Reflections on turning 40

Yesterday was my 40th birthday. I treated myself to two days alone at the Nordic Spa in Kananaskis, trying to let my mind go blank. As I drove west towards the mountains, I could feel my energy being rejuvenated. A snowy walk, four hours in the spa, and a silent night alone in the hotel room did wonders. I am excited about this birthday as a new beginning.

I spent the first half of my life doing what I thought I was supposed to do, striving, and seeing the world through a negative lens. I was worried about all the environmental problems and how little old me was supposed to fix them. I ended up feeling not quite right (Parkinson’s disease aside) and depressed for the most part.

I have done a lot of work in the past five or so years to change that negative lens and to instead strive to see the light in all things and all people. Swami Sivananda describes it as “Seeing the life-giving rays in all things”.

It took serious action to make this change. I am still working on it. The critical voice in my head says: “ oh but that’s just putting on rose coloured glasses”, but the wise part of me knows better. Changing my perception has made my life lot better and made it easier to cope with an unpredictable illness and an unpredictable world. Changing my perception, beliefs, thoughts and behaviours has changed the way that I experience life.

I feel like today is a new beginning. There are aspects of my personality that I want to leave aside. I will leave them here, bury them in the snow or burn them in the rocks of the finnish sauna. When I return home, I will be more of who I want to be.

Happy Birthday!

My friend Michele Driedger took this beautiful photo.

My friend Michele Driedger took this beautiful photo.