On the Way to MEA.
On the plane to Baja, Mexico, I learned about shame triggers. I won’t tell you what they are, that’s Brené Brown’s job in Atlas of the Heart. But what I will tell you is I had a huge AHA moment. An AHA on my way to Baja.
It’s my fourth time at Modern Elder Academy in two years (and during a pandemic nonetheless). On this trip, I was torn about which workshop to register for. I wavered and hemmed and hawed because it really wasn't about the workshop. I wanted to be here with the people I’ve met and come to adore. Open minded people. People who have the courage to talk to strangers and share their inner secrets. People, who like me, desire friendships. I’ve missed having friends for so many years.
On this trip to join Shelley Paxton, author of “Soulbbattical,” I set the intention to slow down. Over the last two years, since first stepping foot at MEA, my life has been brilliant and fun. My work is fulfilling, I’ve had great success and reaped the benefits of a handful of wonderful clients and partnerships. I’ve never imagined success like this. I love what I do, but I am out of control. I work 12 to 18 hours a day. When I can’t sleep at 4 am because I am thinking about my long list of to-do items, I roll over, grab my cell and write a press release about senior living. Or I open my laptop and design a new social media campaign for a webinar on brain health.
Here’s the thing: I love working in the longevity economy, it’s my passion and my purpose – but not my only one.
On the way to the airport, a family member dropped some big news on me. Not the kind of thing you want to hear while you are going to check out for two weeks in paradise with a bunch of intelligent and curious people. Now I am worried. I’m sick to my stomach and I haven’t slept for over 24 hours. My motivations have changed drastically. Just like that, my priorities were redefined.
I considered not getting on the plane, but that would have resulted in a loss of a great deal of money, and a huge regret. I couldn’t afford either. But I would have walked away if I hadn’t got reassurance that everything will be ok at home while I’m gone. My fingers are crossed and I am sending as much powerful healing energy as I can to the people who need it.
I am fortunate. I am blessed. I am full of hope.
So you can imagine when I sat down in Pescadero, with the sound of waves in the background, and cracked open Soulbattical for the first time, I was surprised to see the name Brené Brown mentioned. Boy, it’s a small world.
We are all on a path. An individual path and a collective path. A path with our family, with our coworkers, and our peers. If we don’t take time for ourselves, how can we get along with anyone else?
When I see connections, I know I am in the right place. I'm confident that what I will learn in the coming days will be priceless. I know the people I will meet will be influential to my future. And with a combination of luck and skill, I hope to grace those around me with what they need. I desire to contribute more than I take. I want to leave the world a better place by helping to reduce internal suffering. My real passion is people. May those who seek, find. May those who don't seek, prosper when they trip and fall on their AHA moment.
Lola grew up an only child with her grandparents, John and Jayne, in an Arizona motel they owned. She spent the winters with dozens of snowbirds playing shuffleboard which fueled her love for older adults.