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Birthday Thoughts

Updated: Jul 26, 2022

Often on birthdays we reflect on the previous year, look ahead to what we may want to accomplish, did or didn’t accomplish, Tick Tock! or even as we get older, how many years we perceive to have “left.” We all do these things in our own version. What if we were to ask:

How am I more of my self? 
How can I become more of my self? 
What does that mean? 

It means maybe something different to you than it does to me. To me, the feeling of wholeness, presence. That regardless of my circumstances, or past or present or future story, that I am consistently in checking in to be in alignment with my values, my sense of knowing, that my actions match these, and that my relationships and inner dialogue, care of my body mind and spirit, and nature itself, are on track with good practices of kindness, love, honor, integrity, joy, wonder, and so on. That the decisions I make are rooted in these spaces. I could go on. What would it mean for you? One way to play in discovery of this might be to create your own manifesto.

I often think of the Yoga belief:

We are as young as our spines are nimble. 

In some Japanese traditions, there is a return to childhood at 80. I think about what this actually means, and when I feel into it, it's pretty expansive. Hinduism has a practice similar to this also. I'm sure many other cultural and spiritual practices do too and there is a lot to lean into in these models. Some of what this reminds me of is our childhood frame of beingness. Are we thinking about: how can I become more of myself? Maybe in the sense of - what do I want to be when I grow up, but we, in general ARE. We are busy AM-ing , engaged, curious, experiencing, feeling, responding. We are simultaneously expanding and enveloped in our inner and outer worlds.

When I think of the phrase we are as young as our spines are nimble. Nimble implies a flexibility and also more. It speaks to a presence and a lack, and the spectrum between.

A nimble spine - I think of it physically, literally and also metaphorically the spine of our character, our spirit, our intellect and mind, our nature.

How can we be nimble in thought, actions, relationships?

We can be nimble in resourcefulness, in understanding others, in communication - we can be nimble by being manipulative and self-serving also. Every thing has a spectrum and within that spectrum, balance and an imbalanced way of presenting.

If we consider this in our mind, body, and spirit, literally and metaphorically, we can perhaps think about what it is to be nimble, moving easily, resourceful, adaptable, present, loving, witty, healthy, quick. We may find it a challenge and consider how we stiffen. We can also be rigid, inflexible, stiffening, narrow range, dry, depleted, cracking.

We can be a combination, used to moving in a lateral direction so having good flexibility and strength in some areas but not others.

For instance, try right now to move your spine forward and back, and then try isolating your rib cage area and move it left and right, forward and back, maybe even circular, it is not as easy as moving your entire spine for many of us. What is your range when you twist your spine, or bend backwards from the center as if you are looking at the sky from your spine instead of bending from your neck. Can you clasp your hands behind your back and then bring them up your back in any way? Can you touch your toes easily? Move your hips without your upper spine?

This concrete playfulness can be a symbolic reminder of how many ways there are to be flexible, what we are actually capable of but how we develop ourselves in many ways to be repetitively focused in thoughts, behaviors, responses, relationships, engagements, interactions, and how much room there is for us to stretch, strengthen, expand. And this brings us back to nimbleness and the original questions,

How am I more of my self? 
How can I become more of my self? 
What does that mean? 

We can view ourselves through our experiences and the choices we made during and between them. Some of the choices we made were automatic, self-protective, to survive and get through difficulties. We can update our system with awareness, stretching ourselves and creating a nimble spine, choosing something that is now more in tune with who we are and choose in these moments, what we want for ourselves and to share. We become more of ourselves through cultivation, awareness, presence, movement.

With each birthday we can be recalled to our birth, our origin as a beautiful child, am-ing, simultaneously expanding and enveloped in our inner and outer worlds. Refreshing ourselves into our re-birthdays.

Happy AM Day!


birthday fruit tart with candles falling purple flowers

Dr. Birdi Sinclair

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