My Year of Jubilee

Posted by on Nov 6, 2013 in My Year of Jubilee | 4 comments



My Year of JubileeMy Year of Jubilee



What’s this Jubilee celebration all about, you ask?


Well, I’m about to tell you about the parts I know so far.  And I can’t wait to keep posting about all the pieces that will reveal themselves as the year goes on!


I was on a walk about a year ago and suddenly realized that my big 5-0 was only a couple years away.  I imagined what I might be doing by then, how I might like to celebrate that milestone birthday, and even more importantly, I began to imagine how I wanted to show up in this upcoming decade.  Who do I want to BE as a single, entrepreneurial, 50 year old woman?!

Apparently my mind kept looking for clues to these questions as time went by.  I began to notice random connections to what 50 represents.  I recalled learning that in ancient times, the Year of Jubilee was celebrated every fiftieth year.  It was a sacred time of covenant and freedom, when property was returned to the original owners, and slaves returned home to their families.  And I kept wondering what that might mean for an individual person’s life.

The term ‘jubilee’ is pretty old school, so looking up the word got the ball rolling nicely.

To jubilate is:

  • an act of rejoicing
  • an expression of great joy
  • a feeling of great happiness and triumph.

So the YEAR of JUBILEE is a celebration year which may include, but is not limited to … elation, delight, excitement, rejoicing, ecstasy, festivity, jamboree and joy!    Who wants in?!


When a trip to Italy with my cousin started to gain a growing YES momentum earlier this year, it struck me that I would be away right before my birthday and the start of my Jubilee year which begins the day after my forty-ninth birthday – making it the start of the fiftieth year.  And so my 50-th birthday becomes the ultimate culmination of celebration and jubilation for the year … and of course all the years that brought me here.

I didn’t know much else yet but I knew I wanted solitude for the kick-off of this celebration year.  I wasn’t sure where.  But just like so many other aspects of my life as I tap into my internal guidance system and trust it implicitly, then magic happens.  I chose Crete based solely on the fact that it was the most southern part of the European Union and since it would be November, I figured I’d need to transport fewer heavy sweaters in my suitcase if I went there.  The rest of why Crete is the perfect place to begin has been unfolding beautifully after the decision was already made.  I can’t wait to share more about that along the way.

Since I’ve never heard of anyone doing a personal version of the Year of Jubilee, things are wide open to create a year that will foster freedom and infuse joy.  I noticed how celebration often involves a sense of:

  • honouring the PAST
  • arriving in this present MOMENT in order to truly celebrate
  • and how the best kind of celebration joy always flows ON. 


There’s ripple effect.  There’s joy-bomb splash-over.  There’s light spilled on all those gathered in the giving and receiving of celebration.  So it seemed a natural thing to begin the year with thoughtful intention in each of these areas.



I’ve made a list of all the people who have been key players in my life till now.  The ones who have loved consistently and unselfishly.  Those who have been my teachers through trial and truth-telling.  Those who may not know their impact on my personhood over the years.  I will write a private note of gratitude to each of these 50 people over the year.  That’s about one a week.  Perhaps a little surprisingly, I’ve decided to start today with the first note written to myself.  I see this as a way to accept and receive my own offerings to myself, so the notes that follow to others will come from an even more expansive grateful space inside me.



It has become clear again after being away well over a month that food is a basic requirement AND an opportunity for joy EVERY day.  For the purpose of being mindful of this on a daily basis, I have purchased a plate, a bowl and a cup here in Chania from local artisans.  I plan to use these exclusively for the entire year in my home.  I allowed the vessels to choose me while I was in the store.  And beautifully, their shapes and colour have revealed their intentions as I washed them in preparation for beginning today.

The Blue Plate will represent the Mediterranean ocean of infinite possibilities.  A basis in knowing that there are always more options with enough space to experiment, get saucy, and be beautifully buoyant.

P1070463The Red Bowl with the swirl of gold at the bottom will be a constant reminder to follow the passion that tugs strongly from inside.  The fiery YES.   Ardent urgency of purpose with patient eyes. In this time of life with shifting hormones in the body, I take huge spoonfuls from this red menopausal bowl which is able to hold layers of wisdom.  P1070464

The Grey Cup (hockey fans feel free to add another layer here!) will be the warm reminder that there is more than right or wrong, good or bad, white or black.  There is the soft center of calm knowing that all is well.  The storm is but a repositioning of energy.  I desire to drink deeply from the well of years that knows beyond the details of a thing.  P1070466


In every good and healthy thing, there is flow and seasons.  Sometimes even a ‘paying it forward’ or a baton pass.  It struck me as I sat with my morning coffee looking at the breakwater in the harbor in Chania, that our greatest gift is usually our biggest challenge.  The years of crashing down and building up to this journey of YES, to Crete, to this year of Jubilee, was often hard-won and other times a most natural response to a truth that grows outside of the gridlines.

P1070405I believe in the YES, a universal YES, that is big enough to respect and augment any belief system, any citizenship, any person.  And with great humility and gratitude for the road I have traveled, I would like to offer my time and attention to ‘walk alongside’ another in their YES.

My Commitment:  a complimentary year of coaching – once a month – to one person who can’t shake that terrifying YES and would love a little backup in the process.  Anyone 18 yrs or older within North America may apply.  Tell your friends and family.  Ask yourself if perhaps you are ready to push past the yikes and allow your YES to guide you.

Your Commitment:  a scheduled phone call once a month for a year, beginning January 2014.  Consider entering if you possess a fierce YES inside even though you don’t really know how to get it moving.  And a promise that at the end of the year you will pay it forward with your unique skills and gifts.  (you don’t need to know how right now, we can figure that out as the year goes on, but an unquestioning commitment to the flow forward is crucial)

How:  Send me an email ( and tell me about yourself and why getting your YES moving is so achingly important to you.  What gives you the certainty that you’re ready for this kind of commitment.

When: Beginning today.  The acceptance of applications closes at the end of November 2013.  I will let the one chosen know by the first week of December.

And so it begins!  My Year of Jubilee.  Let the celebration continue!


Birthdays march onward, welcomed or not

The hope for the coming year blown into balloons

The sweet nudge to remember the joys of the passing year

 Whisked into the cream icing on the cake.


This year marks forty nine times since I was born

That I have received the heartfelt wish for birthday joy

And so without hesitation I walk boldly into my fiftieth year of life 

Following a path of preparation beyond candles and cake.


This year an intentional decision to celebrate far away

In a land I know the YES of this thing even where language fails

A place where I wander blue water alone and witness in awe

How Celebration lights a bright new candle from an illuminated horizon.  rk





  1. Rita,
    I am in awe of this adventure you’ve so mindfully created, and appreciative of how you are allowing it to unfold. Thank you for sharing it so generously. I have no doubt that this will truly be a year to remember!

  2. Thanks Sandi! Of all the great things that a time of singleness brings, one of the best so far is how I’m not waiting for someone else to determine what celebrating will look like for me. And then suddenly celebrating (aka living!) is simply and beautifully another creative opportunity to be fully in joy!

  3. Rita- just want you to know that I have been following your trip via Facebook and now here on your website. I love your writing and your energy and am excited for your adventures and joys! Blessings to you, friend…. if your travels bring you to SE Asia…. you have a room in Manila 🙂

    • Thanks so much Christina!! As have I been watching your family grow and adventure around the world!! SE Asia sounds like a fabulous place to put on my travel agenda. I just might take you up on that offer such this is my self-proclaimed travel decade! Keep well, you and your beautiful family!


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