40 before 40

I believe that we come into this world with our inner light shining brightly and as we move through childhood, forces shift and shape us, often causing us to dim that light in order to be loved, liked, approved of, safe. We are a construct of both nature and nurture and yet there is a part of us that transcends time, that is energy, is light, is Love in the grandest, most holy sense of the word. As I moved through my 20’s, I felt myself moving towards then further from that essential core. Now as I close out my 30’s I finally feel I am stepping back into myself, journeying back toward wholeness. Not whole as a child who comes into this world with Spirit intact,  but whole and perfect in the way that my wounding, my scars, my failures and successes, my broken and healing heart have added to the entirety of who I am. As I look toward 40, now 358 days away, I feel anticipation and hope. I believe this next decade will see me standing in my own personal power in a way I am only beginning to taste.

I watch those I admire, whose circle I am a part of and not a part of, find each other, invite each other in, support each others’ growth. My ego feels lonely, wanting to join with them but feeling unsure, unformed. Then I get quiet and I watch myself taking shape, joining hands, taking my place in the circle of wise women. I have left my youth and stepped firmly into mid-life, with all its challenges and gifts. I am leaving uncertainty and growing into knowing. It is exciting and demands my patience, my commitment and my allowing. It is time.

In honor of this growth and this last year of a decade, I have pulled a list of 40 things* from my “life list” that I want to do before I turn 40. Et voila! Here it is…

1. 40 days of giving leading up to March 15, 2012 (inspired by Dyana Valentine)

2. Attend a retreat

3. Take private ballroom dancing lessons

4. Learn to play one song on guitar that I can sing along to

5. Get paid to write

6. Throw an amazing party

7. Get rid of every article of clothing I don’t feel gorgeous in

8. Use my china and crystal at least twice

9. Start my legacy cloth (with the help of Wholly Jeanne)

10. Hug, hold hands and have wonderful conversations with as many of my favorite online friends as I can

11. Buy and work through Danielle La Porte’s Fire Starter Sessions (I’ve been waiting for this moment since it came out and I’m almost ready. I can’t wait to tell you how awesome it is.)

12. Spend a day being pampered at a first class spa

13. Have my first paid speaking gig (okay – scary to say that out loud)

14. Take a raw food class

15. Become a Reiki Master

16. Build an altar in my home

17. Turn our bedroom into a beautiful, healing space (buh-bye taupe)

18. Read at least six books that are already on my bookshelf, cover to cover (60 would be better but I do still have a husband and child, so I don’t know how likely that is)

19. Lose the last 20-25 pounds and feel healthy, fit and comfortable in my body again (I’ve dropped 23 since I was at my heaviest after Ben died so this is actually possible)

20. Take a digital photography class

21. Maintain my 1000 day meditation practice (and buy a zafu cushion)

22. Finish Charlie Gilkey’s Email Triage on both my email accounts

23. Launch the business that is totally aligned with who I am

24. Get at least 1 massage every 3 months

25. Go through all of my MA writing and see if there’s anything publishable

26. Have all my art prints and photos framed and hung

27. Go camping

28. Have my web presence professionally redesigned

29. Have fresh flowers in the house at all times

30. Begin every day consciously and with gratitude

31. Learn how to needle felt

32. Re-learn how to use my sewing machine

33. Have date night with Steve once a month

34. Deepen my trust in my intuition

35. Choreograph a solo movement/spoken word piece

36. Ask more people what their dreams are, because that’s really what I want to know

37. Have more picnics

38. Sell my wedding dress and give the money to a favorite cause

39. Go horseback riding

40. Find joy every. single. day.

What’s on your list?

*I reserve the right to add, subtract or modify said list if any of these things no longer feel like fun.

This entry was posted in Growth, Looking forward and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to 40 before 40

  1. Christa says:

    I believe in all of this. And you. You are a wise woman, my friend.

    I love your list… Maybe we could combine numbers 2, 10 and 12? As I get very close to the 50 mark, these things become even more important!


  2. Stereo says:

    What an inspiring list, Alana. I know you can and will do it and I look forward to reading all about what will be an amazing journey for you 😀

  3. Lindsey says:

    So marvelous. I can’t wait to hear about it as you accomplish each one of these, as I know you will. xox

  4. Pamela says:

    I LOVED this post. Such play and laughter and joy. You set an intention for this a little bit ago and it’s already here, showing up. I also love your goals and am going to add some of these to my own list as well.


  5. danette says:

    can I tell you how much I love you? a whole heart full. This list made me so happy…I’m here cheering you on, and feeling a little inspired to speak some of my wishes aloud. xo

  6. Roos says:

    Nr. 1, 5, 7, 10, 13, 16, 17, 23, 25, 29, 34 & 40 And I think I’ve made a start with nr. 36 for you 😀

    If only you could join me with some coffee or wine in the near future and we could talk about this eye to eye. How wonderful would that be…
    Lots of love!

  7. Stacy says:

    This is an exciting time for you, Alana. Here is what I am going to focus on in my 41st year.

    1. Cook Cook! Cook from the cookbooks I have.

    2. Grow more veggies and continue to learn about plants.

    3. Take a painting class

    4. Treat my hands to a lots of pampering

    5. Find my next space to live

    6. Continue to connect to people

    7. “Get rid of every article of clothing I don’t feel gorgeous in” – Amen Alana – I could not have said it better

    8. Remember to be in the moment

    9. Stay playful

    10. Start making my jewelry again

    11. Wear the jewelry I make

    12. Get a haircut that has style

    13. Style the hair cut – lol

    14. Build back the strength in my body

    15. Visit the beach at least 10 times this year

    16. Camp at least twice this year

    17. Find activities that I can do with my pup

    18. Get a good nights sleep

  8. Pingback: Tears to joy | Life After Benjamin

  9. This is such a rich, conscious, present list, and I am honored beyond measure to be a part of it. Let me know when you’re ready to begin your legacy cloth, and so it shall be. I have held this post and so many others for far too long, so today I treat myself to re-connecting, and trying not to berate myself for not being able to maintain my desired life even while moving.I think that as my penance, I will create me a list like this one – not tied to a birthday, but tied to just because. I love you, dear one.

  10. Pingback: Tears to joy | Alana Sheeren

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