HALFWAY TO DEAD

“Most peoveilple die at 25 and aren’t buried until 75.”  -Benjamin Franklin

It was the damndest thing.  I was at the mall, eeling my way through a school of teenagers when I heard a snatch of conversation between two boys that stopped me dead in the water:

“Dude, she’s like 40 years old!  That’s like halfway to dead!”

Mind you, they were talking about a pop singer, but for some reason his words resonated in my brain like John Donne’s proverbial bell.

To be perfectly honest, at first I couldn’t believe what I’d heard and my initial reaction was simply to brush aside the comment.  After all, what did it matter that a fifteen year old punk thought that a singer over forty wasn’t worth listening to because she was “halfway to dead?”

But the more I thought about it, the more I began to realize that this one random piece of overheard conservation is indicative of everything that is wrong with our culture; of the prevailing attitude regarding anyone or anything that doesn’t provide instant satisfaction and gratification; of the tendency to view anyone over the age of forty (or anything that hasn’t been written, produced, published, aired, designed or conceptualized in the last 24 months) to be irrelevant; of the “me first!” mentality that has turned our society into a self-centered, ego-centric parody of itself.

We live in a take-out world of fast food, quick fixes, one minute makeovers; a world where if you either learn to adapt to the rapidly changing social structure or you get left in the dust; a world where old age is seen as a curse, education is seen as a joke and the answer to all of life’s problems lies in drinking from the fountain of youth and being able to fit into our skinny jeans even after we’ve had two children. And it is this youth-obsessed, egocentric culture that has generated the idea of the mid-life crises as joke; as a desperate bid by those past their prime to hold on to the glory of youth and try one last time to make their mark on the world.

Everyone has seen the characterization of the aging middle-aged man combing his hair over his bald spot, buying a sports car, and trading in his wife for a younger, perkier model.  For women this same time frame is portrayed as the 40-something year old woman or “cougar” getting plastic surgery and headed out on the prowl for a younger, virile man, because don’t you know, it’s all about the sex and, in a youth-obsessed culture – it is understandable (if laughable) that older men and women would be so scared of getting old that they would do whatever it takes to make themselves desirable once again.

The Mid-Life Re-Evaluation

You see, what it really comes down to is the mis-use of the term “crisis” for what happens to so many people at the mid-point of their lives is not so much about fearing death – about trying to regain their youth or proving their virility by taking on younger lovers as it is about the realization that they are at the half-point of their lives and have not yet begun to live.

Most people in western society settle down in their mid-twenties.  They acquire a full-time job, a spouse, and, over the years, children, a mortgage, credit card bills, social standing in the community and even positions of responsibility and respect in their churches.  But while for all intents and purposes they appear to have a “good life” too many are just going through the motions.  Far too many people are dying inside.

For their whole lives they have been living for the weekends, for vacations, intent on getting the next promotion, the bigger house, getting the kids out of school and into the right colleges, for retirement, convinced that eventually they will reach a plateau of happiness where they can finally draw a deep breath and where their lives will finally have meaning, where they can finally relax and enjoy the fruits of their labor.

The only problem is, it never arrives.  There is always another bill, another event, another concern, another upcoming event; a web of responsibilities and obligations that keep them tethered to the soul-less job and the loveless marriage.  And so, many people “break out” of the mold in an act of almost teenage rebellion.  Having been immersed in a consumer society where the acquisition of things is equated with elevated happiness, most of those who hit this crises point do something stereotypical, like quitting their job, taking a younger lover, buying a flashy car thinking that these things will somehow give their lives meaning.

energy2And then there are those who instinctively understand that there is more going on than meets the eye; that this isn’t about things.  This isn’t even about reclaiming their youth.  This is about stripping away all of the layers of veneer and varnish that society insists that they wear in order to be considered acceptable.  This is learning how to reconnect with the authentic self.  This is about moving past what religions and governments and even friends or family expect from them.  This is about remembering who and what they really are while there is still enough time to experience life; while there is still enough time to appreciate the wonder and mystery that surround them.  This is nature’s wake up call.  This isn’t about being “halfway to dead.”  This is a clarion call to those who hear it and who have the wisdom to understand that it is time to stop going through the motions and truly start to live.

