“When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not ready.” ~Paulo Coelho
A year ago at this time, the Soul Alive Women website was about to be launched and I was writing the first edition of It’s Soul Time. Filled to the brim with gratitude and joy, I knew I was doing what I was being called to do. At the same time, there was a part of me saying:
‘What in the world are you doing? You know nothing about navigating the virtual worldwide web! Don’t waste time and money . . . stick with what you know . . . your gifts are working with Souls, not technology, leave that for the younger generation. Besides, the internet is so public and the Soul is so private.’
My inner critic was waving red flags in hopes I would stop in my tracks, do a u-turn, and flee for safety. Then, there was the sarcastic comment by one of my granddaughters, then seventeen-years-old: ‘G-r-a-n-d-m-a, how O-L-D are you?’ [Implying I was too old to be out in the world doing new things, especially establishing a website, etc.] At first, I was surprised and felt the sting. But then, I realized her comment had nothing to do with me and what I was doing, but was more about her and how much of our culture’s mindset, including its ageism, she carries with her at this stage of her life.
What was true for me, however, was that I felt as if, with keys in hand I was about to open the door to a new work space, not in a new city, but in an unfamiliar neighborhood with a “.com” address – somewhere in outer space. Could I/would I learn the lay of the land? Up until several years prior, I could not have imagined myself ever having the desire (much less the knowledge) to establish a website. As a Soul Care Warrior for more than 30 years, my work as a Therapist, Priest, and then an Integral Coach had been within the sacristy of Church and office spaces.
So why was I willing to open myself to learn something new? To endure the discomfort of being a beginner? And to risk being vulnerable in a foreign territory? A burning vision had emerged in my Soul. It was persistent and profound. It was bigger than I was/am and it was/is meant to be shared. The vision was clear. You’ve heard me say it before: we are living on the threshold of a whole new era – Soul Time. As Aging women, we are being invited to recognize that this stage of our personal lives is Soul Time as well. As we realize and cultivate our innate capacity to be Soul-Centered, we open ourselves to Age in a Whole New, life-giving, Soul Alive Way — Aging that not only transforms us for our Soul’s sake, but for others’ sakes, now and for generations to come.
With this vision came the passion, conviction, and commitment to live my Aging years as a Soul Alive Woman and to inspire, teach, and encourage other women choosing to do the same. Trusting that God’s loving transformational power was speaking through my Soul and would lead the way, I would not let my Inner Critic’s fear of the unknown have the last word.
The journey this past year has been glorious and challenging. My Soul has continued to rejoice for the opportunity to encourage me to stretch and grow while my Ego (vis-a-vis the Inner Critic) has kicked, hollered, and waved red flags along the way.
Lesson for the journey: When we say ‘Yes’ to our Soul, we say ‘Yes’ to being beginners for the rest of our lives. The sooner we learn to cultivate loving ourselves compassionately, the easier the Journey will be.
“You can learn new things at any time in your life if you’re willing to be a beginner. If you actually learn to like being a beginner, the whole world opens up to you.” ~Barbara Sher
If you’d like to continue exploring this theme further, please take a look at my reference materials below.
Suggested Soul Practice:
Take Your Inner Critic for a Power Walk
Self Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind, by Kristin Neff
For more helpful information, including a Compassion Self Scale, visit Dr. Neff’s website.