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At 71, having achieved much of what I dreamed and worked for, where do I find new energy and motivation?
The questioner's philosophy
Mine is generally positive, open to and allowing of new experiences; patient, expectant of life's challenges and it's good things, health, wellbeing. It has been shaped and is a blend of my Irish Catholic upbringing including 6 years in seminary; University studies and marriage in London, four children; divorce and remarriage; my 45 years in suburban and rural Ontario; membership in the Jungian Foundation of Ontario; 20 years study of Spirituality and Ecology and as a practitioner of Insight Meditation.
The questioner's hopes and aspirations
That's just it, at 71, I feel 'stuck' having achieved very much of what I dreamed and worked for. I'm happy but not motivated, energized.
In general mine is a happy, interesting life, with a supportive wife/soul-mate and extended family. Now retired, my hobbies are travel (I've traveled across Canada and all but four US States) and we have been going to Florida, for 3 months, every winter; painting; reading; and writing stories of my Irish childhood. I am also a volunteer external facilitator/advocate for families with intellectual and mental challenged siblings/children. I work hard at keeping our home going. But how do I find the needed new 'energy,' 'purpose'?
I'm very impressed with your letter. You are truly a well accomplished individual. But what you are telling me is that life has become ho hum.
It seems that accomplishments and volunteerism are not enough to fill your cup. It also sounds like you're walking through life half asleep right now. You miss that old fire and drive, that intellectual curiosity that excited and drove you. Now you're just marking time, filling your hours with worthwhile endeavors but insufficient satisfaction for you. You want to be excited again. You want that fire. I can feel that in your letter.
Here's what you need to do to get out of your rut. You need to open yourself up to something different, the entity behind the mask of Jungian psychology and all the other forms you've studied. You need to touch God in your own Soul and have him kick you in the butt. You hopefully have many years ahead of you so now you need to determine and express your God-given purpose for your later years. Indeed, you need to renew your life.
Here's how to do it. Get a pencil and paper and start writing. "Dear Lord, Higher Self, Great Creator, what is it you want of me now?"
Keep in mind that where I'm coming from "you are God incarnate," and you are posing this question to the deepest part of yourself, your essence. You no longer care what your ego has to offer because "been there, done that." Now it's time for meat and potatoes spirituality.
So get started on this journaling. Put yourself into a quiet meditative state and write that question at the top of the page. Then listen for and "feel" the answer coming from within. (Your ego will say you are crazy: ignore that.) Write down what pops into your head, what you feel. Don't judge what comes out, just write it down. Call it an experiment.
This question and the resulting answers are going to take you to your deepest desires. Once that door is open, keep writing. If an answer begs a question, write it down and wait for that to be answered. In no time you will be moving back and forth between your conscious mind and your deepest desires. There is no mistaking your deepest desires. They will fill you with excitement and Love.
Let me know how the experiment goes. I look forward to hearing from you.
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Antonietta, November 30, 2009 comments:
Dear Young Friend of 71,
You are just starting the very BEST part of your life! I understand that you have done lots of wonderful thing in the past 71 years, but the best is still to come. The energy arises from the commitment, dedication, certainty and enthusiasm....
Well let me explain. You are really two people...and you have to care for both of them.
The first is the "HOUSE," or the body in which you live. The house must be clean, functional and in order. So, the first task at 71 is to program the house for the next 20 years... or even 30 years... with a perfect smooth functioning. Task #1: study about 'successful aging'. Learn about your personal house. This is not done with doctors, it is done by paying attention to what your house has to tell you; every function, every joint, every rhythm has to be taken into account, listen to, respected and actions must be taken to produce an harmonious flow of fresh life in and out at every moment. Task #2: move, walk, do TaiChi, be alone and walk in the woods, don't talk to much, everything has been said already, now think, imagine, communicate with trees, with plants, with landscapes, avoid cement and asphalt.
Next, take into account the other person, the one that is inside the house. The Person inside the house is the real YOU, the one who is Eternal, the one who is Infinite the one who is Beauty and Love. It is wonderful to meet the real Person inside the house! Young people cannot do it because they are distracted by work, material occupations and all sort of worries. Now, you can contemplate the perfection of the person inside the House without distraction. This contemplation will produce lots and lots of energy! No doubt, you will become enthusiastic, you will have the Certainty of the Perfect Eternal Love to which you belong by birthright!
Believe me, I am 84 going to 85 and planning my next 30 years... so, believe me from the depth of your heart... you are just starting the best of your real life! Blessings and good luck!