Anti-aging, age management, healthy aging, graceful aging…these are just some of the terms used to describe what is happening to all of us: AGING. While we age, most of us want to age well. Yet what exactly does that mean, and how do we go about doing it?
From the moment we are born, we begin to age. At first it’s exciting to pass each milestone birthday but eventually for many of us, aging is perceived negatively, and indeed can create problems as we hit a certain age. For some that may be around 40, or 50, or 60. Though for others, especially in our beauty and youth obsessed culture, the worries and fears begin as early as the 20s or 30s.
As people age, especially women, they are frequently devalued. The wisdom and maturity that comes with living a long and full life is not recognized as important or worthy. When it’s all about appearance and the only value we are seen to have is skin deep, it affects one’s entire identity. No wonder aging is frequently so difficult to accept!
While it’s true there are many changes that occur as we age, if we want to age well, with a sense of beauty and joy, the question becomes how do we acceptthese changes that reach deep into the core of who we are, and what do we do about it?
First, it’s essential to recognize that aging isn’t something that needs fixing. It isn’t a disease to be cured. The only thing that needs fixing is our attitude about aging.
Developing an increased awareness about what affects the aging process and debunking many myths associated with aging can free us up to live with greater vitality and self-acceptance than we previously experienced.
Aging with grace and glory, is a term coined by a dear friend and mentor Celedra Gildea. I love that phrase because it gives us permission to embrace all that aging is about. To age with grace and glory means celebrating the process of aging.Aging, not a linear process, is about going deep into the layers of who you really are and giving yourself permission and encouragement and strength to evolve into your fullest potential. A few lines or spots or sags have nothing to do with what is most amazing and beautiful about you.
As we shift our attitudes about aging, we also can shift our attitudes about beauty. When we begin to experience aging as a miraculous process, we can naturally accept that aging itself is Beauty! You begin to shift your focus from looking younger to feeling better. And when you feel better about yourself, you will likely want to adopt a lifestyle that supports you continuing to take better care of yourself.
Looking better/feeling better vs looking younger is a big shift and once you accept that you can’t turn back the clock, you can take positive steps. We are fortunate to have so many options to take advantage of today. Those lines, spots or sags don’t have to get the best of you.
You can go get a little Botox or laser treatment to smooth out some of the wrinkles and tiredness. You can eat healthier, stay active, and find something you are passionate about to keep the creative, living juices flowing. You can even choose cosmetic surgery if that’s right for you. But whatever you choose to do or not do, if you’ve done your inner work, you have a much better chance of being happy with the results.
When you nurture and heal all levels of your being, from your body to your heart and soul, you build a solid foundation to support the rest of your life and a renewed energy to reach your full potential. And there is nothing more beautiful than that!
Get the Most out of Your Summer – For Life!
I just love summer! It’s my favorite time of the year and I always look forward to a season when the days are long, and the Earth warm and in full bloom. Everyone seems to be lighter, happier and more carefree.
Though I might want to sometimes, I can’t slow down the unfolding of time and this summer like every other will pass into autumn and then winter. That’s all the more reason to set your intention toward enjoying the beauty and abundance that exists right now.
Here are several things you can do to harvest the most out of your precious summer season and beyond, as these practices are useful in getting the most out of your life any time of the year.
1) Begin with gratitude. Instead of spending energy longing for your next vacation, start by appreciating what you have right now. Begin the day with a prayer of gratitude and make a point to notice more to be grateful for each day.
2) Live with intention. When you get up in the morning, consider what you want to get out of your day and what you are willing to put into it. As the Buddha said, “All that we are is the result of what we have thought”.
3) Be daring. Take the plunge and do something this summer that you’ve always wanted to do but keep putting off. Maybe it’s taking a paddle board lesson, learning Zumba, going out for a night of dancing, reading that novel on the bedside table, going to a baseball game…whatever it might be, set a date and do it!
4) Be spontaneous. Relax a little and let yourself flow with the rhythm of life. If someone invites you to dinner, a movie, a walk on the beach…GO! Last minute and unexpected invitations can open a door to magic and delight. The to do list will wait, I promise!
5) Get up early and watch the sunrise. Sunrise is a powerful time of day. The world is still waking up and the day’s potential is unlimited. Harness some of that fresh new-day energy yourself by sitting in peace watching the world wake up.
6) Go for a picnic. Find a special spot in nature, pack a delicious picnic for one (or more) and watch the sunset. Eating fresh, colorful foods (especially from a nearby farmer’s market) and savoring each bite in a tranquil, natural setting is a wonderful tonic to unwind from your day.
7) Be in nature as much as possible. Nature is grounding, balancing and calming. Leave your screens and devices behind (or at least power them down) and go for walks in the park, dip your toes in the ocean, join a hiking club or simply find a shady spot in the back yard and bask in the beauty of this gorgeous planet.
Try one (or all!) of these ideas and let me know how it goes. Maybe you’ll come up with a few ideas of your own – I’d love to hear about it! For now, have a safe and joyful summer. I look forward to connecting with all of you in early fall.