The Aging Tower of Power

I spent some time on the weekend journalling about the question I want to explore this week as part of this series, Dare Boldly: No matter your age.

The question for this week is: What does it mean to age with grace?

In my journal, I wrote, “I wish aging…” and then challenged myself to write all I ‘wished’ about aging.

Some of my wishes were self-explanatory; I wish aging didn’t show so much on my face and I wish aging didn’t come with so much baggage and confusion.

One of the wishes I wrote made me laugh, (and wish I hadn’t written it if only because it was soooo ridiculous! 🙂 ). I wish aging wasn’t such a felt experience.

What on earth do I mean by that?

Well… I’m still wondering.

Fact is, aging is a felt experience. I feel it in my body. I feel it in my emotions. I feel it in my thoughts.

Wishing I didn’t ‘feel’ it is like the quote my father used to trot out whenever I’d say something like, “I wish I could go to Paris with my friends this weekend,” when I had a summer job, couldn’t get the time off and was saving for a new something or other. “If wishes were horses,” my father would say, “beggars would ride.”

Fact is, wishing anything to be anything than what it is, or who it is, or how it is, doesn’t change what it is or who it is or how it is.

Tower of Power (Choices Seminars)

In Choices, a self-development program I coached in for over a decade until COVID caused its Canadian demise, they teach the Tower of Power. (I recommend you not google ‘Tower of Power’. You’ll come up with an R&B band and reference to a sexual position. I was not prepared to click on the second reference lest my Inbox become inundated with unwanted emails!)

In the Choices vernacular, the Tower of Power contains four statements. As you progress through each, you either choose to continue or, acknowledge you have no energy around making that wish into reality.

For example. I wish I could lose weight. I want to lose weight. I can lose weight. I WILL lose weight.

As you claim your position within each statement, you activate your will to fulfill on your wish – or not. For me, the ‘lose weight’ has evolved into, “I WILL feed my body healthy foods and activities.”

In the case of my statement, “I wish aging wasn’t a felt experience, I laughed so hard I almost had one of those little piddly accidents that sometimes happen with aging – and if you don’t know what I am referencing, lucky you! 🙂

See, when I encounter such a silly (not to mention futile thought – and yes, I know both those labels are judgments), I really do have to give my head a shake.

Life is a felt experience. Aging is as integral to living as breathing. How can it not be felt?

Once I got over my amusement, I got serious about my Tower of Power and how I could put it to work for me to move me into a more constructive, positive and inspiring framework.

Here is what I came up with using I wish, I want, I can, I will as my guidance:

I wish aging was a conversation full of love, celebration, and acceptance of all its gifts.

I want aging to be a conversation full of love, celebration, and acceptance of all its gifts.

I can make aging a conversation full of love, celebration, and acceptance of all its gifts.

I WILL make aging a conversation full of love, celebration, and acceptance of all its gifts.

That feels better. Especially as I breathe into the power of my will to create just such a conversation, here.

And in that power, I know I have the will to turn up here, in all my truth, vulnerability, scars, bruises, confusion… and hope, as we continue to grow deeper into this conversation, one word, one step, one idea, one day at a time.


12 thoughts on “The Aging Tower of Power

  1. We only wish not to feel things that feel disagreeable. But we certainly do wish to feel things that feel agreeable.
    I once read you cannot stop feeling one emotion (like grief) without also ceasing to feel all others (like joy and love). This hit me like a brick at the time. I thought I could bottle up my emotions selectively.
    I have since worked on being okay with feeling everything, including the disagreeable, because I wasn’t ready to give up the good stuff. You seem to be able to take it even one step further and turn the seemingly disagreeable into something beautiful.
    I admire that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love that idea about not being able to stop just one emotion — makes sense and explains a lot. Thank you.

      There are moments I am not so adept at finding the beauty in the disagreeable — some days I struggle and then I remember that there is value in all things. It’s just sometimes, the value takes a little bit longer to see because I’m so focused on its not-so-beneficial attributes! 🙂 A friend once said, “trying to stop your emotions is like trying to think your way out of diarrhea. Not as poetic as your phrasing but it definitely made sense! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ha 🙂 “trying to stop your emotions is like trying to think your way out of diarrhea.” That’s at least as good as the one about it not being possible to stop just one emotion. Gotta remember this one. Still smiling :))

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t even how to express my personal experiences, as I find it hard to put them into words.
    For many, many years I am an insomniac. And for quite a number of years I (thought I) needed to go to the loo once or twice per night.
    Then, when I was in hospital a night nurse told me in the early morning: Do you know that you have extreme sleep apnoe? Do you think you sleep well? And I fell heavily from my sleepless heavy night ‘rest’ down on the hard earth? A sleep apnoe? Aaaaah, THAT explains a few things.
    I thought that, because I cannot stop my brain to run in overdrive (meditaa tion is not for me, as isn’t yoga etc), that it was because I couldn’t sleep – but in fact my brain wasn’t fed with oxygen during those fall-outs, it signalled in high distress: Wake up, wake up and do something about that breath….
    I then went to a sleep clinic which is nowadays an easy and super comfy affair: You get lent a mask and a device with a sim card, you wear it one night and go with the whole thing early next morning to have it ‘read’ and explained to you. I became an instantly famous case as I had 47 apnoes per hour – hence I was literally dead every hour of every night for many years.
    I now sleep with a sleeping mask, not the sexiest device on this earth but a huge help – and – as a by-product, I realised that I never have to go to spend a penny any longer. That, in fact, I went to the loo because I was already woken up and now I can wait calmly all night knowing that it’s not the bladder to keep me awake but my whirlwind brain…..
    That’s already a GREAT life lesson and one I wish I had learned many years earlier.
    Of course, there’s much more we could discuss, but this one example of a badly led night-life (!) showed me that we really ought to be more ‘woke’ with ourselves, in general.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I wish to continue my journey of aging with grace with me in control of the arrangements.
    I want others to accept ME as they see me, for whom I am not and what a “book” says I should be at my age.
    I can still make meaningful contributions to family, friends and those in need.
    I will make my journey of aging with grace with my self-respect and integrity intact.

    Liked by 2 people

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