The Cost of a New Life

I’ve had a theme unfolding this past week, in the form of a common thread that ran through my thoughts, higher awareness, conversations and memes. The theme centers around a new life, and what the cost of one is.

The Cost of a New Life

How Much Does It Cost?

As this year winds down, I’ve had opportunity to take four of my five grandchildren shopping for their birthdays. Number five is in December. This annual tradition allows me to spend one on one time with each child. We have a meal together and then I hand over a specific amount of money, as a birthday gift.

The kids then decide whether they want to save the cash for a bigger purchase, or spend it at a favorite store. The money belongs to them, once I give it, and the choice is theirs on what they do with it.

As the children age, I notice a shift in their response to having cash. When they are very young, they quickly spend the birthday money on the latest hobby or passion. As they grow older, they begin to make more calculated decisions about how they will spend their gift cash. Older still, and I hear them ask about cost. And a bit beyond that, they weigh the cost of the item against the perceived joy or pleasure they will receive. At some point the question, “How much does it cost?” refers to much more than just the price of the desired object.

I notice these changes in my grandchildren with a mixture of fascination, understanding and sadness. They grow up so fast.

The Cost of a New Life

The Cost of a New Life

I had a Yaya/Grandchild birthday shopping trip last night. And I watched and listened as my granddaughter asked about cost and muttered several times, “It’s not worth it” as she put an item back on the shelf. She ultimately made wise purchases, spending about half of what I gave her and saving the rest. This was the first time, at age ten, that she didn’t spend all of her money.

Thinking about the cost of many things this morning, including the price paid for growing up, I noticed the above meme on Instagram.

“Your new life will cost you your old life.”

Lindsay Joy

Those words resonated with me and aligned with my recent reflections.

What does a new life, a fresh way of living, a ‘do over’ cost? What do I exchange, pay or give, to obtain it?

The price, the sacrifice, the cost…is the old life.

The Cost of a New Life

The Cost of Becoming a Butterfly

I immediately thought of the transformation of caterpillar to butterfly. The two are so different in physical appearance that one could think they were different species. The chubby squishy caterpillar with all the legs and the voracious appetite becomes the graceful, beautiful butterfly that flutters into the air on delicate wings.

The cost of becoming a butterfly, is the caterpillar. One ceases to exists as the other emerges. The caterpillar offers its energy and the willingness to change. The butterfly releases the cocoon of the past and doesn’t look back.

My external form has not transformed as radically, however I’ve transformed several times during my life. Most recently, I desired to change my health, and embrace a new lifestyle. The cost of that change? My old way of eating, my former relationship with food, and my beliefs about what causes disorders and disease.

Like my grandchildren on their birthday shopping excursions, I weighed the cost of that new life against the perceived returns and made choices that supported my decisions.

Was the cost, and the price I paid, worth it?

Oh yes! Like the butterfly emerging from its cocoon, I slipped off old habits and left them behind. And like the butterfly, there was struggle involved to break through the layers and layers I had spun around myself. The struggle for the butterfly and for me makes the experience real, and creates the strength to fly, to live, as a new creature.

There are many times during a lifetime that require such sacrifices. Starting afresh, becoming new, making another life all require paying the price with the old life…the old way of thinking, believing, speaking and acting. If the cost wasn’t so high, if I didn’t pay such a drastic price, it would be too easy to slide back into the old way of being.

And if I return to old behaviors, and limiting lifestyles, I know…I did not pay with the old life. I gave less than all.

Change isn’t easy. Transformation is scary. The process feels like death, and in many ways it is.

“Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly.”


It is not over. Beyond change….is new life.

The Cost of a New Life

Journey 191: Born from Love

One of the joys from this summer has been hanging out with grandson Dayan several times a week, eating lunch together, chatting and watching Doctor Who episodes. At 16, he is growing up, forming plans and goals for his life, driving for goodness sakes! I am honored that he chooses to set aside time for us to spend together. The conversations that we have are some of the most meaningful that I have ever had.

Today we ate Chinese food while completing Season 4 of the new Doctor Who. This was a day I had been dreading, much as I love this series. The 10th Doctor regenerated during the final episode, becoming the 11th Doctor, which was significant in that David Tennant stepped aside for Matt Smith to take the title role. I have become a huge fan of this Scottish actor and I love his portrayal of the traveling Time Lord. The inevitable happened, while we watched. And I survived the loss and the change. I am sure I will come to appreciate Matt Smith as well.

born of regeneration

The most remarkable part of the afternoon was talking with Dayan in between episodes and after the season finale. Shows like Star Trek and Doctor Who are not just sci-fi fantasies about aliens and marvelous new worlds. They are the backdrops to exploring not only space, but human nature, the human heart and soul. Humanity’s greatest strengths and greatest frailties are revealed as the characters go on adventures each week, battle enemies, rescue others.

I shared with Dayan a meme that I found recently, that spoke in deep ways about the various Doctors as they regenerate. That meme has stayed with me, as it also speaks deeply about the growth of the human soul. It is easier, perhaps, to watch the transformation take place on the TV screen. This larger than life character called The Doctor is changed, and not just physically, by his interactions with life, the journey, and the companions he travels with. He is also impacted by those who cross his path for a short time, especially when they are lost to him afterward. Every experience, every person he encounters shapes him, for better or for worse, depending on his response or reaction. I can see that as I watch, and I rejoice with him, and grieve with him as he journeys.

born of

The 9th Doctor is born from war, and it shows in his somberness and his aggressiveness. However, he meets Rose and his hearts (both of them) open and he falls in love. The 10th Doctor is born from love and he is joyful, playful, affectionate. He experiences great loss, however, ending up alone. Doctor 11 is born from solitude. Since I am just getting to know the 11th Doctor I rely on Dayan to tell me, he is lonely, vulnerable, wistful, child-like. He travels with great companions and meets someone who awakens his desire to love again. The 12th Doctor is born from hope. He is wiser, older. I look forward to meeting him one day soon.

