I turned 65 Feb 12. During that day I celebrated by taking stock. Do you do that? Take stock on your birthday or on New Year’s?
The ancients believed that on our birth day we could receive wisdom and knowledge from the gods. I chose to make myself open to that wisdom.
In fact, I’ve spent the past few weeks on a something akin to a short walkabout. In case you’re wondering, a walkabout is (according to Wikkipedia) “a rite of passage during which male Australian Aborigines would undergo a journey during adolescence and live in the wilderness for a period as long as six months”, walking with and connecting to their ancestors. Turning 65 for me is a kind of rite of passage.
During my walkabout, I thought a lot about the challenges my friends and I are finding as we grow older. I want to take some time discussing them with you, but today I want to talk about my own self-doubt.
A few of the people who attended my workshop “The Unbroken Spirit” were therapists who work with people suffering from trauma. At least one of them loved the workshop and thought it would be great for treating emotional trauma, and asked me if I would be interested in putting together a session to train them.
I was both excited and daunted. I had put a lot of work into developing this workshop, including research and interviews with many experts in both psychotherapy and dance. I knew this workshop had never been done before. I was excited about bringing this to people suffering from trauma through their therapists. And yet, my first response was “I don’t know enough!”. Even though I knew it was a new idea and therefore nobody knew much, still I found myself doubting. Even 5 years ago, doubting wouldn’t have been a big factor, and now I’m even doubting my own memory of how I was 5 years ago!
Hence my walk-about. Is this humility? Is it increased sensitivity? Or is it old unresolved stuff that is circling around once more seeking resolution? I used to think – long ago – that as long as I kept striving for perfection, I would some day achieve it. What I’m discovering instead is that there is always something more to learn, and that means I will always not know enough!
Maryanne Nicholls is a Toronto based, certified Psychotherapist offering a balanced approach to mental health. Please visit http://www.thejoyofliving.co for information on her services, or contact her directly to find out how she can help you reclaim the joy of living.