Tag Archives: acceptance

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.
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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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The Silver Gate – The Task

“The Silver Gate requires us to surrender our egos and begin the process of accepting the aging of the body and mind. (…) Our task at this gate is to move beyond the familiar and strengthen our capacity to develop curiosity, trust, and flexibility.” Angeles Arrien

I have been working on this acceptance for years – long before I found this book.  In fact, I have written about it many times on another blog. You can read my thoughts here.

For the purposes of this exercise I’m going to wander down the ego path.

If I acknowledge (which I have done) and rest into (in some ways) my aging, what will I gain and what will I lose? This is looking at it from the ego, isn’t it?

I have gained so much and as I move through this book, I realize that there is always more to come. More joy, more wisdom, more sharing, more ease with life, more alignment in spirit and essence.

And there are things that I might not give up so easily.

I hope that I can stay active throughout my life. I have had periods of illness and restricted activity but have always been able to work my way back. I don’t fast-forward toward the “what ifs” and so I don’t know how it will be to give up my strength and vitality.

I am used to how I look. I still feel attractive and winsome. Oh, I gain a few pounds here, a wrinkle there, and sagging lots of things; but, overall my changes come slowly and almost imperceptibly. I continue to try to look my best – and that idea of my best has changed through the years. I think of beauty differently and value a smile emanating from inner good will as an ageless magnet. Will I ever look myself in the eye and be dissatisfied with who I see there? I hope not ever because of superficial changes that we take on with aging. But who knows?

I love my independence. Although I am happy to volunteer and assist those who need assistance, I don’t really contemplate how it will be when I am the one who needs it. I hope I have the wisdom to ask for and accept help. And I hope there is someone like myself who offers their hand in a friendly way as an equal.

I don’t really worry so much about my mind. Of course, I don’t like forgetfulness. But, I have much experience with loved ones with dementia and Alzheimer’s. If the only way I can master “presence” is to be unable to remember the past or plan for the future…so be it!

The Student

 

 

 

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The Silver Gate

I would love to live 

Like a river flows, 

Carried by the surprise

Of it’s own unfolding. John O’donahue

The Task: “The Silver Gate requires us to surrender our egos and begin the process of accepting the aging of the body and mind.”

The Challenge: “…is to reconnect to our regenerative forces and stay connected to them.”

The Gift: “If we commit first to living ‘like a river flows/Carried by the surprise/Of its own unfolding’, the gift of wisdom emerges and reveals itself.”

This first gate will lead me into an adventure of learning. I will open myself to the next phase of my life thinking outside the box of my existence up to now.  I am challenged by this unfolding at an age when my culture sees my life as narrowing – my time growing shorter and perhaps less important.

This is a beginning that will move me more gracefully toward my ending.

The Student

 

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