Just a short and powerful thought for today’s blog.
“This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish selfish clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no ‘brief candle’ to me. It is sort of a splendid torch which I have a hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it over to future generations”.
Baby Boomers are go, go go!! We will Age with Vitality! Let’s show ’em!
We have had the best of everything apparently. There is also concern that the BB’s are going to be a “burden on Society”.
I want to remind you all that it does not have to be that way!
Yes, we have had a good life.
We grew up being fed on mostly unprocessed food, even though a lot of it was white! Sugar was only available as something you added and not disguised in just about everything you ate.
We had jobs to go to without having to train and have qualifications. Remembering of course that because we had jobs we were paying a fair whack of tax and insurance.
We were free to roam without all the ‘elf and safety rules that are spoiling peoples enjoyment now. But we also took responsibility for our own actions, because we were allowed to!
We saw the feminist movement in action. Which was quite fierce and way out, because it needed to be. We were the generation who needed to get out there and burn our bra’s.Our women today are reaping the benefit of those brave women doing that.
We won’t even go there with the ban the bomb brigade, just remember that BB’s were there though!
It was the natural sequence of events to buy your own house, because you were in secure employment and mortgage companies believed in you. The price of housing was well within reach of a good many people’s pockets. Then we went on to benefit from the huge increase in house prices because we already had property. Remember again that they could also end up having to pay for care out of that money if they don’t stay active and vibrant.
So for many people then, being a BB puts us into a good situation. There are also many people who were not able to benefit from being born in that generation, but those of us who are strong can help them and the younger people coming along.
The same ones who are probably saying that we are going to be a burden on society!
By finding out how you can stay healthy, or become it, and by being an Elder, who uses their wisdom, creativity, energy and strength, and not sit back and just be “old.”
The Baby Boomer generations are those born between 1948 and 1960 (roughly speaking!)
So, some are already retired, some are coming up to retirement, some still have 15 years or so of a working life. These are the ones who say that they will leave it until later. But time waits for no man! Start your preparations now, look at it as insurance!
There are changes afoot within government, with them expecting people now to work until they are coming up to seventy. For many this is a good thing. They can carry on working and will be able to pick up a bigger pension when they do retire. For others, who do not have as much energy it can be a challenge.
Someone pointed out to me this morning that as a primary school teacher she does not want to be looking after small children every day at getting on for 70!
On a personal note, I have become a Life Coach in my older years and qualified for this at the age of 68. Because I want to be a useful member of society and earning some money to keep myself independent.
So you see the downside of being a BB is that we are now having to deal with changes affecting our wellbeing.
But we can show ’em what we are made of! Becoming conscious, aware and recognise that we can make better choices.
The main thing to bear in mind is that Baby Boomers are an enlightened generation. We are blessed now just as we have been in the past, because we have seen changes and are more able to accomodate those changes than previous generations.
We are also in a new spiritual dimension. Most of us have a choice of what to believe in and we are recognising our inner selves and our part in the “Universe” (See my previous blogs on the Laws of the Universe)
We are also able to recognise that we are valued and therefore as we age we can be a valued member of society and not tucked away just passing time until we die. We can make a valuable contribution to this world.
Yes there are some downsides to being a Baby Boomer, but yesterday I took part in a programme on my local radio discussing this, and the overall conclusion was that we have been a generation who have enjoyed all the good things in life.
There was some concern expressed about pensions, and low interest rates, and that is a valid point. But just as we need to accept and embrace our ageing, we also need to learn to live within those financial boundaries.
With the use of the internet and all the information that is available, we have no excuse not to find out how we can have a happy, fulfilled and creative Eldership.
If you want to know more, have a look at the blogs and information on my Website.
Let’s carry on passing these good things onto younger human beings, and use our Eldership for their benefit. We can be good for this world and not “a burden on society”.
“We will overcome” was a popular song in the 60’s. We will overcome and accept our ageing with vitality, energy and strength, and we will not goquietly! Let us get back the spirit of Burning Bras and Banning the bomb!
If you want more inspiration may I point you in the direction of a book. “Do Not Go Quietly” by Selina and George Cappanelli.
Let us be Conscious Elders!
So come on Baby Boomers, start preparing the way to show ’em that we are going to be an asset to society not a burden! Let us be Ageing with Vitality.
