As women over 60, we are constantly looking for ways to renew ourselves.

Renewal gives us a sense of excitement and anticipation. It takes us out of our ordinary lives, where we might be feeling everything is old and stale. We yearn for this renewed state of aliveness, when our life-force is activated and we experience everything around us with new eyes.

In your search for this essence of aliveness, many of you will make big changes, quit your jobs, renovate your homes or go on a trip to find new adventures.

While these measures will give you a feeling of newness and rejuvenation, their effects are temporary. When you become used to your new home, when you are in your new job for a while, or when you arrive home from vacation, you will find that nothing has changed – you still feel stuck and uninspired.

You may feel disappointed that the effort you made to change your life did not work. You did not change yourself, you only changed your circumstances. To go deeper, and change your life, you need to change your mind. Here are six ways you can begin:

Examine How You Feel

Your feelings are an expression of your deeper thoughts and beliefs. They are a reflection of what goes on in your mind. They prompt you to go beyond logic in responding to the dissatisfaction in your life – you must be aware of them in order to move forward. If you have feelings of resentment, anger, envy, guilt or shame you need to find a way to bring them out.

Once you acknowledge these feelings, and “own them,” you can begin the work of transforming them by expressing them through journaling, sharing and counselling.

Let Go and Clear Your Space

Becoming aware of your feelings will lead you to other elements in your life that are sapping your energy. You may be holding on to things that are now meaningless and stale. This is the time to examine your relationships, your work, your environment and your well-being. You can decide to drop anything that drains you of energy and brings your spirit down.

Give yourself a time line in which to achieve this; make a list, and tackle one issue every week. In time, you will be amazed at the changes you have made, and the energy and happiness you have found!

Change Your Mental Habits

Everything in your life: your feelings, your relationships, your circumstances, begin with your thoughts. This is not a new idea – many of us know this and try hard to think positive thoughts and keep negativity at bay.

This is hard work. People around you may gossip, you may watch fearful events on the news, or you may have conflict in your life. These forces may cause your mind to go around in circles, playing out your negative scenarios.

By removing even one of these influences, you will see a tremendous shifting of energy. Start with resolving to never listen to gossip, then change your viewing habits, and so on, until one day, you will realize that you have completely changed your mental activities, and are no longer dragged down by negative thoughts.

Change Your Vibration Through Gratitude

Gratitude is the high road to awareness. To evaluate your state of gratitude, write a list of 7 things you are thankful for. If you can’t immediately think of them, start with your health (your hearing, your eyesight), move on to your environment (running water, food in the fridge), then to your friends and family – the people who anchor you.

You will find there is so much abundance in your life! As you express your thanks for them, you will collect positive vibrations that impact your thoughts, and your feelings.

Invent a Different Life Story

Our story usually starts in childhood. For some of us, it is about being deprived of something: material privileges, parental love, friendship or any number of grievances. Our story has been with us for a long time, soothing our feelings when things go wrong, helping us to think the world is against us in some way, moving us away from taking responsibility for our own thoughts and lives. But we can decide to change our story in an instant. We can forgive anyone who has hurt or betrayed us, we can give up bitterness and find our way to happiness.

Clear Your Space and Change Your Habits

Our environment sends us powerful messages. If you see only messiness, and clutter around you, your mind will take on those qualities. Get rid of things that are useless, outdated or broken. Clean surfaces of dust. Clear up your space to create a feeling of spaciousness within you – giving you more room for new energy and ideas.

Apply these same measures to your habits. It takes a lot of energy to sustain a habit which you know is bad for you. If you smoke, over eat, or watch too much television, you may be stuck in a destructive cycle. You can stop in your tracks and face a different direction. It is up to you to take the responsibility and change your bad habits in order to enjoy a more vital life.

Your New Identity

By making these changes you are choosing a new identity. You are not changing your basic self, your essence – that part of you is unchangeable. You are merely changing some of your beliefs, uncovering submerged personality traits, exploring different values, and opening yourself to new people and experiences. You are defining yourself in a more authentic way. Your identity changes as you examine your feelings.

Clear your space, become more grateful and change your beliefs and values. You are now more fresh and current, your life-force is activated and your life becomes richer and more inspiring. You begin to experience feelings of aliveness and possibility. The changes you have made far exceed the changes achieved by taking a trip, moving, or changing your job. This time, you have made real changes – from the inside out.

Have you ever wished that you could step out of the hum drum of your life and feel more vital and energized? Have you found a way to achieve that? What advice would you give to other women in our community to help them reach a state of aliveness and renewal?

Diane DahliIn the 10 years since her retirement, Diane Dahli, B.Ed, M.A., has explored her passions, from growing medicinal herbs to remodeling houses. On her blog, Diane writes about what made the “Silent Generation” unique and why their place in history is so important. Diane has a master’s degree in education and psychology and lives with her husband in British Columbia, Canada. Visit her blog Still the Lucky Few and follow her on Twitter.

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