Turning 34: reflecting and regrouping for another year of growing and learning

Today I turned 34, having lived on this beautiful planet for that many complete revolutions of the earth about the sun. I was fortunate to have taken the day off work, so that I could set myself up a relaxing, quiet, reflective day to celebrate my life.

I chose to move fairly slowly (on the inside, especially), and found many things falling nicely and calmly into place, without a lot of effort on my part. I am nonetheless quite tired at the end of the day, in part because I'm not used to proceeding in this way.

I began by joining my daughter in her classroom, where they were starting a new "Primary Literacy Centres" program. As a parent volunteer, I was asked to facilitate one of the stations where the kids would play word games for 20 minutes before moving onto a new station. I stuck around for most of the morning, and it was a great joy to interact and participate in the wonderful growing community school my daughter attends.

From there, I came home, regrouped myself, and packed up a picnic, a few books and a journal, and headed off to High Park for a nice long walk amidst the trees. I explored a significant chunk of the park over the next few hours, including a stop at the labyrinth located not far from Colborne Lodge. I walked the labyrinth, did some writing in my journal, and practiced some T'ai Chi work before walking back out the labyrinth and carrying on with my hike.

Returning home, I re-packed myself and headed out once more to meet my family collective for a lovely dinner at one of my favourite Thai restaurants before coming home together for the duration.

All in all, a fun, relaxing and inspirational day. I had the chance to enjoy my partner and my daughter, yet take some personal time to think through my plans for the upcoming year. This is the culmination of the last month's worth of processing and intention-setting. Among other things, a few key themes emerge:

  • seeking balance in body, mind, and spirit: daily practice is crucial
  • active and comprehensive maintenance of my physical health: seeing "health professionals" regularly as a tool with which to make consistently healthy lifestyle choices
  • developing and sharpening my will, the combination of desire, intention and "right action" in speech, mind and body: connecting with my priorities and setting clear boundaries, being accountable to myself and my spiritual community, family and friends

A tall order perhaps, but I feel strongly determined and capable of building upon the lessons of all my years thus far to make this upcoming one the best yet!