My 96 year-old inspiration.

The other day I was out running errands on my lunch hour. I had taken extra time that morning to dress a bit nicer than my usual blue jeans, cowboy boots and tee shirt. My ensemble included a long gray fleece skirt, a dusty blue shirt with lace detail yolk, a very long fluffy blue and white scarf with dangles I wound around my neck, a long silver daisy chain necklace, tiny blue lapis earrings, and an older soft jean jacket. Nothing stunning, but for me a nice change. Classy yet comfortable. Sometimes dressing up a bit makes your mood lighter, and you feel more confident.

I was pushing my shopping cart forward in the aisles, thinking the carts were a bit large for the aisle space. Not a big complaint but as a result I was very careful when passing other folks who were getting their shopping done. One such person was a sweet looking lady, very petite. I doubt she tipped the scales at 90 pounds she was so small. Under a black Tam o’ shanter hat a lovely bunch of wavy, black and dark blue hair came spilling out. The blue looked like the color you add on with foam spray. Nice touch. Her features were very fine and set amongst a lifetime of delicate wrinkles. If anything they added to her charm. There is no shame in aging I say. I thought to compliment her on her looks but decided to stop and let her decide which frozen item to get out of the case. I hate to rush folks, especially the elderly, or young mothers with children in tow.

After I moved on a voice behind me said, “My, your skirt perfectly matches your lovely gray hair.” I was astonished to see it was this sweet lady I had just been silently admiring. We struck up a conversation on the topic of gray hair. She lamented, “I haven’t got any gray hair yet and I’m 96!” Well folks, you could have knocked me over with a feather. I knew she was possibly an octogenarian, but to be out shopping and on her own, clearly able to fend for herself at that age really impressed me. To have all your faculties, focus, and beautiful style at almost 100 years old was impressive to say the least. I would also say she is an inspiration. Something for me to shoot for as I gracefully age (ahem).

On the topic of aging gracefully, as little as four years ago I had dark brown hair that I started dying blonde. It was a fun few years and it took years off my looks. But the upkeep and expense of dying long hair was getting to be too much. I’m a person that needs really easy, low maintenance habits. I held my breath and took the plunge and decided to accept my hair and features as nature intended. (I wear little to no makeup.) Still, when I see pictures of myself, especially on today’s video chat, I am wondering, who is that lady with the gray hair? Oh, that’s ME! Kind of makes me laugh. It takes some getting used to but I am really beginning to like exactly who I am. I will continue to be inspired by the sweet little old lady I met in the frozen foods aisle. If I have half her charm and style at 96, I’ll be doing just fine.

What have you seen recently that has inspired you? Comments are welcomed and encouraged. 

Strange energies abound—How about you?

The following is mostly word-for-word between myself and a long time friend. It pretty much describes the feeling of being in a holding pattern, being involved, yet not seeming to get anywhere despite lots of work. Not quite stuck, but not going anywhere yet. Experiencing some of the crazy energy patterns at this time of great change. My friends response to me was articulate in a way that is clearer than I could have described it. Plus she hit the nail on the head several times. Read on.

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Dear Faye,

I have this feeling of not being able to land….and flying round in the air instead. Yup. That’s the stuck feeling I have been in for a while. Stuck is really too harsh a word. It’s more like a holding pattern. I feel like I’m doing everything right, but things are not aligned yet. Much is happening on many fronts, but I don’t feel like I am moving forward exactly. It does not feel wrong by any means. I can’t go back to where I was, and going forward is not quite ‘a go’ even though I know what I need to do. I also feel exhaustion off and on. Mostly on. What’s your take on it? Are you experiencing the same thing?

Dear Patty,

This energy lately has been hard. That’s the only word I have for it. I can see everyone around me stressed all at the same time. Sometimes interactions are coming out sideways.

I know that every moment there is a choice to buy into the negative expiring energy or relax and find the fresh and new. Sometimes I fall back into patterns and “everything sucks, this isn’t fair, etc.” Other times I am able to take a breath and rise above. Either way it’s hard to stay unaffected.

It’s feels like watching that storm happening outside. You know you are inside where it is warm and dry. You know it’s unlikely a tree will fall on your house or a tornado will tear off your roof, but you still can’t really relax until the storm passes.

Interesting thing is that I am noticing more and more people that seem asleep. I don’t know if that means I am becoming more aware or just that energy changes are highlighting things.

The other day I needed to drive downtown. I was passed by a car going too fast who cut me off. You know the situation: I’m following a car going the speed of traffic, who is following another car ahead of you, etc., etc. There really is nowhere to go faster than the crowd, but yet, this person just “needs” to pass you because you’re not going fast enough. We drove together for 20 minutes. I went the speed of traffic. They tried to pass and weave and get ahead. We arrived down town literally side-by-side, but I think we had much different trips.

I’m trying really hard to not be the person in that car who is not recognizing that they have a choice. They are only making it difficult for themselves and less enjoyable for others traveling with them.

I resonated so deeply with her response. She said it better than I could have. I loved to hear her perspective on things since we seem to have parallel experiences in the Jungles of Time and Space. The storm analogy gave me chills and I felt that was true for me. I feel like I am part of a huge worldwide energy storm, witnessing it in action as I sit on the sidelines in wonder and awe. Sometimes I have to get dressed in my mukluks and macintosh and go out and be in that storm. Sometimes I can sit on the sidelines. One thing is true, no one can get out from under what we are experiencing now. We are all in it. Some feel safer than others and some are more affected by it. Some days are great, some days I’m Dorothy in the cyclone.

The story of the driver of the other car is a great reminder to me to slow down my thinking and return to center when I am in a panic. Being in a panic is not being very grounded or spiritually connected. It happens to all of us. It’s a crazy disjointed way to expend energy since you can’t get to where you want to go any faster than the ‘traffic’ around you. I have to remind myself what is going on in the outer world is not always serving the highest good, and to take note of it, and act/or not, accordingly. I hate it when I have relapses of panic or frustration. They seem to happen almost daily with life’s little ups and downs. It feels a little embarrassing to lose my cool or get flustered. Conversely if I see others in a panic, rage, frustrated or doing other similar activities, I like to be the space for them to do what they need to, and send love. 

This is another way meditation helps. As soon as you notice you are off track, gently return to center without judgment. My image is like moving a bubble with a feather. Gently acknowledge you were off track and return to grace. You can do this anytime, not just in meditation. That’s as graceful as it gets. Every time you return to center is a victory. Even if you feel you were the bull in the China shop. Every time you return to center makes it easier to do it next time. And it energetically helps everyone else.

Make some small movement and things that have felt stuck will eventually shift. Give it time. keep forging ahead in little ways each day. There will be periods of rest that seem like stagnation. Nothing is stagnant. Trust me on this. Every day I do get better and better. Some days I feel the weight of many more years of ‘stuff’ to get through. Some days I feel like I am one of the lucky ones to be on earth at this time. Elated, energized and ready to rock!

If you need inspiration, keep in mind it’s not just all about you, or me, or one individual. It’s not even just about your town, the country or the planet. Spirit is always learning from us. I always think of it this way, Spirit is helping us and we are the ones in the trenches. They admire us for being on the front lines. You are a trailblazer right along with the best of them. So keep on keepin on, and be good to your fellow travelers along the way.