Embrace Each Stage of Your Personal Journey After 60
Last year, the magazine Allure took a courageous step forward on behalf of all women. It will no longer use the term anti-aging in its publication, thus accepting that moving through time is a natural process, to be celebrated and appreciated for its own virtues, not something to battle against.
How else can we jettison the awful anti-aging mentality? Refuse to consider your age when you want to embark on a new business venture, a hobby or a trip somewhere exotic.
Ask yourself, “Do I want to do this? Would this make me happy? Would it bring me pleasure? Enjoyment?” And then do what makes your body and mind the happiest.
Life’s Different Stages
My all-time number one hobby is dance. I’m sure in some other reality I’m flying about a stage, stunning audiences with my leaps and pirouettes.
Meanwhile, here on planet Earth, I’m slogging it out with my fellow ballet students as best I can. There is no way my back bends like the teenagers in the class, nor can I do a series of turns across the floor without getting dizzy.
So what?! I have grace in my movements that took a lifetime to achieve. I have poise and carriage those sweet teens can only dream of at this point in their development.
In other words, we are all at different stages of our personal journey. Whatever our numerical age, we bring to our activities our unique abilities, and those are ever-changing. The gift we give ourselves is to remember that and to value who we are now, what we can do now, and enjoy whatever that is – now.
Boldly Going Forward
Take Nichelle Nichols, for example. At 85, she’s no longer the pretty face of Lieutenant Uhura on the USS Enterprise in Star Trek. Those days are long gone, as are the years during which she sang with Duke Ellington and Lionel Hampton.
Nichelle never let her past define who she is, much less her age. Nichelle has continued her acting career to some degree, but more importantly, once her Star Trek days were over, she translated her passion for outer space into the world of NASA.
Nichelle was involved in a special NASA project dedicated to recruiting minority and female personnel for the space agency.
Not only that, but ever since the mid-1980’s, Nichelle has served on the Board of Governors of the National Space Society – a nonprofit, educational space advocacy organization founded by Dr. Wernher von Braun.
Nichelle values the gifts she has to offer and is not afraid to pursue her passions, which benefits us all, as well as herself.
Here’s the thing: that’s only possible if we actively reinforce and support our joy in our present uniqueness with our thoughts and feelings. How we think and feel about ourselves, our emotions, have actual measurable impact on our very DNA, which in turn regulates the functioning of our bodies.
A series of experiments reported by the renowned HeartMath Institute demonstrate how the very DNA of our cells can be changed for the better through our positive, uplifted emotions such as appreciation and love, or for the worse – through our fear, anger and anxious emotions.
When you think highly of your abilities, whatever they may be, you work in tandem with your DNA, to assure the optimum possible functioning of your body and mind.
When you judge your abilities negatively, as in, “I’m too old for that,” or “What am I thinking? That’s for young people,” or even reflect such sentiments on others: “She shouldn’t dress like that – leggings? At her age!” you are hurting yourself.
Think highly of yourself, as you are, here, at this stage of your life – a fabulous you!
What do you want to accomplish now or in the future? What is holding you back from doing what you want to do? What are the one or two things that you do for yourself now and which make you happy? Please share your thoughts and insights below!
Dr. Noelle Nelson is a psychologist, consultant and speaker. She is passionate about personal growth and happiness. She’s authored over a dozen books including “Happy Healthy… Dead: Why What You Think You Know About Aging Is Wrong and How To Get It Right.” Please visit Noelle’s website.