It’s the choice I make minute by minute every day!
Despite troubles and woes and setbacks and challenges.
Despite all the bad jujus in the world.
Despite chronic pain and annoying infirmities.
Despite the loss of old friends…
and a few little dreams.
Despite mean people
and unspeakable acts of terror.
Despite floods and fires.
(is it too late to be a late bloomer?)
came to realize (daaaaaa)
that I’m in charge of my own happiness.
Despite some pretty intense nudgings toward more pious activities,
some very serious careers and responsibilities,
a long “nose to the grindstone” sort of a life…
pardon me, but these days,
I’m going for happy!
Okay, let’s talk…
go get a cup of tea and hunker down.
Some of you have written me–
all concerned and sad that, after our glorious Summer Creativity Camps,
I decided to pass the torch forward for my Girlz With HeArt Project.
Not to worry.
We did a SPECTACULAR job for over five years!
It was a glorious experience! It was a miracle!
It changed my life and their lives and your lives through sharing their stories and shenanigans with you.
They inspired me and humbled me and broke my heart and filled it back up with pure love.
Their grit and grace.
Their lively spunkiness and sass.
Their hopefulness in the face of so many heartaches…
It was a totally intense, completely demanding, and incredibly rewarding experience!
But, as the old She Bear Kaitlin was emerging in my archetypal life,
I began to receive firm instructions from the universe:
learning to let go and let be,
learning to get still and pray,
learning to trust and give thanks.
AND to know when it was time
to pass the medicine wand on to eager, capable hands reaching up to carry it for the next exciting leg of the journey.
Many of you were actively, hands-on, every-day, deep-in this program with me. THANK YOU.
Many of you cheered us on, gathered supplies, shared gifts, bought clothes, transported carloads of girlz. THANK YOU.
Many of you slipped an extra gift into the collection box on your way out and whispered “For the Girlz.” THANK YOU.
It was such an honor to share our beautiful, heart-breaking, magical, impossible vision with you.
We did it–together–against all odds, we touched the lives of so many young women and they touched our lives too.
THANK YOU. Each and every. All and then some.
Some of you are worried because I’ve actively cut back my summer schedule to avoid the heat-stress illness that laid me low last summer
and you think that portends the end of The Cottage. No.
Actually, I’ve posted some new classes for July (check them out by clicking the Cottage Classes tab) and
I’m really excited about a new project I’m incubating that deepens and intensifies the way members of our little tribe can contribute our wisdom to others.
It’s called SAGE SISTERS: A Council of Conscious Eldership–more about it very soooooon!
Some of you have lamented that I’m not so available, accessible, or “out & about “as I once was.
True. Fast nearing 70, I’m getting a little crotchety.
These days, I’m inclined to curl up in my home; reading, making art, working in clay, tending my garden, learning to relax instead of racing about on various exciting errands of intellect or passion. But it’s all good. It is time for that. It is the season for that. It is my new “normal.”
I’m sorry you can’t see it through my eyes.
All the changes and adjustments have been made after much introspection and prayer.
And a very grateful heart.
Each choice has been totally life-enhancing for me. Trust me.
Sure, it’s been hard. I’m not gonna pretend otherwise.
I’ve been talking about it for months and months and months…
roll down through the past blog posts to see the many times I’ve spoken of my urgent need to slow down.
To breathe. To rest.
To dismantle my enormous life of over-commitment.
To ease back from too many responsibilities.
To learn to stop stoking a life-long tendency to over achieve.
I ain’t Super Woman (and I have no desire to be)
but you may not have noticed cuz (in the past!) my actions said otherwise.
Nope. It ain’t been easy.
I default to my old ways more that you can imagine.
Sometimes I still bite off more than I can chew…
but I’m learning to nibble, to savor, to take great pleasure in small bites.
I’m still not very good at it.
BUT I’m getting better. Little by little. One day at a time.
Lemmie tell ya this: watching people die for a living (hospice nursing),
watching people create in order to re-enchant their souls (The Cottage),
mentoring young souls to soar and dream and leap into their lives (The Girlz With HeART)
taught me that life is too precious and fleeting and magical to get stolen by the petty b.s. of daily life.
Drama (and her ugly twin sister melo-drama) are wickedly bad habits I’m determined to leave behind.
I wanna be HAPPY
but it’s a full time job pushing off the joy-killers and the hate-spewers.
I wanna be HAPPY
NOT when everything is in perfect balance and I live in the pages of Bella Grace.
NOT after I put the needs of everyone else in the whole world in front of my own.
NOT when the dishes are done, the laundry is folded, and the dust bunnies are vanquished.
So this blog post is all about choosing happiness. Consciously. Daily. Against all odds.
Not to say my heart doesn’t break over the Orlando massacre, the Flint water poisonings, the endless wars waged in the name of peace.
Not to say that I have opted out of caring or being compassionate or contibuting a thousand tiny acts of good in my life. No.
But, as an elder now, I see how predictably people as hyper-sensitive, as super empathetic, as easily outraged by injustice as I am
are swept under, are devoured and spit out by the world if we don’t embrace self-nurturing behaviors.
So this is what I choose. Happy.
NOT blind, sugar-coated, candy-land obliviousness to the sorrows of the world.
NOT unfeeling, unthinking, self-serving, mean, self-centered arrogance or worse. No.
Just happy, grateful, honored to be alive, thrilled to have you as my friends and allies on the journey. Happy.
Happy. With the tiny moments–
the hummingbird bathing merrily under the spray from my pre-dawn garden watering,
the good book that inspires a shiver of awe that we have writers who so perfectly capture life,
the beautiful butterscotch and burgundy sunset through monsoon clouds.
Happy and blessed that I have the wonderful pleasure of spending these last years of my life with my beloved life companion Albert
who makes me smile everyday…daring me on to new challenges
and greater joy!
“You don’t stop laughing when you grow old, you grow old when you stop laughing.” George Bernard Shaw
I want to be HAPPY
like these wonderful mentors who have struggled with much, been defeated by much, and endured much
but who chose to be happy.
Happy like children who find joy in the moment.
Happy that I have such amazing, goofy, dear friends to share the adventure with.
Just plain old, every day, heart splitting Happy!
We can’t cure the world of sorrows, but we can choose to live in joy. –Joseph Campbell
So if you want me, listen for the laughter…
and watch for the delight!
And I double dog DARE YOU to click on this song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRMOMjCoR58
and dance and laugh and cry and BE HAPPY!
Much Love and Big Dollops of Happiness (with sprinkles on top!)
(They don’t call me the Mistress of Merriment for nuthin’!)
© Kaitlin Meadows, 2016 All Rights Reserved
Images thanks to Pinterest