Here I am at the Lake Shrine, Self Realization Fellowship, Pacific Palisades, California. In prayer. In meditation. Surrendered. Sad. Strong. Free. Resolved. Full. Heavy-hearted. Resilient. Vulnerable. In solitude.


True to myself, though.

This is my new journal, my new chapter, as I begin the countdown…the last month of my 50’s.

I’ve come here, to my place of worship, on a crowded Sunday. The sun is poking through the marine layer and it’s warmer here by the sea than it was in the valley when I left. Even with this noisy crowd of tourists I feel such calm, peaceful strength here. I find it easy to meditate here–to be present and yet float. I am convinced it’s the vibration from all the meditation that goes on here and has gone on here in this space for some 80 years or so.

I’m on the southwest side of the lake, just west of Gandhi’s ashes and right across from the windmill. I am sitting under a fir tree because the windmill, where I usually meditate, is under reconstruction–a massive restoration project going on, much like me.

I like to bring my journal, take a quiet walk, meditate in the quiet sanctuary and then bust out my journal and see what flows out. So it’s not perfect today. But it is. And here it is.

I have found some peace and I am feeling resolved. Another love affair has blown away into the wind like a dandelion and I am alone again. I found myself with that sinking feeling that, as nice a man as he is, he is not right for me. Better to tell the truth. Again. And here I am.

I don’t like it, being alone. But what is the alternative? I will not stay when my Self says no. I’ve done that. I did that for 30 years until one day, the scales finally tipped. And even though he, too, was a great man and we have rich and colorful memories, in the end it was just not true, as simple as that. I won’t do “untrue” again.

I want to sell my house and all it’s memories and the many now-empty rooms. All those extra rooms…a quality problem, I know. But when I climb the stairs at night to go to bed and I pass those empty rooms, I sigh.  I want to move, but where? I can picture myself in a different house, smaller. It’s mine. But I just don’t know where it is yet. A house that is less sad than the beautiful empty rooms with the ghosts of kids who are grown and the husband who is gone and that super mom who ran it all and lost herself in it for a little while.

A new woman has emerged that will live in this new house. She is in her 60’s, yes, but she is vibrant and alive…more alive than she has ever been. How is that possible? But it is true. I so want a partner that matches her, to live there with her and the dog and cat, this hip vibrant woman who teaches yoga and has so much vitality and an intact libido and a big heart with a big life and still so much to do.

I will trust that the right answer will reveal itself at the perfect time.

I am looking at the windmill under construction on the other side of the lake here, reflecting across the ripples spilling out behind the white swans as they glide. The last time I was here was in February. It was our second lunch date. I’d asked him if he had heard of the Lake Shrine and he hadn’t so we got in the car and drove over Topanga. It was chilly and a little drizzly and it was a free and spontaneous and thrilling thing to do and I was excited to show this man this part of me. The construction on the windmill had just begun, though, and it was closed, so we made jokes and chatted all the way back through the winding roads of Topanga. And in these five months while I was away from this lake, I have been on the windy road of another love affair that I had hoped would go the distance, but had an expiration date after-all. And, yes, I am disappointed. And heart-broken.

Coming here today, I had hoped the windmill would be finished by now, that maybe somehow whatever remodeling or restoration was going on would be miraculously complete. I wanted some confirmation, some big lesson, some concrete evidence of renewal. But, alas, I see it is still a works in progress. Like me.

So, I sit here, under this fir tree, finding some sliver of peace in this process. Yes, I will find my peace, my resolve, my stillness in it, in spite of the people crowding the pathways, the excited children running and a young man playing a flute badly. Ah well. On to the next. Whatever it is. I am ready. This is what 60 looks like.