Are you going to decide to Age with Vitality as a Pollyanna?
Wikepedia has this to say; The Pollyanna principle is the tendency for people to remember pleasant items more acuurately than unpleasant ones. Research indicates that, at the subconscious level, the mind has a tendency to focus on the optimistic, while at the conscious level, it has a tendency to focus on the negative.
Pollyanna was a best selling novel by Eleanor H. Porter in 1913, and became a famous film in the 1960’s.
It was about a little girl called Pollyanna who got on everyones nerves, for seeing the good side of people, and the bright side of everything.
Here are a couple of Pollyannas from 1950. (My two grandmothers)
And here are a couple more from the 2015’s! (Me with a friend.)
Yet you know, it is actually a wonderful enhancement to your life if you can see the bright side of things.
The ageing process can be so much more positive if you can “count your blessings.”
I have a 90 year old friend who has had three four major surgerys in the last twenty years. Three of them for cancerous tumours and one triple heart bypass. She was 85 when they did this last one. Yet people love to visit her and we all had a wonderful time at her recent 90th birthday celebrations.
Yes, she has had tough times, and yes she has had her moments when it has been a real struggle. I have often left her in tears and feeling down. But I can go back to check on her after a couple of hours, and she is a different woman. Why?
She has the capability of “Giving herself a good talking to!” Her words, not mine.
She sits and remembers all the good things. The wonderful patient nursing staff, the skill of the surgeons and friends who visit. (She has no family)
And guess what? People love to visit her. The surgeon decided that he was willing to take the risk of doing heart surgery on this Elder lady, because of her attitude and being young at heart.
She is funny and says that she came kicking and screaming into the 21st century!
Another lady I know sits and moans at everything and says what an awful life this is and wishes she was dead. She has had no major illness, just the usual things that a 93 year old can expect. Guess What? She is lonely and has driven everyone away.
The message today then is don’t be afraid of being called a Pollyanna.
Be grateful, be kind, be wise, be an Elder who people want to be with. That in turn will enhance your own health and well being.
So may Pollyanna reign in her days of Eldership!
Join in the conversation or ask questions on the Facebook group page,
We have looked at how forgiving others can be liberating for you and your wellbeing and vitality.
Have you considered that you also need to forgive yourself?
Many of us have made errors of judgement, mistakes, been unkind or even brought about our own and others downfall with something that we may have done. Also in these days of societal judgment, such as illness, obesity, lack, and keeping up with the Joneses, we can easily find fault with ourselves, and wonder what we must have done wrong.
Often we can be the victim to our own misplaced guilt. For example, many working women feel guilty about leaving their kids, or the stay at home Mums feel guilty for not making a contribution to the household costs.
Another example is when you lose a loved one, part of the grieving process is to blame yourself for something that you may have done to hurt them or not done enough.
This is where it pays to take a good look at yourself, using your chosen method of meditation, and make sure that there is a real need to forgive yourself when you have not done anything wrong.
However, you may know for sure that you definitely did something that hurt or caused someones downfall. Only you will know the answer to this one.
Don’t forget to bear in mind what I suggest about doing a little at a time. Often this can be the easiest ones first.
In that case the procedure for forgiving yourself is much the same as forgiving others, which I covered briefly in the previous blog.
We are made up of mind, body and spirit. Unforgiveness can manifest itself in all three. Our mind can be fixated on the thing that needs to be forgiven, whether this is for yourself or someone else, which in turn can affect our physical and mental health. This in turn can break our spirit.
A simple exercise would be to visualise each component, speaking to the other. A sort of you talking to you.
Another way of doing it would be to seperate yourself into parent, child and adult. This is called Transactional Analysis. Write as if you are each of those characters in turn. Then speak to them. Parent to child, child to parent, and then think of how the adult would deal with, treat and talk to other two.
In our everyday lives, we usually react as if we are either one of those three. The parent could be bossy and expect you to behave in a certain way that keeps them happy. (Use what ever your perception of a parent or guardian was when you were a child.)
The child would be the one in need of some love and understanding.
The adult, would be the person reading this and understanding where each of the other two are coming from.
Then go through the forgiveness exercises and much in the same way as the mind, body, spirit assigment above, get each character to talk to the other.
It will definitely help to be using your journal and writing it down. Perhaps write a little script as if you are writing a play.
