Aging & Death

The rains finally came today.  A solid 20 minutes of genuine downpour…a “get naked and dance in the rain” downpour.

I am so grateful to the Elementals.  They settled their differences today and found balance.  And so, too, may I find balance.

I’m 68.  I have been moving consciously through layers of armor and patterns of conditioned-response to stress for decades.  But at this moment, what seems significant, is the last decade.

I reverse my timeline and look backwards from July 12, 2018.  

I officially opened the Mountain Valley Retreat in 2014.

Sidebar:  “This is 2018, my fifth year in my new business.  I’m sorting out the bugs and it’s working.  My working edge is clarity about what I want.  I am a Renaissance Woman.  Staying focused on one project at a time isn’t as fun  (read challenging) as juggling several projects at once  Some interests are more lefty, artsy-fartsy and some more righty, rational-mathematical.  I seem to go for the balance.”

  In 2010 my marriage of thirty-seven years ended in divorce.

 

Sidebar:  “We hooked up for the first time in 1968.  I was an 18-year-old freshman at DU and Jim was a 20-year-old junior on a 4-year NCAA basketball scholarship majoring in Economics.  When Jim graduated he moved to Chicago to play at being a banker in the big leagues… riding on the lapping tongues of the jock-sniffing Execs at the First National Bank of Chicago in the loop.  His entry-level position was as a Jr. Trust Officer.  Jim did the leg-work for his boss, Manny, from Kenilworth, Sr. Trust Officer. I transferred to NIU and majored in Education and Psychology.  We got married in 1973.”

In 2007 I left Jim and the farm we had lived on since 1975, 32 years.  I maintained my business, Be Well Now, in Godfrey/Alton.  I moved into a tiny log cabin 10 miles from my farm isolated in an oak forest on a little lake owned by a young couple going through a divorce.  My landlady, Kristy, was getting the house with 100 acres and rented the cabin to me and my cat, Lemur,  for two years.

The story of the preceding fifty-seven years is a blog (read book) for another day.

So, this somehow brings me to my topic, Death & Aging…or Aging & Death.

What, you are asking, is the connection between Aging & Death and the past decade of my life?  I’m aging and so is everyone around me and we all die.  The longer I live, the more Aging and Death become a “thing” for me.  As friends and family die, I’m left wondering the great unanswerable question, “What’s it all about?”

Within my ‘wonderings’ I came upon a thought.  As I age, time appears to be collapsing in on itself.  The clock may say it is six hours later than what feels like a moment ago.  It appears that my mind is staying more and more present.  Without thoughts about the past or the future time is losing its relativity.  Without anything to relate to,  there are no relatives for time?   Without relativity, there is no time!  Only now.

What does this have to do with Aging and Death?  Everything!

Aging depends upon the passage of time.  No time…no aging.

Death is the absence of time…it is timeless.  Therefore, if I am in a timeless space, I am already dead, by definition.  If I am dead, what separates me from life? Just the appearance of this body.

Savasana,  The little death, the chance to die before you die.  This is what my yoga is all for.  For 50 years I’ve known of yoga, practiced yoga, studied yoga, taught yoga…and now?  Perhaps, I am yoga.

Aging and Death?  Nothing but concepts of the mind.  Paper Tigers.  Bring it on!

Agelessness and Life Eternal.  Word!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I Forgot Who I Was…

I forgot who I was!

This morning, in Yoga,  I remembered…

At least, a part of myself.

 

I remembered I am strong.

I remembered I am kind.

I remembered I am human.

I remembered I am Divine.

 

The forgetting…

It happens when I get lethargic and sluggish

It happens when I stop turning inward

It happens when I pay more attention to what others think than what I know.

It happens when I stop my practice.

 

My practice is to stop hiding in my doing.

My practice is to listen to my body.

My practice is to honor what I hear.

My practice is to love myself enough to do my practice.

Like an Erupting Volcano

erupting volcanoAnger is not an emotion I am familiar with. I stuffed it down for so many years it gave up and stopped bubbling to the surface. Today it erupted like a volcano.

As a child I was not allowed to express anger. Mom taught me that anger was “unladylike” and Dad considered it disrespectful. No one modeled healthy anger management in my household. I saw the extremes of raging and denial/suppression.

In my marriage I was afraid to express anger. My ex-husband was a very big guy who could get his own good rage going, usually directed at me, and my returning anger was like pouring gas on an already raging fire so I learned quickly that anger wasn’t a safe emotion to express. I usually channeled my own rage into cleaning!

Six years ago I left that oppressive-suppressive-depressive marriage and I gave myself permission to express what I feel. I embarked on a mission of honesty and transparency. I wanted to be totally honest and expressive about every emotion I felt with everyone I was in relationship with…most of all myself.

For two years I lived with my cat and dabbled in internet dating neither looking for nor encouraging a long-term relationship. I had just ended one of those and I was in no hurry to dive into those deep waters again. But then…

I have been living with G for four years. We have a good relationship based on a long history (we grew up together) and many similar beliefs and lifestyle choices. We also have magical chemistry, not only sexual but we “get each other”, we respect one another and we laugh at the same things and make each other laugh. We call our relationship “Fragil Majik.” G is an intense personality, and I know I am my own strong flavor, so live and let live is my motto, as best I can. I consider myself a compassionate person. I do my best to appreciate every person’s unique situation and since I don’t walk in their shoes, who am I to judge? But then…

I have some strong opinions and beliefs about the human body, the effect of diet and our health. Natural healing has been my profession for twenty years and I was a student of nutrition and natural healing modalities for ten years before I became a professional. I use food like medicine to treat myself when I am not feeling as well as I would like. I am far from perfect but I am a strong, healthy 60+ woman, and I have plenty of anecdotal evidence that the natural therapies I employ work on myself and others.

G has some health issues. Without going into detail I will say they are long-standing (some since childhood) and have been exacerbated by his lifestyle which does not put health as a priority. I believe that some of the diet modifications and therapies I use would be helpful for him. For four years I have been sharing with him what I have learned from study, from clients, from fellow therapists and naturopaths. It falls on deaf ears. I’m not sure why. Perhaps he doesn’t believe the information is true. Perhaps he has resistance to changing his lifestyle. Perhaps he is triggered by the way I present the information. I don’t know.

This morning something snapped in me. When he did several things that were all contrary for his condition and the alternative healthy choices were all simple and easy I lost it! I told him his behavior was selfish because I live with the consequences of his ill-health. More than that, I couldn’t wrap my head around why anyone would knowingly, intentionally do that! It just made me crazy! I erupted like a volcano. So much energy came pouring out of me. It felt good in a strange way. I said my words to him and then I took off walking fast around the property, crying, cursing, venting…erupting. It lasted about five minutes and then I got a strong, full feeling in my gut. I got very calm and worked hard outside for the rest of the day letting my thoughts move through me, noticing the chain of events that led up to the eruption. It makes some sense to me now.

I don’t feel angry toward him anymore. My compassion has returned. My patience with the situation? I’m not sure…the volcano may still be simmering.