Last week, I celebrated my 57th birthday. Turns out my family and friends weren’t the only ones that remembered or knew how old I was. It’s a little spooky when your Facebook feed suddenly assaults you with ads for wrinkle creams, arthritis remedies, and pee-proof underwear that will “hold up to 3 Tablespoons.” Seriously… that’s what the ad actually said!
Truth be told, I’m actually (and sadly) interested in all those things. I’ve suddenly noticed little aches and pains everywhere… my finger joints ache, I’ve got inserts for my plantar fasciitis, my skin feels more and more like tissue paper, I’ve got grey hairs in my eyebrows, and I can hardly read my car’s speedometer without my readers. And I’m rediscovering naps. For God’s sake… when did this happen?
I remember my mother saying that when she looked in the mirror, she saw a 60-year-old woman but still felt like she was 25 inside. I now know exactly what she meant. But I also remember one of my favorite quotes from Maya Angelou, “I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one.” In an interview with Oprah, she said, “I refuse to lose my sense of humor about getting older and, really, how could I when I’m constantly watching my breasts competing in a race to see which one would reach my ankles first?” That makes me laugh every time I think of it and makes the mirror a little bit more my friend.
A 60-something friend shared recently that he belonged to a men’s group that had been playing golf together once a week for over 25 years. As they had aged together as friends, their conversations had begun to focus increasingly on their health challenges and bodily woes. One day they decided this was wholly unsatisfying and likely only making matters worse for each of them. So they made an agreement: each one could take only the first five minutes to talk about their health and give an update about their particular challenges. They definitely wanted to support each other’s reality the best way they could. But, after that the focus had to turn to what was good about their life and / or their world. He said it’s been a much more fun, satisfying, and youthful-feeling group ever since.
We’re all getting older. We’re all experiencing (or will) what the aging process brings. The little aches and pains. The wisdom. The broader perspective. A few unsightly changes to our physical bodies. An increased awareness that life is precious. Simple pleasures that seem increasingly satisfying. We can choose to complain and bring energy and focus to our little discomforts or we can celebrate our bodies and their incredible abilities to experience life, move, rest, stretch, and remarkably navigate change. They are the miraculous vehicles that allow us every day to savor delicious foods, take in the intoxicating smell of a newborn’s head, feel the tender touch of a lover, and fully inhale the glory of a sunrise or exhale with a vibrant sunset.
My 57th birthday was a beautiful summer day at Echo Lakes in the Sierra Mountains. I took some time that day to just marinate in what a blessed woman I truly am. My body aches were eased tremendously by the mindfulness I was able to conjure, the beauty my eyes rested upon, and a spirit that soared as I brought another chapter in my life’s story to a close and unwrapped a bright, new, unwritten one yet to come.
This week, remember that every day is a gift and a choice. Remember that your body is a miraculous system of thousands of working parts that house an individual mind and spirit that is unique in all the world and across all time. Remember too that even when you feel pains, you definitely don’t have to be one.
|September 2016 workshops in San Diego
Still Time To Register! Limited Space Available!
The Lioness Principle™
Transformational Trainer’s Workshop
Monday, Sept. 12, 2016 ~ Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016
The Lioness Principle™
Inspirational Speaker’s Workshop
Wed., Sept. 14, 2016 ~ Thurs., Sept. 15, 2016
To Register — click on the following links
“I’m the same person I was back then,
A little less hair, a little less chin,
A lot less lungs and much less wind,
But ain’t I lucky I can still breathe in.”
~~ Maya Angelou