What kind of growth does the next life stage or, as, I prefer, the “third chapter” of life, demand of us?
“Growth?” you say, “At my age?”
Yes, I do. It’s an intelligent and essential response to the new life experience of either being forced, or invited, to look mortality squarely in the eye. Usually around age 60. What to do now?
Beyond an initial acceptance that you/we/I will not live forever, another question follows: “All right then. How will I live the years that remain to me?”
And not far behind are the related preoccupations I hear from many women: “I’ve lived a constrained life. I’ve put others first for so long, I’ve lost touch with who I am. I’ve developed a pattern of consistently denying what’s really important to me.”
And moments, hours, or days later, surfaces the intention:
“I do not intend to die with that regret!”
“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”
If that day has come for you, read on.
Here’s one way to let that bud loosen it’s grip on the status quo. At least to create an opening for things to change.
Tap your “willingness” to grow.
Start by playing with a “future” truth. Dare to articulate possibilities you may not have allowed yourself, as if they already exist. In words, and song, through tears and fear, proclaim the following phrases until you can say them comfortably. Allow these words to penetrate and rock your internal status quo.,
- I am willing to discover/uncover the life I am meant to live.
- I am willing to say “yes” to what I want, and “no” to what I don’t want.
- In order to live a life I want, I am now willing to grow.
Obviously, a transition of this enormity to a life of purpose and meaning does not happen in one day. But today is a day to start. Pay attention to the uniqueness of you, and ask yourself…
- What is one time today when I experienced joy, pride, connection, and contribution, even just for a moment?
- What was I doing, and with whom?
- What similar experiences of deep satisfaction to which I might be willing to start saying “yes”?
Let your bud begin to bloom.
How did the rose ever open its heart and give to this world all of its beauty?
It felt the encouragement of Light against its being;
otherwise we all remain too frightened.
HAFIZ, TRANSLATED BY DANIEL LADINSKY
PS. If these words make you ready and eager for a newly blooming third chapter life, CLICK HERE.