Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Birthday Declaration of Independence

by Lilamayi

It is the dawning of the age of Aquarius and the end of the Mayan calendar -- a time of transformation, and it dawns on me that my birthday is coming up, once again on the fall equinox. Instead of feeling afraid of marking off another year gone by, I am feeling a flood of inspiration. It is time to renew what it means to celebrate the day we were born. 

At what point in the history of civilization did people start to associate their identity with a number? We have been hypnotized to see ourselves as fitting into categories based on race, gender, and age. We are breaking down so many barriers, but the age barriers are still clinging desperately to the side of the cliff. We should be proud of our accomplishments, our wisdom, our battle scars… we should honor the transformational rites of passage that our bodies pass through over time. Why continue to give so much power to a number, which is only associated with limiting beliefs? There was no such need in tribal culture.

Women have been especially subject to suppression by patriarchal mythology. They have only recently started coming into their power as equals. They were not allowed to vote until 1920, and it was considered wrong for them to work outside of the home even into the 50s and 60s. The average age of marriage for girls during the 50s was 20 years old, so they were starting to become viewed as spinsters when they were 25. In recent times, doctors recommended against women having babies after the age of 30. Popular magazines still give instructions about what women should stop wearing after they are 40 years old, and whether it’s acceptable for them to have long hair. Women are still working to claim ownership of their bodies and their personal power.

I’m proposing that we stop attaching these ignorant limiting ideas onto our self worth. We must learn to see our essential radiance and beauty as something infinite and not finite.  Imagine what a change it would make in how people felt and looked if they uprooted those limiting fearful beliefs that have been programming their minds and bodies for centuries. The great teacher, Osho, said, “The animals in the jungle do not become ugly but remain as beautiful as when young. So also the trees, though some are a thousand years old and near death, there is not a grain of difference in their beauty. Old trees become more beautiful. Old lions become yet more majestic.”  

So in celebrating our birthdays, I propose that we celebrate our birth and rebirth in each new moment. For my next birthday, I will be zero years old. That is the truth of who we are in each new moment. Anything is possible. That is something to celebrate!