I am reading, really listening to, “The Book Of Gutsy Women,” by Hillary Clinton and Chelsea Clinton. I am fascinated by their depiction of over 100 amazing women! Their accomplishments quietly stir up my emotions invoking me to ask, “did I do anything important for wo/mankind?” Being a senior, I know time is running out in this body and wonder if I have done enough. Maybe this is why seniors full their days volunteering OR sitting home being anxious and depressed. I refuse to do either of the latter. Volunteering - that's a subject for another day.
My New Bible - Yamas and Niyamas
Of course I haven’t abandoned the Bible I read cover to cover - Old Testament and New. I feel the Yamas & Niyamas, as expanded upon by Adele, emphasizes how to love others as I love “myself.” A blueprint so to speak on how to love me. How can I send love when I don't experience this love within? However, I do love me.
Santosha one of the Niyamas – “invites us into contentment by taking refuge in the calm center, opening our hearts in gratitude for what we do have, and practicing the paradox of “not seeking.” “…The Yamas and Niyamas. Although I keep a gratitude journal, I must remember to really think about what I am grateful for and why I am grateful. This reminds me of going to Confession as a child. Confession is a Catholic sacrament where we confess our sins to a priest so we may be forgiven. Sort of like a telephone to God. I would write a few things from a list of specified “sins” then repeat them to the priest. My gratitude cannot be a list of “things” but a memory of love.
I am GRATEFUL for my parents who loved me unconditionally. I know it’s popular today to rag on our parents mistakes but let’s think about what they got right. Mine loved me and taught me to love. This is all they needed to accomplish but here is some icing on my cake. They clothed me, sheltered me, gave me a good education, beautiful holidays, taught me to cook, and much much more. That is a great deal considering they did this every day for as long as we were together here on earth – one 41 years and the other 51 years. They were ALWAYS there for me.
I am GRATEFUL for my husband of 48 years this September 30, 2020. Sure, some days I want to leave and many days I dwell too much on the few things we did not do or are not going to do (maybe). When I lay beside him at night, maneuvering around the two dogs, I know that this is what I will fondly remember and miss the most when and if I linger here a little longer than he. I remember the love, the love making, the vacations, the homes we lived in, and most of all the children and grandchildren we helped create. Most of all I remember Love.
I am GRATEFUL for my children. They gave me my purpose here on earth. I wanted to be a mom. When I think I fall short of the women noted above, I quickly remember that my purpose was with these three precious, sometimes disagreeable, sometimes angry, most times wonderful human beings. Everything they do has some root in our, Dave’s and my, rearing. They are sometimes seeking, sometimes settled and always able human beings. I’ll take it.
I AM GRATEFUL FOR ME. I came into this world in tact; body, mind and spirit. When I think I should have done something “else”, I remember why I did not. I always have a choice; free will. I have reinvented myself many times because that is what I needed to do. My divine purpose was always clear to me.
Santosha – finding contentment generates from gratitude. I not only look inside and reminisce about the many wonderful people, places and things in my life but I recollect that I chose. I chose to come here to this family. I chose to stay with this family. I chose to love and be loved. Any fear I harbor today reminds me of the many times I was fearless. Every bit of my past has made me into the person I am today. Seeking to avoid or change any of me is a waste of energy. I’ll take me.
With each age comes a new role. “Discontentment is the illusion that there can be something else in the moment. There isn’t and there can’t be. The moment is complete,” Adele.
Staying present, being grateful, looking inward, and following my heart on my yogic path will enhance my senior years. Should I have gotten to this path sooner? I was busy.