The other day I posted on Instagram about how my middle daughter really lives life to all its corners, how she is such fun, so crazy and hilarious. She feels so deeply and widely and she inspires me to do the same. That is, when I’m not tearing my hair out from her outbursts. But it got me thinking, how do I live life right to the edges to feel into all its corners, try out things at all it’s angles and precipices? This is not to say I want to live any kind of hedonistic, massive adventurous life – hell no, at theme parks I’m the one holding the coats- no, for me it’s more how can I live the best life? Be the best self I can be? Feel all the feels and live out all the goodness? I’d say this is easier to do when you’re 4 years old than when you’re almost ten times that age. But maybe that’s where I’m getting stuck? Maybe it is easy, maybe I should just try. Drop all the baggage and ‘shoulds’ and the ‘this is how I’ve always done it’s’ and ‘this is just me’ and experiment a little?
We seem to spend so much time defining ourselves in our early adult life, making a statement about who we are to the world and then we hit the classic mid life territory and all we want to do is escape the box we’ve built for ourselves. Break out of our own self imposed rules and structures, be that a mis judged relationship, a sensible car or responsible job. We were in such a hurry to grow up and appear grown up to the world that we accumulated all the trappings of grown up life – spouse, mortgage, kids and all of sudden we crave that freedom we had before we had committed ourselves so fully. Hello mid life crisis, nice to meet you.
I like to think of it not as a crisis, that sounds a bit like breakdown, but i think it is instead something to welcome and to celebrate.Want to swap thrash metal for country music- do it, want to swap a career in accounts for brewing craft beer- do it. Want to just break out of your own daily habits and routines- bloody do it!
I am beginning to realise what a contradiction i am the more I get to know myself and until lately have seen these contradictions as negative, almost as if my personality is indecisive and can’t make up it’s mind. You see some days I’m a leather jacket, red lipstick, Radio One listening kind of girl who feels young and optimistic and gets a shit load done and other days i listen to Radio Four, wear no make up and my comfiest clothes, long socks and am racked with self doubt. It’s hard not to judge yourself on those days. But really, is one kind of way better than another? Or are they just different? They give me different experiences, different kind of days and different kind of outcomes. The quiet, radio four kind of days give me insight and rest, reclaiming energy for the radio one, red lipstick sort of days. So now I am trying to accept them as part of me, and trying to accept what they are teaching me. The way that they help me to lean in to the edges and corners of my life the way I am shedding skins and stepping into another me. A shimmer self if you will. The person I hope to be, the one I aspire to be, the one I can actually be on some moments of some days. And when I don’t make it there on other days, just knowing she might be just around the corner is something to reach for.
If you liked this article…Here are some questions to consider / journal/ meditate / ponder on …
Who is your shimmer self?
What would the best version of you be doing?
Are you embodying your best self in all the ways that you hope and that you can?
Is there anything small that you can do today to step into yourself more fully?