This week is my 30th birthday. I feel no sadness for being out of my 20’s or for aging.
Having had at least a handful of friends pass before the age of 28, I only feel grateful for the opportunity to keep enjoying and evolving my life and the adventure of my life. To be honest, I feel more aligned with myself now then ever which I see as a gift with age. Age brings wisdom. You can imagine it the way miners sift for gold during the gold rush. As you bring the sifter up or as time passes, the sand and water clouding your view and the vision of your self falls through the cracks and all you are left with are the golden truths.
But this particular birthday brings to the forefront that time keeps moving. It reminds me of what Don Miguel Ruiz calls initiation through the Angel of Death. And no, I am not contemplating my mortality at 30 years old, but the constant fluidity of all things.
Because of my own wounds, I used to have a terrible anxiety about things out of my control. I would get so wrapped up in these imagined scenarios and be consumed with the anxiety or mourning of these imaginations. To pull myself out of this, I finally accepted that there are certain things which are out of our control and worrying about them doesn’t make them more manageable or controllable. If anything, it does the opposite. I slowly gave this up by understanding: all we have is the moment. This is both as simple and as complex as it seems.
I began pulling myself out of these spirals by asking: do I have evidence in this moment that X is happening/going to happen? And it was almost always a resounding “NO.” If there was evidence, the follow up question is: is there anything I can do about it in this exact moment? Also, almost always a “No.”
I realized, in the moment I was actually living and experiencing and in, there was no evidence of these imaginary scenarios actually happening. Being lost in these imagined scenarios only created internal suffering (anxiety/depression) and also made me lose the what was actually real: the moment I was living in. So I chose to intentionally spread myself thickly into my present moment. I realized that this moment I am in would eventually be lost to change, evolution, and time.
I realized that the beginning period of meeting-and-getting-to-know my partner would eventually evolve into a more mature love. So when the anxiety would rear its head, I would bring myself back into the present moment by knowing that this time will pass and I didn’t want to miss any of it due to made-up nonsense (usually). A more mature and deeper love is not any less than new love (it’s amazing actually!) but I knew we would not be able to go back to the beginning ever again. There’s beauty in all the phases and I wanted to drink it in.
I recognize that I will not always be 30 years old in this 30 year old body. Have you ever looked back at picture of yourself from the past and wondered, “Why didn’t I enjoy my body then?” Yeah, I decided a while ago I’m done participating in that cycle and missing enjoying my actual life…which means enjoying and accepting the body where it is today. Our body is the vehicle through which we experience life. The eventual passing of this period in my life is the natural rhythm of things and so I choose to deeply enjoy this moment while I am here.
My business will not always be in this phase either. Every second it is evolving into the next phase. This realization has enabled me to enjoy this learning and growing and spouting and creation period. An oak tree does not stay a seedling for long and so I don’t mind the seedling period knowing it won’t be here forever. Every second it is evolving into the sapling phase. Okay. Enough tree analogies, but you understand the point.
This is the same way a puppy evolves into a dog or a baby evolves into a toddler. Recognizing that things are constantly in a state of flux and mid-evolution helps me appreciate it more. We all somewhere cognitively know that the sands of time are passing through our fingers but to hold that awareness in our consciousness and let that understanding spread out into our life like a vine is a different thing entirely.
This is what the Angel of Death reminds us of: time is always moving and to enjoy where we are because whether its a good, bad, ugly, or beautiful period in our lives, it won’t always be like this.