As we look around us we can see how our culture emphasizes youth. Many of the ads we see are all about looking younger. We don’t value our seniors. If you don’t keep up with the latest in technology you are “behind the times” or not “up to date”. I watched my mom resist aging to the point that she refused senior discount tickets at the movie theater because she didn’t want to appear “that old”!
Where does this come from? Why do we fear aging? Why do we think that by “fighting it” we will slow it down? I would argue just the opposite. The more we fight it the faster we age. Being in denial does nothing for us.
Fact: We are all aging and we are all going to die one day. Do you feel some resistance to that statement?
I would like to ask the following questions: How do we want to age? What is the point of anti-wrinkle this or that? Does any of it change who we are on the inside? When you do die what kind of life do you want to have lived?
A few years ago I created a workshop called Aging Gracefully. I think that says it all. After all, isn’t that the point? We all want to continue to enjoy our lives, maintain our health and be happy. How do we do that?
Here are a few tips:
1. The best anti-aging trick of all – do what you love and love what you do! Don’t accept any more excuses as to why you can’t follow your dreams. The Universe is cheering us on at all times and supporting us. Trust that!
2. Stress begone! What areas in your life can you shift to reduce your stress levels or what tools do you currently have to work with stressful situations as they come up?
3. Clean diet. This doesn’t mean never having fun. Moderation is the key. Food is so enjoyable. Keep 90% of your diet clean and the other 10% be flexible. I see too many people stressing over every mouthful. Worrying will age us much faster.
4. Move your body regularly. This doesn’t mean you have to push yourself through power yoga classes, hard gym workouts, run 10 miles a day etc. It just mean move. Walk your neighborhood, play in garden, attend gentle yoga classes, practice Thai chi etc.
5. Connections with good friends. Make a point of connecting with those people that add something to your life. Who supports you, fills you up, plays with you and brings joy into your life!
6. Never stop learning new things. Continuing to challenge our brain is very important to reduce the likelihood of dementia or Alzheimer’s coming into play. So learn that instrument you always wanted to, read everyday, do crossword puzzles etc.
7. Meditation – meditation – meditation! Take 10 -15 min. daily to sit silently with your breath. This is one of the best tools we have for feeling younger, reducing stress and pain in the body and creating a deeper connection to Divine Source so that we can trust the guidance given to us.
For myself, I have found aging to be more freeing. Every year I care less and less about pleasing others or really caring what other people think. I love this quote I read one time: “It’s none of my business what others think of me!” Isn’t that great?! My compassion and empathy continues to grow not only for myself but others. I feel that as we age we have an obligation to share our truth, to share what we have learned and to be there for the younger generation that is so lost today. I invite you to be a part of changing the idea that as we age we have less to offer but instead have more! Aging gracefully isn’t about what we look like from the outside but how we feel on the inside.
Wear what ever clothes make you feel happy! Who cares what the latest fashion is.
Wear your hair the way you like it not what others want!
Connect with your inner child and find a way to be playful everyday!
Be an example for the next generation that aging is a blessing not a curse!
“Be the change you wish to see in the world”. Gandhi
Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti