From Cactus to Bodacious

Cactus to Bodacious Life

I was the silent woman in the coffee break room at the office on Friday afternoon listening to everyone discuss the best places to go for Happy Hour. Silently, the inner banter in my head was thinking “Are you kidding? Happy Hour is the bedtime ritual just before I go to bed. That is the time when I know my children are asleep, my work done and no one needs anything from me.”

At the time I was a married, single mom raising three children virtually alone. By that, I mean that while my husband traveled the globe with rock bands and Broadway shows, I stayed at home to build a career, raise the kids and handle the house. On the outside, my skin was becoming prickly and colorless. If you came too close to me, I likely stabbed you with a barb. I was drying up.

Then I had a life-changing thought. The source of my strength and ability to survive in this exhaustive-arid life was the juices flowing within me. Like a cactus, buried in the center of my body was a juicy, life-giving succulence that could sustain me through long days at work and responsibilities when I got home. I could take the smallest amount of nourishment and let it sustain me for months to come.

I also soon began to realize I needed watering before I completely dried up. Deciding what exactly was the nourishment, took some time. And learning always to keep it in my life took lots of practice. With time, practice and persistence I started to live a bodacious life.

Many people ask, “What is a bodacious life?”

Bodacious Living is accepting yourself warts and all and not making excuses. It is taking the time to feed your inner self so that you can give back all that you have to offer.

To live boldly and audaciously is to tap into that juicy center of you. To never forget that to be your best you must give yourself permission to play, to create and to share. As busy adults, we often forget about our inner self because it is covered over by roles, masks, and other’s expectations. Life as a prickly cactus is tending to everyone else’s needs, desires and requests until you become a shriveled shell of yourself.

Bodacious Living is not permission to abandon the responsibilities. It is balancing them with needs of your own. To feed the inner self, we must go on that afternoon hike, or set up the easel and start painting. It is calling your friends that you keep promising to have dinner with and going!

So stop losing your succulence. Feed the juicy center of yourself, and then you will grow a beautiful flower from your bodacious core.

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