Gratitude is a light within

Episode 25

It has been smoky here all week.

The smoke, while bothersome, doesn’t cause me discomfort. It hasn’t affected my walks with Beaumont nor my enjoyment of being in nature.

For my beloved, it’s a different story.

It’s been a long week. Confined almost continuously to the house, he still coughts and struggles at times to breathe. And, because he’s in a clinical trial, he can’t take any oxygen or drugs, other than his normal inhalers, to help alleviate the angst.

I am grateful for this clinical trial which may result in relief of his symptoms.

But, as medical science searches for ways to alleviate asthma and lung disease, it is uncomfortable for him, and I know, at times, terrifying. To struggle for breath. To feel always as if you are gasping for air.

I am grateful this week that I had chosen to write about gratitude. Grateful that in keeping my focus on its many graces, I have been constantly reminded to breathe into its healing powers.

It doesn’t mean I don’t struggle. I do. I worry. I fixate on wanting him to get up and get moving. On thinking there’s something else, he, or I, can do to make it better.

I get out of sorts. Short tempered.

And then, I come back to gratitude.

I am grateful for this practice. Grateful to have this safe space to return to centre, to find, as Val Boyko calls it, my middle ground.

I can’t ‘fix’ any of this. I can’t, as he asked me the other day, get him a new lung. What I can do is get him a cup of tea. Bake him my chocolate chip cookies he loves so much, even though I worry about their impact on my hips. He was once a professional football player. Weight is still not is issue, other than the need to put it on! Other than when I was pregnant, I have never had a problem putting on weight! 🙂

And, I can change how I respond when I’m feeling frustrated and worried.

I can stop thinking about how ‘this isn’t what I expected’ and turn instead into the love that brought us together, the shared joy in each other’s company.

I can stop wallowing in self-pity and awaken my desire to be playful, joyful, and heartful in our relationship.

I can stop being driven by fear and allow courage to draw me back into Love, peace, and joy.

Rather than thinking about the things we can’t do together, I can lean into the things we enjoy doing together. Play games. Read to each other out loud. Watch a movie together. Cook a meal together. And so much more.

I am grateful that we get to be together. That we get to share each day, together. And, that in being together, we get to support one another in living life to the fullest of our abilities and capacities, always giving the best of what we have to one another. Always keeping our vows in the forefront of our life together.

I am grateful that in writing about gratitude, I am reminded to put my own words into action.

I am grateful.

Namaste

As long as you are breathing, you are aging.

If like me you’ve been on this earth awhile, you’ve probably heard people, especially your elders, say things like, “Growing old is not for the faint of heart.” Or, “Growing old is no fun.”

I remember when I first awoke from that relationship that was killing me and began, after an absence of a few years, to do the thing that I knew would be most healing for me; write in my journal. The first thing I wrote was, “And now for the hard part.”

I remember stopping and looking at that line and thinking, “Wait a minute. Who says this part has to be ‘hard’? Going through that relationship was hard. Why does healing from it have to be hard? Can’t I choose otherwise?”

It was in that moment I chose my path. obviously, I had a lot to heal, internally, with my relationship with myself and others. Obviously, to get to that ‘healing’ I had to go through the pain. But… did I have make going through it feel hard? No. I could choose to go through it, no matter what ‘it’ was, In Love.

That meant, no matter what I was experiencing, no matter how painful or dark or grimy my road, I had to choose to treat myself and all the world around me, with tender loving care. I had to hold onto the truth of my own loveability. I had to choose to love myself.

Today, I am deeply grateful for that lesson I learned and embraced so long ago.

And… here’s the challenge. I’ve let some of that lesson go! Fact is, there are times I have perceived aging as a ‘dark and gloomy night’. A place I did not want to go. A place I dare not shine the light within for fear it would be extinguished.

My mindset and my choices dictate how I age and while, just as I cannot control my emotions, I cannot control time and its passing, I do have the power to choose how I express my emotions and I get to choose how time’s passing resonates within me and upon my life.

