Tag: aging

Age is Just a Number

I was meditating recently when I had an incredible realization – I am ten years younger than I actually am. Of course, this realization was unusual. It’s not as though I have the ability to turn back time, or to jump back ten years to relive the past decade. But still, the thought came over me and I couldn’t shake it. And you know what? The oddest thing happened.

I felt amazing for the rest of the day. There was a renewed energy in my thoughts and actions. I felt physically and emotionally better. It almost felt like, well, I was ten years younger.

That’s when it occurred to me – lately I have been dwelling on the idea of my best years being behind me. During my meditation, I realized this doesn’t have to be true. Age is just a number.

Society often assigns negative or positive connotations to our age. We take
these societal ideas to heart – feeling hurt or somehow less than we once were as the years go by. As this isn’t a positive way of looking at things, realize that; you are as youthful, joyful, and content as you believe you are. You are in full control of how you feel – both about your body, your mind, and your life. Your physical age doesn’t need to have an impact on how you view yourself.

Many people use their age to measure themselves, or their success in life. Instead, we should reframe how we view ourselves (and our win’s – big and small). If we are content with ourselves, with where we’re at in life, our age has no bearing on that. If we’re not content with where we’re at – whether we’re young or old – we have the power to change things.

No matter how many years we have behind or ahead of us, they’re all equally wonderful. Let’s celebrate each one.


Accepting Where You Are

DSCN0704

I always say that aging is not for the faint of heart. There are a wide variety of reasons this rings true, from physical ailments, emotional stubbornness, and more. One of the biggest reasons that aging tends to be difficult these days is that western society has evolved to perpetuate the view that getting older is, in fact, negative. In some ways, this makes sense. As your age increases, your body changes and some of the benefits of youth will fade. Still, the harmful view that westernized culture seems to have on aging feels fruitless and frustrating – as aging itself is unavoidable.

Age shame is a recurring problem for women and men alike. Not only is western culture becoming more open about shaming those who are aging, but people who are older shame themselves. This concept goes against all the healthy habits that the world promotes – self-love, respect, and acceptance, just to name a few. How can we justify looking at ourselves, or another, and passing judgments based solely on how long they’ve walked this earth?

The short answer is – we can’t. Feeling a sense of anxiety or shame about aging is emotionally damaging. After all, there’s nothing we can do to stop time in its tracks. Having a negative response towards something that is beyond our control sets us up for ongoing feelings of negativity.

Being ashamed about aging doesn’t only have a negative emotional impact on you; it also denies self-acceptance a core aspect of your health. In many ways, aging is a sign that you’ve been here, living, growing, and experiencing for far longer than many others who surround you.

You may have negative feelings about the skin on your neck, and you are entitled to whatever conflicting feelings you may have about your changing physical and mental existence. But know that your aging in no way diminishes the lessons you’ve learned, or the experience and wisdom you share.

You cannot control whether you age, but you can control how you approach the entire concept of aging. I’d like to promote this new approach to how we view aging – or maybe just how you view aging. This approach centers on accepting yourself and those around you for exactly who they are, where they are, and what they are. Accepting yourself and one another at this core level of truth leads to positive emotions, and less negativity or anxiety.

So, let us age with grace. Let us celebrate each day we’ve spent living and loving with fullness. Let us learn from the days where we did not do those things. While aging may not be for the faint of heart, I know that you are not faint of heart. You are strong, you are positive, and you can focus on celebrating and accepting yourself and those around you – no matter what age they are.


Support yourself through transitions by changing your thoughts

butterfly-1503149-640x480

Losing or changing jobs, experiencing the death of a loved one or the end of a relationship, becoming a parent, having a birthday that ends with a five or a zero….what these events have in common is they signify a change. Times of transition can create stress and discomfort as we adjust to our changing lives.

Transitions are a natural part of life, and aren’t the cause of our stress. What we say to ourselves about a situation creates our feelings and beliefs about the transition. We can support ourselves through a transition by changing any unsupportive or unproductive thoughts into supportive ones. Putting the three tips, below, into action will automatically shift your feelings about your particular transition and your beliefs about transitions in general.

There is more available to us than what we see. Before Isaac Newton “discovered” the invisible force that keeps us on the ground, gravity already existed and was working for us. Therefore, just because a solution or next step isn’t readily apparent, that doesn’t mean it’s not there. Often when we take the time to be calm and still— such as during meditation—the answer we seek will come to us, or we will be presented with an opportunity that takes care of our current issue.

Allow the idea that Life is in our corner although it may not always seem like it. If you can’t fully get on board with this idea, be open to the possibility. Many belief systems say that if you are here than you have a purpose. I believe that we have many purposes. When we are on ‘path’, it will feel as if life is working with us. So, how do transitions fit in? As transitions are a part of life, just because we may not like a particular transition does not mean that it is ‘wrong’ or ‘off our path’. Sometimes we just do not like everything that happens in our lives. Many believe that we learn best from the more difficult challenges that come into our lives. I however see all as equal.

Do what can be done and let the rest go. Transitions are life unfolding before us. We respond to them as best we can. Not allowing our expectations or fears to control us, will keep us in the moment fully able to see our options. There are things out of our control, knowing which those are will make any transition easier. The knowledge that everything does pass and that you will come out the other side of the transition with insight and understanding will make any transition easier. Do take action when it is called for–realizing that sometimes the thing to do is nothing.


Is Age Just A Number? Or A Reason To Keep Us From Our Dreams?

1403437_631512173538940_702221998_o

“You’re too young.” “You’re too old.”

