Moving Through the Ages

Blog Post PhotoOn New Year’s Day I found myself in a hospital emergency room because of a severe and unexpected asthma attack. Couldn’t find my keys. Didn’t feed my cat. Didn’t even put on socks (and it was freezing) because I had not a minute to spare. I left my home in a hurry. I fled (as best I could, given the amount of oxygen available to me). I figured I’d return home in 4 or 5 hours. Wrong. It was more like 6 days.

I hadn’t been hospitalized for asthma since my very first attack 32 years ago, and on previous visits to the ER, I had been treated and released and back to normal in a day or two. During the first three days of this stint. I was concerned because I wasn’t recovering as quickly as I was used to. My lungs were slower to clear. My oxygen levels were unstable. There was conversation about living wills and the dreaded possibility of intubation, which, while life-saving, is associated with a mortality rate of 10 to 13 percent. I had nothing but my Reiki hands and Buddhist practice to get me through the crisis and back to my apartment.

And then I remembered: I was no longer 33 but 65, and at this age bouncing back takes longer, I’m learning.

30-something me.

30-something me.

I had been feeling 40 for the longest, but between 2008 and 2013, something changed. I shifted mentally and emotionally and the 40s-feeling became the 60s-feeling, leapfrogging over the 50s-feeling. Between those years I was an unemployed person, an older unemployed person whose credentials and qualifications and skills seemed to be side notes. One recruiter suggested that I dye my hair. Another sighed while reading my resume during an interview and said, “When did we get so old.” I was overwhelmed by articles about and advice for older workers. Age discrimination, which had been only a theory became a reality and with that came thoughts of social security, Medicare. Between those years I couldn’t say with certainty what was going to happen to me, how I would take care of myself. I took a day at a time and thought a lot about age and aging and struggled to arm myself against stereotypes and the seeds that society plants. I was determined to plant my own seeds and nurture my own garden.

60-something me.

60-something me.

Do I have any theories on or advice about aging? No. I have observations. I can say that aging is better than the alternative. I can say that living long brings the gift of experience and, yes to be cliché, wisdom. I can say that I have fewer inhibitions and self-consciousness. I can say that I know my place in the universe and my relationship to the planet and its inhabitants. I can say that health and good friends and humor are important. I can say that I trust my intuition as much as I trust my intellect. I can say that listening carefully brings its own education. I can say that making and resting on assumptions can be detrimental. I can say that 60+ is not the new 40+. It simply is what it is, and that varies from person to person. I believe that the perception of time is relative to, among several things, age. It’s true: Time is moving with greater speed and I seem to be sprinting through the months, the years. I don’t run for buses and trains – what’s the rush! I can say that stability is an illusion because nothing is unchanging — everything is in a state of flux. I’ve found my soul work and I’ve come to know the value of service to others. Thirty years ago I was all about service to myself. I have watched – at long distance – with wonder and nostalgia my niece and nephew move from infancy into teenage-hood. My sister is 14 younger than I am, and now we’ve arrived at a place where we can have open and honest conversations because the little sister-big sister dichotomy has faded. We are simply sisters of a certain age, looking good, meeting challenges, and with our brother (11 years younger than I am), laughing a lot and still looking forward to life with all its changes, surprises and gifts.

time

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/03/10/weekly-writing-challenge-golden-years/

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Reblog: Rock it Like You Mean it: The Self Care Manifesto

Written by Robin Hallett June 26, 2013 in Intuitive Healing and reblogged with her permission

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My blogging friends, Michelle Ward and Jessica Swift asked me to share some of my thoughts on self care in honor of their new book, The Declaration of You! (woo hoo!).

I believe in you. I know you are here to do something amazing in your life.

If you are serious about getting to where you want to be, you’ve gotta have focus and clarity.

So today, I am sharing my own super duper self care manifesto with you.

This is how I personally rock it like I mean it in life, and I want you to do the same. Enjoy!

 

Robin 21.  You are the #1 priority in your life.

Your needs come first. I’m serious. You are the priority. Your needs should not be put on the back burner. What can you do every single day to take care of yourself first? Healthy diet. Exercise. Meditation. Setting your intention. These are all things you should be doing every single day.

