.

Outside my window the river flows past, the wind whispers through the leaves that line the bank. Through their filigree canopy I see the azure sky stretching out to the horizon.

I am in a land of new horizons. To be free of ‘what was’, I must stretch out of my comfort zone, lengthen the familiar muscles like the sky stretching out to the horizon and become present to ‘what is’.

Arms free, heart open I breathe into the possibilities, the joy, the wonder of being here right now. I slip into the river of possibility where life is inviting me to get into the flow of a new rhythm. When I quit figthing its pull, it will find me.

There is no need for me to crowd my time with a list of ‘important things to do’ or to worry about a yet to unfold future. Tomorrow will arrive soon enough.

I breathe into being present in my life right now. I open my heart and mind and greet the day. Life greets me back with its alluring invitation to release my fear and step into the flow of a new way of being in this world of wonder and possibility.

Namaste

First you must dream

I am sitting in a coffee shop on Main Street in Vancouver with my daughter. She is working on her laptop. I am working on mine.

Around us the coffee shop hums with activity. The street outside the window is busy. In the background, I hear the sound of the coffee machine steaming. The clatter of crockery and voices.

Above our table three paintings adorn the wall. I do not know their story. I wonder if they’re just ‘finds’ the owners have placed upon the walls to give it a homey feel. They look old. Perhaps from the 40s. I decide they are a father. Mother. Daughter. They do not smile. The father looks at his wife. Sternly. The wife glances sideways at her husband. I imagine trepidation in her glance. The daughter, who hangs above the mother, looks down towards her mother’s face. She seems sad. Worried. Perhaps her parents are fighting. Perhaps she fears they will divorce. Or perhaps her mother is sick and the father does not know what to do.

And that is all the story I decide to create about them.

My grandson is with the nanny today. My daughter does not have to go into the office but has two hours of work to complete, she tells me, before we can go explore the day. Let’s do it in a coffee shop she suggests so as not to conflict with the nanny’s schedule and my grandson’s attention.

I am good with this plan.

I am good with pretty well everything these days, holding myself in that space between what is right now in front of me and dreaming of what can be when I determine it is time to breathe into my dreams of life beyond this place called, ‘recently retired’.

I am thinking alot about dreams right now. Dreams of/for my life. For what I want to do. At some future time not yet determined. At some future date not yet arrived.

I am dreaming, scheming, divining… possibility. Of what can be, will be, when my intuition rises up and I let my imagination run wild. When I dive into creation of the life I dream of beyond the life I loved when work was my focus and my world gravitated around ‘a job’.

I am dreaming of next steps, but first, I must put substance to my dream. I must know what it is I dream of so that I can see it, feel it, taste it, hear it calling my heart to awaken into its possibililities with all my senses.

First I must dream.

I am awakening to dreaming. Awakening to creating possibility where this dream I am incubating of my life after ‘work’ becomes the reality of how I live my life everyday, inspired by life itself honouring, as Albert Einstein called it, the sacred gift of my intuitive mind.

The intuitive mind is a sacred gift,” said Einstein, “and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.”

I am falling into dreaming, falling into honouring this sacred gift where my intuition guides me into igniting my imagination and will to create the life I am dreaming of, the life I am creating.

 

 

 

Jail Break!

comfort-zone-break-out-copy

It was a simple statement made at a retirement party for a dear friend.

We had each been asked to state our wishes for the man retiring. One woman said, “I wish for you the courage to do something new. To try new things, things you’ve never thought of doing or things you’ve always dreamt of doing but never did.”

What a perfect wish. For any time of life.

Why wait for retirement?

It is easy to get trapped into believing there is one way and one way only to live your life. It’s easy to tell yourself that there are limited options in what you can or can’t do, can or can’t change.

Over time, we become accustomed to living our life ‘this way’. We become comfortable in the known and venture less and less beyond the corridors of our comfort zone. Eventually, our comfort zone gets narrower and narrower until the ruts become walls of regret, disappointments, fears, disbeliefs and limitations. Stepping out, over, around, beyond those walls is important — no matter your age you’re never too old to break out of the jail of your self-imprisonment!

This Christmas, a friend and I are launching a project to tell the stories of those whose lives once included homelessness. We will be filming Season’s Greetings from people who once walked the streets, slept rough or in shelter beds, and who are now living in their own homes. The vision, to connect heart to heart via the wishes and stories people share, to family and friends far away.

I used to do this every Christmas when I worked at a homeless shelter. We’d invite clients, staff and volunteers to film a Christmas greeting and put the greetings online at the shelters website. The difference this time is we will be visiting people in their homes. Sharing their greetings from a place many people never imagined they would ever find themselves again — at home.

Our vision is that through these stories/greetings we will expand our understanding of what it means to have a home, a place, an address.

Stay tuned for more as we develop ‘the idea’ for The Gift Project into something concrete, something meaningful, something we believe will open all of us up to the conversation of our human condition. The conversation around belonging.

Starting this project is a stretch. A step beyond the comfort of celebrating Christmas the way I always do. I’m not doing it as part of an ‘agency’. I’m doing it as part of a team that wants to make a difference by contributing to our human story.

I’m excited. We have a film crew and a film production company on board to edit the videos. The website is under development. The possibilities are expanding.

What about you?

What’s exciting you to step beyond the walls of your comfort zone into expanding your understanding of what it means to live your life on purpose?