The White Picket Gate

(…)The White Picket Gate requires us to look at where we have become over-identified with the roles we have played or the expertise we have developed earlier in life.
This gate reveals our changing identities and social masks. It leads us to reconsider who we think we are or are not, and rediscover the essence of who we are beyond our ambitions and our egos’ needs. Each picket of this gate symbolizes a role that we have developed. The Second Half of Life – Angeles Arrien
The Task: “The task at the White Picket Gate is to uncover or awaken to the essence of who we truly are beyond masks, roles, work, history, and associations.”
The Challenge: “…we must shift our allegiances from fear to curiosity, from attachment to letting go, from control to trust, and from entitlement to humility. “
The Gift: “It leads us to reconsider who we think we are or are not, and rediscover the essence of who we are beyond our ambitions and our egos’ needs.”
This gate is already a challenge. The particular assignments to examine and re-examine different facets of myself as I have moved through life will be a new journey for me. It’s evident in that I began this post in August of 2016 and am just returning to it.
Not that I haven’t thought about it. There have been times in my life that I saw myself as my role as a mother and wife, or as my success in work. And I believe our friends are sometimes a good reflection of who we are.  Still, contemplation has not been the perfect key to understanding. It’s time to really begin journaling about the reflections. Time to continue the adventure!
The Student

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Filed under Angeles Arríen, The Second Half of Life, The White Picket Gate

Morning Thoughts

I always try to remember my fortunate birth and live in gratitude.

This morning I am thinking of my parents. They were spiritual in the best sense, both leaving the forms of religion behind as they opened their hearts and minds beyond the confines of organized dogma to growth and inclusion. My father was always Bible based. My mother, too, I suppose, but she was a searcher. She embraced new thoughts on old  concepts.

What I am especially grateful for this morning, however, is their lifelong belief in nutrition as the basis of good health. Our gardens were organic. Our table was blessed with rainbows of fresh fruits and vegetables before it was in vogue. And, they both had a hate on sugar. I didn’t see white sugar in my home. There was rich raw sugar used sparingly and honey when we needed sweetness.

What a boon!

I had my breakout years when I followed the golden arches and slurped up the frosties. But, “raise up a child…” and all that. It was easy for me to fall back into my good habits when I began to see the toll on my body.

Thank you, Mom and Dad, for the wonderful life lessons.

The Student

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Filed under More Teachers

Something New – Part 12

“The challenge of the Silver Gate is to reconnect to our regenerative forces and stay connected to them. Many cultures of the world have traditional practices to accomplish this.” Angeles Arrien
I am intrigued by an Ancient European custom cited in this section that is still practiced in some areas of the world. The challenge is to do something never before tried each month. The custom is to do it on one’s birthdate, but I will play fast and loose with that.
* * *

I know that I am not alone with my concern over the unleashing of longstanding bigotry and hatred in my country. The events of this past year, its political campaigns and the election have somehow legitimized speaking and acting out ignorance and hatred.

I am not a political person. Politics are not my mission and will never be. But I need to find the best ways possible to stay within my own guidelines of tolerance and acceptance, avoid resistance, and still make a difference in the world.

I have became active on an Ad Hoc committee for my small town. I was appointed earlier but the meetings began in October and November. I had real hesitancy on this. Was I qualified? Is my mind still active enough to contribute? Does my history lend itself to experiences that translate to the common good of my community?

Well, obviously the Mayor believed I could do it…so there I was. I met the challenge in a way that felt good to me.

I am writing this after the fact, when we have worked and struggled and crafted and redrafted a resolution that was voted on in February. So you can read it here.

The Student

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Filed under Angeles Arríen, The Challenge, The Second Half of Life, The Silver Gate