The Power of Aging, Part I
Live Like You Can
By Janis McDonald
Wise Talk Wild Women, written by Gwen Mazer, depicts a number of powerful, unique women who describe life in their “Third Act” as vibrant, challenging, sexy, and ever-evolving. It is a compilation of stories about how past lives brought them to their current view on the power of aging—aging that is steeped in wisdom, daring, energy, and freedom. Interestingly, as each 60+ woman entered the 21st century, they found a clarity and ability to focus on what is important now and a releasing of the old to allow for the new. They found freedom in aging that allows for the pursuit of ideals, ideas, and passions without the past fear of failure or the concern of other’s judgment.
Personally, I am finding more things that I want to do than I might have time for in this lifetime. This increases the importance of being choosy about how, when, and where to spend this “time remaining.” Years ago, my thinking on death was greatly influenced by Roshi Joan Halifax, an American Zen Buddhist teacher and Abbott of the Upaya Zen Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She quietly urged us to remember, “With every breath we take, the Lord of Death is racing towards us.” She declared that daily remembrance of this truth was the greatest gift we can give ourselves.
So, in the hurry worry world I live in, I absolutely have to make myself pause, reset, recharge, and decide if this is truly how I want to spend my days, remembering that I have a choice by asking myself, “Why do I feel like I need to go fast? Do I really want to race towards the Lord of Death, seemingly closing the gap?”
Slowing down doesn’t mean stopping; it means taking some time to allow breathing space in order to consider, choose, and take charge of how I want to experience this moment. One of the gifts of aging is patience. Living in San Miguel de Allende, I have daily opportunities to practice waiting and getting comfortable with knowing that problems don’t have to be solved today. Most likely, all will be well in the end and accepting this wisdom is the prize I receive as I age.
Power in aging may seem like an oxymoron. Yet, there is immense power in clearing out the debris of younger years and lifting the veil of our past beliefs in order to create new ones based on what is learned by the passing of years. We can feed on that power to be free of trying to please, be perfect, and care what others might think.
My experience with Gwen Mazer’s stories of women who have realized the power of aging, coupled with my teacher’s reminder that life is a gift that does not last forever, cements my desire for daily discernment as I take advantage of the freedom found in aging.
Janis McDonald, Professional Wellness Coach, Functional Aging Specialist, Power Plate Training with Joe Hernández, private gym, 152 0457. Follow the Live Like You Can Blog! Go to: www.livelikeyoucan.com