Top 10 Deathbed Regrets:
1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life other people expected of me.
2. I wish I took time to be with my children more when they were growing up.
3. I wish I had the courage to express my feelings, without the fear of being rejected or unpopular.
4. I wish I would have stayed in touch with friends and family.
5. I wish I would have forgiven someone when I had the chance.
6. I wish I would have told the people I loved the most how important they are to me.
7. I wish I would have had more confidence and tried more things, instead of being afraid of looking like a fool.
8. I wish I would have done more to make an impact in this world.
9. I wish I would have experienced more, instead of settling for a boring life filled with routine, mediocrity, and apathy.
10. I wish I would have pursued my talents and gifts.
(contributed by Shannon L. Alder, author, and therapist that has 17 years of experience working with hospice patients)”
Have you wished for any of the above? I know I have. I’ve wished, sighed, pondered and then promptly went back to doing what I’d always done….the same old shit that never got me any closer to making those WISHES become REALITIES.
Maybe you’re here because you are at a point in your life where you’re asking questions like “What now?”, “What’s my purpose now that my kids are gone?” or “How do I live life on my OWN terms instead of everyone else’s?” Well, guess what? You’re certainly not alone and I’ve been in that exact same position. I think most of us go through this at some point in our lives but more so when we become empty nesters or reach “that” age (you know the one I mean, right?).
MY PERSONAL JOURNEY
Shortly before I turned 50 in 2009 I’d just become a Grandmother for the first time, was about 20 lbs overweight (mena-pot?) and was feeling a lot of anxiety – I mean, a LOT!. It wasn’t so much a fear of getting older. I actually think there are lots of advantages to aging. BUT I really, really felt like there were things I hadn’t yet accomplished in my life and if I didn’t soon figure out what they were I’d be 60 years old and still in the same spot feeling anxious and unfulfilled. It was like I’d lost my spark. I felt colorless, invisible and irrelevant. I also felt guilty for feeling like that. After all, I had an amazing husband, two wonderful well-adjusted sons, grandchildren, a family business and good friends but I just couldn’t shake that awful ache in the pit of my stomach, that emptiness that made me feel “incomplete” somehow. Then in 2012 my dearest friend, who I was also lucky enough to have as a sister-in-law for over 29 years, died after a 5 year battle with colon cancer. She was just 57 years old. My own mortality suddenly weighed more heavily on me. The days of assuming I had lots of time to do the things I’d always wanted to do were over.
I started calculating how many “good years” I potentially had left if I were lucky enough to avoid a major health crisis or accident. And then I started regretting all the things I’d wanted to accomplish by this time in my life and hadn’t even started them. That damn Regret.
So, I started “exploring”. I went to a psychic for the first time in my life. I’d always been a little weirded out by the whole notion of a psychic but it was actually very uplifting and enlightening. I enrolled into a 2-year Holistic Nutrition diploma program (that actually took me 3 years to complete!) where I learned SO much about how our bodies work and WHY we must feed them “real” food. Perhaps, more importantly, I learned about the undeniable and irrefutable connection between our body, mind, and spirit which then led me to explore Reiki and to get my Level 1 Reiki certification. I’ve taken yoga classes, BodyTalk sessions and even took part in a Past Life Regression session which absolutely blew me away! I’ve also done many, many online courses. Some were personal development ones like Carol Tuttle’s Dressing Your Truth (which I highly recommend) while others were about how to build your own Blog/Website (Thank you, Tanya Aliza!). I even hired a Life Coach, Dianna Leeder (Crave More Life.com) because I was curious about it. I discovered that having a coach is an amazing and necessary part of my discovery of ME while being guided by an incredible mentor.
By doing these things I dropped those 20 extra pounds (over a couple of years) simply by changing the way I ate AND, more importantly, I slowly but surely began to find the REAL me again – the ME who’d been buried under years of raising kids, running our businesses, being a Wife and just being too BUSY to pay attention to the fact that one day, before I could blink, I’d be 50 years old and wondering what the hell life was all about. I allowed myself to be OPEN to trying things that intrigued me and that might also help me find out more about myself. Did it feel a bit strange? Sure it did. But it also breathed new life into my old perceptions about what a woman my age was supposed to be like and behave like and to discover that it’s never too late. I believe that as long as we’re breathing we have the potential to change a life and the life we change first must be our OWN.
To make a long story short, by doing all of this self-discovery I ignited the spark I needed to achieve a goal I’d had since childhood – to write and publish a book. When I realized no one was going to write that book except ME I got down to business and did it! Yes, it took me several months. Yes, it was hard at times and I felt like giving up, but it made me feel complete in a way nothing else had. All those years of thinking I was foolish to have such a dream vanished when I started listening to myself, honoring my uniqueness, and doing the work. After I finished my book I knew that writing was all I wanted to do for the rest of my life.