41 Revealing Yet Random Reflections For My 41st Birthday
In honor of my 41st birthday coming up this week, I've compiled a list of 41 reflections on a variety of topics related to BeingBreath.
You might be inspired, you might learn something about me or see a bit of yourself, you might laugh, you might get distracted halfway through, or you might walk away with a new perspective that will change your day in a really good way.
Let's find out.
In no particular order, ....
- A 40-year old body does not recover from tweaks and mis-movements as quickly as a 30-year old body. I know this logically. I’m just starting to appreciate it kinesthetically. (Especially when playing tennis against a 14-year old body.)
- Awareness of my posture, how I take each step, how I breathe, and how I move is not a luxury these days. It is a necessity if I am to stay well (in body and mind). I wish I would have trained myself and made this a habit earlier in my life.
- Hands fascinate me. The way a finger curves, the tension or relaxation when hands are resting on a table, the fierocity of a gesture or the gentle stroke across a cheek … they say so much.
- My belly. Oh, my belly. How I love thee and how I struggle with thee. You are my core, my strength, the center of my being. You encompass stories of childbirth and age and remind me of times of belly rings and tight abs and I cry and smile and laugh and try to love what is, all of what is.
- I often wonder – how much pain do we accept on a daily basis? How many of us live with creaks and aches that deeply affect our well-being (whether we realize it or not) simply because we feel it is normal to do so? (For example, the aches of being tired because we don't get enough sleep.) What would life feel like with fewer of these pains?
- Parenting is an ever-changing role with no guidelines. It’s as if you took a job as a receptionist, then were told by your employees that you needed to be the office therapist, then the chef, then the janitor, then … And if you try to sneak away to the break-room, all hell will break loose.
- My experience: Parenting babies and toddlers is physically challenging (especially with little sleep). Parenting pre-teens and teens is psychologically challenging. I’m finding the latter to be much more engaging of my overall attention … and way harder than I expected.
- My children are always my priority. But as their needs and wants from our relationship change, so do the ways in which I get to / have to realize that priority. It changes, every. single. day.
- Children provide awesome opportunities to explore interests that we otherwise wouldn’t.
- I think it is often underestimated how much children define the identity of a parent – particularly a “stay-at-home” parent. And I think it is often underappreciated how difficult it is to handle when the children start to become independent, and consequentially that part of a parent’s identity has to be completely redefined.
- I think it would be so funny to create an art piece plastered with every time I have uttered the phrases, “clean your room”, “have you brushed your teeth”, and “that is not where that goes”. It would be a really, really large art piece.
- I often wonder if I am doing my children a service by constantly reminding them of the things I see that they don’t (the dishes left out, the homework not done, etc) or a disservice because I’m not allowing them to discover these things on their own.
- I need to dance more. I put on a song the other day ("Crazy in Love" from the 50 Shades of Gray soundtrack) and danced around my living room. It felt amazing.
- I’m on day 969 of walking for 30 minutes every. single. day. I’m writing a short book about my experiences (Be sure to be on the newsletter to here more about this). I can’t believe I’ve been doing this practice for so long, and how much I've learned because of it.
- It makes me sad how unnatural movement seems in our society, or at least how segregated it is from daily life. Why is stretching at the gas pump or skipping down a sidewalk seen as odd? Why are stairs and far away parking spots seen as annoying? Why is strengthening your arms limited to the gym (with expensive memberships) and why aren’t there push-up bars for standing push-ups so we could do them while waiting in line?
- Transitioning from non-movement to movement is probably the hardest part of any activity. (“A body at rest tends to stay at rest unless acted upon by an outside force”) Post-transition, movement tends to energize itself.
- We are always creating – every moment of every day. We are always co-creating with one another and with the natural environment. How much you choose to be conscious of this creating and how much you choose to consciously engage with it is up to you.
- I go to art and craft shows because I am more interested in the way it makes me feel than the art itself. Isn’t that what we all do, though? I’ll peruse, and sometimes buy a piece because it makes me feel a certain way – not because I think that particular art piece is technically superior or “correct”. Come to think of it, I buy my mugs, my clothes, and even my food based off the same reasoning. What if I paid more attention to how things made me feel, and made / refrained from purchases more carefully because of this?
- I’ve done all kinds of traditional creative expressions in my life: Photography, acrylic painting, acrylic pouring, mixed media, art journaling, encaustic art, encaustic photography, crochet, knitting, embroidery, amigurumi, wood-burning, … It’s fun thinking of all of the ways I’ve played and makes me wonder why I haven’t done so recently.
- I am always co-creating the world in which I live. The more conscious I am of this, the more I can co-create the world in which I want to live.
- Wouldn't it be cool if we designed our environments to nurture creative expression? Whiteboards in the center of every cafe table to leave drawings or messages for the next visitor; percussion stations set up along busy walkways where people can dance a rhythm on their way to work; poetry magnets lining the shelves at the grocery store for kids and adults alike to create tiny poems; ... I came up with those ideas in under 2 minutes. How hard could implementing this actually be? Why are we stifling ourselves? What can I do today to change this?
- Experience of the world through full sensory awareness is kind of like outer space exploration. We know how to get there, but we have no idea the vastness of what is available for us to explore.
- Being in an environment that has a distinctly pleasant smell immediately lifts my mood. You know when you walk into a floral store, a bakery, or a day spa, and you just take a huge inhale and feel a bit better? I’m trying to remember this in designing my home environment.
- I find it sad how little we touch one another or allow ourselves to be touched. I’m quite introverted, defend my personal space, and still get a bit anxious when touched. And I also notice how deeply affecting (in a positive way) it is when I am in physical contact with another. I think we are missing out on a beautiful way of experiencing life.