I have the power to choose to be angry with aging, or lovingly accepting of its beauty and its warts, making the most of each precious moment I breathe.

Seeing it all through the eyes of love, feeling it all through a heart flowing with love, and experiencing it all as part of this journey called LIFE, creates a wealth of opportunity for me to grow and expand and breathe life into each moment without placing too many expectations, or fear, into what the next one will bring.

When I quit viewing aging as a thankless, relentlessly painful, and loss-filled journey, I create space for wonder, awe, and magic to be present too. And just as opposites can co-exist in the same space, aging and love can co-exist without one being overshadowed by the other.

That doesn’t mean I don’t acknowledge the real and sometimes challenging realities of aging. Let’s face it, getting older is messy. At times it feels like it’s happening entirely against our will with its demands we face its seemingly relentless reminders of how fragile and vulnerable we are becoming or how our limbs just ain’t what they used to be.

That kind of reality can suck, especially if we spend all our time trying to avoid it — because avoiding it tends to suck the air right out of us.

Which is why I am choosing to face the realities of aging, the good, the bad and the ugly, with a grateful heart, counting my blessings every step of the way, savouring each deep breath of the wonder and awe of each moment.

Because, as long as I am breathing, I get to age. And that is a privilege many do not get to experience.

How to be grateful for it all

After five years of enduring a relationship that almost killed me, freedom tastes so sweet. In the aftermath of being freed from that living hell, when anyone asked me, “How are you?” my first response was, “I’m alive!”

Being alive, after feeling like I was the living dead, and believing (and hoping) the reality of death was waiting just beyond my next breath, being able to say, “I’m alive” and mean it was pure joy.

Sitting here, almost 20 years away from that moment of release, it’s hard to remember how lost and alone, terrified and depressed I was.

What I can and do still feel, is the elation I felt, and still feel, with being alive.

And, while I haven’t quite mastered the art of being grateful for the things he did that brought me to the point of trying to unhook gravity’s hold on my body so I could simply fall into the ocean and be washed out to sea forever, I am grateful for the realization I carry with me today. A realization that came from having walked that path of abuse and self-annihilation so long ago. Life is a precious gift. It asks only that we fall in love with ourselves and all of life moment by precious moment.

There is not one moment of the past that I can change. Regretting that relationship and all the pain and harm it caused those I love is a journey of futility.

In living my realization that life is precious, I fall in love with the woman I was then, and the woman I am today and every day when I hold firmly to my belief in the precious nature of life and celebrate every breath as an act of freedom.

And in that realization, I embrace the deep knowing that I don’t need to be nor become grateful for the things he did. To live in freedom, I only need to live with a grateful heart full of love for this beautiful, fulfilling, love-filled life I live today.

My gratitude I know today is not based on what he did back then. It’s founded in knowing that what he did is nothing compared to what I do, every day, when I embrace everything in my life, the good, the bad, and the ugly, with arms, heart, and all my being wide open in gratitude and love.

Long ago, I fell into the trap of believing someone else held the answers to my life and could give me a shortcut to happiness. I am grateful that through that journey, I have learned the truth.

I am 100% accountable for my own happiness. In claiming my responsibility for my life, all of it, I set myself free of regretting things I did and that happened in the past as I say, “Thank you” for the good, the bad and the ugly. IT is all a beautiful gift opening up to the gift of becoming, me.”

And in that gift, I lean, with anticipation and joy, into all life has to teach me on how to live without regret so I can experience the wonder, beauty, and awe of all the world unfolding in its mystery and magic all around me.

Namaste.

Is it easier to be thankful as we age?

The stillness of morning envelopes me like a warm blanket on a cool winter’s day. Outside, the sky is dark in the early misty gloom of dawn not yet risen. Inside, the glow of my desk lamp casts a halo over my fingers typing on my keyboard. Piano music plays softly. Beaumont the Sheepadoodle lies under my desk, his head resting on my feet. The gentleness of his snores warms my heart.

