“The act of maintaining objective awareness of the inner problem is always better than losing yourself in the outer situation.” -The Untethered Soul
As I sit down to write this blog on aging gracefully, I have to giggle to myself. Full transparency is that I have had a period of four straight weeks after not having it for 100 days. My hair is thinning and I am working out harder to simply maintain my healthy weight. I am taking hormone-free supplements so my mood stays level through perimenopause and I have removed meat and fish from my diet and become a vegetarian by choice. All of these choices I have made are not to lose weight or defy aging but to keep my flow and harmony in sync as I approach my 48th Birthday.
Those older than me are perhaps laughing hysterically now... gratitude.
A word that sounds so cliche yet means everything when it comes to aging gracefully. By definition, gratitude is “the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.”
I feel so grateful that I am alive. Every year older feels like this gift from the universe. My work is to remove the realm of the illusion that things will get easier and bask in the beauty of how well I can love the process now more than ever.
I recently watched the beautiful documentary, “Stutz” about a leading psychiatrist interviewed by Jonah Hill. Stutz explores his early life experiences and unique, visual model of therapy while dealing with Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative diseases. He shares that life will undoubtedly have pain, uncertainty, and constant work, but when we can love to learn the process, we can take a voice of impossibility and give it hope by reacting differently, resulting in a sense of possibility and acceptance.
Confidence is the absence of fear coupled with the ability to honor your truth and what’s right and true for you regardless of what shows up. I first found true confidence in the uncertainty of my yoga practice. Athletically, sports came fairly easy to me growing up but yoga was the first place that I realized that I am enough and always have been, right from the start. I had to search deeply within to find true confidence.
One of my dear friends and colleagues who recently passed away from her battle with breast cancer at age 46 had a favorite Yoga Sutra that I would like to share. Yoga Sutra 1.33 teaches us that friendliness, compassion, delight and disregard all offer a path to undisturbed calmness and a peaceful mind. Friendliness towards the happy, Compassion for the unhappy, Delight for the virtuous, and Disregard for the wicked. Disregard is something I have leaned into throughout my 40s. Drama, no thanks, Small talk, I would rather be alone and Gossip, there is no place for that in my life.
“Self-care is how you take your power back.” -Laleh Delia
Between the inconsistent periods, thinning hair, hormone-free supplements, and mood swings, you can be sure that I am taking more time for myself. My husband often wonders what I am doing each morning to prepare myself for the day. Now, more than ever, I choose me and that’s okay. I spent too many years falling into a dynamic that served everyone around me but I can proudly shout from the rooftops that boundaries are healthy and result in self-preservation. With self-preservation comes the natural art of aging gracefully.
“ The biggest thing I’ve shed is my limitations and perception of who I am.” -Jamie Lee Curtis