Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Birthday To Me - And a Challenge to You!

I will be 40 this month and I am so excited!!! I've been talking about it forever. I feel like I have lived half my life already but I feel a shift happening. It is happening in the earth right beneath my feet. It's happening in my mind taking me to places and showing me things that I didn't know existed. And it's happening in my heart allowing me to love people and things I never thought possible. But mostly allowing me to forgive moments and events that I have held on to for far too long. And the most important part is that it has allowed me to forgive myself - or at least get on the road to forgiving myself. All the times when I felt I wasn't enough. All of the times I didn't show up for myself. All of the times I didn't live up to my "potential." What a horrible word "potential" it should be banned from the English language. We are not potential. Every moment of our lives we make decisions, we love, we live - and if we stopped thinking of ourselves as beings in search or on the march for our potential then we would be happy right where we are. We have nothing to get, nothing to reach for. We are perfect right here. I have tried to reach my potential ever since some misguided high school teacher wrote in a college recommendation that I had lots of it. Well, whatever he thought was my potential and what I thought was my potential were probably not the same polar opposites actually. And I probably exceeded his expectations but fell desperately short of my own. So I am taking that word out of my vocabulary and definitely not using it with my own kids. It sets up impossible goals even if you are only slightly damaged, meaning you have just a tiny bit of work to do on yourself. But when you feel you are riddled with holes that need to be filled - potential can become your arch-nemesis.

Potential is defined as: : existing in possibility : capable of development into actuality . Capable of development into actuality? Then what the hell are you right now? See where I am going with this? We are capable of becoming something. We are already bright, beautiful, full right here. Exist in this moment not in one that hasn't arrived yet. Just like my daughter always says - tomorrow never comes. It's the same way with potential.

But this is not what I wanted this post to be about. I want it to be about celebrating this month with me. And helping move forward through the next 40 years. So I am asking for a HUGE present from each of you. It is a challenge that may very well take you all month to complete but I am hoping that you will do it.
This is what I wrote as a Facebook status but it wouldn't post -- too long! I have been known to be verbose!

Today is the first of July! On the last day of this month I will be 40 years old! So I feel allowed to ask a favor of those who will do it. Send me 40 pieces of knowledge. They can be lessons you learned the hard way, or the easy way or the love way. They can be funny things you think I should know or how to heal a broken heart or make perfect scrambled eggs! What do you know? Share it with me. Each of you give me 40 gifts whether you know me well or not. At the end of the month I am going to publish it into a little book to keep with me and help get me through the next 40 years! Write me at facebook, here or @! You have all month, and I will remind you!

I am going to do the same thing. Write 40 pieces of knowledge. 40 things I "know for sure," to quote the guru Oprah (do you realize she is a guru - crazy!). Please do it - it's not just a gift to me but hopefully a gift to you as well! And if you know someone who knows me who doesn't read this blog or isn't on FB - send this to them. I want a HUGE book actually by the end of the month - truth be told.

I love each of you fiercely!



John Garrett said...

I'm supposed to know 40 pieces of knowledge? You must think I went to college, or something. Damn damn damn...

Anyway, I will endeavor to come up with something, for certain :)

Oh yeah, Happy (early) Birthday! Although I'm sure I'll be posting my well wishes on your Facebook wall come that wonderful day. Peace!

ilyakogan said...

40 things is a tall order! How about one thing per decade of your life? And you will post 4 as well...

Nanda Mama said...

Ilya, write as many as you wish!