Google Webmaster Tools
I am told, repeatedly, that this is a noteworthy day in the years of my life. A bloggable, perhaps more than half way, celebration of my living years on this glorious planet. A time of significant maturation in many dimensions of my being, one hopes. A maturation that calls for “letting go” more and “putting up with” less; planning more and wasting less; cherishing authentic connections more and doubting my instinct less; breathing, prioritizing, choosing, stepping up to the final act more faithfully and giving less space to paralyzing fear.
After all, I am stepping into the sixth decade of my life. A decade that marks a decline in my physical body and prompts a brand new sense of urgency to attend to self-care. It stirs an increasing nostalgia for a vibrancy, once exuded naturally, that I now have to actively seek. Yes, the Sixth Decade! The notorious Fiftieth Birthday!
On the verge of this life changing date I reviewed history. Curiously, I went through the events in the world, in my community and in my family. Events that shaped me, for who I am. Some that left their trace more obviously than others. Some that happened and affected my choices many years later, some that made an impact on every decision, every relationship, every response to life and some that remained a shadow never to be admitted or realized. This pause, this time of turning 50, is gently tickling my soul, making me realize how connected we all are as a human body. What an immeasurable affect we project on each other and on the lives of the generations to come. Just as Sa’di’s inscribed poems at the United Nation’s entrance remind us:
The sons of Adam are limbs of each other,
Having been created of one essence.
When the calamity of time affects one limb
The other limbs cannot remain at rest.
If you have no sympathy for the troubles of others,
You are unworthy to be called by the name of a Human.
And here is how my life was shaped and how the calamity and the joy, the victory and the defeat, the courage and the fearfulness of the past 50 years is carrying me into the sixth decade of my life!
I was born in the same year when students worldwide protested to Vietnam war, Apollo orbited the moon, African Olympic Gold and Silver medalists raised black gloved fists to affirm the Black Movement, Eastern Iran was shaken by the most destructive earthquake and when two reformists, Martin Luther King Jr and Mohammad Takhti were assassinated, far apart, delivering a very similar message of justice and fairness for all. I was there all along when Armstrong landed on the moon, Boing 747 made it’s first flight, United Arab Emirates was formed and become independent from England, Pink Floyd released Dark Side of the Moon and the first mobile phone was invented. My life was affected by the discovery of the Terra-cotta Army, the ending of Vietnam war, Apple Computers revolutionizing the world and the first test tube baby being born. I was growing up to understand my world while Britain received it’s first female Prime Minister and Nelson Mandela became the first black president. While the Shah of Iran went to Exile after the 1979 revolution and changed the lives and culture of one of the oldest civilizations. I was there all along when the ten year war between Iran and Iraq was wiping out human lives and historical monuments. I grew up hearing about the last African colonies gaining independence, the Lebanon and Israel war heating up, Chernobyl explosion bringing attention to nuclear power, Stock market crashing, Berlin wall falling, Iraq attacking Kuwait, the Soviet Union dissolving, the European Union forming, The Channel Tunnel opening, and the first sheep being successfully cloned. When Harry Potter was born to create the modern myth and Mother Theresa died. When google was founded and Euro was introduced. When Twin Towers were destroyed and Enron collapsed. While Queen Elizabeth celebrated her 50th Jubilee and Saddam Hussein was captured. I was affected, whether I like it or not, whether I admit it or not, by the Boxing Day Tsunami, Facebook penetrating human privacy and relationships, US celebrating the first black President, Haiti being devastated by earthquake, landslides washing off mountains in Brazil, Egypt erupting to dictatorship, Brexit seplitting Europe, massive fires burning Northern California, civilians being killed in Rwanda, tides rising and falling, nature erupting and reviving, cultures and countries vanishing and re-forming. Did I mention the sanctions, the nuclear weapon cold war and self driving cars? How can I possibly fit it all in one piece?
While affected by everything in the world, my small community, my country, my city and my family put me through challenges in their own way. Sometimes it seems that it has been a never ending evolvement of new buttons they discovered to push, day after day. From revolution and war to family drama and heartbreaks. I was there all along with my soul being pierced by every incoming bullet and my body keeping the memory of them all. I was there with my whole being.
I have been here, all these years, with many a humans; some who gently offered their kind and loving heart on a platter of friendship and support, some who strolled along maintaining the safe distance, some who intended to stomp on me or my values, and some who just appeared to teach me the power of “letting go”.
And now, during the passage through this grandiose gate of experiences, looking back mindfully, it strikes me more than anything, stronger than ever, that I have been here for a reason. This whole coming and living and going, this whole using of natural resources and leaving a foot print on the planet can not be aimless. There must be, and I know there is, a purpose, an intention, a reason, to my “being”. More than ever before, I am curious to know how will I be remembered? Who will remember me most? What will be written in my memory? And on the tombstone I never wish to have. Where would the winds take my ashes? And where would my ashes yearn to fly to?
I know memories will shed light to these questions. Memories together with what makes up my life, the essence of my being. Memories of the spark of light in my late mom’s eyes when she greeted me at the door after a hard day’s work, my siblings who connect to me everyday from overseas, the many childhood friendships that are still close to my heart, the students from 10 years of teaching that find me from all over the world and send a touching message, amazing individuals, from all walks of life, who have become an inseparable part of my life after immigration, many coaching clients that every other while drop a line “ you changed my life”, and of course, above all, my son. Watching this young man grow up has been more than a gift, more than a reason, more than an inspiration.
Until now, I know, I believe, I have been here to create joy, beauty and love in the lives that I have touched. I have been here to bring people together and to expand their horizons by sharing my memories, my food and my culture. I have been an instrument of change, growth and transformation. I believe I have been kind!
My intention is to continue, not repeat!
My hope is to remain an instrument of transformation, however delicate.
My dream is to create an environment to support this transformation through a unique professional organization.
My effort will be to be present, content and connected.
My focus will change from "quantity” to “quality”.
My “why” is “ Because this IS my calling”.
My fear …. ?!
I have none…