I can translate what I see, watching Doctor Who, into my own life. While I don’t change my face and body as I grow and journey, I transform, I shift, I am born. I wish I could actually travel back in time, and snap pictures of myself, during the phases I have moved through, but my words will have to suffice and create the picture. My earliest thoughts of myself and of the world were born from fear. I was afraid of everything….the dark, being alone, my gifts, the things I could see and hear that others couldn’t, of being too much or not enough. I learned to control my emotions, to control the fear, to attempt to control life and the beyond.

I was born from stoicism. I learned to endure the pain of isolation, the fear of life and the spirit world, and subdue my emotions. I was born of silence, which was seen as acceptance, agreement and meekness. Giving up my voice, I lost so much of my true self. I was born from discontent, tired of stifling who I was, what I thought, what I felt. It was the first step toward freedom and regaining my birth right. I was born from desire, as long suppressed emotions, and feelings pushed away, surged forth again, finding expression and creative outlets. I was born from hope, that it is never too late to open to life, open to myself, open to others. I was born from true acceptance, as fear fell away at last, along with the frantic need to control myself and life, allowing me to embrace who I was, fully, for the first time. Peace became a by product of that part of my journey.

I am born from joy. That is my companion now, along with solitude. I am open and learning and continuing to expand, as I journey. I see how I have been divinely guided and how my choices have affected every aspect of my life. I feel myself shifting yet again, much as The Doctor recognizes the signs that regeneration is about to take place and he will transform. Out of the pain and fear, the anxiety and discontent, some of my greatest growth has occured, and although my face remains the same, affected more by the length of time I have been a traveler, I am not the same person who began this journey. None of us are. I am being born, from love, a love that knows no limits.

Thank you, Doctor Who, for the deeper truths that are woven throughout the adventures and the stories. And thank you, Dayan, for your willingness to travel alongside and share the journey, share your heart, share your thoughts, and imagine with me what is possible in this incredible universe that we call home. Now….if we could just build us a TARDIS!

Dayans 16 with Yaya

Journey 87: Modern Day Alchemy

moving energy out of clutter find simplicity

Today has been a decluttering day, as I moved back into my former office with the desire to get rid of things. I find it interesting that as I am “decluttering” my body, ridding it of junk, the energy of clearing is moving beyond me to my environment.

Greg graciously loaded items, some of them quite large and heavy, into the back of his truck and drove away to DAV (Disabled American Veterans…a resale type shop to donate items to that are then sold with the proceeds going to benefit disabled veterans) to donate the things I no longer wanted, needed or used. I turned up the music on my iPod, favoring The Lord of the Rings soundtracks, and literally rolled up my sleeves.

moving energy cluttered office

The side of the room that didn’t get cleared today

I am dismayed that this charming little room has become a junk room. It started innocently enough…an extra box stored in there…then containers of old family photos, an extra table and soon papers and items piled up, as I quit going in the room at all, using my laptop in the living room, abandoning my office totally. Even the cat’s litter box ended up in there eventually, which made a statement I believe! When a room gets clogged with clutter and junk, the energy in the room becomes clogged as well. That slow, heavy energy becomes stagnant, pushing me away from the room as surely as a bouncer guarding the door would.

Curiosity led me to look up the word “clutter”. Amazing. The word comes from the Middle English word “clotter”, meaning to clot, or to coagulate or form into lumps. That is exactly what happens to the energy around clutter….it coagulates and becomes sluggish, lumpy, stuck. Not the energy that I want in a room that will foster and support creativity.

moving energy bakers rack

Plants and rack back on the deck

And so out the door went the big blocky desk and a left over car seat and booster seat from Aubrey’s toddler days. Gone for good is the litter box and stacks of old files and random pieces of paper…on the left side of the room. The yellow baker’s rack was returned to the front deck, along with flowering  plants that survived the winter indoors. Two garden chairs rest again on the brick patio. I carried two large bags of trash to the dumpster in the alleyway, symbolizing the removal of stale energy as much as actually removing junk. I am systematically moving around the perimeter of the room, sorting, throwing away, giving away, saving. Anything that no longer serves me, interests me or inspires me is leaving.

moving energy clearing clutter

Creating fresh space

I did not finish today, however, it was a great start. Already the energy in the room feels lighter, flows, invites. I am excited to continue in the room tomorrow, hoping to finish or come close to finishing so that I will enjoy being in the room again, sunlight streaming in through the six windows, and cheery views of the back garden visible. I can create in such a space. I can read and meditate and reflect. I am thinking on what to call this room, preferring not to call it an office any longer. When the right name comes to me, I’ll christen the room, and take my place there.

Denise Linn says, “Clutter clearing is modern day alchemy.” I like that! Alchemy is a magical process of transformation. I am doing that now, energetically. Next, I will practice a different sort of alchemy in that space, transforming thoughts into a flow of ideas and words. May they be just as magical.

moving energy Rilynn

Rilynn wondering what all the fuss is about