- I recently listened to a Ted talk that said that our libido is our life force, our vitality, the energy we possess. (If you Google "libido", you'll see several references to this.) What a fascinating thought. If I could break my association of that energy with sex, how could its power be used in daily life?
- I wrote about the reawakening of my flirtatious and seductive nature. I felt it, I honored it … and then I’ve started to feel it slip away. I don’t want to make my life all about flirtation and seduction, but I will NOT forget the power and purpose of it again. Dancing with keeping it awake while not letting it overcome me is where I find myself now.
(World Work is how I define what we do in the world that contributes to someone else and/or our world as a whole. It is our job, our career, the work we do - whether it is paid or not.)
- We spend a huge amount of our lives in preparation for, or contributing to our societal growth (through school and then through our employment). We spend the majority of that time directed by the wills and worldviews of someone else (educational department dictating what we learn; need for money dictating employment; desires of corporation or company dictating what we do for 40-ish hours a week). Just something to notice.
- I feel as though I have so much more to offer the world but feel constantly choked in the methods of offering. There are never enough words, not enough time, not enough focus, too many excuses.
- I have always felt the importance of having my work integrate as seamlessly as possible into my life. If the job doesn’t excite my spirit, it must be flexible to flow with my changing schedule. If it is rigid with deadlines, it must be exciting to my thoughts and my soul so that I can have the energy to keep going. This is an unbelievable challenge that I sometimes wish I could change. But it is who I am. (I’ve tried jobs that don’t fulfill these needs, and I’ve actually become ill and broken down into tears day after day. No amount of money or success is worth that.)
- I have a really hard time receiving. In theory, this should make my world work easy … I could volunteer, work any type of job, and not be concerned with what I’m making. In reality, this makes world work impossible. Giving and receiving are just like inhaling and exhaling. You can’t do one without allowing the other. The less I allow myself to receive, the less I am able to give. I’m still working with this.
- I often wonder what our world would look like if money were not our main form of exchange and definition of worth. What would “work” be if not for the aim of making money? For me, it would be for the betterment of individuals, society, and the world in which we live. For me, it is the type of work I have to do.
*Note: Subscribers to the BeingBreath newsletter receive a special discount on Maia's "Work That Matters" e-course. It isn't too late - class starts on September 16th. Subscribe here and I'll send you this week's newsletter and more information about her course!
- It is interesting to think about this: I constantly put pressure on myself (sometimes more, sometimes less) to be the best I can be each day. This often creates struggle (because I can't do all I want to do, I'm too tired, someone else's plans supersede my own, etc). If each day, that struggle is part of my work, what am I creating in the world? More struggle, right? (How I am is the energy I am putting into the world.) Is there a way to do my work in the world (mothering, home-caring, writing, photographing stories, etc), one grateful movement at a time, creating what I LOVE to create and, therefore, adding more ease and peace to the world?
- I’m almost 41 years old and I don’t feel as though I’ve accomplished anywhere near everything I want to accomplish, or that I am all that I want to be in this world.
- Many people think that having no deadlines or accountability is an ultimate goal. I’m here to tell you that it can be nice for awhile … but it is near impossible to stay motivated to accomplish something that does not have a deadline or for which you are not being held accountable.
- I am STRONGLY driven by the “what-if” factor. The “what-if” factor is a mental game of possibility. What-if’s can show up when experimenting with art materials, rearranging a living room, pairing two previously unpaired items of clothing, or going out to a new late night venue. What-if's exist everywhere, and I am slowly remembering how fascinating it is to play with them.
- “Little things” matter so much. SO, so much. I’m still trying to find the words to explore this, but everything from the temperature of the water I use to wash my hands to the color of the shirt I choose to wear to the words I choose to say when someone asks, “How are you?” … it matters. Those things and billions of tiny thoughts and movements and choices influence my wellbeing, the path of my life, and our paths together. I’m fascinated by this.
- I’m also fascinated by the “moments before”. You know – the moments before you receive that phone call you’ll never forget, the moments before we learned of the start of the horrific 9/11 events*, the moments before the accident. Those moments that seem like any others. This moment could be one of those.
*I realized as I was reviewing, the date that this will publish. Please take a moment with me to honor those who lost and gave their lives in this tragedy, and all of the friends and family who carry the memories with them today.
- We are not mentally nor biologically practiced at keeping up with the pace of the world we have flung ourselves into. This is why we stumble, constantly. Eventually we’ll fall flat onto our faces. I don’t look forward to the outward manifestation of that, but I do look forward to the time that we are collectively forced to slow down and become more aware of the consequences of our actions.
- I feel as though I have spoken of the same things for my entire life but I have spoken in thousands of different languages. In so doing, I have both connected to many across disciplines…but have also confused those many, and myself. I want to say it all centers around "improving quality of life", but is that just another language that points at something I'm tapping into that goes beyond language itself?
- I’m not here to change the world. I’m changing the world because I’m here.
- Right now, you are reading some things that I thought about several hours ago. I recorded these thoughts and shared them with you. These thoughts are now bouncing around inside your head - and you have an opportunity to decide what to do with them.
You can forget them and go about your day.
You can let the one or two thoughts that are bouncing the loudest have their say, and maybe write down what comes of it. My thoughts will mix with yours, and something brand new and beautiful will be created.
Maybe you will do one tiny thing just a bit differently today or tomorrow because of these new thoughts.
And maybe, just maybe, your world (and thus, our world) will slightly shift because of it.
Et voila. 41.
Here's to our co-creative continuation - one shared thought, one shared breath at a time.
P.S. I would REALLY love to know which one(s) spoke to you the most. Would you comment below, or email me at Lisa (at) BeingBreath.com and let me know?