I am 39 in a few weeks. Holy smokes. How did that happen so fast? I can remember my Dad’s 40th like yesterday and now I am one year off my 40th. And I am so grateful. I don’t want to complain about getting older or having grey hair or wrinkles. What a gift to grow old. We hate it when young people die, yet complain about getting older and achey bones. If these past few years have taught me anything, it is to taste the fullness of life completely. To commit. To be present. To love wholeheartedly. To say no – and mean it. To say yes – and mean it. To forgive. To be ok if I change my mind….Cos one day, there will be no tomorrow.
I drew up my will about 3 years ago and it was daunting to think one day, I won’t be here. Also, a good reality check! Basically, my older brothers will need to organise everything and move me from Australia to PNG for my last hurrah (hopefully not for a long time!)….but it did remind me that with every beginning, there is an end. There is life and there is death. Yep, I know, it’s not rocket science…Yet, at this time of COVID-19, global loss, grief, mourning, the impermanence of situations/circumstances, the fragility of life reminds me to taste life with my heart wide open. To fight for what lights my fire.
Life is still happening despite being in a pandemic. People are starting new businesses, going travelling, making new connections, falling in love, falling out of love, having babies, burying loved ones, fighting for toilet paper, hunting for rapid antigen tests, wondering what’s coming up next. Life doesn’t stop. This world will continue to turn, come what may.
For so long, I kept my heart hidden away. It felt safer that way. To keep people away because I value my freedom, my independence and view myself as a wild cat riding solo. Can’t lock me down.
Yet, took a pandemic, deaths, illness, separation from friends and family, lockdown and isolation to wake me up out of this and see how important human connections are and our inter-relatedness to our surroundings, this planet. Hence, I went to see a counsellor to help me to heal parts of me that still hurt, it was/is time to practice what I preach and I had to recognise there are some things I can’t do on my own. I started to appreciate nature a whole lot more and I started surfing and got on the dating bandwagon to open up my heart again, started studying a new course to become a counsellor and hopefully help others with counselling down the track, I mended old wounds and friendships, I set clear boundaries in my business which resulted in fractured business relationships, disconnections and connections with my people.
How important is it to love? Not just in terms of intimate relationships, but friends and family and life? … It is critical. It’s a basic need in life. As important as the air we breathe.
In the past, I have held back from loving too hard, said no. Whereas now, I am taking all of me wherever I go. Doing all the things and feeling so raw as I do. Heart on my sleeve, how I feel written all over my face and in my eyes.
What is it to venture out and share what you love via yoga classes, meditation blog posts, yoga stories, mental health Instagram live feeds, to share my thoughts, feelings, sensations out here like a sitting duck for people to love or potentially throw vicious hate and mock me…which has happened, several times before!
What is it to date again after years and years of riding solo and lay my heart bare on the table in front of deaf ears, blank eyes and being wholly rejected by my beloved crush?
What is it to leave my mother country – connected to my birth place and spiritual home and yet find places and people in the world, that feel like family…what is it to be vulnerable and to live, to feel raw, fear, shame, hurt, disappointment and also the richness, beauty and joy in life?
What is it to be overwhelmed by grief and on a downward cycle as I learn about what’s happening in the world and in my own backyard?
To love is to feel is to be alive and embrace being human. May we always hold onto this, allowing what rises up, to rise and release.
Last year, my friend from the gym was 39 when he passed away on a solo hike through North QLD. He died doing what he loved. We have been so gutted at the gym, yet, his legacy is one of living life wholeheartedly, cos you/we don’t know when our time is up.
So, with my 39th birthday around the corner, here is my share to wish for you to also love life completely. Be OK with making mistakes. Progress is progress and sometimes a situation will repeatedly challenge you, until you learn the lesson. As you love and live life completely, know that I am also on a quest to do this each and every day — to love life completely each and every day and in the run up to my 40th birthday and beyond.