This is the year I will be 80 years old, if I am lucky.
What might the grey-haired, wiser me say to the internally awkward-fawn, 34 year-old me? I thought about the qualities this older self might possess: gentleness, kindness, contentedness, and wrote a letter (using real pen and paper) from this place. What poured out surprised me.
There was so much love, so much heart, like receiving a letter from my grandmother. The praise and overwhelming use of terms of endearment made me question if I should published the letter at all. Would it be considered self-centered and conceited? Who am I to offer any advice? But I’ve decided to share what came forth because it’s honest, and I hope inspires others to tap in to that older, wiser self who loves unconditionally and kinda knows stuff.
Here it goes!
Note, editing kept to a minimal as I’m dying to update (aka edit out all the flowery flourishes in) this writing and, well, that’s kind of not the point.
First things first,
Don’t worry so much
Not about the money,
And especially not your weight,
Get over it.
Keep up the morning walks,
The journaling and the meditating
What is worthwhile reaches you from this settled place
These things are important
Now to the rest of it:
How wonderful to connect with you at this crossroads in your life. I sense that you sense things are changing and yes, you are very right about that. Soon your life will look much differently. You will have a family of your own. Don’t doubt that, my love. And this family will bring so much to what is already so full.
You’ve led a remarkable life already. I’ve been with you. How incredible that you can proclaim with confidence that you’ve never strayed from you heart. Continue to let it guide you my darling. Do not cower from the richness it delivers. I know you will not. Continue to let yourself savor and feel the petrifying aliveness that is available in each moment. Squirting your loved ones with the hose, short sheets on April Fools Day, apple crisp in the oven, there’s much to enjoy. Yes, there will be sadness, hurt feelings and anger, but you can always trust your heart. Keep learning to open it fully.
You feel uncertain now, about your path, future and career. This will always exist on some level. No one has it figured out. Whatever is “solved” isn’t really or was never legitimately part of the equation. This whole thing is about accepting and learning to dance in vast open space. The secret is learning how to make this dance bearable and yes, even enjoyable.
Continue to take walks and connect to the everyday. This is where you find inspiration. Dance and write, these are your gifts and where you find happiness. You must write everyday my friend, even if it’s just in your journal. You need this grounding.
A few things to remember:
Look up at the sky every day for at least a few minutes.
Even as it gets rounder, softer and your skin begins to thin and wrinkle—love your body. There’s no use in fighting these changes. Embrace and love.
When your heart feels so full it might explode, terrified with it all, let it burst into tiny dandelion puffs that will catch the air and play. This will inspire more bursting all about, one after another sparked by the fullness you have offered.
Let your relationships unfold slowly. This will be hard for you but remember the best things take time, microwave vs. slow cooker.
Don’t be afraid to say I love you with intention from your whole being.
Always walk with a dream.
Offer others what you may to help them pursue what is true.
The planet is changing, and as its suffering begins to more dramatically impact society, there will be much attention on its state. Live sustainably. Do not take more than you need. Help others connect to our natural home.
Allow yourself to read every night, reserve TV for the truly worthwhile.
Take care in your appearance and allow little things to refresh the old—new socks, earrings. Buy nicer undergarments!
Paint your fingernails once for the season.
Try hard for the things you believe in, everything else is not a big deal.
The mornings are your treasure. Cherish this daily jewel where your best ideas come. You’ll want to escape this place for the distractions of other humans, but do not. Settle in and work diligently.
Do the things that must be done in the afternoons, and take naps. Do not feel guilty.
In the evening, allow yourself to again be inspired but by the thoughts and writings of great thinkers.
Now you can forget all of this because you know it already.
Most of all, my darling, continue to revel in the beauty of being exactly who you are. There is nothing to change, nothing to fix.
Enjoy the next 46 years. Much muchness ahead!