I hope that this will help. Don’t forget that you can join us in the group on Facebook, and ask or discuss anything that has come up for you here.
After looking at how important forgiveness can be to our wellbeing (in the previous blog,)it would help of course if someone could tell us “how”.
We are told so much about the need for forgiveness, but knowing how to do it is half the battle.
There is a lot more to this discussion than be can be put into a blog, so I have now started an Ageing With Vitality group on Facebook, in which you can ask questions. I would love to see you there, and will endeavour to answer them, but also you may find that others can answer too. That is what the group is all about. Sharing our ideas and quandries.
I must say at this point that I “do understand how hard it is to forgive” I have been there and there is still stuff coming up every day for me to forgive, both from the past and the present.
For the purpose of today’s topic then some of the practices that I have come accross are as follows;
Meditation. Spend some time simply dwelling on the person and episode in question. Think again about the smells, environment, who was present and the outcome. Home in on what there was about the episode that was hurtful. Then think about the outcome for you. Meditate on this and decide out of the whole thing what you would find easiest to forgive.
For example; If you are still upset and hurt over your divorce or your partner leaving you, you will be thinking in general about the “whole” episode. If you can break this episode down into smaller parts, such as a certain thing they said or did, then you can practice forgiveness for that one thing, rather than trying to forgive the whole episode.
If you have been abused or cheated on, break it down into small incidents and work on one at a time. Trying to tackle the whole thing at once, without proper “training” is like trying to climb a mountain without the proper equipment and knowledge.
A little like learning to drive, you learn one action at a time, then you build it up into being a competent driver.
Here is the link to what Wayne Dyer has to say about forgiveness.
He talks about moving on, understanding yourself, being like water and in the flow, (it stagnates when it is not in the flow), reconnecting with spirit and being kind rather than being right.
Also understand that you have a vital part in forgiving others.
By not forgiving, you are perpetuating an energy of resentment and bitterness towards yourself and everyone else around you.
I am sure that there are many other ways to practice the art of forgiveness and it would be good to discuss them in the group.
A favourite way for me is something called Ho’oponopono.
A simple technique, using four sentences.
Please forgive me (as I forgive you)
I love you
You can say it in any order.
What? I hear you say, why am I having to say sorry?
Remember what I said about you perpetuating unforgiveness by not forgiving.
I’m sorry, means that you are sorry that you are perpetuating unforgiveness, resentment and bitterness by not forgiving.
YOU DO NOT HAVE TO SAY THIS OUT LOUD
YOU DO NOT HAVE TO SAY IT TO THE PERSON.
All you have to do is to say it quietly with a picture in your mind of the thing or person that you are forgiving.
An important thing to remember with unforgiveness is that often the person concerned has moved on with their life and could be unaware, or has forgotten or frankly could not care less. You are the one who is stuck! This is another reason why forgiving the person will free YOU up. It will be your liberty.
Unforgiveness is one of the biggest blocks to freedom. Particularly as we age. To become a wise and joyful Elder, we need to come to grips with this important aspect of our lives.
Right from when we are born, we experience hurt and damage to our body, spirit and mind, mostly from the circumstances and other people in our lives.This may be bullying, misconceived parenting, religion, cultural ideas, peers, siblings, friends and even from those who love us.
No one cannot go through life without damaging experiences, and many of us carry these experiences throughout life. Even bad experiences later in life, can do untold damage.
For many years the Fruedian idea of how damage being done to us, is the cause of who we become, and that there is no turning back. This has been the basis of Therapy, the cause of illness, and spending immeasurable amounts of time and money on our “Inner child”. Particularly the “hurt inner child”.
Whilst this can happen, there never seems to be an answer to the question of “How can I change it!” Cognitive behaviour therapy, (CBT) has been successful in some cases, and is the most popular way of getting over hurts and behaviour, but this is only touching the surface, or the “outer” person.
To really get over things and make changes, there needs to be more work done by the individual themselves and this is why life coaching is becoming a powerful tool. Life coaching is the tool used by people when they want to move on, once they get over a major life change, such as losing a job, bereavement, divorce, retirement, and often when people just feel “stuck” and don’t know where to go next.
In most cases the reason why people cannot move on is that they are not taught how to forgive or what it really means, and that forgiveness can be the first step to moving on with their lives. In the case of ageing, it certainly needs to be dealt with if we are not going to carry bitterness and resentment into our vulnerable older years.
