Thursday, August 14, 2008

You only hurt yourself when you're not
expanding and growing. Many people can't
stand the thought of aging, but it's
the crystallized thought patterns and
inflexible mind-sets that age people
before their time. You can break through
and challenge your crystallized patterns
and mind-sets. That's what evolution and
the expansion of love are really about.

~ Sara Paddison ~

In the western world, aging is an enemy
to be conquered. In recent years the number
of men and women having face-lifts, Botox
treatments, breast implants, liposuction and
a variety of other invasive and non-invasive
procedures to capture the fountain of youth,
has exploded exponentially.
At the same time, the vast numbers of dollars
spent on anti-wrinkle creams and lotions
continues to grow.

In our youth-obsessed culture, what
happens when wrinkles appear, aches
and pains greet us in the morning, or
our sexual drive decreases? We look for
a solution to re-capture our youthful
appearance, whether that means going
under the knife, experimenting with
lasers, injections, or magic blue pills.
Inherent in this quest, is the assumption
that aging is bad, and that if I am
the one who is aging then I am losing
my value and worth in the world.

Right now, acknowledge that aging
is as natural as breathing. It's a
made-up story to believe that one age
is better than another, that younger
is better than older. I wonder how
many of us would truly want to repeat
our teen-age and young adult years
when self-consciousness and
self-loathing were ruling our thoughts.
Especially when our ego-mind was busy
judging, comparing and evaluating every
word we said, and every action we took.

All life experiences reflect the cycle
of germination, birth, growth, decline
and death. This process is neither
good nor bad, nor right or wrong, is
it simply is. Time spent denouncing
"what is" fills our present moment with
misery and unhappiness.

Carol Kerr, a Certified Coach and
Corporate Trainer, shared her personal
experience of aging with us:
"One day I arose feeling old and worn,
and as I looked in the mirror I heard
myself say, "How did I get to be this
old so quickly?" Then from my heart I
heard the nurturing words of forgiveness,
"Every wrinkle is earned, and just see
how they disappear when I smile,
remembering the good times, thankful
for the challenges that have carved
me into the sage."

What would it take to appreciate
and honor the process of our lives
unfolding? What would it take to
forgive our bodies and minds for
the natural process of aging?
In indigenous cultures throughout
the world, Elder is an honored title.
What if in our culture, wrinkles
were a symbol of a life fully lived?

4 With all my love, Susyn

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