ReFirement at Any Age: The season of renewal

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By Gail Supplee Tatum, Columnist, The Times

Did the warm winds ever leave? In our area, if felt like the season of winter never showed up, at least weather-wise.

Regardless of the lack of snow and consecutive cold days, there were more hours of darkness to contend with, which affects our mood. Gloomy days lead to gloomy ways of thinking, so in spite of the mild weather, we had to work extra hard to lift our spirits.

Winter is behind us now as the days are getting longer and warmer. Our world, here in Chester County, is bursting up from the ground and blooming from the tree branches. The birds are singing their beautiful melodies early in the morning. It’s a breath of fresh air, indeed.

It’s rebirth. It’s renewal. It’s feeling alive!

The beauty of our seasons, especially spring, awaken new possibilities for improvement and transformation. It’s a time to shed what’s been holding us back.

We must first identify what holds us back and keeps us from shedding. Some of it can be attributed to being constantly pulled by the negativity of events and people around us. Fear is also a major factor that we all battle with. Switch gears on the fear and look at shedding as a gift.

As we move through this sacred season, we can also look upon it as a shedding, of sorts, a casting off of old skin/old ways, to emerge, like a butterfly, with a renewed spirit. This is something I have been working on myself, this season.

How does one renew their spirit? There are a few ways that I have found helpful to align myself on the right path.

  1. Ignite the power of stillness. I’m speaking about inner stillness, to clear our minds of any interference in order to allow pure and creative thoughts to come rushing in.
  2. Welcome positive and abundant energy as the only presence within the walls of our dwelling and within the fifteen feet of space that always surrounds us. Block out all negative and stagnant forces.
  3. Remove what is not for our highest good. Clear our minds of doubt and allow our mind, body and spirit to be filled with positive thinking, actions and being. You must learn a new way to think before you can master a new way to be. Marianne Williamson
  4. Adopt the mindset of, “If not now, when? If not me, who?”

No question these practices and/or habits are not the easiest and may seem impossible, but if we really think about it, we can choose to be positive and do the hard work to achieve our goals, rather than just accept what is easy and fall for the negativity that just pops in our heads, which we allow to stay there. It’s a choice and one that we make and break many times. Keep going and repeat often until the positive choices become second nature. Change is supremely inconvenient, uncomfortable and naturally scary. Yet we only move through life through the process of change, reinvention and renewal. Christine Evangelou

Here’s more that can help.

  1. Feel your feelings. Sounds simple but the truth is, most of us know our feelings but only on the surface. Really feeling those feelings frees us from dwelling on something that we can’t quite identify. For example, if you feel misunderstood by someone and it bugs you and you can’t get it out of your mind. First understand what your feeling is and then express it to that person in order to dispel the misunderstanding. You will feel so much better afterwards.
  2. Give voice to all that we need to let out. To simplify what I mean, think about putting your voice in song. It can be any kind of song, outside of the traditional singing. It can be a laugh, it can be a shout, it can be a cry, and so on. To give voice to what lives inside is what keeps all things possible.
  3. The energy and practice of being real. This is about being authentic and true to ourselves. Say what we mean and mean what we say. Walk away from situations that don’t serve us well. The energy that comes from being real and the practice of being real allows us to ignore what might otherwise insult us.
  4. We share the same river. Everything in creation is connected. It flows beneath us and through us, from one heart to the next. It makes the Earth one living thing. If only…..If only each and every one of us would understand this and become this.
  5. BIG ONE-Don’t be a spectator in your life. It’s a fine line between living and watching.

Pay attention. Keep your eyes open for the smallest and largest of miracles. They are all around. Gail Supplee Tatum

Every day is a renewal, every morning the daily miracle. This joy you feel is life.  Gertrude Stein

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