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Thursday, May 19, 2016

Aging: Willing to Change

I've written a lot on aging.  And I've written a lot on changing.  But I'm always surprised at our human propensity try as we do, to make every effort to do neither.

I've lived a fairly long time, been through almost all of the developmental stages and have witnessed thousands of times others going through them.  The bridges between the stages are the most interesting, where most of the unknown rests.  We are between two stools, so to speak.  It takes a graceful adjustment (hopefully) once we come out of our denial that that is where we are.  And the feeling into that unknown (especially if it seems like a down turn) is where our decades of maturity comes in handy.

The willingness to change is required.  Tweaking or revamping nutritional needs to optimize our sense of wellbeing.  Adding supplements to support usurped nutrients the body isn't so robustly producing on its own.  Experimenting with alternative forms of healthcare like acupuncture, botanicals, homeopathy or naturopathy, chiropractic or bodywork for aches or pains that don't resolve themselves like they did when one was younger.  Recognizing stretching is a requirement, no longer a "it-would-be-nice-to do-if-you-can" prior to exercise or to relieve ligaments and muscles that tighten a lot more easily.  Taking a pro-active, preventative, and informed approach to one's health and in relationship to the healthcare industry is a mature step.

From my prospective as an aging person and someone who experiences a lot of aging people a lot of the time, mental and attitudinal flexibility is also a vital component to a joyful old age.   The "firebrand", reactive aspect is something to accept and be interested in in much younger folks.  The young are  finding their way in the world, discovering their values, forming an identity.  We have the capacity after a lot of living, to hold them in a safe container until they figure it out; to not judge or criticize them for their search.  Reactivity in an older person indicates that a personal understanding and healing hasn't been reached, a wholeness not found.  Especially in a dire political climate-- that discretionary, centered, more whole perspective is needed from elders to help balance the host of others in their 20's through (often) '50s who are in reaction/crisis mode a lot of the time and which effects their equilibrium, communities and the world energetically.  Because we've "been to the rodeo" a few times and hopefully done a fair amount of living, hurting, healing and the rest. Gandhi's proposal, "You must be the change you wish to see in the world", is a serious undertaking for an elder.




photo credit:  Pierre deVallonbrouse

1 comment:


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