I am grateful for this morning.

Gratitude, the experts say, is good for your body. Your whole body of which the mind is part of the whole.

We, westerners, tend to separate body and mind as if the two are connected yet separate entities with one having the upper hand over the other whose purpose is to be the vehicle that carries it around.

They are interconnected. One brain. One body. One person. One. Whole. Being.

This is why gratitude is so important. Our thoughts are our body’s thoughts, not just our minds. Our thoughts become our reality. Our thoughts impact the entirety of our being — including our health. And, when we practice gratitude, we ignite endorphins that happily dance through our veins and arteries, filling our nervous system with feelings of joy. (At least that’s how I like to imagine them.)

There’s good news about aging and positive thinking!

According to this article in the Globe and Mail from October, 2015, “Neuroscientists have suggested older people have a sunnier outlook because the limbic system, particularly the amygdala, an area of the brain involved in emotional attention and memory, becomes less active in response to negative information. At the same time, older individuals maintain or even increase their reactivity to positive information.”

Yesterday morning, walking back from the park with Beaumont, I watched two city workers clean up the garbage left behind by the weekend visitors to the park. There was a lot of it.

As they worked they chatted. As they worked, they created inviting islands of green space free of garbage.

I watched and was grateful they were out so early in the morning making the park whole again.

I decided to share my gratitude.

I walked towards them. As they noticed my approach they both stopped working and watched me.

“I just wanted to thank you for making the park so inviting and clean!” I called out.

Suddenly, both their faces broke out in smiles. “You’re welcome,” one of them called out.

“Thanks for all you do to keep our city beautiful,” I said before moving on with Beaumont.

As I left, I heard one of them say to the other. “D’ya hear that? Someone appreciates what we do.”

I was smiling as I walked away. It felt good to give a gratitude bouquet to strangers. Especially as I truly am grateful for the work they do.

Their work is important. It matters.

I am grateful for my mind’s ability to remind me to not just think thoughts of gratitude, but to share them freely wherever I can.

Spreading gratitude is important. It matters.

I am grateful that with aging, I am becoming… more at ease with my power to spread gratitude.

I am grateful that with aging, I am becoming… more accepting of life’s gifts. More thankful for life’s beautiful moments. More capable of letting the not-so-nice moments fade as I pour love and joy into each moment I experience the gift of my life on this earth.

And I am grateful that there are people like University of Oregon neuroscientist and research associate Christina Karns, studying the impact of gratitude on aging. In the same G&M article (above), Karns is quoted as saying, “It’s [Gratitude] different than those sort of basic emotions, like happy, sad, fear, anger. So there isn’t going to be just one system in the brain that is implicated in gratitude.”

While happiness occurs in the brain’s immediate reward systems, gratitude is believed to also involve the cortical structures associated with higher order cognition and social reasoning, she says.

Gratitude is a whole-brain undertaking. And, as the brain is as integral to our well-being as the heart and belly, veins and arteries, limbs and skeleton, being grateful pays dividends throughout our body creating well-being and lightened spirits where ever it flows.

As we age, numerous studies have shown, we become happier. Apparently, we are, on average, at our most positive in our senior years.

I am making a conscious decision to flow in gratitude. Choosing to express it whenever I can, where ever I am.

I am grateful for all of you. Grateful for your presence. Your words of encouragement. Your sharing of your insights and thoughts. Your light. Our shared connection.

Namaste.

Age Matters. So does Gratitude!

I love rituals.. Ritual activates my gratitude muscles.

This morning, while lying in the bath (one of my favourite morning rituals) I was reflecting on gratitude, and how I have gotten out of the habit of writing my gratitude list every day.

I smiled and shook my head in loving consternation at my humanness – it can be so easy to forget to do the things I know are healthy, healing and nurturing.

As I looked around to see if I’d remembered to put my journal on the little stool beside my bathtub, (and realized I hadn’t) I decided the time to act was now.

No pen. No papaer. Easy peasy. I always have my phone on the counter beside the tub — it controls my music.

