Bobbi: Welcome to UnYielded: Thriving No Matter What where we talk about how to make your next chapter in life your best chapter. I’m your host, Bobbi Kahler, and I believe that the best is yet to come.
This episode is airing May 8, 2023. This coming Friday. May 12 would have been my dad’s 90th birthday. And as some of you know, he passed away on November 11 of last year, and we decided to have his memorialcelebration of life on what would have been his 90th birthday. So that’s coming up in a few days. And I have to say, it’s been an odd time since he’s passed. I mean, of course there’s been grieving and mourning. There’s been sadness. There’s also been joy and happiness and laughter.
In looking at some of the old pictures of us with dad and thinking of some of our time together and looking at the old pictures, what I really noticed is just how happy and content he always seemed to be. He was a hardworking man. He loved his family with all of his heart, and he loved what he had. He did not long for things to be different, and he just always seemed to be happy and content with where he was.
And in reflecting on it, I don’t believe that I ever heard him complain, not even in his final days in the hospital when he was in absolute agony. Instead, he’d thank people for how they were helping him. I mean, it’s just stunning when I think back at that.
We lost our mom back in 2008, and now with Dad’s passing, it’s kind of made me confront my own mortality, which is both a little creepy and it’s also a great catalyst for reflection.
Now to make this time even more kind of feeling up in the air. Prior to losing dad, I had just stepped away from my contract work at ASLAN after, I don’t know, 14 plus years. And I had made that decision because I knew it was time to explore something new. I wanted to spend more time with the podcast and writing and creating content that will help more people. I also knew that, frankly, I didn’t want the busy schedule that had become my life in those 14 years. For most of those 14 years, I was on a plane almost every single week. My time at home was a time to catch up on what I’d missed and to do the laundry and get packed up again for the following week. I even had a room, believe it or not, I even had a room in my house called the Travel Room. And that was to make packing as easy and as fast as it could be, because nearly every single Sunday I would pack, and I came to dread it.
As I’ve moved through this time, I’ve just tried to hold the space to feel what I need to feel, and to allow myself to not have the answers, which can be really hard to do, maybe it’s just me, but that’s really hard to do, to allow myself to not have the answers. And as I’ve gone through this, at first it was really scary. I really wanted to get to a place where I had the answers and I could move on to the doing. I just have to say I’m really good at the doing side of things.
And then I entered a stage of accepting that I’m just in a transition of sorts and that’s when more peace and calm came to me. I gave myself permission to explore, to be, to be curious, without having any goal around that, which, believe it or not, was and can still be remarkably hard. I have to keep reminding myself that this is where I am. And I keep getting all these messages like quotes show up about, take your cue from nature. Nature is patient. So I think I’m onto something here. So I keep trusting that I need this time and that the most important thing for me to do is to continue to care for myself physically, emotionally and spiritually. And believe it or not, I have to give myself reminders of that. But I’m still working through that, so stay tuned, I’m sure there’s going to be more about it. So as I continue, I continue to give myself space and to just be and I’ve been very committed to meditation during this time, and I’ve been very tuned into what gives me energy and what doesn’t give me energy, and also what sucks the energy out of me. And I do have to comment on the meditation. I know some people who meditate for an hour or more and God bless them. And when I looked into meditation in the past, that’s what I always thought and that’s why I thought it had to be. And my thought was always okay. Even on the best of days, man, I cannot imagine sitting still that long. So I’ve started slowly, 510 minutes, 15 minutes, so there’s hope for us. And even in those 510, 15 minutes, it’s remarkable the difference that it makes. And I’m also incorporating like two minute breaks throughout the day where you don’t like me. It might be, let’s say I’m washing my hands and I really tune into the temperature of the water or the way the soap feels.
So I think there’s hope for those of us who maybe have a hard time sitting still for a long period of time, but the benefits have been miraculous already. So I still don’t have any final answers. But what I do know is at this stage of my journey, here’s what I know, at least for now.
First of all, I want the next chapter of my life to be filled with way less striving and grinding and pushing than the previous chapters. That’s been my way of operating since I was a kid and frankly, I’m ready for something new.
Another thing is I want this next chapter to really have way more wonder and joy and awe. And I realize to have those, there has to be space to have wonder and awe and joy. I can’t be rushing around all the time. Like, I have to be present for those things to be there.
Third, I want to be more connected with others in this next chapter. Previous chapters kept me really, really busy, and that took a toll on connecting with others. And so that’s something that I want to change going forward.
And finally, I want to be more in my full, true spirit going forward. Prior chapters, they were a little dominated by achieving and being responsible. And that is definitely a huge part of who I am, but it’s not all of who I am. I think about myself when I was a young kid, and I was playful, adventurous, spunky, curious, and happy. And I want more of that.
I remember back several years ago, oh, my goodness, this was maybe, I don’t know, eight or so years ago, and we still lived in Evergreen, Colorado, and I was looking out of my bathroom windows at the mountains, and for some reason I was thinking about my younger self and I thought, where did that young girl go? That spunky, adventurous kid. I mean, if you think about Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird, you have kind of a good idea of how I was as a kid. And I thought, Where did she go? And I think that this next chapter is a huge part of it, is clearing the way for her. It’s time to give her more room in my life. And I have absolutely no idea what that might look like. But the thought, the thought makes me happy. The thought makes me smile. So I’d love to hear from you on this. Can you relate to any of this? I mean, has any of this shown up for you? Because I’d love to hear your experience with it. So that wraps up this episode. Thank you so much, as always, for listening, for tuning in, for sharing the podcast. I appreciate that so much. And to those of you who have subscribed, thank you so much. I appreciate that. And if you haven’t yet subscribed, this is probably a really good time to do it because the phone is probably in your hands already. So other than that, I just hope you all have a really wonderful week and that you be well and that you continue to rise and thrive.