Age is used as a limiting factor our whole lives. While meditating, a thought came to me that I was 10 years younger than I am. Suddenly I felt great! I once again felt young, as if my life was still ahead of me rather than mostly behind me, which is how I was feeling at the time. I realized if I take away my age number and put another one in its place, like trying on a new coat, I will feel totally different!

Do you let your age stop you from going for what you want? Have you given up on goals or dreams because you think it’s too late? Imagine, like I did in my meditation, that you are 10 years younger. Does that change your view on whether that dream you put out to pasture could become a reality?

We, as a society, place enormous significance on what number our age is. Women feel this pressure especially, but it has become an issue for men as well. On the other hand, society’s view on age keeps changing, usually because someone—who didn’t let their age stop them—did something spectacular. In May 2015, 92-year-old Harriette Thompson kept to a tradition she started when she was 76 years old…running a marathon!

On a personal note, my grandfather at age 87 fulfilled a life long dream of being his own boss. He started and successfully ran a small business, using his skills as a designer in the garment industry.

While there are real limits that come with age, there are many, many more perceived limits we tell ourselves because of how “old” we are and what we believe that means. Age does not necessarily determine what is possible for us. Honor the strength of your mind and its powerful ability to affect the way we feel and perform. Instead of letting society dictate how we feel about our age, let’s just feel good about it!

“I have a dream to climb Everest at this age. If you have a dream, never give up. Dreams come true.”

~ Yuichiro Miura, oldest man to climb Mt Everest, at 80 years old

Encourage your youthfulness of spirit, dream on, and enjoy the possibilities!


The Issue of Aging

How many times have we heard someone told to act his or her age? It has become such a common phrase in our society; we rarely stop to think what it really means.

This morning, while meditating, a thought came into my head; that I was 10 years younger than I am. Suddenly, I felt great! I once again felt young, as if my life was still ahead of me, rather than mostly behind me. My age is a dilemma that has been irritating me as of late. I thought about numbers and realized, as a society, we place such an enormous significance on the number of our age; but we don’t think about what those numbers really mean.

Imagine it like trying on a new coat, if you take it away and put another in its place you’ll feel totally different. If this is the case, that our age isn’t anything but a number, how do we live our best life? By enjoying each stage in its present form.

Firstly, it’s important to consider it from a perspective of experience. Nostalgia is a powerful emotion. Sometimes, we confuse it for wanting to be in a different stage of our earlier lives. We were thinner, younger, more beautiful or handsome; so many physical characteristics we hold so dear and lament when we grow and change over time.

Secondly, an inordinate focus on physical attractiveness is what creates a major dilemma in our society; ageism takes away from the power and beauty of growing older. Many are afraid that our ability to be as quick and spry as we once were mentally or physically will be noticed by colleagues, bosses and other people in our workplace and lives.

It’s one characteristic that the everyday person has in common with celebrities. How many times have we heard a story where a celebrity was no longer considered for a role because they were ‘past their prime’? They were no longer perceived as being a popular, ageless figure.  We begin to believe that if these powerful people can experience these problems why wouldn’t it happened to us?

Similarly, we then watch them strive, but rarely find, solace in changing their physical appearance to be more palatable to the public. The major problem with this is not the alteration of the way that they look. It’s the fear that growing older is something to stave off or be self-conscious about instead of something to celebrate.

Outside of the physical, we then find, that we miss experiences or relationships that we had in the past. Instead of focusing on what is now and a little bit of what’s ahead, we find ourselves holding onto things that only hold us back. To experience full joy is to live in the present moment. To cherish each breath, to make the most of your current wisdom and appreciate the wisdom of all of your years.

It’s easy to remember the good times we had in the past, what we tend to forget, is the challenges that changed us; the troubles that made us strong— the situations that turned us into the people that we are now.  Those characteristics can be seen on our outward appearance; every age line, every early gray, is a badge of our courage to have survived every day thus far. They’re a testament to our tenacity and our ability to grow.

Next time you meditate, or even look in the mirror, try a change of perspective on your perception of your current self. Allow yourself to feel whole in your soul instead of trapped in the age of your vessel. This life is short and precious, every bit counts, there isn’t one reason to waste our ability to truly experience every moment of our lives—especially in be sorrowful for growing older and wiser.  


Age, Dreams, Goals

Having dreams and setting new goals is something that in western culture people seem to think is only for young people. You can define young anyway you choose, depending upon your age or bias’s. For some 30 is old, for others 60 is young, and for some no age is too old to reinvent yourself. Reinventing yourself, allowing yourself to grow and flow with creativity so that you feel passion about your life and achieve all that you desire has nothing to do with age. I have observed that many people change careers between the ages of 45 and 65. Some change careers more than once, usually they have been quite successful and have new ideas that they want to nurture into fruition. Creative personality types tend to get tired of doing the same thing over and over so it is vital that if this is you, you be willing to take risks and explore your options. Yes there are always options.

It is sad to me when people decide that because of age they cannot change their life into one that will bring them fulfillment. There are many barriers that we create, usually because we are afraid of making changes. The unknown can be scary, but it does not have to be. We can choose to reframe our thinking so that the unknown becomes an adventure. Without taking risks very little is accomplished in life.

My grandfather at age 87 decided that he had always wanted to own his own design business and so he took the risk. The family was not particularly supportive of him, as they believed that he was too old to be taking on a new goal. Fortunately for him, he was a creative personality with the drive to fulfill his dream, and so he did. He was passionate and pleased with his business and quite inspiring for me. I learned from him that age and accomplishment are not linked. When I have a dream I look at how I can convert it into goals. Then I can create the steps to reach each goal so that my dream will be achieved. Taking risks has always been a part of my life and allowed me great success in all that I choose to do.

I wish you the same.