Why not download a gratitude app?

Over the weekend I’d been researching gratitude and come across several apps during my search. One that looked interesting and got good reviews is, Gratitude.

Being a ‘when I have an idea I like to get to it!’ kind of gal, I picked up my phone (careful not to drop it in the sudsy water) and checked out the App Store.

Sure enough, Gratitude is the first app to appear in the long list. I did a quick peruse of other apps and decided I’d give it a try.

And so, while I soaked in the warm soothing waters of the bath, I created my first Gratitude List on my phone. In the process, I smiled. And laughed at myself. I mean really Louise – I’m grateful for morning poops? Well that’s not very sophisticated now is it? I let it stand. Some mornings, I am just that – grateful.

The app also has a section for building a vision board.

I checked it out.

And that’s where I came up against the big, bad, ugly, feelings of symbolic annihilation.

The Vision Board section allows you to post photos for different areas of your life that reflect what you are seeking to manifest.

Problem is, of the many, many, many photos for each section — Family, Friends, Health, Travel… etc….. there are relatively few, and I mean few, photos that I can relate to.

As an example, in the ‘success’ section I found a handful of photos out of many, many, many, that depicted an older adult — and they were all the same 3 different men, all in business attire, all white. (add some racial disparity to the mix too!)

I wasn’t deterred – the app does allow you to pull photos from your own phone — and I have lots of those I can include.

But what struck me was how subtle ageism can be – even when the app builders were trying to build an app that would allow people to strengthen their gratitude muscles, they (I’m hoping unintentionally) practiced symbolic annihilation (one of the challenges THIRD ACTion Film Festival is combatting through its amazing line-up of films and events – full disclosure, I sit on their board)..

See, ageism is subtle. I probably would not have noticed it if I hadn’t been scrolling through their photos before realizing I could add my own! It wasn’t until I realized I’d been scrolling and scrolling before finding one or two that fit my ‘mindspace’ that I realized what the issue was.

I’d say –Hey! Anyone want to build an app just for older people? but… that would actually defeat the purpose of this journey into how to age with grace and be grateful for it all.

Because a separate app, just for baby boomers for example, would actually be saying, we’re special and separate from all of you. And we want to keep ourselves that way ’cause you don’t understand!

At least I think that’s what it would say — please share your thoughts! I’d love to know what it says to you.

In the meantime, I’m adding this one to my list of gratitudes this morning – I am grateful for this app that will send me reminders to practice gratitude, and that reminds me, to not think of myself as invisible and powerless. To not sit back and allow synbolic annihilation to erase my presence because I tell myself, there’s nothing I can do, it’s just the way it is. I must use my voice, my words, my actions to stay relevant, present and above all, true to myself, doing the things I believe will create better in this world for all.

In other words, I gotta wear my age like a crown of precious jewels! Shining bright for all the world to see… Age matters! So does Gratitude!

Sparkle. Sparkle. Sparkle!

Namaste.

PS – I’m off to my physio appt this morning. If you’d like to listen to the video, please do come back later and I’ll have posted it!

My worth is not measured by a label

I AM many things. A wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, friend. Artist, writer, poet, story-teller. I love fiercely, care deeply, act with intention. No matter what my role, no matter how I am in this world, none of who I am is diminished by the label, senior citizen.

Sometimes, we wear a label as if it makes a difference to who we are and how we are in this world. A label is not our identity. It is not a reflection of our worth. It simply is what it is, a label of no value to the quality of our life. It’s only value is it works as a road marker to help us see where we are on the road of life.

A label sometimes serves to put us in a box. Sometimes, we call the box our comfort zone. Our familiar ground. Our ‘special place’.

What if there is no box?

What if we LIVE as if there is no box?

What if we choose to view our lives as limitless fields of possibility that greet us every morning with their invitation to run, wild and free, amongst the wildflowers blowing in the winds of change and opportunity, through the trees whose leaves are unfolding and dropping, unfolding and dropped in a continuous circle of renewal?

