Our son's favorite quote is: 'It is not the years in your life that counts it is the life in your years!' I love that. Feels good, doesn't it.
When thinking about LIFE and AGE, I pondered about the following question:
How to prepare for aging gracefully and joyfully?
Is the secret, living in the NOW? Might this be the answer or does it sound like a paradox!
The only time is NOW! But yet we all know that our bodies are aging. I sense that the power lies in how we treat our mind and body TODAY! No matter how old we are in our passports or how we feel in this moment. Whether we are young, mid-age or have started making sounds whilst standing up or sitting down. Did you notice that, the older people ARE the more noises they make accompanying their movements.
With the notion 'Living in the NOW' we can be grounded and mindful of the present moment. It is peaceful YET comes with a huge responsibility. We are all responsible for our thoughts and actions in this moment. We got to understand and accept that in this moment we experience our reality of the present moment and create the path of our future.
My mind is spinning. Hundreds of questions, scenarios, images flood my stream of thoughts. I see old couples laughing joyfully on a cliff top overlooking the ocean, their faces glowing with the warmth of a sunset, then a lonely person bed-bound in a stifle care home absent of thoughts and engagement.
Next mind movie is a real memory of an ‚ancient‘ guy stepping out of his golf caddy in Carmel, California, he shuffled himself to the tee-off area, swung his golf club with limited range of movement to make a record-breaking 50 yard straight line shot, shuffling back to the cart being utterly pleased with himself. Grinning happily, radiant.
I see my granddad joking and me belly-laughing, muscle cramps in my face….he is a wonderful role model of aging gracefully. Truly touched that my dad, spent time with his dad doing crosswords, reminiscing and reactivating happy moments.
My mind keeps spinning: Dementia, wheel-chair, bitterness, loneliness, grief, boredom, fatigue, illnesses…..
I hear my friends exclaiming: ‚Happiness and age, oh Julia, we have got to figure this out! There must be a way to do this mindfully, graciously and wonderful‘.
Being in our mid-forties we have begun to….RE-THINK!:
a) realising that our physical body is changing, might be age :-)
b) life is short and sweet
When does this realization process start? I guess, when we are witnessing our parents becoming older, weaker, dying. Definitely when the rate increases in which parents talk about funerals and their moral support to friends. Or maybe we start realizing our own aging process when we turn 40 and it seems like everyone starts to comment about their eyesight, their joint pain, slowed and pro-longed recovery time from colds, mini- injuries or even hip-replacements! It is so funny, literally, as if some people find a switch is turned the day after their 40th birthday bash.
'OH, it’s the age thing!‘ It is happening.
Living in the NOW, is timeless and ageless, it does entail responding to our current life and circumstances.
We might be ill.
We might feel alone.
We might feel burdened.
We might feel anxious.
We might feel depressed.
We might feel …
We might feel happy. We have a choice! Every moment we have a choice of focus!
We can acknowledge reality and can choose to see the positive, feel possibilities, create chances for improvement. Choose our attitude. In fact, at every age, we can choose progress. I am a strong believer that if we stretch our mind and continuously test new things, our mind expands, new neural pathways are created and our brain is inspired by new thoughts. Remember that on average you and I think about 60.000 thoughts a day, and 90% are the same than yesterday. So in order to create, bring upon change and even progress we have got to be willing to face maybe uncomfortable but definitely NEW territory. We NEED to challenge ourselves otherwise we stand still and regress, operating habit-based. To progress we need to do new stuff, learn.
Here are a few (actually quite a few) actionable steps:
Follow Jim Kwik, super brain, and his weekly challenges to nurture our super powers, e.g. brush your teeth with the opposite hand for 1 week, make your bed every morning, READ books!! www.kwikchallenge.com
Meditate every day (Emily Fletcher or 6-phase-meditation)
READ books (fiction and non-fiction)
Blinkist (read a variety faster with 15 min summaries)
Travel (stay open-minded about cultures and languages and expand your mind)
Learn another language (my Grand-dad was in his 80's and went to cooking and language college)
Learn to cook different dishes, update your cooking habits
Tie your shoelace the other way around (does that make sense !!:-)
Drive different routes than your default
Talk compassionately to your known ‚strangers‘ (neighbor, dentist, postman, barista, teacher, coach)
Join a community project (www.safewise.org)
Start tapping on your limiting beliefs ‚I AM too old to….‘ turn them into 'I AM willing to learn....' Tapping is a super-power in the self-healing tool kit check it out: tapping-solution.com BONUS:
Write a list of all things you wish to have done when you were younger! Write the list NOW!!!
Do the last point before you continue reading…
I mean it…..
Have you written your list?
Look at the list…..
Which bullets on your "I wish I had done!-LIST do you still really want to do? Feel into your body? Is there a part in you getting excited about one of the points?Mark your calendar, find a buddy and DO IT!! Pick the healthy ones!
Find a coach and create your dream future including manifestation….
YOU are the HERO of your life. You are the author of our lifebook. You are driving your dream machine. You have the power to create. You are the creator of your life. You are living this life! OWN it!! TURN into CREATING your life.
If you see into 'Your Future Self' 5 year from NOW, what would you change?
Take your time and write it down.