As a Body Confidence expert and author of Romancing your body: How to fall wildly, deeply & passionately in love with your body & your life I found myself wondering what was next for me as I entered my 60s.
As I thought back to my mother’s generation, I was shocked at how “ageist” many people were back then. Or, maybe it was simply the fact that there weren’t many role models for women (and men) who were thriving and doing things differently from what was “expected” of a 60-year-old.
I remember a family member who was in her 60s saying that she couldn’t possibly wear a bright red jacket out in public. She was horrified at the thought of such a radical thing to do and uttered the words, “But what would people think of me?”
I remember replying that I thought they would think she looked fabulous, to which she said, “You’re young, so you don’t understand. Wait until you get to my age and then you’ll know.” Well, I am now in my 60s and my experience is different.
Perhaps I am lucky in that, as a “Baby Boomer” I am part of a tribe of women who yearn to follow their dreams and still have huge amounts of living to do. And yet, as I approached my 60th year, I found myself wondering if the dreams that I still had, were attainable.
Could I really create the kind of work that I longed to do and the lifestyle I desired to live? Would people be interested in what I had to give? These were the kind of thoughts that filled my mind and tugged at my heart.
However, no matter how many doubts I may have had, I knew I had to step forward in my 60s in a new and empowering way. I also knew that I had to trust and follow the deep inner longing that I have inside me to bring to fruition all of my greatest dreams.
There is a quote by Wayne Dyer: “Don’t die with your music still inside of you.” I resonate deeply with this and remind myself every day that my life is not a rehearsal and that I am here to be the best, happiest and most fulfilled version of myself.
Reinventing ourselves at 60-plus means that we have to take a new look at who we are and our journey through our life so far. We have been through the ups and downs, the highs and the lows. We have faced loss and soared with joy when life has taken us by the hand and invited us to dance.
We know more of what works and also what doesn’t. However, reinventing ourselves at 60 and beyond also requires that we ask ourselves some powerful, reflective questions about the meaning we choose to give to our life. It is in the questions that we allow ourselves to become open to new possibilities and new potential.
Enjoy these 5 fabulous ways to reinvent and reinvigorate your life and body confidence.
Spend time reflecting on them. Play with them. Let them fill your waking hours and snuggle with you in your dreams. Linger a little longer in possibility and be open to the answers that you may uncover. The answers may not arrive all at once so be patient with yourself.
Or, indeed, they may come in the form of something you see on TV or read in a book. You will know that they are your answers because you will feel an energetic charge within you – a sense of excitement, aliveness, an “aha” moment or a deep feeling of inner knowing.
This exercise helps you to turn your brain into a map of the future and to experience that future as if it is happening in the moment – in the NOW time. Write down your intentions, how you desire to feel, what behaviours you want to practice and what you are grateful for right now and in the future.
Every day begin your journal by writing, “Today, I see myself as…” Continue by building a picture of what it is you desire to feel, think, do and be. This helps you to hardwire a new image and feeling of what you desire in your life.
When you are feeling frazzled, stressed or worn out, stop and become aware of where you are feeling this in your body. Take a deep breath and allow your hand to rest lightly over the area where you feel the emotion. Feel your feet firmly on the floor and drop your breath into your lower belly.
Ask yourself quietly, “Is everything OK, right NOW, in this moment?” Do this a few times, each time connecting with the moment you are in. This helps your mind to come back into the present moment and helps your body to feel safe, loved and connected.
Our body is a beautiful and powerful gateway to our inner wisdom. If you want to know the answer to any question in your life, ask how your body feels about it. Your body will let you know in the form of feelings, sensations, tingles, feeling light, relieved, more alive or conversely feeling heavy, down, unmotivated and disengaged.
Begin to pay attention to the clues that your body is giving you and build up a dynamic and trusting relationship with your precious and wise body.
Most of us are simply living from and in the past. We say the same things over and over again, have the same conversations, think the same thoughts, eat the same food, walk and move the same way and react in exactly the same way as we have always done.
We tell and re-tell our stories over and over again and reproduce the same feelings as when we first experienced that particular event in our life. We are experts at creating a loop of the past.
In order to reinvent ourselves, we need to do things a little differently. For example, wear a colour you would never usually wear. Change how you spend your day – break up your routine, visit somewhere you have never been, change your hair, your style of clothing and the things you would usually say.
Whenever you do something different, the mind wakes up out of its old subconscious patterns and begins to pay conscious attention. In this state of being more conscious, you can make better decisions and choices that are connected more from your heart and less from an old automatic reaction.
As we move beautifully and boldly beyond 60, into our next adventures, it is vital that we acknowledge the journey so far. A lovely tip is to begin to say “thank you” to all of the different versions of you, your life experiences and the fact that you are here today. It’s a wonderful idea to do this in the form of a letter to the person you were and to the you that you are becoming.
Nothing is ever wasted. It is all part of the extraordinary process of becoming more of who we authentically are. When we can embrace the past for the wisdom and teachings it brought us, we can live fully in the present as we create our dreams for the future.
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How and in what ways have you reinvented (or made positive changes) to yourself and your life? Are there any dreams or ideas that you want to create in your 60s?