When I turned 40 in June 2013, I was told that “life begins at 40” at least forty times. Was this the initiating factor that sparked growth? Did it imprint a possibility for change on a cognitive level that I did not comprehend at that stage? Or is this a normal stage of growing up?
One of my dreams has always been running the Comrades Marathon. As life happens, I ran the 2010 down run and it was a bit of a disappointment, so I decided this is a nice “turning 40” milestone. Two months before the race, I got a substitute entry and ran an up race. This run turned out to be more enjoyable and the box was ticked. Good accomplishment, 40, life continued, yet no major shifts.
I have always been a positive, energetic woman. Active on physical and emotional levels. I have changed jobs, set goals, done exciting things, yet somehow life continued on just as always: work, play, sleep, live.
In June 2015, I embarked on a dream of a few years and I solo walked 240 kms along the Camino Portugues. This is one of the routes on the Way of St James. During these two weeks, something happened on a spiritual level that I can now only (three years later) put down on paper and make sense of.
240 kms, blisters, excitement, fellow pilgrim interaction and energies, simple pilgrim living, butterflies, flowers, birds, grounded on earth, experiencing and exploring Mother Nature, and here the journey of growth started.
These few words could be thousands. I sought answers from psychologist #1, a sexologist, psychologist #2, a social worker, and now, psychologist #3. It’s important that you realize there was no comfort zone, no sit back on the couch and this is just going to happen. It was a put myself out there, cry, scream, dream, laugh, wait, search, change, listen kind of journey of three years and it will only end when my life on earth concludes.
The turning point came when I started turning inward. Who am I really? For when I was created, the intention was a life of abundance. The real deal of wholeness was woven into my innermost being.
I have always filled my life with energies, stuff, events, and goals on an external level. Resulting in awesome feedback in everyday life from people around me. You are smart, successful, beautiful, even cool because of what you do. And that is great. It created enough energy to live to the next bit of feedback. It was only when turning inward that I became aware that this is simply not as good as it gets. I became aware that I was a little girl in a cage in my innermost being.
Make no mistake, this cage was beautiful. Filigree cage with flowers, butterflies and lots of doors with me the colorful girl dancing, summersaulting, and moving in and out of the open doors. There were however closed doors, limitations, beliefs, perceptions, boxes, known.
Only when I went back into myself, my innermost closed doors, challenging myself and the doors, did I become aware of the possibilities from within. This was when it happened. When facing the closed doors, and one by one, opening them within my safe place, my haven, did the warrior in me outgrow the little girl. A new awareness and perception of me. A new life of becoming the real, whole, full totality of me as a warrior soulful woman.
What an awesomely exciting time in my life!
Is it easy? No. Is it worth it? Yes. Is this as good as it gets? I hope that this is only the beginning of an authentic journey of my becoming and living the life of abundance intended. The feeling of adventure awaiting and possibilities of what living really means is overwhelming and exciting. Venturing into the unknown, the unfamiliar, is scary but I know the reward is greater than what I can imagine. Yet the responsibility to create a life better than imagined lies within me. The warrior woman continues her journey from within a beautiful meadow of courage.