Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Life-learning No. 1

This week one of my friends celebrates a birthday containing a "0." Those are always significant milestones that invite us to stop and reflect on where we've been, where we're going and what we've learned.

So when our little group of friends (the YaYa women) gathered last weekend for our monthly get-together, we celebrated her birthday. And we each took time to share some of our important learnings in the years we've been blessed to live. I was grateful for the opportunity to think about what I've learned over the years. So often I just keep on keeping on, unaware of the wisdom I've gleaned. I may even dismiss it as "nothing much." But awareness is always a good thing—and helps me grow.

One of my big aha moments is that I live in a both/and world. Now you may have lived that way all along. I hadn't. Perhaps because of my personality or my Enneagram type, I have been more of an either/or person. As I age, I am discovering that this really isn't working for me so well anymore. And I realize that the world is full of complexity and nuance.

For me that means that I can follow my passion and still retain the practical side of myself. It means that I can accept that a situation is what it is and I can continue to be a change agent, working for fairness and transformation. It means that I can look back at something in my past (say my divorce or my job loss) and see how deeply hurt I was by it—and still be grateful that it's part of my story and has made me who I am today.

Have you always been a both/and person? What does it mean for you? If not, is this something you would like to change? I invite you to share with me and other readers below in the Comment box. I'd love to hear your ideas and your tips. What are you learning as you age?

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