What if… There is no box!

It’s been an amazing week of fullsome conversation, sharing and for me, a lot of internal exploration, growth and learning.

Thank you. I am so very grateful for each of you. For this beautiful opportunity to keep growing and becoming more of me.

Have a beautiful, sunny-shiney bright kind of weekend!

Who Am I?

Years ago, as part of a play he was performing in about homelessness, my dear friend Max wrote a short soliloquy about his lived experience of homelessness.

I am a father, a brother, a son, an uncle, a friend. 
I am a carpenter, a musician, a writer, an artist. 
I laugh. I cry. I bleed. I feel pain. I feel joy. 
Which of these is diminished because I am homeless?

In her comment last night on yesterday’s blog, which reminded me of Max’s words, Iwona wrote,

I am a writer, a quilter, a calligrapher, a photographer.
I am a wife, a friend, a relative, a confidante, a mentor.
These are the qualities and traits that I am proud to acknowledge.
Some may say these are "labels".
Whatever!

And Cristl wrote her manifesto too,

I don’t like labels as I have been called a criminal, homeless, senior and blunt. None fit me as the people I am now. I am a passionate person who believes that every person be treated with dignity and respect. This includes me.

While Nance shared her beautiful insight, as did JoAnne.

Nance wrote,

Somewhere along the line we decide which labels suit us. We can accept labels we agree with, and make our own labels. We can live without labels. We can talk about what we do, without making it who we are.
But some people work very hard to have certain labels. It’s good to think before we label.

And maybe that’s the thing about labels.

I have the power to choose my own. The one’s that work for me. They are not all of me. They are often a reflection of my passions and what’s yearning to be expressed within me.

I do not give others the right to choose them for me. And, while I get that for demographic stats it’s easiest to group people under labels or headings that denote similar attributes, and l understand that labels are convenient for identifying demographic trends and policies that work and policies that need to change to address gaps in public services, I have the power and the choice of determining what the ‘label’ that puts me in a specific group means to me.

I have the power to choose how I live the labels with which I am identified.

I have agency.

Which brings me to my own statement of Who Am I. Because in my agency, I also know that while there are many ‘isms’ I have encountered because of my gender, I have privilege that too many others do not experience because their choices were limited by the labels we applied to keep them in their place.

I am a human being of great worth. I am a woman. A mother, a wife, a grandmother, a sister, an aunt, a friend. I am an activist, a disruptor, a staunch defender of our human right to be treated with dignity and respect. I am a believer in upending our social constructs to create equity and inclusion for those who have been marginalized, pushed aside and under the colonial structures of our past. And however I am, where ever I am, I am an artist, a writer, story-teller, creator of words and images, a lover of life and this fragile condition we call our humanity.

Which of these is diminished because my age puts me in the demographic cohort of being labelled a ‘senior citizen’?

The ‘Senior’ label is getting old.

We humans love our labels and our groupings.

We have those who fit the label ‘Senior’. We have, young adults, millenials, GenXers – GenYers – GenAnthingGoes.

That last one is a label of my own making.

It feels right for this age I find myself embodying with mind, heart, body and soul – I’m ok with who I am and how I am because I choose to love who I am and how I am becoming completely.

And in that statement, recognize that no matter my age, I am always becoming – more of who I am, less of who I don’t want to be, all of me – beauty and the beast, yin and yang, darkness and light, imperfectly perfect in all my human imperfections – with or without a label.

Year ago, when I was preparing for my first talk at a major conference about how I learned to live with joy and love after an abusive relationship, the organizers, after reading my talk outline said, “Okay. You fit into the “Victim Stories” category.”

No I don’t, I quickly replied. I am not a victim. I am a victor.

That distinction was extremely important to me. The label ‘victim’ is an emotionally charged one that says to me, I am weak. I am beaten. I am the underdog. I DO NOT want to be a victim. I AM NOT a victim. (and yes, I am sure there is a whole lot of unconscious bias going on in my head around that word!)

