2012 seems like an auspicious year to be 50 – for me anyway. For the last 3 years or so I have been saying I am almost 50, unlike some who fear that round number of age and wish they were sneaking their way backward, I find myself boldly and excitedly walking my way into it. Which makes me smile and even giggle a little bit.
From 2005 to 2009 I was in a period of great upheaval and transition. After saying repeatedly over those years I was in transition I began to wonder if that cycle would ever complete itself. Then, in 2009 on the heels of a one day vision quest in Gold Lake Colorado and then the first Shamanic Convergence in Nova Scotia, I began to sense the transition process had shifted into a more gentle unfolding process and that I had given birth to the second half of my life, complete with the articulation of a personal purpose statement: from this place of deep rootedness to my spiritual lineages, I boldly bring my healing gifts to the shifting shape of the world and the regeneration of its people. It is a statement that 2 years later still resonates deeply for me even as I grow less sure of what exactly it means.
This was also a period of time when I began to embrace gifts of awareness of the non-physical or subtle realms – and began to feel deeply embraced by non-physical entities – guides, guardians, angels. As a person who lived a very ordinary experience of the physical world up to my late 30s, this was an area I had always believed in and felt could be accessed — but by other people, certainly not by me. My journey brought teachers and mentors to me and took me to places where the existence and substance of the subtle realms and my ability to connect with them became undeniable. It has been a significant part of the rebirthing process and will be a growing part of the journey forward. A few years ago, one of my teachers said this is a time when there is a growing need for and a growing number of people who can walk with one foot in the physical world and one in the non-physical world – with greater ease, seamlessness and ordinariness.
If I gave birth to the second half of my life through that lengthy transition period, now I feel like I am beginning the Fool‘s Journey all over again, dancing the dance of possibility with time and space as a playground. In the Gateway to the Divine Tarot (my favourite at the moment), the Fool is pictured drifting high above the Earth, implying an unearthly aspect to him, with innate wisdom that lies outside the ordinary and mundane realms. The Fool is both emptiness and infinity, bringing movement, change and fresh starts. The path is waiting but the full course of it cannot be seen.
I have been experiencing a sense of anticipation as I approach 50. When I was a child, even a teenager, maybe even a young adult, 50 seemed both a long way off and old, not the launching pad for something new. I’m not sure what 50 is supposed to feel like. It is half a century after all. In the millennia of life this is such a short period of time. I don’t feel old, I feel strangely and beautifully ageless and more and more like age as a number doesn’t matter. What matters is how we approach life and journey, what we are willing and able to embrace and how well we can surrender into the greater forces lighting our path.
Maybe I don’t feel old now because, in the first half of my life, I have often felt older than my years. This was partly through taking on lots of responsibility and finding myself in leadership positions at very young ages. While not feeling old now, I do feel like an elder in some ways. Steward might be a better word. I think of it as elder in the journey – this current physical journey in the world, but also in the sense of my soul journey and the vast expanses of eras I have traveled to be here, right now in this time. To be 50 in 2012. Did I plan that?
A lot of attention has been paid to 2012 – the year the Mayan calendar ends. Some have interpreted this to mean the year the world – or civilization – ends. It may well be the end of much of what we do know or how we have lived but I doubt it is the end of the planet. Likely it is the end of age old patterns, the end of blindly bringing destruction to our ecological systems, the end of allowing only a few voices to dominate. I am of the view that the Arab spring and the Occupy Movement are manifestations of the deeper shift that is already happening in the world, the trending to a greater level of awakeness in the world. A time of returning to greater consciousness that there is far more beyond the physical vessels our spirits inhabit and far more alive in this world than just the plants and animals, just what we can physically see. Maybe it is a time when our sight and awareness will collectively expand again so we can live with a greater sense of the sacred in every place and every one – including in us.
I am aware of this journey in me and of me in this journey. I am aware of a vast array of conversations I am with people in many places in the world where this is true. Of a greater hunger for deeper dives, greater understanding, more meaningful work, love and relationship in new and deeper ways and beyond only the intimate love relationship.
Perhaps we will look back on this time in a decade or so and see what a harbinger of change it really is. I’m certain I will look back on my journey and affirm what I know and sense as I move into 50. This is a time for me to break old, limiting patterns, to step more fully into what is mine to do, to completely embrace my purposeful path and live into all that has been on my own edges for awhile. It is the year I will publish my first book, Embracing the Stranger in Me: A Journey to Open Heartedness and begin writing the second book – its companion guide.
There is such a sense of newness on my horizon of 50 and of joyous celebration. I may have unconsciously created an association between turning 50 and embracing life in the fullness of all it has to offer. I have been growing into it for sure in the last couple of years as I have discovered falling in love everyday, have found joy as the baseline of my experience rather than as the exceptional state and have stepped into more conscious awareness of the experience I am living in any given moment. I have been growing my experience of and relationship with the non-physical world and particularly my own guides, guardians and angels.
I didn’t really have a plan for my life up to this point. If I did, it wouldn’t likely have included the things that have shown up. I wouldn’t have imagined I’d be divorced once, let alone twice. While I would have expected to have children, I wouldn’t necessarily have anticipated the quality of relationship that has emerged and been present throughout their growing up years – with them and their friends. I couldn’t have imagined the most amazing people who have shown up in my life and those that have shown me pathways, caused me to grow or reflected back to me qualities I have been invited to embrace – the delightful and profound, the challenging and mundane.
I also would never have imagined that a country like Brazil would play such a central role in my life and journey or that I would be at this point in my life and surrounded by the most amazing young leaders from Brazil and here that I get to play with, learn from and with and journey with. Yay for what I do not know and cannot see. And for the increasing courage and grace that allows me to embrace what is wanting to show up.
The invitation into 50 gives me shivers in the most delightful and shimmering kinds of ways. The invitation into deeper levels of trust, forgiveness, curiosity and joy are apparent. This invitation is flirting at the edges of 50, waiting to see my response. Like the first half of my life, it will be filled with the imperfections of life, of me in my human journey, ambivalent at times, sad at other times, anger more freely expressed when it shows up in my experience but in better and more life affirming ways, like other emotional experiences that are not joy and love dissipating quickly because of the freedom of expression in healthy ways. There will still be days when it is challenging to walk the path, days when my own inner judge will be alive and vociferous, days when I do not know what to do or make choices that will somehow feel wrong. It is a human experience I am living, after all, that we all live.
However, I have come too far to go back. Have I come far enough to fully surrender and embrace all that is waiting for me here on the edge of 50? It seems that is part of what I will discover as I begin the Fool’s Journey anew. I begin with child like curiosity and playfulness and anticipation. I begin with joy brimming over the top. I look forward to seeing where and how your path intersects mine and I am eternally grateful for the path, people and circumstances that have brought me here to the edge of what’s next. 50, here I come. Are you ready for me?