In a little over four months, I will turn 40. I am not there yet but I am easing into what being 40 might mean to me.
The last two years leading up to my 40th trip around the sun have felt, at times, like a long and slow motion slip and fall on a snowy street in NYC in the aftermath of a big storm, where you smash your ass on the ground, feeling silly and wishing nobody had seen you falling and yet you have all these strangers approaching you offering to help.
As I approach 40 and look back on the past couple of years, I see a new degree of maturity developing in myself, forged in part from some of the difficult experiences I've been through.
On a day to day basis I do struggle a lot, often in the silence of my own thoughts. But one thing that really stands out for me is that I rekindled my passion for what I do, and got my creative juices bubbling again. In that process I met and continue to meet people who inspire me to keep going.
As I approach my 40th milestone on this earth I am finally getting the memo: that to grow into the new implies letting go of the old—sometimes voluntarily, sometimes without choice. I am also better understanding the value of relationships, including the ones with “active” status and the ones with “closed” status, even those that are “delinquent” or “disconnected." I am learning to appreciate all relationships in the light of what they offer: a ground to know myself better and hopefully offer the same to others.
A big lesson I'm learning as 40 looms around the corner is that in the process of growing, or pushing for a cause, there will be people that talk, disagree, friends that become strangers, strangers that become friends, and it's all okay. At the end of the day the only approval I really need from anyone is from myself. I can acknowledge disagreement without getting caught up in it. What I feel deep in my heart is not up for questioning or debate; it’s mine and it must be honored.
I think I am getting better at finding the lessons in painful experiences. I am getting better at living my life honorably. I am getting better at knowing that what’s gone is not really gone; it has just has changed shapes. At the same time, I'm learning to turn the page and move on when necessary. I am learning to speak my truth. I am learning to love and let go, sometimes simultaneously. I am learning to embody myself and respect myself above all. I am learning to see the signs and let myself be guided, instead of artificially landscaping my life.
I think I am almost ready for round 40.
Adrian Molina has been teaching yoga continuously since 2004. He is a well-known and respected instructor in Miami and New York, with an extensive worldwide following through his platform and school of yoga, Warrior Flow. Adrian and his husband Dennis reside in Miami and frequently lead workshops and international retreats in NYC and around the world. Adrian is also a writer, massage therapist, Reiki healer, meditation teacher, sound therapist, and a Kriya yoga practitioner in the lineage of Paramahansa Yogananda. Adrian is recognized for the community-building work he does in Miami and beyond.