To be a victor is, for me, empowering. I can handle carrying that label. It feels expansive. Empowered. Strong.

Just as being labelled a baby-boomer feels open-ended. It says, I am of the generation who marched for women’s rights and burned bras. Who stood up to authority to ensure, ‘anything goes’ became a reality for gays and lesbians and so much more. It is full of limitless possibilities and as long as my ‘anything goes’ creates better in the world, is fair, kind and does no harm, then my anything goes is powerful!

The label ‘senior’ on the other hand… that is an emotionally charged one for me too. I don’t think I was ever a ‘junior’ human so why am I suddenly a ‘senior’ one?

It’s a challenging realization for me – perhaps my unconscious biases are preventing me from living into the possibilities of ‘seniordom’ whatever those possibilities are.

Or, perhaps, my resistance to living into the label ‘senior’ is actually my rebellion against doing ‘the safe thing/right thing/expected thing’.

I’m not sure.

What I am sure about is, I do not want to live up to nor down to an arbitrarily applied label of ‘their’ construction (whoever ‘they’ are.)

I don’t want to live ‘the label’. I want to live my life.

I want to live free to be, to express, to become all of me – consciously aware that my becoming is an evolutionary process full of possibilities.

Labels are handy for prescription drugs and supermarket shelves.

For we humans… labels can act as limitations to how deep, wide, wild and free we live our lives. And, until we confront the unconscious or conscious labels we carry, collectively or singularly, we will not see beyond the limts of that label all the beauty, mystery, magic and wonder life has to offer.

So here’s to the GenAnythingGoes – no matter your age!

Episode 18

On Being Okay with What Is.

If this is your one life to live, what would you do differently today?

Just so you know, that was not the opening line I had intended to write when I sat down to create this morning – it is the one that appeared. And, as writing here is all about a continuous journey to learn how to ‘trust the process’, I lwrote it out and am now shifting from what I had intended to write about to exploring the question..

It’s a good question. What would you do differently if you embodied that truth? “This is your one life to live.”

I think at every age, my response would be different.

Off the top of my head, in my teens, I’m pretty certain I’d not have worried so much about trying to fit in and what my peers thought of me and spent more time asking myself if I like the person I’m becoming.

In my 20s, I’d have not moved back to Canada from Europe because of a boy. I’d have been more thoughtful of my next steps and, rather than just let life happen, I’d have spent more time meditating on ‘Who am I and want kind of human being do I want to be. What kind of life do I want to create?”

Yet, here’s the thing. While it’s fun to look back and ponder ‘what would I have done differently’, the fact is, I can’t change the past.

Today, asking myself the question, “What WILL I do differently today?” creates an open slate of opportunities and possibilities, along with a smile on my face!

The smile, because I recognize the trap in the question.

Think about it. To determine what to do differently, I have to be clear on what I’m judging as needing changing or releasing, along with the fact, if they need changing – I haven’t been doing anything about them!

Also, if I’ve got a whole slew of changes I want to enact in my life, every day I continue to do the things that don’t work for me, puts me further and further away from living (and aging) with grace.

Which… just so you know… was not what today’s column was going to be about when I recorded my video this morning!

Which… brings me back to something I’d like to do differently today.

Let it go.

Not worry about the creating of the videos and blog, and instead, allow them to be what I want them to be – my musings and rambling, discourse on aging in which others who feel inspired join in through their comments/feedback/questions or simply watching and reading.

So… while today’s video does not quite align with this post, I’m going to be okay with it’s disconnect.

Why? Because having spent a great deal of my life looking for ‘the connection’ in everything, I am choosing to simply be real, present and okay with what is.

I’m choosing to let it be as it is so that I can be as I am… Pondering the questions of aging, musing about the beauty, the hardships, the changes and the confusion I feel about this thing called, ‘getting older’.

Thanks for joining me. Your comments, likes, thoughts and ideas make a world of difference!

Much gratitude.

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.

Namaste