In one of my recent posts I wrote about discovering my writings from many years ago… which got me thinking about my younger days! I was so passionate and inspired… really… most of the time. I was reflecting back on some of the things that kept me that way.
- Strolling city streets in NY… a zillion visual images that made my own creative ideas explode… for paintings, haircuts, things to make and write about… this beautiful creative swirl of people, images, words, moods, feelings… everything pulsing with life and energy!
- Going to live shows… Plays! Dance! Music!
- Going to art galleries and museums… Totally awestruck and at times really emotional. I remember standing in front of a huge painting by the Pre-Raphaelite painter Edward Burne-Jones… and being so mesmerized by the sheer beauty of it… the emotional impact… that I burst into tears! When was the last time that art made you cry? I love Carrie Ann Inaba, a judge on Dancing With The Stars, who has often been brought to tears by the beauty and emotion of a dance.
- I used to journal all the time…whenever I felt like it… feelings, thoughts, epiphanies, dreams, ideas.
- I would meditate… I felt a deep connection to spirit.
- Dance! There was this wonderful club in NYC that had a beautiful wide, white staircase that curved down to the dance floor… and most people danced all the way down!
- Reading… some of the most interesting and soulful non-fiction books of our time! And some folly… to while away the long commute on the Long Island Railroad, when I really needed to relax and be distracted… I would go to the bookstore and get anything that had a castle on the cover… great sweeping, historical, juicy romance novels… Yep! Bodice Rippers! That did it for me… the ultimate distraction. I vividly remember one morning… I was so deeply immersed in a really well written story that I felt transported to another place and time. I barely noticed when the train pulled into the station. I remember getting off the train just in time and stumbling up the stairs in a crush of hurried people and blinking at the frenetic activity of morning rush hour… When just a few moments ago… I was galloping across the moors on my horse, enjoying the sweet scent of heather and the wind whipping through my hair… and feeling blissfully free! (I guess now the secret is out… I’m a bit of a romantic)!
- I went to the most incredible craft shows where artisans displayed and sold their work. Such a celebration of the creativity that human beings express in so many amazing ways.
- I took lots of classes and attended workshops… everything from painting to human potential. I was always learning. My favorite places were The New York Open Center, The New School, Omega, Parsons, and The Craft Students League.
- I always loved my work… cutting hair… very exciting… the incredible artistry and creativity of salon life in the 70’s and 80’s! I worked in the East village and then the Upper West Side of Manhattan. The people were so amazing! Everything was so colorful… the conversations ranged from hilarious to deep and spiritual… people shared themselves in such a heartfelt and real way. I am so blessed to have experienced that.
Yes… My younger days were so full of rich experience… of deep feelings and beautiful vision. I find myself yearning to bring some of that exuberance back in my life now. Exuberance… what a great word! Yes! I want some of that!
What about you? I’m sure your younger days were full of rich experience as well. Think back. Some of the things that may stir your memories: certain scents, visual images that you hold in your mind’s eye of beloved people and places, songs that remind you of feelings and experiences. What kept you passionate and inspired? What excited and delighted you? What did you love to do? What people were around you then? What places did you love? What parts of yourself found expression in your world? What was your youthful exuberance about?
Bringing that fresh energy that we once enjoyed into our lives now that we are older is about reflecting back then, and soul searching ourselves for what we most need and desire now. It’s about knowing ourselves.
For me… I always needed a combination of the creative and visual stimulation of the city… exposure to diversity… different people and ideas and ways of life… with the balance of the country and the sanctuary of a peaceful, beautiful home and the creative solitude of nature… being close to the earth… the phases of the moon and the changing seasons.
How about you? What do you need and desire? What do you wish you could bring back into your life in some way? What would you love to re-discover within yourself today? What really inspires you? (Inspiration…In Spirit) What will make you feel exuberant and fully alive? What are you passionate about? What will nourish you heart and soul?
You still possess all the natural passion, hope, and zest for life that you did back then. It might be slightly dormant due to life’s demands… but it’s there. I have met many people in their 70’s and 80’s that are radiant, joyful and filled with life… their eyes shine with a mischievous twinkle and an inner knowing. They are creative and fully engaged with life. They have a zest for living. They have chosen to be that way. They love life! It really is about the choices we make. It may take planning… to include the things we love the most into our daily lives… to claim and create the time to do the things that light us up and give us pleasure; and perhaps a bit of spontaneity… when life offers us something lovely and unexpected.
Oh! To live that way! To make the rest of our lives joyful… filled with beauty and meaning… happiness, fulfillment and pleasure. To really look at every day as the gift it is, and live it in a way that celebrates our love of life. Life is precious! What we create with ours is up to us.
Let’s do it! Let’s use our past to create our present, and let our natural exuberance shine through!