Honoring the Atypical Milestones of 2013

I don’t have a baby and I don’t intend to have one. I’m not interested in marriage until I have crossed a threshold of intimacy with someone that makes me see the joy in being someone’s twin flame. I don’t intend to die until my time. I have graduated from college and am seeking employment in a field that has led me down several paths at once, and definitely doesn’t require an office.

Here’s a question I’ve been asking over and over again : Do I have ANY milestones that are translatable? Explainable? Profitable? Are they even milestones if they don’t make sense to anyone else?

As I approach the end of 2013, I’m getting an atypical notion of what a milestone is. We teach the milestones that are most valuable to us: weddings, babies, jobs, deaths and graduations. But what about the atypical milestones that we all feel should be celebrated, or at the very least, noted?

Columnist and podcast host Dan Savage made a very interesting point about divorces. The fact is, the marriage is only deemed successful until one or both of the partners DIES without breaking the marriage. If you stuck with someone long enough that you DIED before they divorced you, then the marriage was a success.

If we apply that to other pieces of our culture, then births are only successful if the baby grows up and doesn’t commit a felony or end up on the stripper pole. Why not wait until they are 30 to REALLY celebrate their life, because when they are babies all they need to be is fed and changed. I mean, what if that baby grew up to be a total asshole, would we want to celebrate his birth before we knew anything about them?

Would a job be successful if you stayed there until you retired, although you hated it and everyone you worked for? If they fired you or you left early would it be considered a failure? What if you got a degree in finance and then left that job because you discovered you hated it? Would that not be a milestone because you were finally allowing your true self to guide your choices? There is no card for “Congratulations, you’ve realized what doesn’t work!” 

My point is, we need to start looking at the atypical achievements of our past years. Discoveries, Adventures, Obstacles Beaten and Commitments Brought to Reality are four things I’m truly interested in when it comes to marking milestones. 

Discoveries – Have you played with your inner child? Have you tried something different? Have you found something you love doing or are you attempting a discovery? Have you learned something about yourself that you never knew before? Have you discovered what you need to change, and if so, have you acted on it?

Adventures – Have you stepped out of your comfort zone? Have you seen something new? Have you immersed yourself in a book, dance, show or hobby? Have you found a process or a project that connects to an inner desire, and are you moving on that path?

Obstacles Beaten – Have you gone through a grieving process? Have you changed a habit you wanted to break? Have you blasted through an inner obstacle that you have been fighting for years? Have you beaten karma to become dharma?

Commitments Brought to Reality – Have you really loved in so deep a way that you have come to understand its true nature? Have you committed to yourself so that you can help others? Have you finished what you started? Have you continued to walk your path in spite of what other people think? Have you grown through your commitments that you truly care about?

So here are mine, for this year. I hope I have remembered all of them, but this is what I am most proud of:

DISCOVERIES:

1. I am a damn good writer and production manager. I am a horrible web designer and video editor.

2. I am part mermaid, and need to keep swimming always. I can swim 2 miles without practice in open water. Must build myself a tail.

3. I need to eat less sugar and booze and sweat and laugh more. I need to help myself first. 

4. I have found a mentor and a friend who supports me creatively, and can offer impartial advice. KEY when looking at your passions like a lost tourist with a fold out map from 1997. 

ADVENTURES:

1. I fell in love with a man who deserved it, and I told him/showed him as often as I could that it was true.

2. I saw Sigur Ros at the Fox Theatre on my birthday. 

3. I went to Wanderlust in Tahoe this year, further confirming that the yoga community is a place where I feel very much at home.

4. I salsa danced at clubs in Sacramento and Stockton, and held my own on the dance floor.

OBSTACLES BEATEN:

1. I broke it off with a man who wanted different things than I did, and I did that with grace and strength.

2. I got through the holidays without my Grandmother, and further attempted to break some karma and heal with my mother’s grief process.

3. I reconciled with a friend I haven’t talked to in years, because I was afraid of what they thought of me. I learned that true friends are genuinely happy to see you if they call, and won’t judge if you aren’t making the same choices they are. 

4. I watched my friend have her first child, held her hand through the ups and downs and confirmed that I don’t want children of my own. I managed to connect to her although her path was foreign to me, I learned to love someone through a different phase of their life and connect through the divide. 

COMMITMENTS SEEN THROUGH:

1. I finished my certificate in web development, even though I discovered I didn’t like it. I finished what I started.

2. I finished another degree that I have put off for 5 years, my undergrad degree became official in 2012.

3. I finished my first feature as a production manager for a full length feature.

4. I have done the same yoga set and meditation for 60 days, and am moving to 120. 

May you reflect on this year though all your milestones, both typical and atypical. May you honor your successes and failures with equal love and respect. May each milestone be a door and a clarity. May your open heart breathe in prosperity for the new year, as you shed old identities. May you become divine in your actions and pure in your intentions. May every step bring you closer to your truth as a living soul. 

Sat Nam.

 

 

 

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The River and Elements of Choice

We drink every day out of the cup of our own consciousness, but never aware of the other side of it. Many times we wish our identities could be solid, our emotions identifiable in origin and our roles cemented. At least then we could scale our lives down to margins and degrees.

Could you imagine? I am 80% happy today for my role as daughter, barista, and yogi has been filled. Now that other 20 percent, if filled by my role as girlfriend, nuclear physicist, and professional break dancer? I would be set for LIFE!! Also? I want to dye my hair/get a tattoo/go by my middle name so that everyone will INSTANTLY know I’m different without anything happening. Michael Fassbender will also come into my work, get coffee, fall madly in love with me and we will dance at our wedding to Neil Young’s “Harvest Moon”.

You see how crazy that sounds? We are creating holes in our own life for things we aren’t even sure we want. Each identity is crazier than the last because we can’t wrap our head around infinity.  How can we filter happiness when we are constantly searching for things that make us unhappy? How do we make choices about who we are when the model changes constantly? How do we react to change and not get swept into a false identity because of it? How do we not wake up in shock wondering “Is this REALLY my life?” and feel drowned by that discovery?

Life flows much like a river. At our best, we move at a natural course and are filled with life. But imagine if the waters of that river were to encounter a huge island at the center of the river’s path. An unexpected division, a natural obstacle to life’s flow. Half the water would flow around the island one way, the other half would flow on the opposite side. One way has the exact same volume of water as the other, the only difference is the direction.

I’ve reached an age where things are neither good or bad anymore. My life simply merges and diverges depending on the obstacle presented. Whether I go on one side or the other, I’m still water. I’m still mutable and transformable and a product of my environment.

Depressing, right? But think of it this way:

The water, when flowing on it’s natural course, can’t see the new pathways being created during the merging of the elements. It can only feel the motion and respond by joining with the universal organic flow of everything around it. 

Our job is to not see the monumental island in our way. Our job is to find the path of least resistance and go there. Over time, the island becomes a bar of sand or disappears completely for the water is made strong by its consistency. I’m not the best at limiting my fantasies, nor being swept away by illusion. But with practice, and with love and time? I could follow the flow of my life exactly as it is and get exactly what I need. The organic path of the soul, lived by its present. Delicious.

May your time, talent and discipline prove to be your best friend. May you not see the giant island but feel the grains of sand flowing between your feet, and trust they are wearing what isn’t needed. May you choose either/or, but be blessed with the knowledge that there are no bad choices, but simply choices to be reckoned with. May all of your problems be the result of a life that you want, a life of least resistance. May your destiny serve you in ways you never knew, and may you be blessed because of it.

Sat Nam.
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