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A walk in the sunshine!

I've been discovering a new found freedom. I thought that when my mother died, and my subsequent divorce was over, I would be free to do and be whatever I wanted. Which was true. But I still lived in the house my parents bought in 1949 and that my father built on to as their family grew. Living there brought certain demands, options and benefits.

Morning sun piercing through the trees.

Then I decided to move to Eugene and a 4th floor low income housing apartment. I took only those things that brought me joy. I left behind things that were too heavy, or too big, or unnecessary. And the best thing was I left behind the forever feeling of being a child who wanted to please her parents. No matter how accomplished I became, or how responsible, I still felt my parent's disapproval. Although my mother and I became friends in her last 10 years on earth, I always felt a crushing responsibility.

I had taken a walk through my neighborhood in the new Spring sunshine when suddenly I realized there was no weight on my shoulders pushing me down.

I was free! I felt invigorated and liberated and could see the possibilities in my future. It was a paradigm shift. It's defined as an important change that happens when the usual way of thinking about or doing something is replaced by a new and different way.

This can be a concept that is difficult to understand. I will try to explain. We have all heard the saying "You can't go home again".

Meaning you can't recover the past. Hopefully we all had pleasant memories as a child. We continue to hold the memories but we all know that time is gone. Some people don't want to even think about their childhood. And by 'not thinking' about it they are unwitting slaves to the past. Often when we go home to our parents house we revert to childhood status in both our parents' mind and our own. Growing older may not necessarily equate to growing up. So what is a grownup, an adult?

An adult is defined as a person who has attained the age of maturity as specified by law. It encompasses being responsible, dependable, and honest. Responsible for yourself, your family, your pets. You can be depended on by your family, friends and employers. You are honest about your needs, capabilities, dreams and motivations. It happens within. And it is not determined by age, but wisdom.

Wisdom, you say? What is wisdom? Definitions include the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgment; the soundness of an action or decision with regard to the application of experience, knowledge, and good judgment; implies a reliable ability to judge and decide with soundness, prudence, and intelligence.

It is important for us to recognize the value of our own perceptions and experience. It is through this that we become an adult able to enjoy the moment and learn from it. It is in the moment that we become wise. And that is the paradigm shift. If we pass by moments of beauty, of joy, of interaction we miss the teachings they bring. I believe we become wiser with every recognized moment of our daily lives. Do we observe our passage through the day? Do we capture distinctive events in our memory? Do we share them?

We have all been captured by the drudgery of daily existence. Now we

have the opportunity to break out of that drudgery, even if it is for only

ONE MOMENT. Recognize just one moment and revel in its expression, its beauty, its emotion. If I am right, you will recognize and participate in more moments. Wisdom is the application of experience, knowledge, and good judgment. We have to SEE the moment to seize its opportunity. We have to FEEL the experience. We need to PARTICIPATE in it to learn from it.

I'm experiencing a huge paradigm shift. Perhaps the final piece to find was that walk in the sunshine!

Woman walking along shoreline in the sun.

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