The Empty Shell

“You can’t ask a butterfly to scrunch herself back into her chrysalis or to go back to being a caterpillar just because you’d gotten used to her like that.  What’s worse is when you try to get her to go back because you fear the freedom given to her by her wings.”  ~SSHenry

There are some experiences; some moments in time; that change your life forever.  Perhaps for you it was a major life event such as the birth of a child, the death of a loved one or a close call that shook you right down to the foundations of your soul.  Or maybe it wasn’t a large event at all.  Maybe it was something much more subtle such as a kind word spoken when it was most needed; the touch of a lover’s hand or a breeze that not only ruffled your hair but stirred up something deep down inside you that simply could not be contained.

I’ve had many life-changing moments.  All of us have.  Sometimes it seems as if these moments come so thick and fast that they threaten to overwhelm you.  At other times you feel as if your entire life is on “pause” and all of the moments having stepped out for a drink or something.   At some points in your life it is as if the moments of realization and wonder and change are so few and far between that you’ve pretty much forgotten what they are like before the next one begins to play itself out and have to remind yourself what exactly it is that you are dealing with each time you encounter it.

My most recent (and not surprisingly most profound) life-changing moment to date came the moment that I walked into my house after a two month absence and realized that there was no way that I could go back to being the person I had been when I walked out that door eight weeks earlier.

The details as to why I ended up gone for two months (illness in the family) or what happened while I was gone are not important.  Yes, I had some interesting experiences while I was off on my own for two months dealing with unexpected issues and meeting people I might not otherwise have encountered. But what really matters is that for two solid months I was detached from the life that I had been living up until that moment.

For two months I was separated from all of the small niggling everyday details that we label “reality” and which demand our attention and catch us up in layers upon layers of drama and expectation; layers that we gladly pull around us like a cloak and call “life.”

For two months I was free of those layers.  Getting rid of them was not pleasant. They got stripped away from me rudely leaving me rather raw and feeling as if I had been flayed alive and then washed down in salt water and I felt as if was being completely inundated with issues and problems and responsibilities that I really didn’t want to deal with at that moment in time.

But the point is that for two months I was not just a wife.  Nor was I just a mother or a daughter taking care of her own mother.  For two solid months – I was me.

Just me.

I was not free of obligations or responsibilities (caring for a sick family member brings with it its own responsibilities and expectations).  But for two months I was free of the obligations and responsibilities and expectations in which I had wrapped myself up for the last 22 years; those responsibilities and expectations that come from being a wife and mother and homemaker extraordinaire.

For two solid months was completely and totally myself.

It dawned on me as I was driving home, to wonder just how I would ever be able to go back to living my old life.  But when I pulled into the driveway and saw my house for the first time in eight weeks; when I walked through the door and took one look around me, I knew that it was patently impossible.

I can’t go back to the way things were; ever.  The person who lived that life is gone.

I could feel the shell of her; that old me; waiting for me around every corner.  “Come on” she whispered, holding out the old life as if it were a soft but comfortable pair of sweat pants. “Don’t you want to slip back into this?  This is where you are comfortable.  This is where you belong.  Life doesn’t get any better than this.”

“Oh yes it does sweetheart” I whispered back “you have NO idea!”

You see, the old life has a lot going for it.  There are many things that I would like to keep and incorporate into my new reality, but not if it means having to go back to being the person that I was.  The person I have become cannot possibly fit into that old skin. Not without giving up who and what I have become.

It would be like asking a butterfly to scrunch back into her chrysalis.  Or better yet, to turn back time and become a caterpillar again.  It’s not going to happen.  I could pretend, but I’m tired of pretending.

I am simply going to be myself.

My whole self.

I will start again.  Here.  Now.  As myself.  If that is not enough, or more likely if that is too much, then so be it.  I have wings now baby. There’s no reason for me to go back to crawling when I can fly.

The Hive Has You!

Forget the Matrix.  It is the Hive that has you!

Ah, the idealization of bees. What a simple life they live; born with a purpose etched into their very fabric of being, a bee never questions its lot in life (well, not unless it’s a Disney bee, but that’s a whole different breed).  It simple does what it does, devoting its life to the hive and never questioning what it is that it was meant to do.

But when it comes right down to it, it is hard to be a bee. For one it’s a short life.  The lifespan of the average honey bee is only 28-35 days.  That’s it.  That is the lifespan of a worker honey bee. From the time the adult bee emerges from its larval cocoon a bee has roughly a month to live, and what does it do with its life?  It collects nectar which is turned into honey or pollen which is then turned into bee pollen or royal jelly.  The honey is collected to see the hive through the winter; the bee pollen and royal jelly is to feed the young bees that will soon be taking over the jobs of the current crop of workers.

