“The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers.”
– Thich Nhat Hanh
In our Back Forty, the second half/best half of life, it’s easy to make statements like “this is just the way I am”, “been there, done that” or “I see where this is going”…because, face it, we’ve been around the block a few times, yes?
However, when we come from all the infinite “wisdom” that we’ve amassed, it can actually restrict us because we rest on fixed and immovable opinions about ourselves, our world and what we perceive (from our also amassed and very logical interpretations) as possible and what’s not.
I recently began to explore my “mood of being” in the world as I play my Big Game Back Forty Future and noticed that, even as the pieces of my game puzzle are falling into place in wonderful ways, I was carrying around a resident mood of hard work and struggle.
It showed up like this: no matter that more and more manifestations of good were showing up with ease and grace according to my game, I was using other outside venues to be “frustrated”: traffic on the freeway, customer service issues with vendors, and various other so-minor-they’re-laughable problems.
A friend in my Back Forty Community suggested that I take the time to actually be “present” to all the good happening, to actually drive in peace as I focus on how good life is becoming, and to watch my tendency to bring old patterns into my life just because I’m used to them (e.g., venting when various issues arise with phone, internet, services, etc.).
I saw that I was in a new place, where life is really good and getting better and better. Yet, I hadn’t let go of old, perhaps subconscious, patterns I adopted when working to “get there.”
It had me realize that I’m probably not the only one who – coming into what can be “the best is yet to come” part of life – might be carrying forward certain undistinguished ways of being adopted from past situations and circumstances of life.
If we’re to really fulfill on this second half/best half of “what we came here to do”, then being able to play in the PRESENT is critical.
Perhaps “presence” has three aspects we can consider.
One is our actually being “present”, which means not only staying out of the past and future so as to be in this moment with the people we’re with right now…but also being present to our internal state of thoughts, feelings and emotions vs. projecting them.
Another is the “presence” we bring of our Self into any situation. The small s “self” rarely brings the same value that our big S “Self” affords.
Yet one more is the “Presence” which we allow to move through and guide us, whatever we consider that bigger-than-us intelligence to be. It’s actually one of the “7 Critical Embraces for a Radical Second Half”, the tag line of our upcoming book, “The Back Forty”, and the content of our INFUSE Program.
Your Big Game Back Forty Future will require all of YOU just as it will require all of me. If we consider that the first half of life was just R&D, research and development, to only DISCOVER who we really are and what we came here to do, a renewed relationship with presence is required.
“Presence is more than just being there.”
– Malcolm Forbes
Hello and welcome!
This page is where all of our wonderful featured bloggers will be publishing their own blog posts!
You can scroll through to see who is contributing to The Back Forty Fliers blog or you can search for your favorite blog contributor by name in the search bar!
If you read our posts regularly, you know that last Saturday I created a post where I interviewed Darrell Gurney.
Now it is only fair that since I did an interview with one co-founder, that I should interview the other! If you are familiar with The Back Forty, you know that Alexandra is also a Co-Founder of the INFUSE Program. If you have attended a Back Forty event, you’ve probably even met her. But, now it’s time to really get to know her!
I sat down with Alexandra and asked her a few questions, including her most profound memories, her motto, and her favorite color (purple).
Read below to find out more about Alexandra!
As we bravely pursue a Back Forty Big Game Future full of possibility, it’s critical that we empower ourselves every step of the way.
When we’re toddlers, we are encouraged in taking those first steps. Then, in adolescence – if we’re lucky – we are supported to try new things and “stick with it” until we get better. Also, in early adulthood – if we’re lucky – we gain mentors and folks far more experienced than us guiding us on paths to learn skills and become competent in our abilities to contribute.
Yet, as we get older, there’s this below-the-radar assumption that “we should know by now”. There’s rarely the rah-rah fanfare, as folks move into their second half of life, saying “Hey, you can do or be ANYTHING!” It’s taken for granted that you’ve probably made the most of yourself that you’re ever going to make.
Add to that external-voice cultural mindset the internal voices which say “this is just the way I am” or “that’s not me” or “I’ve never been good at that” and you have the makings of what I call The Incredible All-Things-Possible Shrinking World…where very little is possible.
Acknowledging ourselves and even creating communities which are all about advocating an all-things-possible mentality at any age best prepares us – as our Back Forty mantra claims – “to do what we came here to do.”
On a daily, weekly, monthly, annual…hell, HOURLY basis, we want to be planting flags on the territory we’ve claimed in moving our Big Games forward.
It’s way easy to minimize our progress – in starting a new initiative, business, hobby, relationship, fitness routine – when it’s not perfect.
Harder perhaps, but building the muscle of acknowledging our progress short of perfection is one to bulk up for The Back Forty Big Game Future we came to express.
Happy Saturday everyone!
If you are familiar with The Back Forty, you know that Darrell is a Co-Founder of the INFUSE Program as well and the movement as a whole. If you have attended a Back Forty event, you’ve probably met him. But, do you really know him?
I sat down with Darrell and asked him a few questions, including his most profound memories, his motto, and his favorite color (forest green).
Read below to find out more about Darrell!
Happy Monday everyone, and more importantly, Happy National Book Month!
Books are some of my favorite things. Nothing quite compares with curling up on the couch with a good book, and I think October is the perfect month to observe this national “holiday”. October is when the temperatures start to drop, apple cider and pumpkin spiced coffee flows freely, and it starts to get darker sooner.
Is there anything better than curling up in your favorite blanket in front of a fire, feeling the crisp air around you, sipping on something warm, and reading one of your favorite books by the light of the fire? I think not.
And so I welcome the month of October with this blog post, and my list of some of my all time favorite books.
Here are my favorite (magical) books of all time:
Now, here is my bonus. Since you are reading this blog post, chances are you know about The Back Forty. And if you don’t, check it out! This is The Back Forty Blog after all. What is my bonus you ask? Co-Founder of The Back Forty, Darrell Gurney, recently published two new e-books!
If you’re still not sure, check out the eBook trailer below!
Today’s post isn’t the “norm”. I’m not going to share with you different insights into midlife as I normally do. Instead, I wanted to share with you some exciting news!
Over the past week The Back Forty has been featured three times through various media outlets. Alexandra was featured on the podcast Wow! Wednesday and featured in an article by Business to Community. Darrell and Alexandra were also featured on a webisode of The Passion Point!
“I felt liberated to look at my life and career thus far as the R & D phase for what I have yet to design…buckle up phase two!”
—Hilary C., Marketing Director
Imagine there is way more in you to be expressed and fulfilled. Imagine and believe that you can restart…or, better yet, really start for the first time!
Consider that the only start that matters is the one you do now, and that life was designed that way. Your midlife opportunity is awakening to discover all that you’ve learned from a first half of R & D (research and development) and capitalizing on it to design your own uniquely playful, passionate and purposeful second half.
You have yet to do what you came here to do. No matter what has come before — be it perceived major successes or miserable failures — as Frank Sinatra sings “The best is yet to come, and babe won’t it be fine”.
The Back Forty philosophy is radical. It says whatever has come before does not determine what comes next. It’s about a radical renewing of the mind into belief and action to play big. Come discover your Big Game Back Forty Future. It’s what you came for.
“I have done hundreds of courses in growth and development. This Back Forty Program has really impacted me. I’m 72 years old, and I can win my second half!”
—Gail E., Legal Professional