GUEST BLOG POST: Spirituality? Yes….. by Cyma Shapiro-Roland
Living in my later 40’s, without full-time children (I had two teenage step children), I was feeling my vitality, my power; enjoying my professional success and my many friends. I had it all, right? But, something was missing. I was a seeker; I just needed to find other avenues and other arenas to challenge me.
But, while nearing 50…….something hit me. Heck, I was getting older. I may have felt and looked much younger…but the joke was on me. Truly. Here was that nagging, never-ending question: to have or not have children. As a half-century of living loomed on the horizon, the question wouldn’t go away, the fears just increased, and the cacophony got much, much louder. What to do? I couldn’t hear the answer. Yes?
So, at an age when most women are sending their children off to college; changing careers (or husbands); starting perimenopause, and looking twice (or three times in a row) in the mirror, I realized that it was time to play catch up. Fast. That tiny, tiny inside voice calling for more was being drowned out by external expectations…………..until I said, ‘yes.’ I began to exhale.
Here’s where the real spiritual journey began.
The attempt to get and have my kids (from Russia – I’m of Russian ancestry) seemed to others like my sole end goal. However, for me, the real end goal was the spiritual epiphany that the multiple trips provided. My love of Eastern Europe – satisfied (the pictures of the “Steerage” by Alfred Steiglitz; imagining my grandmother as she sailed from Russia was now right before my eyes); my belief that overseas travel would always be that looming experience which I’d pack and emotionally brace for weeks in advance – shattered (try traveling 10,000 miles on a day’s notice); my belief in my inability to travel and sustain myself safely – gone (try traveling in a country fraught with turmoil and intrigue); my belief that I couldn’t sustain instantaneous early motherhood (that is, gaining a one-yr. old without one day of pregnancy) gone in a flash; the belief that all those friends, neighbors and coworkers would understand just what I had done and why – gone (are you “craaaazy?”); the belief that I couldn’t be a new mother at my age – yes – I could.
My life changed in an instant. That instant followed the word ‘yes.’
So, it’s more than possible to change your life, to personally grow beyond your wildest dreams — all you need to do is say ‘yes.’ It’s often using the fewest words, and having the clearest intentions that guide you back to yourself and your peace.
Oh, yes, and spirituality.
Cyma Shapiro-Roland is a later mom, writer and businesswoman living in West Hartford, CT. At present, she is working on a book about new mothers over-40.