Go To Your Edges

Challenge yourself to go to your edges, that’s where the funky stuff happens.

Do you know what it feels like to look in the mirror and see nothing?

Life in the U bend can be cynical and sad at times. It’s hard to access gratitude for the everyday things. By this time in our lives we know what is good for us, we know what to do but its tricky finding the motivation and momentum to do it. It’s sometimes easier to keep looking at nothing in the mirror.

On ‘those’ days I say to myself ‘this too shall pass’ and it invariably does. There are moments of light, glimmers of sparkles. Generally I think happiness can be realised by being in the right place, doing the right things with the right people, obviously that is different for all of us. Having the power to make this happen is surely the way forward.

I also think that exploring and embracing our creativity in all its forms is another contributory factor to happiness. I love finding the wild woman inside, connecting with my passions, my desires, and my creative spirit. I feel creativity is key to unlock doors and dream up new ways of being. I am inspired mostly to write, to paint and to dance.

When we are connected to our instinctual, intuitive minds, our impulses to love, to create, to believe and to desire can be born. That’s when the juicy stuff that excites us manifests. That’s when our belief in ourselves heightens and we feel brave enough to move closer to our edges. Then the really funky shit shows up. Staying in our comfort zones day in, day out can begin to feel like torture. The speck of dust before us grows so big that it clouds our minds and keeps us in the prison of judgement towards ourselves and others. It keeps us locked onto the petty daily irritations rather than allowing us to be expansive and really feel alive.

It can be a painful process moving out of our comfort zones, exploring the unknown areas of ourselves and taking our first steps. Comfort zones, after all, are comfortable, but sometimes being comfortable can get really dull. There is no challenge to comfortable, there is no growth. So as painful and scary as it might be, going to our edges in our relationships, our career, our creativity, our minds will increase our power to surge forward and flourish. It will boost our confidence, our connections, and our self-esteem. It will make us more attractive, more satisfied, and more loving. Waking up and wanting to embrace the day and finding our flow will be a common occurrence.

So I encourage you (and myself) to go out and begin creating, go to your edges. Dance, drum, sing, write, meditate, paint, make, play, story tell. Deeply involve yourself in creative acts that make you feel happy. Don’t worry what other people say and don’t listen to that part of your psyche that has a low opinion of you. Let’s not grovel at its feet, instead bop it over the head and run for freedom. Take yourself, your ideas, and your creative power far more seriously than you have in the past. What you learn, experience and grow will have its time; it will fade and die but will be reborn again and again if you remain fearless and keep boldly going to your edges.

Note To Self

 

Mindlessly mindful, ever present and knowing.

Completely aware of myself and selfishly indulging in the circuit of thought.

Allowing self loathing, almost seeking it to reveal the self pity

To reveal the victim inside

Longing to overwhelm the present.

The beautiful present, full of love, the potential of laughter and joy

The potential of happiness.

 

I hate myself for surrendering.

I care less and allow myself to be fully in the moment of disdain, of dislike.

 

I see what I think others see and yet I know there is no clarity, my internal is hidden from them.

Blood, sinews, desires, darkness,

clarity would only expose twisted and dead end cavernous thoughts.

I am reluctant to go there for fear of feeling trapped,

the dread of wrapping myself up tightly

unable to penetrate from the inside or outside.

 

And so, I write to stop the madness

 

The temptation to write drives my pen. I cannot stop and yet the words do not come naturally all at once.

 

I love you, I feel your pain, I feel your guttural lock.

I see the knot in your deep lumbar cavity

seeping and poisoning your being

I see it in your loving

It is there to torture you, to play with you like a helpless bird

You are a toy, endless prey

 

Care more about your awareness

You have it in abundance

You are

strong enough

destructive presence can cease

take notice and be open, it has to reveal itself.

Absolution and acknowledgement will bring release.

 

I love you, you are my hearts desire

You are worthy and valid,

You are alive and real

You are here and present. Be that person.

