My Growing Edge

 I celebrated a”big” birthday recently. I thought the whole week before my birthday, and the whole week after my birthday that I’d like to write a blog about aging. But every time I started to write, I’d be unable to decide if I really wanted to expose my age to the public. I mean, I look in the mirror and don’t see myself as old as my age sounds to me…well, not until I put on my glasses anyway! Yes, the eyesight is going and the skin definitely shows the effects of years of too much sun, combined with aging. But most days I don’t FEEL like I’m this age. Other days I do notice that I have less energy than I used to, or even certain little ailments. But this whole thing about aging is certainly of interest to me. In our culture people do everything they can to hide aging because it is frowned upon, even though it’s a normal part of being alive. It’s seen as “not as beautiful,” and “not as interesting” to be old as to be youthful. And by some it’s thought to be downright disgusting or just really depressing. For me it’s definitely a growing edge…something I’ve been working on over the last 10 years and need to continually be working on as I’m entering into this next decade. As I look to Nature I see all the stages of the life cycle, from birth to death, as equally beautiful, each in its own way. Like a beautiful green leaf that turns different colors and eventually turns brown, gets dried and eventually crumbles back to becoming part of the Earth.

Since we are part of Nature, we go through that same cycle. Yet, I find it’s still sometimes a challenge to accept and love the changes that I see, feel and experience as I head toward “old age”. I don’t consider myself to have reached “old age” yet, but I’m not sure the term “middle aged” still fits at the number of years I’ve now lived. To a certain extent, being old seems more like an attitude or mental state than a set number of years being alive. Some people seem to age sooner and faster than others, but we all are aging (right from when we’re born). Yet some people have such a negative attitude about the whole thing. I often hear complaints as the physical body starts to slow down and/or has some challenges, that “getting old just sucks”…yet I’m discovering that it doesn’t have to be that way. I’m learning little by little to embrace aging. I’ve actually been enjoying the wisdom and freedom of aging. I feel, in many ways, more vital now than any time of my life that I can remember. For the most part I feel relaxed, lighter and more free to be myself . After all these years of life experience, I now have more of a mind-body-spirit connection with myself than in my youth. I actually have less fear now and am able to go within to help myself adjust to aging, rather than running out to get a facelift (which I’d considered many years ago when I started seeing the first signs of aging!)

Each day I have a practice of “Body Loving.” This simple practice has been helping me to see the beauty in each line, each crease, and each discoloration or saggy place that is now a part of me. I repeat these words, with or without a mirror, as I gently, lovingly stroke my face and body: “I love you, I appreciate you..thank you!” These bodies we’ve been given are so miraculous, even with the “glitches” that often increase

with age. It’s really helpful that I’ve created such a healthy lifestyle for myself and still have very good

physical health… but even so, if I fear or despise the symptoms of aging then I’m not accepting, appreciating and loving myself. Ironically, that creates stress, which is not conducive to aging gracefully. Rather than focusing on what is lacking or being obsessed with trying to change what is inevitable, I’m doing my best to remain curious about ways I can keep myself strong and healthy, and appreciating all that still functions so well. And with my attention not focused on the woes of aging, I’m more available to focus it on the astonishing and miraculous world inside and all around me. Whatever age I am, there is still so much to be grateful for!

2 Responses to “My Growing Edge

  • lindsay
    7 years ago

    Hey there, love the post and the good news is the cake Devi is representing was totally organic and vegan blueberry cheesecake (non cheese) so that is quite a good cake to lead into the next years of your life:) You can make your own vegan blueberry cheesecake by going to http://prettypies.com/

  • Solstice
    6 years ago

    I too have been thinking about getting older. I just spent an entire year dreading my recent birthday. (65).
    What’s interesting is when I try to talk about my feelings of getting older, people often (actually, always) try to hush me and say age is just a number. Yes, that’s true, but there is more to it. I often say, “All these things are new to me. I’ve never been this age before.” Another thing people will say is, “Well, consider the alternative, and be grateful.” As if wanting to talk about getting older is showing un-gratitude.
    I really, really liked your blog post about your birthday. Glad I ran across it today while originally looking at the Breath and Oneness website and your breathing class.

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