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Learning, Earning, and Giving Back

May 31, 2008

Soon I will be fifty and I have been pondering why that marker seems more significant to the culture and to many people around me than other birthdays that felt much more meaningful to me.

Thirty was an incredible year for me – I completed my masters degree, returned to the valley of the Shenandoah, signed a contract to build a house, and got married!

Forty-four was an important year for me. I quit my job – with nothing to leap towards – and committed to becoming a full time Domestic Goddess. Hestia was calling me and even though I had never even heard of her – she had been keeping her watchful eye on me – sensing that I was ready and then creating the conditions that helped me make my Leap of Faith.

Forty four was also significant because I moved east at twenty-two and somehow always thought I would return to the west at forty four. There was symmetry that seemed significant that I couldn’t see when I was in the midst of it.

By far forty eight was the most transformative year of my life! I am still integrating all the unleashed potentials from that year. In some ways, I imagine that it will take the rest of my life to bring forth all that was revealed in that time between 44 and 48. I have written about this before – my relationship with four – and perhaps that is why fifty doesn’t seem to be a marker year for me.

This morning as I made my rounds around blogland, I dropped in to see Lauren. She is the amazing and gifted and generous and wise and kind and oh-so-much-more! goddess who taught me the art of leather mask making – and she taught me so much more. It isn’t easy being chosen as the one to see. It isn’t easy being the one who must take what is sensed and make it visible for the world. And Lauren embodies those tasks.

Reminds me of the line from David Whyte – 

To be human
is to become visible
while carrying
what is hidden
as a gift to others.

Lauren is an enormous gift in my life… not only because of the the gift she gives others, but in her ability to see and call forth my hidden gifts. She saw me in a way that others often miss. She helped teach me how to make that part of me visible. If you ever have a chance to study with her at Kripalu – seize the moment!

And that brings me full circle to the title of this post: Learning, Earning, and Giving Back and the work of Dana Dakin. Never doubt the amazing hidden gifts that we each carry.

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One comment

  1. I keep thinking about this post (you’re really good at that) because it echoes how I felt/didn’t feel last June when I was 50. But the time since then has been full of amazing discoveries and happenstances – a solid year of expecting the unexpected in ways that highlight all manners of growth, healing and creative expansion.

    Have also been thinking of you because I am currently re-reading Jean Shinoda Bolen’s book on older goddess influences – for personal resonation this time instead of the eager reading for general content when it first came out. Some of the goddess associations were no-brainers for me (Sophia, Hecate, Sehkmet) but I was really astonished by all depth of Hestia associations and influences I found. Am going back now to read about her in the original goddess/everywoman volume.

    While I didn’t necessarily think of “fifty” as being super-significant I am REALLY getting a charge from thinking about “the second half a century of life”…



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