Last month I went through a period of emotional stress because I wanted to give myself the gift of celebrating my 50th birthday in an appropriate way. What is appropriate? Well for me it means travelling to a new place where I can enjoy warm weather, swim in the sea, relax, see new things and reset my mind as new. This Summer I felt particularly tired and in need of a reset, so I have been thinking endlessly how to make my dream come true for my birthday. The more time went by and the date approached, the more I felt nervous, snappy, annoyed, frustrated and restless. Why? Well, we live in a very material society which likes consuming things, foods, emotions, experiences, people, etc. Even if I do my best to de-condition myself and try to be truthful to my values, sometimes I become victim of our system like everybody else; yes, I am human too!
The joy of being conditioned
So I thought, thought and thought and decided, from the little clue that I could find in myself, that I wanted to go to the Caribbean, as I have never been there. The big stress was caused by not having enough funds in my bank account to be able to buy a flight and some accommodation, as it is not the cheapest place in the world, I have to say. I never give in so I kept going and tried to see if I could use some of my Virgin miles to get a ticket or use them for a packaged holiday. By the way I don’t like packaged holidays, all inclusive deals and the rest. I prefer by far to decide where my heart takes me and then research to find the solution that I want, not some pre-established and packaged deal that suits the tour operator’s gain, not mine. Time was running out and I felt worse and worse. Among other things there was also my passport that was expiring in September and needed renewing. I had already managed to get an appointment at the Italian consulate online to go and have it renewed, but I wouldn’t believe that they would really give it to me on the same day. My appointment was on 22nd September which wasn’t far from 4th October, the day of my birthday, hence I was stressed! I could see that I was victim of my own making and the only sensible thing to do was to stop it and have a ‘pattern interrupt’, in NLP terms, but it is always difficult, if not impossible, to be the therapist and the client at the same time, so I kept stressing myself and possibly enjoying it as well, at some level.
An altered state of consciousness
The day of my appointment at the consulate came and off I went to London carrying all my doubts and tribulations. It was 22nd September and I still hadn’t decided anything about my birthday celebrations and I was feeling aimless to say the least. Being so apprehensive and anxious about the whole thing, I arrived there in plenty of time and was told to go back only half an hour before my appointment. I couldn’t think of doing anything else than sitting in a cafe and have a coffee to switch off for a while. So I did and, while I was sitting in ‘Cafe Nero’ and watching the world go by in Farringdon street, I had the idea of calling an old friend of mine from my school years in Turin who lives in London and happens to have his birthday just four days before mine. Surprisingly he would be free in the afternoon and could meet me for a chat and a catch up. I couldn’t believe my ears! Did he really said so? Yes, he did! It is amazing when we are in an altered state of consciousness how we perceive only certain information coming our way and delete most of it without even realising it. That was what I had been doing for few weeks and I didn’t seem to let it go. When I went back to the consulate I got my passport in an hour, albeit my astonishment that something like that could happen at the Italian consulate!
In the afternoon I met my friend, we had a snack and a good chat together. He shared with me his plan to celebrate his 50th birthday by going to the Himalayas and prepare a cocktail, a Negroni, at the highest altitude so far, at Everest base camp. I was so elated by hearing his project and was reminded of my big trip in 2008 when I went to Antarctica and South America and all the excitement came back in a flash, how wonderful! As soon as he finished telling me about his adventure plans, I uttered these few words: “My birthday is less than two weeks away and I still haven’t got anything planned to celebrate it properly!”; this was followed by a huge sigh, as somebody very stressed would do to alleviate the tension inside. I knew roughly about his plan since February, therefore he had been planning it slowly and now he was ripping the fruits of his hard work and was sharing it with me. I was instead simply feeling low in my peri-menopausal swamp where all sorts of feelings and ideas were merging and melting together in a chaotic way, pure hell! Then something unexpected happened: I heard him saying to me “Do what you can!”. Those words traveled very slowly through my body, mind and spirit and eventually landed in a remote part of my consciousness. The conversation went on, but a part of me stayed with those words. I felt relieved, lighter, happy and serenity starting looming at my horizon again slowly slowly. That short sentence acted as a ‘pattern interrupt’ after weeks of desperate search inside myself while I was effectively running after a pre-conceived dream that possibly wasn’t even mine!
Once off my hook of impossibility, my mind resumed a normal way of thinking and my heart started beating again at a normal rate, alleluia! One day or two later I thought of places where I had had already good and relaxing experiences in the past, as all I needed was a place where to relax and rest, nothing more or less than that. I didn’t need to go to the Himalayas, but just somewhere warm and tranquil where to re-find my inner Self. I realised that I didn’t need to travel all across the Atlantic Ocean to celebrate properly my birthday, but just somewhere warm and cosy. Where do I feel the most relaxed and more prone to reset my body, mind and spirit? In a spa of course, always did! In a blink of an eye I remembered that I could go back to the wonderful island of Ischia in Italy that I always loved and have a hell of a time with my partner and hopefully also find some good weather. I could feel my cogs and wheels starting moving again and before I knew I had found and booked everything I needed at a price I could afford.
Why the whole process had been so difficult for me? Why did I put myself in such an uncomfortable place when I didn’t need to? Ageing gracefully is all about becoming oneself and allowing oneself the freedom to let go of all those things that have been sold to us in some unrecognised way along the way which we never wanted, but thought it might be cool to have. Ageing is all about freeing oneself of all those thought processes that don’t serve us to reach new horizons, but just the opposite they shackle us to be a slave of society, the system, the media, the ‘bon ton’, recognition, etc. Why couldn’t I find something that was right for me? Because unconsciously I was following desires that I might have formulated decades ago, but I no longer have. The peri-menopausal years like ageing are all about becoming one’s own Self and becoming free of pre-imposed concepts, therefore how could I possibly find solace, if I wasn’t present to myself? Thanks Paolo for having said those magic words to me, they made a big difference in my confused existence of a woman in transition towards her wisdom years. I so recharged during my week in Ischia and came back with a new Me. How wonderful it is to be a woman, even in transition! Are you experiencing maybe something similar in your life? If yes, I would love to read from you as, the more we share these intimate experiences without being ashamed of them, the more we grow as women and the stronger we get. Be your wonderful self at any age and forget what you see in the media, as what you host in your heart is so much bigger than any super holiday, property, car, goal that you might have had in your wildest dreams!
I would love to read your thoughts about my experience and, if you want to find out more about my life calling of helping women be empowered in their feminine energy, check my website: Flying Inspiration. You can also watch the video that I made to celebrate my first half of a century: Gabriella Guglielminotti Trivel first 50 years.