First, if you have not seen it, watch this. Second, I am thinking on letting it go today. Third, that thinking is born of thoughts in and around these recent posts on pursuing excellence, and introducing AuKwords and my favourite book revisited. Fourth, let me explore what “it” is, for me.
“It” is contrived expectation. Contrived by the world or even my own slightly misguided sense of it. Specifically, what needs letting go for me are the subtle and seductive notions of age and retirement.
I have never really bought into same, at least consciously. With no children (once desired, now no longer to be truthful with myself), I have never thought on age nor retirement. I have always thought to burn the boxes. That said, truthfully, I have noticed over these last few months, a small crack in that. Somehow, I was buying into retiring from teaching, but then taking on a proverbial “new chapter”.
Then, I came face to face with some truths. While I love children and youth, I see the world’s children and youth as my purpose; not having “my own”. That is, in part, why I love my work of teaching. I will not “change the world” but I will be that 900 pound Gorilla that helps youth and the young at heart to do just that. I came face to face with the reality that I love my life, as is… pretty much. I am blessed with that. Why would I change that unless I simply had to, and I do not. Yes, I came face to face with “Why would I change that?” And I came face to face and heart to heart with what actually needs letting go, keeping and picking up. And, it was there all along, only needing me to be abundantly candid with myself.
Deep down, we know what we know, and we get to decide what we decide. We get to accept that for which we are certain. That is our best practice of the virtue that is Dominion. My life is my country to explore. Yours is yours. There are projects and plans that I need to keep, and there are those I need to cut. And, there are those I desire to add. There are places in my life to which I wish to return. There are places in the “country” of my life, I do not. And, there are places as yet undiscovered.
With my new lean LIFE/work Plan, I identified what I want to keep and add over the longer run. By doing so, I have decided what is left off that list.
Retirement to me is about re-tiring; placing new tires on the vehicle. It is not “new chapter”. It is the continued drive, with new tires. Getting back to dancer shape is part of that re-tiring. Developing the BOXsa Dance Project in doing so is part of that. Getting back to cartooning is part of re-tiring. Letting go of projects that no longer truly hold space for my Soul is part of that. Being true to what I affectionately call “The Barry Unit” is part of that. To be true to our Soul requires us to let some things go and say Hell Yeah to others.
I know who and what I want in my life. I know my own best sense around Character, Purpose and Unity. I know that the Global Goals matter to me. I know my on-the-ground Faith matters to me. I know that my most natural work, and play, and Service matters to me. I know it. What I most needs do is accept it and run with it.
I have been praying and meditating a lot on this; and I keep hearing “own the ape”. I have several spirit animals in my life; fox, bear, and one I created as child … a “BEARfox”.
When I hear, “own the ape”, I know its message. Own that part of me; that 900 pound gentle, strong and fierce Gorilla. And, I know what that means, and looks like.
And what it does not look like. Following our best path, requires us to let go of that which is not our best path. It requires us to sever distraction and doubt. Everything we seek soulfully requires everything we are. When we do that, the people who admire and love the real us; they show up. The right people and resources cannot find us, unless we are us.
I seek nothing than to be my best Barry Unit. My full on wholehearted intent is to be The Barry Unit, the 900 pound Gorilla, and BEARfox. Other expectations be damned. And, with that, as I finish here this morning… and before we munch on any of this any further… I invite you to listen to Luba. Let us be our own bit of an Enigma. Let us find our truth in living. In so doing, we offer up our own miracle. Peace. 😉
“Intelligence plus character—that is the goal of true education.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.
Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing. ― Abraham Lincoln