Nothing to lose

As I near what is commonly known as “retirement age”, dreams, fantasies, and desires for the future invade my thoughts frequently.

I don’t really know what retirement would mean for me, as I don’t have near the amount of savings that I would have had had I lived a “sensible” life. I do know that I want to keep making a difference in the world, and promote health and happiness to individuals who seek it. For about the past year, and even before then, I have been setting intentions and seeking guidance for what to do next. I have come to believe in synchronicity, which is another word for what many call coincidences. I have investigated some wellness coach and life coach programs, but so far have been unwilling and afraid to commit my money and my time.

I am a Registered Nurse but only hold a two year degree, obtained immediately after high school in the late 70’s. I decided 3 years ago to pursue my Bachelor’s degree, as it is required in more and more settings. After 3 classes, and the realization that I would have to take Algebra, I said “no more”. I don’t love the profession enough to  seek a higher degree at my age! If I’m going to study, I want to love it! I also disagree  with our modern pill-pushing healthcare system, often sad about the chronically ill people who flow the hospital’s revolving doors. There is a better way, I know, as I have practiced my own form of natural medicine for myself and my children for the years I was raising them, and sickness was, and still is, a rarity.

“Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”                                                                                                      -Steve Jobs

nature

The above quote landed in my inbox a couple of days ago, just as I also had begun to seriously consider a course of study to become an Ayurvedic practioner. I was fighting off all the negative thoughts that bombard me every time I consider making a major change or commitment. Is it fear of failure? Not being good enough, or smart enough, or _____enough? Yes! And what have I got to lose if I move forward and follow my dreams? Nothing! For this life is short, and purpose is to be found in the fulfillment of our heart’s desires.

Several people have affirmed to me in the past month that I am smart, powerful, intuitive, and can do anything I want to do. I have a multitude of choices, a variety of paths I can follow, and all I have to do is choose. There is no wrong choice, no bad path. I just need to take a step in a new direction, and keep walking, without knowing what the outcome will be.

Tourist trap – daily prompt

I went on fabulous camping vacations as a child. At least, they seemed pretty great to me. Now I look back on them and think about all the work my parents did on those trips. We went primitive camping in a 1963 Chrysler station wagon with a canoe on top and pulling a Uhaul. Two adults and four kids driving cross country – we went to Arizona, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, to name a few places. I remember that sometimes we kids would want to go to an “attraction” that we saw advertised on a billboard, and my father would start ranting that it was a Tourist Trap and a waste of time and money.

I’ve never been to Disneyland or Disneyworld, probably two of the biggest tourist traps in the country. I did take some of my kids to more minor attractions, the biggest one I remember was the Hershey Chocolate Factory but we avoided the amusement park. I much prefer nature. As an adult I’ve been to a resort one time and it was a good time, but for future travels I plan to rent rustic places and have more adventure for less money.

No tourist traps for me, please!

Walk barefoot in the grass

Or walk shoeless on the beach. Connect with the earth.

Ok, I know it it the middle of winter. I realize that your environment is likely to be very cold, possibly snowy. I hope you’ll read on anyway! I live in southeast Texas, and a few days ago we had a wonderful warm day in the 70’s. I had been feeling emotional, cranky, and wanted to blame someone besides myself for my irritability.  In other words, I wanted to pick a fight with someone, and absolve myself of responsibility for my own emotions.

A few years ago when I felt this way, which was quite often, I would become reactive to other people, including, to my sorrow, my children. I was in a difficult marriage with a difficult person, but I made it worse by being extremely reactive. Now I share life with a peaceful person, my children are all grown and gone, and I knew that I needed to keep looking inside myself for a loving response (to my own emotions.)

I left work at 4:oo and drank in the warm sunshine as I walked to my car. I called Robert and said, “Let’s have a picnic in the park!” I wanted to feel the grass on my feet, gaze at the sky, and let go of the insanity in my head, which comes periodically in spite of  everything. By the time I got home, he had packed some food, and we grabbed a blanket and drove the half mile down the street to the park.

feet in cloverWe had about 30 minutes before the sun went down and it started to get cold. I took off my shoes and buried my feet in the clover. I walked a bit, did a few yoga stretches, then lay on my back and absorbed the cloudless blue sky above the tall palms.  I felt the tension and static leaving me, peace returning to my inner being. We lay there until the sun was almost gone and it was too cold to stay, food and drink forgotten. I took this sunset picture that evening. Apparently this was all very needful and beneficial for Robert, too. We were both getting ungrounded from the busyness of daily life, needing to take time to stop and be in nature.

This experience is what I call grounding. It has something to do with connecting with the earth, and getting recharged.  It’s like we have all these ions that get  out of whack , fuzzy, and if we can connect with the earth it puts everything back in alignment. That’s what it felt like to be outside, touching the earth and embracing the sky and the sun. ( No this isn’t scientific, it is my personal experience and opinion.)

I’m very grateful that I can walk outside barefoot occasionally even during the winter months.  I live on the third floor and work on the fourth floor, and so have become more purposeful in literally connecting with the ground when I start feeling like a porcupine, and meditating on its own doesn’t completely bring me back to center. I love being outside, watching birds and nature, sunrises and sunsets, so I probably need to stay in the south.

What do you do to ground yourself, especially during the winter?