"Forty is a most beautiful age. In mystic thought forty symbolizes the ascent from one level to a higher one and spiritual awakening. When a baby is born it takes forty days for him to get ready to start life on earth. And when we are in love we need to wait forty days to be sure of our feelings. The Flood of Noah lasted forty days, and while the waters destroyed life, they also washed all impurity away. In Islamic mysticism there are forty degrees between man and God. Likewise there are four basic stages of consciousness and ten degrees in each making forty total levels. Jesus went into the wilderness for forty days and nights. Muhammad was forty years old when he received the call to become a prophet. Buddha meditated under the linden tree for forty days. You receive a new mission at forty, a new lease on life! You have reached a most auspicious number. Congratulations! There are no wrinkles or gray hair strong enough to defy the power of forty!" ~ from "The Forty Rules of Love ~ A Novel of Rumi" by Elif Shafak
I turned forty today. I must say I am excited about entering this next decade. As opposed to my teens, twenties and even much of my thirties I feel grounded and secure. I know what moves me, I know what I love (and what I don't), I feel alive and vital and have a growing sense of my depth of spirit and with all the work and wonder, adventure and agony, fear and ferocity that has gotten me thus far I am tingling with anticipation of what lies ahead.
My teens and early twenties were very difficult and painful years for me. I struggled with low self -esteem , depression and anxiety. I made a lot of bad choices and by the grace of God got by without suffering the full consequences of those choices. I was very unhealthy. I drank, smoked and did everything to excess. Most of all I was a lost soul who had no sense of self or worthiness. No direction.
My twenties were about beginning to reclaim myself and to begin the difficult work of self inquiry and inspection. In my twenties I found love and got married, began to realize that I have value and ability, that I had more potential and courage than I had ever recognized before. By the end of my twenties I had done much soul searching, crying, battling, adventuring and questioning. I had two children by the age of twenty nine and despite my terror about being a mother I loved them intensely from the fist moment they each arrived.
My thirties have been a true decade of transformation, revolution and coming home. My thirties have been a WOW, never thought that would happen, amazing journey with a voice whispering to me along the way "Remember who you are." In this transformation have been struggles and mistakes and heartbreak but coupled with so much joy and awakening unlike ever before. So as I leave this marvelous and messy decade behind I want to acknowledge here, with gratitude, some of the wonderful things it has brought me.
~ Two more daughters. Meg who came to us through foster care at the age of 12 and then we became her legal guardians, and the birth of Harper. Mason is our son and eldest turning 13 soon, and Avery our other daughter is 10.
~ I found yoga and knew immediately it would be my life calling. Yoga is my way of being and my spiritual path.
~ I explored art and photography and have shown in galleries.
~Became a yoga teacher. First earning my 200 hour and then my 500 hour certificates.
~ I have moved to the East Coast, with my amazing husband and kids and have been in New York and now Connecticut (close to my spiritual home Kripalu Center).
~ I met Jill Perry and with her help and guidance have become a marathon runner. NEVER thought I could or would ever achieve that!
~ Started Whole Running with Jill Perry. Starting and running a small business another never would have thought.
~ Found Yoga Dance and beloved teacher Megha who has been like my mother of dance. She showed me the way home to the dancer I have always been. Became a Let Your Yoga Dance teacher and now assist the trainings.
~ Found my spiritual teacher Vidya Ma who showed me that miracles do happen because we made one happen.
~ I am currently in a yearlong teacher training called The Acharya Intensive with Vidya Ma and Devarshi learning and exploring what it means to be a spiritual teacher. ME a SPIRITUAL TEACHER? Yes, everything in me knows I am where I am supposed to be.
I feel so very blessed for all that I have and for the learning I have received thus far. I look forward to experiencing and celebrating all that is to come whether it be happiness or hardship. All experience arrives right on time and for good reason to further our growth and awakening. Everything calls us home to love, the true and endless nature of all of us.
To end here is a quote that showed up on Facebook today.
an excerpt from Universal Birthday Messages
by Shri Brahmananda Sarasvati
The first and last command of the inner Guru is this: not to have identity with the body and mind. You are not the body and mind, although you have a body and mind. Body and mind are your vehicles. They depend on you.
They are alive because of you; otherwise, they are already dead.
You are the ocean of awareness, and that awareness is the first and last religion, the first and last freedom. Awareness is your real home, which is called OM.