Thoughts and such like.....
It takes Courage to grow old! By courage, I don't mean going into our Third Act kicking and screaming, using everything in our power to remain young looking; pretending that we're still able to do that high ski jump, or go to nightclubs and dance the night away - three nights in a row. No what I mean is: courage to go into old age, a place we have witnessed our parents and maybe grandparents and their friends, wandering into; the image of someone old and fragile, maybe dementia, in our minds, and being able to face whatever comes with dignity and grace. To use our years of experience to help us navigate what is new territory, for us at least. It really does take courage, here we are in a time and place where there is no structure, and often, we're back in the land of being seen and often not heard.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, courage is the ability to do something that frightens one; Dictionary.com say it is the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain without fear. For me as I look around me, I see people understanding that they will age, we can't change that, fearful of what the future will hold, but also not taking responsibility for their life, being able to enjoy their elder years without pain, worry and pills. I believe we can change how we age - not by fighting tooth and nail to remain young looking, rather looking inside ourselves and reviewing our habits honestly and asking - what do I need to change to age better? Do I wish to spend the last years of my physical life in pain, reliant on medications and machines, or am I willing to change my habits and maybe lifestyle to help me age more healthily and well?
Making changes takes courage! Particularly in our culture of more, saying yes to less chocolate, beer and other indulgences, saying yes to a different kind of workout, maybe even a different way of eating takes courage. When friends say 'you're worth it, you've worked hard all your life, let go!' It takes courage to say No, I want to live a long, healthy life, one that allows me to enjoy the benefits of being an elder, without the downsides that so many people have, sickness, pain and chronic disease, so many of which can be avoided with a good diet and daily exercise. It takes courage to admit that maybe we haven't treated our bodies, and minds as well as we might, and courage again to take responsibility for our own health, and make those changes to roll back some of the ills we have inflicted on our bodies.
To develop courage you have to start developing courage as you
do any other muscle. You have to start with small things and build it up.
Making changes can hurt, Ray Dalio in his book Principles, talks about going 'to the pain, rather than avoiding it... Every time you confront something painful, you are at a potentially important juncture'. (www.amazon.ca/Principles-Life-Work-Ray-Dalio/dp/1501124021/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1526941908&sr=8-1&keywords=ray+dalio+principles). Changing the way we grow and live may be painful, but the consequences can be major - have you the courage to look honestly at how you live, and make changes to move into a place that encourages and allows you to experience this Third Act of life in optimal health?
Remember only you are in charge of how you live this life, you who has the courage to change those habits that do not serve you, whether in the second or third act, and you to know that there is plenty of life left in you to live!
If you need support in this change, contact me today, for a free discovery session: firstname.lastname@example.org
Maeve O'Byrne's Blog