Have you ever thought that you need to forgive yourself?
You could be surprised at how much resentment you are carrying around towards yourself. At the bottom of this anger and resentment you could be carrying unforgiveness around just for being human!
Everyone makes errors or judgment, being unkind, saying hurtful things, playing jokes on others at school, telling lies and so on. These human errors are almost impossible to keep a record of.
It may be something that you did that was quite a major incident in your life and had disastrous, life changing effects on yourself or others.
You could be carrying this around and it is affecting everything you do in the present time.
It is just the same as resentment and unforgiveness to others.
When you did your Life Review from my post “Expectations and Consciousness in Ageing”, you may have uncovered stuff about hurts and pain. You may also have something that happened in the past that you talk a lot about, or that you think a lot about. That one will be obvious.
In any case, sit quietly or go for a walk on your own and think about what you would like to be “rid of” with memories and overuling resentments. Would you really like to be free of these?
Let’s look at what forgiveness really is!
Forgiveness is misconstrued in our society and beliefs. It certainly was for me, until I learnt one important componant that made it easier for me.
The following quotes are extracts from “The Art and Science of Forgiveness” by Frederick Luskin, PhD and featured in a book called Consciousness and Healing.
“Forgiveness in no way means you have to reconcile with someone who treated you badly. I see this confusion over and over in the work that I do. For example, if you were the recipient of childhood abuse, or are in a harsh relationship, you can forgive the offender and, as part of that choice, make the decision to end or limit contact. Forgiveness is primarily for creating your peace of mind. It is to create healing in your life and return you to a state in which you can live and be capable again of trust and love.”
He goes on to say;
” Another misconception is that it depends on whether or not the abuser or lying person apologizes, wants you back, or changes his or her ways. If another person’s poor behaviour was the primary determinent for your healing, then the unkind and selfish people in your life would retain power over you indefinitely. In another vein, you can forgive your ex-spouse for his or her insulting speech and even abandoning you or your children, but forgiveness in no way means you do not take your ex to court to make sure your children get the support payments to which you are entitled. Forgiveness and justice are not the same! You can seek justice with an open heart as well as a bitter one.”
In other words you can forgive without condoning the behaviour that hurt you.
” Lastly, forgiveness does not mean that we forget what happened to us in our urge to move forward and get on with our lives. It is ludicrous to expect anyone who has been badly hurt not to remember the wound.”
Luskin does not suggest that you dwell on your greivances. Jesus said that we need to forgive not just 7 times, but 70 times 70.
This simply means that everytime you remember the hurt, just say to yourself that you have forgiven.
I found this information a liberating and life changing experience. Like other people I have had some major hurts in my life and spent many years believing that I could not forgive the people who hurt me, because that would mean that I had to forget and reconcile, and write to the person to tell them that I had forgiven.
But then I realised that it was inner work that I needed to do and as long as I held unforgiveness, I was also holding onto the hurt. I learnt that letting go of the hurt did not mean I needed to put it in the past and forget about it.
Now I simpy do as Luskin and many others suggest, I simply forgive the person over again.
In the next blog we will look at HOW TO FORGIVE. This is something that is not talked a lot about. It can also be a stumbling block, so make sure that you “tune in” again to the next one on Forgiveness and Ageing.
For many people writing a life review can be challenging and may have prove to be a painful experience. Looking at the past can bring up emotions that you may have been carrying for most of your life and been unaware of.
On the other hand, many people also live their present day life believing that their past experiences are what made them the person that they are today. This is true of course, but if you don’t heal a painful past, you can let it rule your future.
You can still be the abused child, or the bullied teenager, or even the unhappy partner in a soured relationship. Without healing you can carry the past into the future and stay stuck there for the rest of your life.
This can be a very powerful and controlling factor to carry with you, often without realising that you are doing it.
The new relationship can be soured because maybe a disagreement brings up old stuff about the old relationship.
A new career may be threatened by something that happens or is said that reminds you of the old boss or something that you perceived as failure on your part.
The bullied tenager may still be with you many years later when you want to join a football team, but you can’t pluck up the courage to do it.
Many people who were bankrupt in the past, carry a sense of failure around with them for the rest of their lives where money is concerned.
