Life, love, turning 40, and the juiciness of aging.

This week I turn 40 and it is going to be juicy! As a ceremonialist, marking it feels really important.

Nikiah 1 W Watermark! (2 of 17)

Photo taken by Hayley Melrose

Some of the things I learned about getting older:

  • I am so much stronger then I used to be. I am not stressed out as easily over the small things, because I have seen and lived through so much.
  • I care less about what others think of me, and I have surrounded myself with friends and loved ones who support and love me, thorns and all.
  • I have SO much more patience then I ever did!
  • Because I am more secure in myself, I am freer with sincere compliments,  I find so huge joy in witnessing and holding space for the passion and inspiration that other women give me! There are so many talented and amazing people out there!
  • I know nothing!  The quote  “The more we learn, the less we know know.” {T Sheridan} rings absolutely true the older I get.
  • I am so deeply rooted in the person who I am at this point. I know my shortcomings and strengths, and embracing them all is something I work on daily. My layers are what make me who I am.
  • I have  a deeper reverence for life and a deep respect for the ending of it.
  • I have been to the funerals of children and seen the strength of their loved ones picking up the pieces after. Although my heart still aches and feels deep pain for their loss, holding my own kids tighter and loving them deeper was a gift to me.
  • This year I lost a dear friend to cancer. She left her body at the age of 42. Witnessing the beauty and grace to which she died was an inspiration that filled me with deep gratitude for the life I myself have. This was her gift to me.
  • There is so much more ahead! My husband and I estimated that by the time we are 50 our kids will be 26 and 22! We have so much ahead of us yet, so much living to do and so much to see, and we are planning to do it with style, so while we could not travel much in our 20’s living out of back packs, we can do it in our later years, and this time with real beds!

Getting here however has been quite a journey…..

Nikiah 2 sun n snow (16 of 39)

Photo taken by Hayley Melrose

Skipping all the gory details of my youth and 20’s which somehow do not feel as important these days, I wanted to share a bit about my journey as a mother and woman, as I feel like I have grown up beside my kids.

Among my friends it was no secret that I was the youngest of the group, our kids were the same age, but my friends and I were often as many as 10 years apart. I got pregnant with my son at the tender age of 24 and our daughter at 29, so by the time they were school age, the other mothers I was meeting in the playground were often easily 10 years older then me.

For the first few years of being a mother,  my youthful age made me insecure {Or perhaps insecurity is just a fact of being in your 20’s !} I observed the other mothers “appearing” to be more stable, more confident, married longer and having travelled the world more.

I observed this while my peers were doing all the things that they seemed to have already done, travelling to India, going on exciting new adventures, staying up late and  sleeping in, taking on new lovers and living the free life. I on the other hand,  drove a mini-van, owned a home, and was married with two kids by 29!-EEK!

So hitting 30 was a big deal for me, it felt like I was finally catching up to my life, age wise. I felt less insecure and more confident with what I had been working on, in both my family life and my career. By my mid 30’s I had managed to turn it all around and see the positive aspects of having been a younger mother. I had worked hard on my spiritual path, and the businesses I had created were becoming fairly successful, my kids were growing up beautifully, and I was not nearly as tired as some of the mamma’s who waited until their late 30’s to have kids.

But for all of this positive thinking my soul was calling out for more, my kids were getting older and needed me a wee bit less, and so I decided to throw all caution to the wind and take a big risk, something I had not done since I was in my 20’s–I sold both of my businesses and decided to follow my souls calling! Like the goddess Inanna, I put my ear to  the great below, and heard the call, I knew I must abandon everything I knew and take my own personal journey.

I may not have had a chance to get to India, but my husband and I were able to take our kids to travel all around Europe for five weeks after I sold my two businesses, and when I got back I spiralled into a very early mid-life crisis, this blog and everything I do today was the result of that process!

So here I am, my 40th birthday is Friday.

My kids are 15 and 11, and  my husband and I have been together for 17 years, and I honestly can say I love him more each year.

My life is more soulful, more grounded, and so much more deeply satisfying then it ever was. I am thankful for this everyday, and everyday I work on it a bit more.

I am also grateful to myself for giving up everything I had built career wise, and starting over with my life work. I have come so far since that time. The hard work and the confusion of not knowing how it would all turn out feels like it is paying off and so I say…….

Bring on 40, I got this handled!

Nikiah 2 sun n snow (1 of 1)

Photo taken by Hayley Melrose

 So, here is how I am planning to celebrate:

Actually I have already started celebrating, a few weeks ago I got part 1 of 2, of a new tattoo{you can se it peeking out in the photo above}–whoot!

Friday night we are going out for a quiet dinner, just me my man and our kids, which is perfect for me, no big party, no balloons, just me and my family *happy sigh*.

But here is where the juiciness comes in, the moment I decided I wanted to celebrate my age I meet a talented photographer who came over for a shamanic drum making session. After chatting the entire afternoon away I had a peek at her work and fell in love!  I thought, hmmmmm the timing of this can’t be anything less then divinely led.

So she and I booked a few photo sessions to capture me on the edge of 40, in the body that has supported and loved me no matter how neglected I have left it. We set out to capture the essence of my work, the play of light on my face, and as she reminded me to breathe, I summoned up all the gratitude and joy I have for my life. treating myself to these photo session was the most wonderful gift I have ever given myself!

BUT to top it all off, the day after I turn 40 we are all  heading out to spend 2 weeks with my “in-love’s”, who just so happen to live in Mexico! Then my sweet husband is sweeping me away for 2 nights in Sayulita just the two of us to celebrate being 40 grown up style–can’t wait!

 How did you mark a special birthday in your life? 
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