GOING FOR IT. AT 60.
The part that’s taking moxie? Listening for my own truth.
Today I had to throw out some moldy raspberries, and I was annoyed. I mean, have you seen how proud Whole Foods is of their organic raspberries? I think they cost 35 cents per berry, it’s crazy.
Anyway, I’d purchased them as a little treat for myself. I ate half of them right away and was saving the rest for another day.
EXCEPT WHEN YOU WAIT ONE DAY TOO LONG, SUDDENLY YOUR WINDOW OF BERRY GOOD OPPORTUNITY HAS SLAMMED SHUT, AND YOU’RE LOOKING AT A WANNABE SCIENCE PROJECT. WHICH IS SUCH A BUMMER WHEN YOU’VE GOT YOURSELF ALL REVVED UP ABOUT HAVING A COUPLE BERRIES.
Well isn’t that just like life, commented the ever-vigilant, finger-waggy voice in my head, which droned on after a dramatic pause: Here you are putting off something you want, and you waited too long, and now look: They’re all MOLDY AND GROSS! You wasted them! I sure hope you don’t do that with your LIFE!!!
As you can see, the little voice in my head is subtle like a hammer.😬🔨
It has a knack for turning a perfectly lovely raspberry metaphor into a weapon of mass destruction.
It’s understandable that this particular voice or energy—a little scared underneath that disapproving tone—is piping up a lot right now. This past Sunday, even we who are not avid sports fans were impacted by the news of Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, perishing along with with 7 other people in a helicopter accident. Life is so…unpredictable. So fragile. So fleeting. That’s been the air we breathe these past few days, hasn’t it?
When tragedy strikes, we get a tap on the shoulder, a whisper in our collective ear: This ain’t forever, this life thing. Remember that. Act accordingly.
On the personal front, it’s my 60th birthday this Saturday. Which I will admit has had me pondering some things. There’s nothing like a milestone birthday to get you strolling down Existential Lane and checking in with your Soul.
You know what I’ve noticed, though? It can be VERY confronting to ask what your Soul wants. I speak from personal experience here.
Here’s what I noticed: I kept having ideas but then swatting them away like irritating flies. One of the ideas that bubbled up is one that’s bubbled up many times before—WRITING A SCREENPLAY. Oh, but here comes me swatting at it like Naahhhh…I don’t really want that….
WHY IS IT SO CONFRONTING TO LISTEN FOR WHAT THE SOUL WANTS?
SHOULDN’T ASKING OURSELVES WHAT WE TRULY DESIRE ONLY CONJURE PRETTY SCENARIOS FLOATING ON COTTON CANDY CLOUDS OF POSSIBILITY?
I sat with this for a while and then asked that fearful, edgy energy of mine what it was afraid of, exactly.
The reluctant answer: If I were to admit to myself I really want something, then I’d have to do something about it.
Ah. Okay. And what’s under that?
The shadow truth came spilling out:
Whatever it is I might supposedly want, I don’t trust myself to follow through and do it to completion, and I don’t want to be disappointed like that. I don’t want to feel the shame and humiliation of having gone after something and failed, especially if I fail because I didn’t fully give myself.
I don’t want to flirt with you, possibility, and then look away, turn my back, and pretend I never liked you, let alone loved you. And then there’d be that sour aftertaste of betrayal. Feeling something inside me shrink a little. Witnessing scar tissue harden around the part of my heart where that desire lives.
Okay. Is it just me, or did we just listen in on a nightmare performance review with a bad boss? Jeez. My little voice can be pretty brutal.
SPEAKING OF LITTLE, I’VE ALSO BEEN THINKING ABOUT LITTLE ME.
When I was a wee girl, I loved nothing more than being allowed to play with the fancy electric typewriter. I would painstakingly copy sentences from magazines, totally digging how the letters came together to make ideas.
One day, it hit me like a ton of Lego bricks:
Everything around me in print and on TV had started out as somebody's idea. Somebody had typed that shiz, and look what happened.
Maybe I could do that.
It’s not surprising, I suppose, that I wound up studying journalism and working with words for a living. Telling stories.
