• Lisa Paul IBCLC

50th birthday reflections & prayer

May I celebrate my 50th birthday in a spiritually enriching way. I set this as my intention in January of this year and spent time and energy exploring what that meant to me. Of course, that in and of itself was part of the path. COVID and the reality of travel changed what was available or comfortable, and I went from the idea of a 2 week trip to some exotic place (like Peru, or Thailand) to a local retreat I have put together in Maryville. Wow, I need to just acknowledge the amazing journey that has occurred in my own head - I am hosting a retreat based on the uniqueness of me!


Let's see if I can summarize the retreat in a paragraph. We are staying in yurts at Seven Springs Holistic Retreats. Each of us will have our own yurt both for COVID and for privacy. I have planned all the food to give us digestive rest - meaning that we are not over indulging. We have a soup and salad theme, with each person bringing their top 3 salad toppings. I have made chicken bone broth for the base of the soups. On Saturday we will have a Sound Healing Ceremony with singing bowls. There is a labyrinth on location for meditation. Plus we will get to ground in nature, and spend time outside in this awesome location! This is part woo-woo, part feminist (only women invited), eclectic, and definitely healthnutty! When I couldn't find what I wanted, I created what I wanted, and I think that was the point.


I want to thank my good friend Marcie for inspiring me to rethink what 50 could mean. Our culture is so full of messages that getting older is bad and she embraced her 50th with triumph and honor. It would never have occurred to me to take on 50 in this way without her lighting the trail just slightly ahead of me. I dedicate this following prayer to her.


This prayer is inspired by A Rite of Midlife from Illuminata: A Return to Prayer by Marianne Williamson.


Dear God,

I thank you for the years gone by, and thank you for the years ahead.

I have lived.

I have seen the cycles of life and death.


I have now gained sacred knowledge:

The power to heal though the depth of my compassion;

The power to teach through the depth of my understanding;

The power to bring forth a new and better world through the depth of my vision.


May all now see in me, and may I see within myself, the elder, the wise one, the one who holds the candle of illumination for all the world to see.

May my heart be as a womb to new life.

May my children's children see the power of the ages as it is written in my eyes.

I have come so far, may I know peace.

I have worked so hard, may I know rest.


And may a new cycle begin, one that builds on the life already lived and lights the path for those who wish to follow.

May I shine.

May I be blessed.

Amen.

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