From an individual perspective the bee doesn’t do much with its life at all. But from the hive’s perspective, the life of each individual bee is incredibly important with each bee’s role as a worker vitally important to maintain the life of the hive, and there is nothing that is seemingly more of an anathema to today’s humans than the thought that they might be living the life of a bee; working for the greater good of some larger group purpose and without the benefit of developing an individual identity or having a life to show for all of the hard work that they do.

There have been science fiction movies made about hive mentalities; horror stories where a person is absorbed into a larger consciousness and looses their independence and individuality, becoming a mindless automaton with no thought in their head except to conform to the expectations of their society.

There is just one problem.  We are already there, and most people don’t see it as a horror story at all.  Oh, don’t get me wrong, we have the illusion of freedom and independence and individuality; lots of choices of things to buy and entertainments to pursue and even of religions to follow; but just try doing something outside of the accepted parameters and see just how far you get before you are removed from the hive, or at least banished to the fringes where you don’t have the opportunity to take part in the active life of the community.

But even the thought of a society that has relegated us all to the status of worker bees; locked into our lives and expected to work tirelessly as productive members of society until we drop and are replaced with others; even that is not the true horror. The true horror is that we’ve chosen this. No, we haven’t just chosen it.  We’ve created it.  We wanted it.

We wanted it so badly that we willingly established rules and regulations and political procedures to keep it in place; we’ve created an education system that encourages young people to give up their individuality and creativity in exchange for economically productive jobs that they detest but that will pay the bills.  We’ve encouraged a society where productivity and usefulness is measured by one’s paycheck and one’s purchasing power.

It would be different if, instead of a hive mentality, we had chosen instead to establish a system of community; a society where each individual is accepted and valued for their uniqueness and their contribution to the richness and diversity of the whole.  In that sort of a society working for the good of the whole is not something to be feared; it is not something that will strip you of your energy and your individuality and leave you lying all alone in the mud when your economic usefulness to the society is at an end.  Instead it will encourage and promote individuality and creativity as the building blocks of a truly productive society; one that values all of its members for what they bring to the table, regardless of how large or small of a role they play.

Then again, just because we’ve lived in the hive does not mean that we have to die there.  Maybe it’s time for the bees to leave the square boxes of hives and designated Queens that have been provided for them by societal expectations and to establish the kind of thriving bee community that would make Disney proud.

The Lesson of the Red Rain Boots

“Let the rain kiss you. Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops. Let the rain sing you a lullaby”

~ Langston Hughes

When my daughters were small, I remember a day when I had taken them out for lunch.  While we were inside eating it started to rain.  This wasn’t just a pleasant summer afternoon rain shower, but a full-on wash-the-skies-clean kind of torrential rain; the kind that leaves everything soggy for hours afterwards; even the air.

It was still raining (though not quite so hard) by the time we left the restaurant and both of my girls were squealing in delight at the sheer number of puddles in the parking lot.  Some of the puddles, I noticed, were as large as small ponds, and probably just as deep.

Pausing to open my umbrella after a warning to both of the girls about keeping their feet dry, I let go of my youngest daughter’s hand for an instant, and a moment later she was knee deep in a puddle, giggling madly and splashing like a duck.  With a cry of warning I snatched her out; wrung out her dress as you would a washcloth and, after admonishing both of them (again) to stay out of the puddles because we had a long ride in the car ahead of us, we slowly made our way to the car; navigating around puddles and trying for the dry spots. Or rather I was trying for the dry spots.  Both of my daughters were angling for the puddles and my shoulders were starting to get sore from pulling them back.

We were about halfway across the parking lot when I noticed a brightly colored figure headed in our direction.  It was a woman; an old woman.  With her pure white nimbus of hair and a face lined in a thousand wrinkles, she looked like one of those dried apple head dolls that the pioneers used to make.  But it wasn’t her age that caught my attention, nor was it her attire (she was dressed in a bright yellow rain slicker, red rain boots, a purple rain hat).  What caught my attention was that she was making a point not to avoid the puddles, but to jump in them.

I stood there – stunned; unable to tear my eyes away, though I could see from the corner of my eye that both of my girls were watching her with absolute awe and rapture.

