How I Got Here
Round about my 40th birthday I began a mid-life awakening. I call it an awakening because it wasn’t really a crisis as is so often talked about. I literally woke up to my current state physically, emotionally and spiritually. I wasn’t pleased with what I saw and felt. It felt like I had kinda been cruising along with not much clarity on what I really wanted to be doing. What was my definition of success? How should I be feeling and experiencing my life? To be fair, I did have 3 kids, 2 of them young, so there was a certain amount of just putting my head down and taking care of business day to day. I never really gave it much thought except to know that I was blasé about my life. My choices were always about what I didn’t want; what I could put up with or deal with; not about what I truly wanted. Mind you, with the exception of my expanding waistline, nothing at all was wrong. I had an advanced degree. I had a successful career in IT/Communications. I had a loving partner. I had 3 awesome kids. I had a great place to live and a great community to live in. I had great friends. I had security and safety.
I was comfortably, and somewhat numbly, ensconced in middle-class America. And, I’m a white man for gosh sakes! “Pass the sun chips bro,” says Mike Birbiglia. What’s not to like, right? Millions of people on the planet pine for what I have. Why am I not ecstatic if not at least genuinely content with my privilege and my life? I had all the perks of white middle-class male privilege but still wasn’t truly happy. This is not uncommon. Of course there are many factors that play into our perceived happiness. I knew I had to make some changes or I would slink into that state we so often see men at mid-life in middle America slide into; a slumped over acquiesce; a silent discontent and all the dysfunctional rationales that perpetuate an endured mediocre existence. I’d had enough. I needed change.
Besides the weight gain, I had little energy for anything beyond diaper changes and house chores. I wanted vitality and purpose back in my life. I wanted a calling; not just a job. I yearned for adventure in everyday life but was settling for mediocre TV or movies, and a drink to take the edge off and de-stress. So what happened? I knew I had to do something. I had to put me first but I didn’t really know how to do that. I was a good guy: loyal, responsible, somewhat cynical and irreverent; a do-gooder always making good on my commitments. Well, my kids will challenge me on that 😉 as they should. They are a few of my most important teachers after all.
So, around my 40th birthday I walked into a steamy power vinyasa yoga studio and got my ass kicked in the most loving way one can get their ass kicked. 90 minutes later my life had changed. As I walked home I stopped at a corner to wait for the walk sign to cross a busy street. I must have been quite a sight standing there with a quirky smile, flushed cheeks and ever-so-slightly-wobbly legs as I listed to one side. I remember thinking, “holy shit, what just happened to me – and thank god!” I was exhausted, elated and so grateful that I had the wherewithal to take a chance on that particular yoga class. I had found a practice that would feed all areas of my life in a very positive way. I went on to lose about 20lbs, started paying more attention to what I was eating and drinking, got a lot stronger physically and started trying to make conscious self-reflection a part of my everyday life. No more numbly plodding along unconsciously.
10 years later, at 50, I’m still on the path and expect to be till the end of my days. I’m determined to make the second half of my life more vibrant, engaged and aware. More than that, I’m excited to share my experience and knowledge to help anyone else do the same with their own lives. All it takes is a commitment, the right support system and some shred of faith in yourself. If you are interested in talking with me about your dreams then please reach out. We’ll start from exactly where you are and look ahead to much learning, fun and lasting change.
Could one conversation change your life? Schedule a free initial consultation with me today and find out.