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.
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.