Hello Dear Ones

The four of us  – me, Melinda, Anastacia, and Julie — looked around, chatted, talked about how amazing the food was, and, as well, we noticed how quiet and empty the dining room was. Just last night, they told me, the room was filled with raucous, optimistic energy from the hundreds of young women who were here for the World-Changing Women’s Summit sponsored by Conscious Company Media. These young women attended sessions on changing the shape and practices of the contemporary workplace.

I’m Drawing A Chair

Melinda tried to describe the noisy excitement of the previous night before the conference ended when you couldn’t hear yourself talk much less think. She laughed out loud at herself,
“They’re reshaping the working world, and I’m trying to draw a chair!”lunch at 1440

Living Life While Chronically Ill

At breakfast that morning, after yoga, I sat down with some young women from the conference. I asked Liz Travis Allen what she spoke about. I was fascinated to learn that she advocates for a much broader reaching notion of disability for women in the workplace than currently exists. Women, she told me, are much more prone to chronic issues like fibromyalgia, lupus, and the more general category of autoimmune disorders. As we live longer, she asked the conference members, how will we make it possible for women to continue working and continue contributing without having to hide their illnesses and force themselves to go to work when they feel ill and can’t make good decisions.

And Now That I’m 67

Liz set off a set of strong memories that I must have repressed. I remembered keeping my chronic TriGeminal Neuralgia a secret — hoping that I could appear perfect or at least super competent while I kept putting one foot in front of the other as a single Mom and a climbing-the-ladder professor of English. I didn’t dare tell anyone that I had a chronic issue and I would never have thought to ask for an accommodation for it.

This mindset – keeping “problems” hidden – was part of my general approach to life. I did my work, paid the bills, raised my two children, and checked things off my list.

But At 50 I Knew I Couldn’t Keep This Charade Up

At breakfast this morning, still basking in the glow of another incredible yoga class, Anastacia, Julie, and I drank our tea (Melinda had gone off to draw chairs!)  and reflected first on how the breathing we had done had helped melt some of our long-held stress and then the hip openers we did, created openings that went far beyond our physical bodies.

Anastacia said, “I was afraid to open my hips up! I don’t know what I might find in there!”

We laughed together and talked about where we were in our lives.

Anastacia recounted, “we feel . . . we know there is something coming, a change, but we don’t know what it is. We don’t have a guidebook. We know there is room for something new and we can feel the creativity bubbling up inside us.” And, she told us, I want my daughter to see this happening, to learn from my journey.

“On the one hand, there’s no guidebook,” Anastacia mused, “But on the other, I feel strangely grown up. Like, I am finally, now that I am past 50, becoming an adult.

We all laughed in agreement.Early morning at 1440

I was so grateful for my comrades’ insights and wisdom. I love this journey that I am on and meeting fellow travelers along the way.

My Dynamic Aging workshop begins tomorrow evening and with that I will be expanding and traveling inwards into new worlds.

If you’d like to learn more about where I’m in residence now, go to:  www.1440.org

Jill Miller’s website is: www.tuneupfitness.com

And Katy Bowman’s website is:  www.nutritiousmovement.com

Please comment on this post and tell us about where you are on your journey!

 

Love and Gratitude,

 

AnnMerle

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