 

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2. Make space for a Fun Factor.

Play, play, play is your new mantra! Find something fun to do each and every day. It can be anything you want. Small or large… just do it. Have a little fun every day. You SO definitely DO have time for this!

Over the years, I have tried all kinds of fun things like ice skating lessons (I was the only 40 year old in my class of mostly 5 year olds), video games, gardening, painting, mosaicing, jewelry making… you name it I have done it. Every single day, do something fun! And the best part? You determine what is fun for you, nobody else :)

 

3. Time to get some thick(er) skin

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No matter what you do, somebody somewhere will not be happy with you. Count on it. Be okay with that.

Besides, it’s not your objective in life to go around getting everyone to like you and join your fan club. Practice the thought: It’s not personal.

Your one true objective in life is to find joy and peace for yourself first and then go out and share what you know about this with the world.

 

4. Surround yourself with positive people.

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The people you are with the most rub off on you. So, it’s imperative that your inner circle be made up of those who uplift you, and can celebrate your authentic sparkle. These peeps aren’t threatened by your success. And, they aren’t afraid to hold your hand when the chips are down.

They know a little something about having fun, and will make you laugh often. When you go away after having spent time together, you feel uplifted and inspired.

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5. Toxic peeps make for toxic vibes, so clean house if you need to!

The people in your life who are draining, downers, complainers, whiners, gripers, and the generally not motivated… um, time to say goodbye. I cannot stress enough how completely sapping these people are to your energy field!

Whoever it is, if they leave you feeling drained and exhausted (or if they tend to really piss you off) you know what to do!

Remember, it’s not personal. If you’re around people who bring you down, just imagine what happens to your good juju… it leaves!

 

6. Stop owning other people’s problems.

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a permanent fixture on my refrigerator!

When peeps around you are upset, it’s only natural that you want to help. And it’s fine to help. But sometimes, that wanting to help is a completely unproductive and not helpful use of your time. When you feel obligated it’s a different story. When you feel guilty, it’s a problem.

My fail safe approach: Send your love, not your worries. Trust that they can figure it out. If they cannot, trust them to ask you for help. Let them do it before you jump in. You do not need to put out every fire that springs up around you. If you’ve been doing this, you already know how much time you are wasting every single day. Stop it!

 

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7. Be in alignment with your passion and what you stand for every single day.

So what do you stand for? What do you believe? You need to be in alignment with that which you are passionate about every day. It’s more than just practicing what you’re preaching. I am talking about embodiment. You need to BE that.

Stay in alignment with your authentic self. Honor this. And then, be in service of what you love. Share your light with the world, not your empty batteries!

 

8. Practice your worthiness

Worthiness is a practice. Most of us are struggling with balancing our old wounds and confidence issues. This is a balancing act that will continue throughout our life as we enter new and bigger arenas. It’s completely natural.

So, it’s good to make feeling worthy a practice. Over time, you’ll learn that you deserve the good in your life. Make a habit of saying YES, THANK YOU and MORE PLEASE when the good stuff happens. Make it a daily practice to notice the cool things that are happening for you.

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9. Welcome your fear but don’t buy into it.

There’s an old saying: Fear knocked on the door and love answered, but nobody was there. When you’re afraid, sit with your fear, take a few moments and breathe with it. Find out what it’s trying to tell you.

Then, remember that you are a spark of the Divine. You did not come here to play small. You are here to shine bright like a diamond!

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10. Find something to be happy about.

You do not have to suffer in order to feel joy. You don’t have to work really really hard in order to get somewhere good. I mean it. Just practice your excitement. Find something to be happy about. There is peace to be had in every moment. Yes, even the sucky ones. That’s why it’s a practice. When you get a little pissy, stop and ask yourself, “is this worth it?” And if that doesn’t work, you might need a little visit from the Love Sheriff.

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So, beautiful, how does my self care manifesto sit with you? Are you already doing some of these things? I believe in you already :-)

Go get ‘em, Tiger!

P.S. The Declaration of You will be published by North Light Craft Books this summer, with readers getting all the permission they’ve craved to step passionately into their lives, discover how they and their gifts are unique and uncover what they are meant to do!

http://www.robinhallett.com/intuitive-healing/self-care-manifesto/