 

I love you

Sparkle on bright shining star.

 

 

40 Something

Mid life crisis

I am a 40 something solo parent. I suppose you could call me a seeker as I have spent time looking at and reading about life philosophies and exploring my internal musings, distractions and demons. I try to practice mindfulness and I am sometimes present enough to recognise the happier moments in life and the joyous revelations. Then I try to be grateful for all of them. However, it has got to be said that life satisfaction has gradually decreased since my late 20’s and early 30’s. It has been a struggle to say the least, although my seeking has aided me on my journey, there still has been a niggly, underlying, low level, ‘I’m not quite in the right place, doing the right thing with the right people’ feeling. My late 30’s and early 40’s has led to a crescendo of dissatisfaction.

Mid life Crisis Theories

Research has come up with a possible reason why this downward turn in happiness during adulthood occurs with a low manifesting as a possible ‘mid life crisis’.

Studies have shown that life satisfaction starts to decrease from early adulthood and continues to do so until middle age, the nadir being in the mid to late 40’s and only then begins to rise again as you get older; thus the U bend analogy. The studies also showed that this was a universal phenomenon regardless of life circumstances or culture (although it has been highlighted that it is more of a western phenomenon).

There are a few dominant theories as to why this happiness U curve exists, one is bendeconomic. An article in the Guardian points out that it is the effect of work on our wellbeing and the downward side of the U curve begins in early adulthood when we enter employment. Contentment decreases as we work more and we have more responsibilities and expectations to deal with. The upward curve in our 50’s is possibly due to having more time to enjoy the fruits of our labour, since the kids are older and we are perhaps more financially secure.

The other dominant theory is psychological. We start off in life with big ideas and high hopes, but we realise over time that they are likely to be unfulfilled. As we get older we gain a new sense of realism and a determination to enjoy life as it presents itself; thus an increase in happiness.

Both theories make sense to me but the psychological theory resonates with me more since it will be a while until my daughter flies the nest and I don’t feel financially secure yet. I’m still hanging on though to my big ideas and high hopes, I’m not ready to throw in the towel just yet. Maybe I need to embrace more realism but I think I will keep my suffering going until I naturally get there.

Bygonesman dog

I do have a sense of more contentment in the future coming my way though. Yes I struggle with getting older, with my hair going grey and my skin ‘doing one’ in the southerly direction. Yes I am frustrated with not being more financially secure, I’ve taken risks in my life that have successfully given me adventures but not that much money. (I’ll take the adventures any day though). Still, I worry a little about my future finances and I have nothing but memories and shoes to hand over to my daughter.

Despite these irritating niggles, I’m feeling a new energy slowly rising, a sense that everything will actually be okay some day in the near future.

The U Bend

If this phenomenon does exist the U-shaped bend teaches us that a mid-life slump is both normal and temporary. It feels true from my perspective, perhaps this is the universes way to teach us our life lessons? A sort of long haul initiation ceremony to teach us to be a wise elder in the future? (if only our society respected wise elders more!) I find it a bit irritating though that my personal experience along life’s journey turns out to conform to some statistical norm, but there is no denying it, the U bend has me.

I feel passionate about this, hence the birth of this blog. I feel urged to write, not only to help myself out by having a platform to cry, shout, laugh and share love and compassion but also to shed some light on life in the U bend. I hope to create a safe place to vent, to make even a small difference in these dark times, for our internal selves and also for the bigger, struggling world out there. I feel that it is important to laugh at ourselves and together, to lighten up and create a positive space to reflect and navigate our way up to the other side of the bend. Maybe this knowledge can help us to relax a little knowing that this too shall pass eventually and at least we’ve got our mid 50’s onwards to look forward to, knowing that we will feel happier, calmer and more content; onwards and upwards!

woman at lake

I invite you to join me on my U bend journey, my musings, my low moments, my upward facing moments and my gradual climb back up to the lighter side of life. Please follow and join in the conversation.