Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Joy of Being Sixty

                                                        Princess of Joyful Leadership

Today is my 60th birthday and I must say it has been painless. . . in fact, contrary to a general social consensus that joy is only for the young, the start of my seventh decade of life has been a fun ride so far and I fully intend to allow that to continue. 

Those that know me well, will not be surprised. I get teased regularly about my positive outlook on life, even when things look grim. Sometimes, I am accused of burying my head in the sand, since to my accusers, it seems impossible to be joyful when there are so many things occurring in today's world that should make me angry and fearful. 

Some believe I never feel sad, scared or anxious. None of those things are true either. I do. I just don't linger there longer than I need to. I meet my feelings (whatever they are) with curiosity and take a close look at the fears that lurk under any negative feelings. Once I look, I am reminded that I can meet whatever shows up. There is nothing that has occurred in my life thus far that I have not survived. That little nugget is true for all of us. We are still here, so we survived. The road we traveled to this present point in time can be filled with drama, resistance, blame and anger, or it can be lined with love, appreciation, acceptance and compassion. I generally spend most of my time on the latter road. It feels better to travel there and I am actually in better shape to effectively meet whatever challenge or obstacle that shows up when I don't get hooked by the negative elements surrounding it. 

This momentous, decade changing birthday is an opportunity to renew the commitment to myself to enjoy every day, unconditionally. The unconditional part can be a sticky point, but it is imperative in living a joyful life, remembering that peace is the flip side of the joy coin, and finding peace with whatever shows up is a must. 

Who knows how many hours, days or years are left for any of us? I, for one, am not willing to waste any time on living any of it on complaining, hating, resisting, judging or lamenting any difficulties that come my way. I have dabbled in those experiences in earlier decades and have not found them to be effective in making anything better, and they certainly don't create joy. 

The commitment I make to myself on this momentous day is to be grateful for every day, to express love rather than disappointment, to enjoy what is, rather than complain about what isn't, to stand for the good I believe in, rather than hate the bad that threatens it. 

So, I say bring it on, Sixth Decade....I'm ready! You will not change my mind since it is my thoughts that are the only things over which I have control.