Dear Clients and Friends,
There is a bit of sunshine today and I am clinging to it after a fascinating, life changing week in Baja, CA. I had the honor and pleasure to attend Chip Conley’s Modern Elder Academy (MEA) and truly take some time to reflect on the future and how I want to shape, deepen and expand my vision in the coming months and years.
You might think that the intensity of the work we do together is depthful enough, meaningful enough, wise enough, but I was surprised to find myself challenged in some fundamental ways that have hindered my progress as a healer and a human. I’d like to share some of those findings so that you might notice if you resonate with any of this in your own life and work.
The first a-ha was that I was shocked to discover just how much varnish had caked on my soul. Even with the self care, the yoga, and the joy of working with you all, I was developing more of an exoskeleton than I realized. The source of it is not so unusual--not enough laughter, not enough play time, not enough art and music, not enough home cooked food. But knowing everything that I know, I was surprised to find that this was my story. Over the challenges of my own midlife losses, I let some things slip away simply because I was too tired to hold them and everything else on my own.
I also realized how the knowledge accrued in middle life can start to dominate interactions. The community comes to rely on your particular knowledge and suddenly you become a PEZ dispenser of data whether it’s about health or computers or finance or culture. At the retreat, we spent a significant amount of time on our communication skills, and I found that after doing that, I was much more present and curious, much more inquisitive and articulate, and especially soft-eyed and soft-hearted in my gaze.
And probably the most important realization is that I was by every measure, exercise, and conversation doing exactly what my heart desires and yet I have not been feeling the joy and reward that should naturally follow largely because I had not had time to reflect, through all the setbacks, what I’ve actually accomplished. Having a group of new people provide a powerful and loving mirror helped me to see that I’m exactly on track and closer than I even thought to swimming in the wider sea.
With all that growth, I come back in a liminal space, varnish stripped and open to reviving the dehydrated parts of myself to support the BIG changes that will be the topic of my next letter. Naughty me for leaving you all with a cliffhanger, but spring is the ultimate cliffhanger and rejuvenative rains her overture.
If any of this resonates, I’d love to hear from you. I felt like I had a midlife Bat Mitzvah and am excited to invite you to my party. And I am super psyched to come to yours if you’ll have me. Please share whatever is in your heart.
See you soon, I hope!
With folded palms,