Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I remember in my mid-twenties a family member telling me I should be ashamed of myself for something I'd said. I quickly responded, "I have never done anything that I am ashamed of. I am proud to say that some 23 years later I still have the same feeling. I have no regrets about the life I have lived or the choices I've made. Now don't get me wrong, there are choices that I made that when I look back I realize I could have possibly been more willing to compromise or more open to hearing another point of view. But at the end of the day, as old "blue eyes" would say, “I Did It My Way."

Of course doing it my way didn't come cheap. I have the bumps and bruises to prove it. I paid the cost to be the boss. What I know for sure, is that every person and every experience that comes into our lives has the potential to serve our higher good if we allow it. The problem often is we are so caught up in what is happening or appears to be happening that we miss the magic and the lesson of the moment. Now having lived a half century, I have learned how to except the bitter with the sweet and keep it moving. When I reflect back, not with regret, but bought and paid for wisdom and maturity I know I wasted a lot of time and energy on things and people that were not worthy of my time and talents. I also, know that in my often self-righteous stance, yes, I can be self-righteous at times, but I'm getting better: I now know that I could have been more willing to cut the other person a little slack. About six years ago I read a great book called, The Four Agreements by Ron Miguel Ruiz. Simply put, the four agreements are as follows: 1) Be Impeccable with Your Word 2) Don't Take Anything Personally 3) Don't Make Assumptions 4) Always Do Your Best. Without previously having a name for it or a conceptual framework, this was and is how I've lived most of my life. Which I suppose, has allowed me to live without regret. Now I must confess agreement # 2 is a really hard one on the road of life. However, once you understand that what most people are reacting to is not about you, but instead their own hopes, wishes and fears it becomes a bit easier. What I know for sure is that it is vitally important that we managed our emotions. Manage being different from controlling. When we manage our emotions, we allow them to flow, yet we are keenly aware of their impact on us personally and possibly the impact they may have on others. Given the fact that by nature I am a person of extremes; either very hot or very cold, I've learned to keep my emotional thermostat at room temperature. This allows me to manage my emotions quite well in that I tend not to go too far in either direction. Unfortunately, Queen Peri-menopause has come along and threatened to throw my emotional and body thermostat completely off course. As a result, it is much more challenging to maintain that room temperature. Nevertheless, I work on it every day. Some days I get it right and some days I surrender to the Universe and Queen menopause and pray that none of my family, friends or colleagues have taken anything I've said or done personally. (The Second Agreement).

Initially, upon turning 50, I was feeling a bit uneasy. You see the day after I turned 50, Michael Jackson died suddenly. Then there was Billy Mays and most recently E. Lynn Harris. They say there is nothing to remind you about your own mortality more than seeing those in your age or peer group make their transition. For a brief time I found it all so unsettling. I was asking myself, what's up with all the 50 something people passing away. However, recently, I was listening to the video of blog of Cassandra McShepard (fashion designer for the late Phyllis Hyman). Cassandra made the statement that "death reminds us to live". That statement resonated for me. I realized that what I was witnessing was my wake up call to be even more on purpose about my physical and emotional well being. To protect my body temple from the crown of my head to the soles of my fit. I realized that I was literally in a fight for my very life. If I am not absolutely on purpose about how I live The Third Chapter of my life I could find myself in serious trouble. Now though I am very conscious about my eating, nutritional and herbal supplements, I'm a bit of a slacker when it comes to exercise regiment. As a result of having lost about 25lbs last two years, I'm feeling like I don't look too bad for a grandmother of 50. Confession, I've been a slacker on the exercise. This is where I will have to put in the work. If I am not absolutely on purpose about this issue of moving and exercise, I could find myself for the first time in my life, with huge regrets. Okay, I've put it out there and now I have to be accountable not only to myself but to my blog readers as well. Stay on me; I want you to, really.

After years of self-work and some professional therapy I can see myself and others so much more clear. I absolutely love and adore the wise woman I am becoming. I step into this Third Chapter of life wiser, more relaxed, more willing to listening, able to go with the flow, whatever the flow may be. I'm realizing that at this stage of life, the only person that I am even remotely in charge of is me. Time to really exhale. Everyone is on their own personal journey toward wholeness and no one but God has the right or the responsibility to interfere with that process. I plan to ride this thing call life still the wheels come off. A wise woman once said, "Death will have to find me". When the Creator calls my number, I hope to be laughing, dancing and if I'm really lucky getting down right naughty with a fine young man that is at least 10 years my junior. LOL.

Non, je regreette rien- I Have No Regrets.