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In that a birthday is a milestone of sorts, and a birthday marking a decade is more of a milestone than most, I can say that I do sense a change in the making.

But, obviously, there will be no profound transformation when I wake tomorrow at the age of 50 beyond a sense that I have moved from one lump of stereotyping to another. However, it does provide an opportunity to take stock of the prior decade. Compared all other epochs, my forties were easily the most stable and considered years of my life. Not the most intense or exciting, but I do not need the emotional extremes that marked earlier years anymore. Instead, I have adopted a more reflective existance, one where I feel closer to the spiritual essence of myself in a completely natural and unforced way without the need of any outside guidance or stimulus.

This closer contact with the flow of consciousness that is my very essence has come about very gradually. Along with it has come a reduction in the anxiety and depression that plagued me when I was younger. The two events are not separate; each reinforces the other. I am not completely free of strong negative emotions – I can still get upset, angry and resentful, and sometimes such feelings are quite appropriate. But they do not last. I find myself calming from the most turbulent of emotions in very quick order. In fact, I can barely remember what upset me within a day or so if it happening. This, very handily, makes it impossible for me to bear a grudge!

I feel completely alive yet find myself regarding death in the warmest manner possible. I have adopted the essentially Buddhist philosophy of consciousness flowing throughout all of the existance, manifesting itself temporarily in my physical body to give me my identity. When I die, all that will happen is that my consciousness will rearrange itself in ways I cannot predict, yet are entirely natural and beautiful. There is nothing to fear there.

When such major considerations as these feel resolved, it's hard to regard the lesser concerns of daily existence as truly troubling. I feel very fortunate to have attained this state of mind.