When I realised there were more years behind me than there could potentially be ahead of me, I didn’t want to look at it.
I felt that old age happens to others and if I didn’t talk about menopause or aging, I wouldn’t catch it.
Fortunately, I got over that, but not without quite a lot of self-inspection and sometimes a bit of agony.
I don’t know what it’s like for others to come to this place in life, I can only speak for myself as we all experience life uniquely and personally.
I learn heaps about myself when I go through significant changes. I think change happens after a time of inertia; its length determined by the speed of my ability to let go of familiar patterns and step forward into new unfamiliar space.
I’ve learnt there’s no right or wrong way to be. Change is another word for adaptation, a process of evolution. Life forms that survive catastrophic events are ones that can adapt quickly with the least amount of resistance.
Getting older is a bit like that, it can inspire fear of being alone, getting sick and unable to take care of oneself and the concern of not having enough money after retirement.
Focusing on aging as a time when one is no longer so independent and vital is one way to experience aging.
Another way is with curiosity and interest in the way one’s body changes and how we can consciously direct and manage this life process.
As an infant, movement developed alongside our mind. The familiar movement patterns we use to perform everyday tasks can then provide us with many opportunities to improve the efficiency and functionality of our movements, concepts and belief systems.
Aware movement familiarises us to the language of our body and can guide us to be flexible and responsive to its needs.
I’ve stopped trying to be perfect, it was too exhausting and made me unhappy and stiff, especially my neck and lower back.
In my experience and observation of others, being righteous about food and exercise isn’t a guarantee for happiness and vibrant health.
I need to eat food that’s going to support me in times of change, activity, environment, and season.
Sometimes I need to eat meat and animal fats, bread, stodgy foods and sometimes I only want vegetables cooked or raw, juices and sometimes fasting for short periods of time. My body will tell me what it needs. The more flexible I am in my mind, the more appropriate are my choices for my situation requiring less energy to process and more energy saved.
Same with movement…sometimes resting and sometimes active challenging motion. Whatever catapults me out of inertia or replenishes my energy.
I want to explore aging in this way. Aging isn’t a disease, it’s the natural motion of the universe. There’s only one way out of here, it doesn’t have to be painful, self-righteous and joyless.
I want to eat sponge cake when I need soul food, with blackberry jam in the middle and a minor mountain of whipped cream.
I want to be happy and spread it around. I want to keep learning new ways to think and move. I want to be courageous within change. For me, aging isn’t a disease, something to be medicated against, it’s the life.