Finally, when her puddle jumping brought her to within a few feet of where I stood, she realized that there was someone in front of her and paused in her puddle jumping long enough to look up and meet my eye.  The stunned expression on my face must have amused her, because she grinned from ear to ear and then threw her head back and laughed like a loon.

“Aw sweetie,” she said to me finally – a grin still in her voice – it’s not as bad as all that.  Really, I’ve been waiting all my life to do this!  You’ll see.  One day you’ll jump in the puddles too.”  And then, with another grin for me and a wave for the girls, she had passed us, and life went back to normal. Well, almost normal.  I didn’t have the heart to keep the girls out of the puddles after that, and it was a long and soggy trip home.

But even now, years later I can’t get that woman and her bright red rain boots out of my mind, for how far do most of us go to avoid what we perceive as the negative things in our lives?

Honestly, I know that dealing with negative people and negative situations is unpleasant – and something most of us will avoid like the plague if given the chance, but how do we know that those puddles of negativity haven’t been put in our way for a reason? How do we know that we aren’t supposed to go through them instead of around them?

Who knows, those puddles might not even have been put in our way for our own experience.  Maybe, just maybe, someone on the other side of the parking lot is watching us; someone who has been avoiding negative situations of their own because they don’t have the courage to face them.

And maybe, just maybe, when they see you splashing through those problems in your red rain boots and laughing like a loon, they’ll find the courage to do something that they’ve never thought possible.

Authentic Living 201: Living Intentionally

There is a difference between living and living an intentional life.

No, seriously, everybody lives.  Unless you’ve been in a serious accident and are fighting for every breath you take, living is not something you actually have to think about.  It simply happens, usually when you aren’t paying attention.  In fact, one day you look up and realize that half your life has gone by and wonder where the devil it’s gone.  It was just here for pity’s sakes.

Suddenly you realize that you’ve slipped so far into routine that you’re drowning in it.  For whatever reason your life has become mundane – each day just like the one before, and it doesn’t matter how good your life actually is.  It doesn’t matter how nice your house is, or your car.  It doesn’t matter how much (or how little) money you have in the bank – your life is being lived – you’re not living an intentional life.  So, what is the difference? What does it mean to live intentionally?

What is Intentional Living?

Intentional living is not about turning your life upside down.  It is not even about manifesting change in your life.  Intentional living is about being here – now; it is about doing everything you do with complete and total awareness of what it is that you are doing and why it is that you are doing it.

From eating your breakfast to sitting through that aptly named board meeting; from playing Frisbee with your kids to walking the dog; you need to pay attention to what it is that you are doing.  You need to use your mastery of everyday mindfulness to pay attention to what is happening in your life and to be totally in the moment as you do it; paying attention to all the details and being open to all the nuances.  And yes, I’ll tell you right now, it’s harder than it seems.

You see, we have this sense of urgency that surrounds everything that we do.  I’m sure you’ve noticed it.  When you are doing something mundane or boring your mind tends to either shut off or to race ahead to what needs to be done next or sometimes berate us over past mistakes and things that we could have done better.  Very rarely are we actually fully in the moment.  Well, it’s time to change all of that.

Living the Intentional Life

Using your mastery of mindfulness to pay attention to what is happening here and now, you’re going to make some interesting discoveries.  You are going to find that there are things that are a part of your life that no longer serve you.  You may have gone years – or even decades without realizing what you were doing; the time you were wasting on something that you really have absolutely no interest in whatsoever; things in your life that are just taking up space.

So, why are you still doing them?  Why have you kept them all these years?  What is keeping you from letting go of those things that no longer serve you so that you can make room in your life for something that actually makes a difference?  Yes, I’m sure that if you think hard enough you can find a reason to keep them in your life.  But is it worth it?  Is the time, effort and energy that you spend on them worth what is given back to you in the satisfaction of possession or in the completion of the action itself? If you were fully present every time you did this – used this – would you still want it in your life?

And it won’t just be physical objects or routines that you find cluttering up your life.  You’re going to run into friendships, acquaintances, even romantic relationships that are called into question, especially if – once you start actually paying attention to them – you find that neither of you is getting anything out of it; or if the relationship is unbalanced.  Just like physical objects and everyday routines, sometimes there are relationships that have run their course; that we hold onto out of habit, but that would serve everyone better if we simply let them go.

