A Midlife Mantra If Ever I Heard One
I was staring at the blank page of my journal, wondering where to start. Thoughts swirling, the to-do list fighting for attention, and annoying headlines that I read while still in bed dampened my plan for an early morning calm (for which I was still beating myself up).
So, I slowed my breathing, took a sip of coffee, and turned to a favorite journaling technique I like to call, "Open Sesame."
I reached for the top book from a stack on my coffee table, Robin Sharma's "The 5 AM Club," asked my guides for inspiration and, allowed the book to fall open where it may. Open sesame.
It couldn't have been more divine. The first thing my eyes landed on was this Ayn Rand quote:
"Do not allow your fire to go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamps of the not-quite, the not-yet, and the not at all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved and have never been able to reach. The world you desire can be won. It exists. It is real. It is possible. It is yours."
Why did that strike me so?
I let out an "Ah." It was an oh-that-felt-good "ah." Like a reassurance coming from a collective ah somewhere. It made me feel less of an island because my deep knowing says that most of us feel like this, or some semblance of this, at times. Particularly in midlife as we reflect on what was or wasn't and gauge our sense of satisfaction or discontent with the present and with prospects of the future.
My deep knowing also says the work here is to let go of the attachments to what was or wasn't, and embrace what is. With gratitude. No regrets. I so get that on a cellular level. And, still, there are moments when the swamps that Ayn Rand mentions bubble up out of nowhere. Sometimes fleeting, sometimes they stick around for a bit.
Not all of the quote resonates with me, but a few things light the still-burning midlife embers into sparks that flame again.
"Not yet" has fuel. So does "hero in your soul," and "the world (life) you desire... It exists. It is possible. It is yours."
That feels like a mantra to speak, to toss like sparkling pebbles to follow on the path forward. That's a mantra that ignites.
It's a mantra that reminds me how rich it is here in midlife, swamps and all.
Photo by Dawid Zawiła on Unsplash