I have witnessed many very old people who carry their past around with them, and become bitter and twisted and alienate everyone around them, including their carers.
Working with them as a carer taught me the importance of healing the past.
What I also witnessed was that the kindest and happiest people in those environments were the ones that attracted people to them.
You need to do this while you can, and the sooner you start the better. If you wait until you are older, you may become too incapacitated to do anything about it.
Do it now and your older years can be a time of great peace and joy. Make them your golden years. Dried leaves in the autumn have a beauty of their own.
If you are reading this then you are well on your way to doing it. Or you may be reading it because you are concerned about someone elses peace of mind in their older years, and don’t quite know how to help them. A word of caution here though, remember that you cannot do it for them.
The process of healing the past cannot happen overnight. But it can happen!
It will be a bit like peeling an onion. You will deal with one thing and then something else that has been hidden underneath may come up. But don’t let that put you off.
It will be such a wonderful tranformative experience, that your new sense of freedom and joy will be almost addictive.
For today, look again at the experiences that brought up the painful stuff that you wrote down from the previous blog, and see which one you feel is the easiest one to deal with.
An essential part of healing the past is forgiveness. Look at the people who were concerned in this relatively easy one, and ask yourself if you can or have forgiven them. Including yourself.
The next blog will be looking at forgiveness. What seems an impossible task, can be done with some work on your part, but it is not such hard work as you may believe.
It will certainly help towards your journey of Healing the Past and Ageing with Vitality, health and peace of mind. Which in turn will bring you joy, peace and love not only to you, but to others around you.
Continuing our exploration of Expectations with Ageing, today I am going to look at a Life Review.
This exercise will help you to clear the path for expectations in your ageing journey, and will also give you an outline for the next few days of looking at expectations.
It will also help you to have an experience of conscousness.
Simply, find an hour to sit and write a resume of your life. It does not have to be a complete life story, but can be broken down into ages, such as 1 to 7, 8 to 16 and so on.
What were you doing in those years?
Next, anything that brought up certain emotions, happy, sad, fearful, angry etc make a special note of and close your eyes and get back to how that really felt AT THE TIME, not necessarily how you feel now.
Bring yourself to the present day and how you feel now with hindsight.
It could be anything, your graduation, your wedding, passing certain exams, your first love, an illness, someone dying, divorce, leaving home, etc. So there will be a mixture of emotions.
Think about smells, sounds, who was there, environment, what you were wearing. etc.
Maybe you are thinking that you do not have time to set aside, if so it may help toset an intent for the day, what ever day you choose to do this. The intent being that you want to make notes throughout the day of any memories that may come to mind about the past. (You will be surprised at how often this happens in any persons day) Carry a note book with you or a peice of paper and jot them down. You won’t need to write them in detail, as the memory is there tucked away, and will surface when you need it.
Then later in the day you should already be off to a flying start for the exercise.
Namaste. May you be blessed with this. It can be quite emotive, but keep calm and trust me to show you how it can be dealt with.
The next blog will be looking at how to start healing your past.
For the second part of looking at expectations for your years of Eldership, there are a few more questions to ask yourself in searching for how conscious you are with ageing.
Notice that we have made a transition with titles. From now on I will be referring to older people using the terms Elders, Eldership or Elder. Not Elderly.
Why? Society uses the word Elderly as a general meaning for anyone over the age of sixty. Taking away our individuality and setting us apart. It has become a “label” which has come to have negative connotations.
Those of you who take an interest in ageing consciously, including myself, may like to be known by a name or title that gives a more positive connotation. People in the conscious ageing movements that I have come accross, like to be known as Elders, because that word is used in some societies and cultures to mean “Wiseone,” which is what we are. Especially when seeking to make our older years a positive and fulfilling experience both for themselves and those around them.
So let us continue with looking at what your expectations are for Eldership.
Are you looking at doing anything about preparing for being an Elder?
Are you planning on celebrating your Eldershp?
If you have not yet retired do you plan to do so? (We have parties and celebrations for christenings, weddings, 21st birthdays etc., but when are we going to start celebrating stepping into Eldership?)
Can you see a way that you could serve your fellow humans and share your wisdom?
Is there any sort of “inner work” you think that you would like to look at?
Inner work includes such things as;
A life review.
Deepening Spiritual connection
Creating a legacy
We will look at some of the inner work in the next few blogs.