I love this photo of Dame Helen Mirren by Robert Zukerman. I’ve seen this post floating around FB for a while. It appeared in my news feed again today, and once again, the words from Brene Brown quoted in the post deeply resonated. Helen Mirren is now a poster woman for aging gracefully and being sexy at 70 – “the new 40” apparently. Whatever Helen Mirren was thinking at the time this was taken or whatever it is supposed to portray, what I love is that it feels like she is saying “Here I am. This is me. Take it or leave it.”
Her frank gaze, her bare face, give some sense of her being comfortable in her own skin – confident of her value. This in itself is inspiring – we can all be fit and sexy and its not too late even to get a tattoo perhaps since I’ve been thinking about that for years and it looks good on her 😁.
I feel that’s a rather superficial view of it though. Her age is irrelevant except to challenge a perception. She is no doubt an inspiring older woman for many many reasons. Its not just about “Oh wow, a woman can be that sexy at 70, or you are never too old to do what you want.”
Its more than that. The Brene Brown quote here deepens the message, thank you Debra Thornton. Brown’s work is amazing. If you haven’t come across her yet, I highly recommend checking her out. She writes and speaks on courage, vulnerability, empathy and shame – she is super intelligent and achingly funny. http://brenebrown.com/
Here she is quoted on mid-age. That it is a time when “the universe gently places her hands upon your shoulders, pulls you close, and whispers in your ear: I’m not screwing around. It’s time. All of this pretending and performing – these coping mechanisms that you’ve developed to protect yourself from feeling inadequate and getting hurt – have to go…. Time is growing short. There are unexplored adventures ahead of you. You can’t live the rest of your life worried about what other people think. You were born worthy of love and belonging. Courage and daring are coursing through you. You were made to live and love with your whole heart. It’s time to show up and be seen.”
I am 51. Is this mid-age? Probably yes, but today midlife can be somewhere between 50 and 70… Mostly I don’t feel old that’s for sure, but I do feel wiser and that’s good. My body requires more care and attention – but that’s not a bad thing as I should have been taking more care of it anyway. My heart and spirit are still young, adventurous, curious, hopeful.
In the past year or so, though, I have certainly begun to feel this urgency that Brene speaks of – that it is time to be real, to be me and sod the consequences. That it is time to break the mould, to bring awareness to the stories that keep me from getting on with what I am here for and then to get on with it. Something has shifted and It feels that there is no longer somewhere to get to, some other way to be or something to aspire to, or a correct path to find; but rather a remembering, a welcoming and opening of my arms to myself, as I am, all in. And in that, I find that the seemingly winding path I have travelled thus far is actually my life, ha; that this drive to find out what life is really about and who I truly am is actually my passion calling; that my longing and curiosity take me in the direction I need to go and I need to listen. I can love my penchant for wondering and questioning rather than feel frustrated at being unsettled or mutable… A curious life is one I want to live.
Where does or would your curiosity take you?
What gets in the way of you following your curiosity?
Being curious can lead you to challenge and question. Inquiry is at the core of scientific and spiritual discovery. To be a seeker, an explorer of the world, frequently involves letting go of the stories and fixed perceptions that made life feel a little more clear and safe, more certain. Curiosity can lead to new ideas and fresh opportunities, while also helping you to overcome fears and broaden your thinking. We are all born naturally curious, sparking exploration, adventure, innovation and learning.. and curiosity opens our hearts and minds, breeds creativity, and allows us to spot synchronicity, to grow. When a client is struggling with an issue, I invite them to pause and be curious about it. We inquire. A space opens up and the answer has room to emerge.
Einstein said “The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.”
If this is mid-age, I like it, I embrace it, I am ready to show up and be seen.
And this blog. Yes, this is my work page, a way of giving you more of a sense of who I am if you don’t already know, what I do and what’s on; but it is also a creative habit, a space to be in touch with my spirit, to be vulnerable and look the world in the eye and say “Here I am. This is me. Take it or leave it.” And hopefully inspire you to do the same. It allows me to follow my curiosity, share my musings and hopefully hear your thoughts and musings back.
Bless you for reading this – I hope it has sparked your curiosity!