I Am Happy to Just Be

Lena HeadShot Four photoWhen Virginia Woolf wrote, “A Room Of Ones’ Own” it was 1929 and women had little chance of having, much less owning anything and the notion that they might secrete themselves away from the daily chores and responsibilities of just being female was almost laughable.

 What Virginia actually wrote was, A woman must have money and a room of one’s own if she is to write fiction.” Her contention was that even were we to have all that, our self-imposed inferiority would prevent us from being brilliant.

In 1977 came, “The Women’s Room”, by American feminist Marilyn French. She relates the story of a woman returning to college to complete her education so that she may better support herself after divorce.  Now we are talking about Self Actualization.

 In 1992 Clarissa Pinkola wrote, one of my favorite books, “Women who Run With the Wolves.”

  OK girls, we have a room of our own now we must leave it and embrace our Wildness.

 Long before and long since these writings we have been advised, chastened, shamed, coerced and bullied into being other than what we are.    Acquiesce, comply, hide, achieve and run!

Now I am encouraging you to just sit, in meditation.

Today after much reading and much retrospection I am happy to just be. I have a daily meditation practice that allows me, with thanks for the advice of those who have gone before, to just sit, in my room in my house, with my paid to date bills, and contemplate the reality of existence.

I am a mother a grandmother a sister a friend. I am someone’s lover….

I am a Hospice Nurse. I sit with and comfort people who are dying. I often feel like I am drowning in tears not of my own but the truth is that this work bestows upon me more than I give. I see the end of lives well lived with the love of family and friends. I see the alienation of misers dying alone and angry. I see me in all of them and am able to be a gentle presence.

I am an Energy Healer.  I have a private practice in La Quinta. I see and feel the energy fields surrounding and leaving the body. I am an artist. I am most happy when I am creating, caring, loving.

 My next challenge would be that of complete acceptance believing that today I am exactly where I am supposed to be. My Buddhist beliefs have been of great comfort and inspiration to me as I embark on the final stages of this existence.  The task now is simple. Striving for more has gone. I have made as much money as I am going to. Remember, even if you win in the rat race, you are still a rat.

 I realize that there is no them, no others. We are ONE. If you suffer I suffer too. If I have caused you suffering mine is a thousand fold. If you have caused me to suffer I forgive you. My life is full. I have family and friends and love in my life. I have no need to control; I take each day as it comes. Remembering that in the whole scheme of things, we are all exactly where we are supposed to be. I often have a sense of peace and place in this world that hitherto was fraught with pain and doubt. I am.

In his book, “Still Here- Embracing Aging, Changing, and Dying,” Ram Dass says, “When you see the beloved all around you everyone is family and everyone is Love.” On women and aging, “Women now live a full third of their lives after menopause.” On plastic surgery he asserts- “The impulse to re-carve that what nature has created often masks a profound despair, how ghastly this is and inhumane towards ourselves and the cycle of life. It reminds me of someone rushing around the fields of autumn painting the marvelous gold and red leaves with green paint-a lot of wasted time and energy.”

My sentiments exactly, how I love to catch glimpses of my beloved mother’s face as I look in the mirror. My women friends, those kindred spirits become more precious at this stage of my life.

Buddhist teachings tell me that, “We are all just walking each other home.”  Namaste


Lena McSkeane RN, Healing Touch Practitioner, Reiki Master/Teacher



  1. Wonderful article. We learn a lot as we age-material wealth isn’t as important as it used to be, climbing the corporate ladder isn’t even in our thought process anymore, and we find the love of family and friends to be most important. I too am a nurse and have held the hands of many who are dying. To be there when one transitions to the next life is a very meaningful experience. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Everyday is a new experience in this life.

  2. Oh Lena! Thank you for your thoughts. Yes, we must get to the point where it is ok to just be present. As I grow older I am very much aware that time is passing through me everyday and each moment is to be embraced.. We can try to erase the passage of time from our skin but no matter how much we try, we cannot erase it from our souls, neither would I want to . I am happy to be a “matriarch” to be beginning my journey as part of the wiser women in the tribe…

  3. Wow mom!!
    My mother is amazing!!!! . I pray that my kids will love me half as much as I love my mom. I wish everyone was as lucky as me… the world would be a better place. Thank you for being my mom!

  4. Your words touched my soul and opened my heart even more. Life is such a beautiful fift and growing older is part of that gift. Thank you sharing yor wisdom. I will look at myself a little differently today. So honored to call you my friend.

  5. The only thing missing is your lovely lilting voice. Thank you for your wisdom, your blessing, and your joie de vivre. You are beautiful on so many levels.

  6. I was so moved when you said, “I love to catch a glimpse of my mother’s face when I look into the mirror. How many times have I heard women say (myself included), “Oh God, I just saw mother’s face when I walked by the mirror!” This small but profound shift in seeing takes my experience of aging to a whole new level. I now look forward to aging with such sweet love

  7. Lena,
    A beautiful, profound, and inspiring article. Thanks for sharing so much of yourself, and how blessed your hospice patients are to have you beside them. I love your last Buddhist quote, “We are all just walking each other home.” Brenda

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