My career has had several chapters—I am a card-carrying serial reinventionist—and since my days working in and teaching journalism, I’ve worked in innovation, the social expression industry (aka My Hallmark Years), public relations, and leading personal and professional development training programs. And now of course I have the work I’m doing now with my own business, Moxie Creative & Consulting. Which is awesome and an epic challenge, as any entrepreneur will understand.
I’m healthy. I’ve seen two amazing daughters grow into remarkable women. I’ve had adventures aplenty.
Oh, and did I mention I just got married to a wonderful man a little over a month ago?
Cue the spoilsport little voice again: Why are you even asking about what your Soul wants when you’ve already got so much? What are you, ungrateful? Shut up and go make a latte, for pete’s sake.
I am extremely grateful. Even on my most challenging days, I am well aware of the many, many blessings that have come my way.
Life doesn’t have to be some either/or proposition, fortunately.
And what we’re really talking about here when we talk about this kind of deep listening is love directed toward yourself. As we all know on our best days, we need not worry about running out of love, about enjoying too much love today and needing to save some for later. Love is much bigger than raspberries, organic or otherwise.
Still, it takes a lot of courage to say, I WANT. I DESIRE. I HAVE LONGINGS.
The good news for all of us: To listen for what your Soul wants does NOT in any way diminish your life as it is right now. It enriches it.
And the life you’ve lived up until now—all you’ve done and been, all you’ve not done or been—has gotten you to this very point. Which could be a turning point.
Have I done all the things I’ve wanted to do? No.
Have I made mistakes? God, yes.
Did I get into “the best shape ever” by 60? Why no, no I did not.
Is the world a better place in some ways, in some places, with some people, because I was here? Yes, it is. I own that as well.
IT’S PRETTY GREAT TO BE ABLE TO SET THE INTERNAL SCORE CARD TO THE SIDE AND JUST APPRECIATE IT ALL, APPRECIATE YOURSELF.
The bottom line: What I’m giving myself for my 60th birthday is PERMISSION.
The truth is, I can recall wanting to write a screenplay—wanting to be part of making a movie that makes a difference for people—since my daughters were about the age I was in that photo. And that was more than 25 years ago.
There’s always been some reason it wasn’t the right time.
Currently my highest-ranking reason is my business, the need to spend the majority of my waking hours on my baby.
But you know what I’m getting for my birthday this weekend? That’s right…Permission!!!
Here we go (deep breath): This year I’m going to write a screenplay. Start to finish. And I’m going to send it off to someone who’s in the business of finding screenplays to make into awesome movies.
THIS IS NO LONGER GOING TO BE THE REWARD I’LL GET SOMEDAY FOR HAVING MADE IT TO THE BOTTOM OF THE GOTTA-DO LIST.
I’m going to give myself at least 4 full days a month to play, experiment, write badly, write really well, whatever. I’m doing it. And I’m sharing with the people in my world that I’m doing it.
THIS IS A GIFT I’M GIVING MYSELF.
I’ve always embraced my life as a work in progress. What’s shifted is I’m expanding into a new space of radical self-reverence. And I know that’s going to spill over into every part of my life in ways I can’t even imagine right now.
Can you relate? Or is it just me?
Truth: That same little voice in my head also wondered if it was smart to announce my age: Are you out of your mind? There’ll be less opportunity! Some people will consider you less relevant. And does everyone in Chris’s family know how old you are? 😂 (Thanks for sharing, Little Voice.)
Obviously what won out here is my belief that we all need to fully own who we are.
I’d love to hear how you deal with the cosmic questions…and listening to what your Soul wants. Would you take a moment to leave a comment below?
Also: If you’re interested in having a guide on your own journey, I’d be honored to discuss that with you.
Send me a note if you’d like to learn more about the Soul Spa experience and other Moxie services for women who want to unleash their wild hearts and live a life they’ll be proud of.
With love and moxie,
Wait, there’s more?… Get the full Moxie Diaries in your inbox by signing up here.
We respect your privacy and will never sell your info.