But it isn’t just about getting rid of the excess; of the mundane; of those things that no longer serve you or that have run their course.  Living intentionally is also about coming to a realization of those things that you are missing; those things that you really want to be a part of your life but didn’t realize were missing until you started paying attention to what you actually had.   Only once you realize what it is that you really want can you go about taking the necessary steps to bring it into your life.

So go ahead – start today!  Start paying attention to the life that you are living.  Start living your life intentionally.  Stop living on autopilot; never fully engaged in what it is that you are doing, and start putting a part of yourself; a part of your energy; into everything that you do.  Start being fully present in every relationship you are a part of and not just because you have to; not just because you feel obligated; but because you want to; because at that particular moment in time there is nothing you would rather be doing, for in the end that is the only way to really be alive.

 

 

The Magic Word

THE ARTIST

I am the artist and the art.

My life is a canvass

And I stand before it, tools in hand

Creating a world within a world within a life

Wielding the brushes of belief and intention

Brushes dipped in the pigments of emotion and experience

Smoothing in highlights of happiness and love

And shadowed depths of fear and anger

Until the creation becomes the creator

Becomes a life complete.

~SSHenry

The Magic Word

Have you ever read a story or watched a movie where magic was being used; was a part of their world and felt a deep yearning stirred up inside you?  To be able to simply wave a wand or staff and say a few words and watch the world around you change; watch as your dreams become reality.  Seems like a pipe dream, doesn’t it?

Well, what if I told you that magic was real?  What if I told you that there is one word with which you can change your entire world?

You’d laugh, wouldn’t you?  Oh sure, there would be a tiny spark in your heart; a part of you (a part you probably associate with your eight-year-old self) that says “that would be SO cool,” but the practical you – the grown up you – would pretty much dismiss it out of hand.  After all, that’s just not the way it works in real life.

At least that is what we’ve been led to believe.

Because the truth is, there IS a magic word; one word that can transform your entire life.  This one word and its usage has been taught by the mystery schools and passed down through centuries of mystical traditions and shamanic lineages and which has been closely guarded because of its power and the ability it has to completely transform the world around you.

It is a word whose meaning has been closely guarded because it strikes fear into those who wield the power; it causes people to question the right of someone else to decide their lives for them.  Think it through.  There is a reason that most of the mystery schools and metaphysical traditions have been suppressed throughout history, for if people knew that they have the power to manifest the life that they truly want; those things that they desire most without having to conform to a certain set of rules or regulations or without adhering to specific belief system, there would be no need for the governmental or religious control systems, and those systems have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo.  They’ve got a lot to lose.

No, I’m not going to drag this out and make you wait for days before I tell you.  And no, I’m not going to charge you money to find out this life-changing secret.  You already know the answer.  But just in case you’ve forgotten, I’ll tell you again.

The word is:  Intention.

Just as the artist brings his art into being through his intent to capture it in its selected form (paint, charcoal, photography, sculpture, carving, music, writing etc) so too can anyone on this planet bring into being the life that they have always wanted by focusing their intention on bringing it into being.

The scariest thing is that most people – not being aware of the power of intention – sign this power over to another; to a person or a society, a religion or a government; accepting the laid out specifications for an “acceptable” or “desirable” life as their own; allowing these others to decide what their life is going to be like; what they should want (or not want); their place in society; what they should be doing (or not doing).  But the good news is; you can reclaim your power.  You can still have the life you always wanted; you just have to learn how to breathe life into your intention.

Breathing Life Into Intention

Breathing life into your intention requires a clear picture of what it is you are aspiring to.  It requires focus.

When I say focus I don’t just mean having a general idea of what it is that you want (such as I want to be healthy).  You need to be able to imagine every detail of what a healthy life entails; what you would look like, how you would act, talk, react.  What you would do.  How you would maintain that healthy body.  You need to be able to close your eyes and slip yourself into a scene that explicitly portrays you in the best of health, where everything around you supports that.

There is just one trick involved.  You not only have to be able to be able to imagine this life in complete and total detail, you have to be able to live as if it already exists – as if you believe that it is real.  Then, and only then, will you see it start to manifest around you as the universe begins pulling things into alignment in your life in order to pave the way for its manifestation because it sees that your intention is not just half-hearted, you really mean it.  When you can believe that your intended life exists; when you can have faith that it is there even if you can’t yet see it, then you remove the doubt and negativity that prevent it from entering your life.

