Finding the exhale, hello Forty

The mystical age is upon me…and if I Iive to see eighty, I am about half way through…this is 40!

My 39th revolution turned out to be steeped in sorrow; filled with heartbreak, losses and heartache.

Don’t get me wrong, this is not a complaint, just facts.

And with a pandemic to boot, the darkness was shroud in isolation in many ways for the world at large.


There were beautiful parts too, of course. Even in sorrow, there are times of great joy.


39 brought with it a lot of truth of how volatile our existence really is. How it can be taken away swiftly and without mercy. How we manage to persevere somehow.


I am not often one who feels lost. This past year has left me reeling. And feelings of inadequacy began flooding in. And feeling every step forward was met by 3 steps back. And I was often just plain sad. I had met my threshold for grief, darkness, rejection, sorrow, loneliness, & loss.


I remember learning that it is a common reference that Yogis believe the age of 40 can bring with it a breaking open of sorts, a willingness to learn and expand if you are open to the challenge. And in that, it is an age of coming into being. An awakening.


40 can be a time when we contemplate our mindset

or

we do not, because our mind is set.

It can certainly happen at any age & is usually sparked by a traumatic/enlightening event but there is good evidence that the mid-life crisis is a common phenomenon.


Most will say that they are having a crisis but maybe it is referenced in this manner because they are shaking up the status quo. Some may say it is reinventing oneself. Maybe, they've started to become comfortable enough to discover (dis-cover)...and peel back the layers.


I am a Yogini through and through. From the very first breaths until now I have followed the yogic path. It took me 34 years to find its name and have words that defined this way of living. At 39, it has served me in more ways than I can explain.

At 40 and forevermore, I get to build upon this path.

After all, each year I am gaining strength and flexibility in one way or another-- body, mind or soul.


More heartache and loss is brewing; I will lose someone I love again very soon. As I walk with her as far as I can go through her transition, I am learning so much of how she carried herself through life has influenced the way I carry myself through my own life. What a gift to get to love someone through to the end (for both of us). I can see her faith in me, has helped to renew my strength. And I think the strength she sees in me helps renew her faith in the process. For 39 years prior, it was much the other way round.


Much is still shifting in my little part of the world as I begin my 40s. This past year has left my spirit feeling battle-worn. My heart has been weary. My body too. My mind too. Much of 39 felt as though I had to hold my breath to brace myself.


Sometimes you’ll laugh

Sometimes you’ll cry

Life never tells us,

the when’s and why’s

When you’ve got friends to wish you well

You’ll find a point when…you will exhale

-Babyface/Whitney Houston


Then somehow, one day in May, something clicked. A discovery. I'd never quite be the same. And that was going to be okay too. This does not mean I have no sorrow or that the tears have stopped but somehow something has shifted in me. And I did not pass the threshold of this place all on my own.


To the ones who held me up and held space

To the ones who gave some of their time, energy and love to me

To the ones who reminded me who I am when things felt cloudy

To the ones that heard me out

To the ones who allow me to exhale


I am IMMENSELY grateful for and to you


In the words of the great Nayyriah Waheed

a friend. is someone who supports your breath


If anything, 39 affirmed my center, that my heart is on my side and showed me my people. Definitely not in ways that I would have hoped for or chosen, but I am leaving my 30s with more clarity and deeper gratitude than I entered with. And a solid faith in who I am.


Deep breath out...hello forty!


Change is inevitable. Aging is inevitable. And long ago, I decided that for me, growth is inevitable too. Grateful for my path, in joy and sorrow. Stepping through the threshold of a new decade. May we all be open to self-discovery. We deserve it!

Celebrate Life. Teach Peace,

Sarah Ladybug


In loving memory of my sweet niece Ainsley

In loving memory of my yoga teacher-friend-mentor Catherine Ashton

To my grandmother, the epitome of chutzpah, I am thankful to be your granddaughter




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