Of course you’re going to want to start small; keep it simple until you get the hang of it.  And keep in mind that it is going to take patience, because believe it or not, even those with the best imaginations seem to have difficulty realizing that they can have exactly what they intend (that’s another reason to start small). But once you have the hang of it you’ll find that your life begins to slowly transform as those the life that you intend for yourself slowly becomes your reality.

Through purposeful control and focus of your intention you not only become the artist of your own creation, you become the art; a three dimensional piece of artwork that is continually being refined and shaped according to your beliefs and intentions; a life complete; the authentic life that you have always known that you were supposed to be living.

2012; The End of the World as You Know It

Welcome to 2012!

Did you stay up to welcome in the New Year?  Did you celebrate with champagne and kisses?  Did you throw confetti and drink toasts to everyone’s good health?  Did you stay up creating your New Year’s Resolutions?  My guess is that no matter who you are and no matter how you choose to celebrate the New Year, it probably crossed your mind to wonder if there is something to all the hoopla about 2012; you know, about 2012 being the end of the Mayan great count calendar and the rumors that the world could possibly come to an end on the winter solstice.

I’m not here to speculate as to the accuracy of the claims made by others or to address the metaphysical symbolism behind the calendar itself.  I’m here to ask a question.

While there is plenty of speculation as to whether or not this year will mark the end of the world (or at least the end of the world as we know it) I have a question for you; if it DOES mark the end of the world, what are you afraid of?

I don’t care if you believe in a Christian God or in reincarnation or in the Great Flying Spaghetti Monster, there should be no fear involved in contemplating the end of physical existence.  In fact, the ONLY reasons that you should be afraid of the end of the world (if this IS the end of the world) would be either if you don’t believe in anything outside of the here and now, or if you are not living up to the expectations of your belief system and are afraid of being punished by your god or belief system.

If it is the first – then there is nothing I can do for you, I’m sorry.  By choosing to believe that there is nothing  bigger than yourself– nothing more than this life – you have chosen to live a life of quiet desperation; a life where you have to get all your living in now because there is nothing more than this life so you may as well enjoy yourself in the time that you have, and I understand your frustration, for what is the point of enjoying yourself; getting all of those experiences in if, when you die, they are all gone and there is nothing left?

If it is the second, then there is a question that you need to ask yourself, and it is this; what is keeping you from living up to the expectations of your belief system?  If you are afraid that the world will end and that you are not “ready” then there must be something that is keeping you from following through; something preventing you from giving yourself over fully to what is required of you, and if your belief system is important to you, this would definitely be a good time to work through your blocks in that particular area.

Then there are those who believe in a third way of being; one that does not involve the hopelessness and pointlessness of a chance existence or of living up to the expectations imposed on you by an outside deity or belief system.  Those who adhere to this particular perspective see their life not as a chance product of evolution, nor as something controlled by and under the influence of an outside deity, but who see themselves as manifestations the divine itself; life as the reflection of the creator; who see themselves, indeed who see every living thing as containing a soul, and the soul as being a direct spark of that eternal oneness that IS divinity; who see each and every living thing as having a direct connection to the divine Source.

For those that adhere to this way of being, the end of the world holds no fear, for they understand that this physical existence is NOT all that there is, that they are a part of something far bigger.  As aspects of the divine, they accept responsibility for their actions instead of trying to claim that they are victims of circumstance or cosmic design.  They also accept responsibility for creating the life that they are living and realize that if something about it is not living up to their expectations that they are perfectly free to re-create it by choosing to focus on those things that they want to bring into their life.

It may not be a comforting life, for there is no one and nothing who you can blame for any of the bad decisions that you have made and no miracle quick fix that will make everything perfect for you; you have to accept the responsibility for those but there is always the option of being able to change your life by changing the focus of your thoughts.

There is also the knowledge that as an aspect – a manifestation of the divine – that you are here for a specific purpose; to live in a specific way in order to accomplish that which you came here to do, and that by choosing to live an authentic life; a genuine life – one that is not false, not copied, not the life that someone else wants from you or expects from you, but a life where your physical life and your soul purpose are in alignment; a life in which you can reach a state of enlightened purposefulness; a state of being where you are LIVING your purpose 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

What does it mean to live an authentic life?  That, my friends, is something that we will work on discovering over the next few days so that as we begin the New Year by destroying the world that we have accepted or created for ourselves; the world that is based on others fears, beliefs or expectations.  That we can begin 2012 by living an authentic life; our original life; the life that we were meant to live.