This message seems to be the mantra of our everyday lives. What is left I wonder?
Don’t; eat meat; eat wheat; use straws; use plastic cups or bottles; eat saturated fat; use glitter coffins; use paper; be buried in a council cemetry; eat anything unless its organic; eat processed foods; eat dairy; eat too much; drink alcohol; eat sugar; take too many supplements; take drugs even as medication; use fresh air sprays; eat too much carbohydrate; eat too much protein; be vaccinated; vaccinate your kids; have chemotherapy treatment; use any product that comes packaged in plastic; buy from Amazon; use a kindle; throw anything in the bin that can be recycled; drink bottled water; eat fish from the contaminated sea; and on and on and on.
Let’s all go back to the start of the twentieth century when we used to dream of the utopia of the future with all the things above as just a thought!
But all we have done is transferred our fear onto other things eh?
I wonder what this woman would have thought of us today? Nuff said!
We still live in a beautiful world and I am so grateful that I can only do my best to keep it that way.
Are you going to enjoy the cherry blossom this Spring? Not long now.
Or are you going to say “Yeh but it doesn’t last long and look at the mess it makes.”
There is so much to be grateful for don’t you think? Yet there are many who are griping about the state of the world, or their life circumstances, or anything else that they can think of.
How wonderful that you had a day out with the kids? YEH BUT… is the reply.
Isnt the weather lovely? Yeh But………
You came through your surgery alright then? Yeh But……..
I hear you have had promotion at work? Yeh But………..
And on and on.
I have had conversations with homeless people. Others who are bankrupt. Still others who are elderly and infirm.
People who are ill or grieving from loss perhaps.
In other words, people who really do have something to gripe about in the eyes of society. But somehow they still manage to see the bright side of things. They still inspire the good in others.
One homeless woman with whom I got into converstaion, was grateful that she had a lot of friends who were also homeless. They have good times together, not one negative word out of her. I came away feeling blessed and grateful.
I saw a post on Facebook this morning by someone who needed to attend A & E, but instead of complaining she said that she was grateful for the kind attention of the staff, even though they were rushed off their feet and she had to wait a long time.
Another good example is of an elderly lady whom I looked after, she only had one breast, one leg. one eye and was in a wheelchair. Yet we care assistants loved attending to her needs, because she always cheered us up. She used to say that when they bury her the cost will be half price!
If you are constantly looking for the dark side of everything, or dwelling on the past, then the chances are that you are not living consciously. The chances are also very strong that you will get what you are thinking about and be miserable no matter what you do.
Are YOU unsconcious of all the good things around you?
Do you want to be subjective to these thoughts? Or do you want to live in gratefulness?
It is possible to make the choice.
Are you living an abundant life? Do you know what that means?
Or are you living in a “Yeh But” world and only seeing what you do not have?
It has occurred to me that we could misunderstand the true purpose of ageing with intention, ageing with consciousness or ageing with vitality.
The world is becoming a very challenging place in which to live. It has always been challenging of course, but life was much simpler and up until as recently as 100 years ago, life for most of us was within the boundaries of our physical locality.
Certainly, I can remember as a child just sixty years ago, thinking of the world outside as a dangerous and threatening place. I had not even visited London, which was just 250 miles away, until the age of 14.
Our biggest challenge in those days was to leave school and get a decent job. Our social life was the Saturday night out, usually at the local dance hall. These were the days of rock and roll, coffee bars and the cinema.
These days, we travel worldwide. On returning from holiday only last week, I remember remarking to my friend, “I’m worn out, and I have only travelled from Germany!” Only travelled from Germany? In one day, coach, plane and train! Even as I said it, I thought how ridiculous that remark was in the light of the progress humans have made in the last 72 years since I came to this planet.
During the days of the Baby Boomers, life has changed out of all recognition. Those of you reading this as Baby Boomers will know what I mean.
Ageing too has changed for the better.
We have cosmetic surgery, enlightened ways of eating, makeup, groups on Facebook about anti-ageing. Creams, supposedly to help avoid wrinkles, and so on.
But these things are only tackling ageing on the outside.
What about our inner beings? What about the spirit and soul?
There is a shift going on. It is difficult to pinpoint when this shift started. But people began to be disillusioned by the teachings and practice of the church.
They began to see that consumerism is not working. Things were not giving the satisfaction that they imagined it would.
During the 1960’s the notion of the power of love began to take hold. At the time it was seen by our parents as “way out”, or of the devil, it would never last. Drugs were involved, and so the love movement took on something that was evil, way out and needed to be nipped in the bud.
The consequence of this was that drugs took on a powerful means of money making, smuggling, murder and other dire consequences. Young people now live in a world where drugs are sold behind counters in pubs and clubs, as a means of having a good time. Drugs then lead to more crime, misery and death to ordinary people. Life took on a much bigger challenge for these young people.
But, there was another, a better consequence of the love movement.
Love is energy.
Young people began to go to places like India seeking out spiritual masters who taught about the meaning of love. John Lennon was famous for many songs, but the songs “Give Peace a Chance” and “Imagine” came from somewhere deep inside of him. He had been to India too and sat at the feet of a spiritual master.
Skip forward to the present day, and there are many teachers coming forward with inspirational teachings.
So, what has all this got to do with the fact that ageing with vitality is not all about “me”?
In my previous articles, I spoke about ageing with intention and being a wise elder.
When we make a mission out of ageing, with purpose, intention and in a conscious manner, we are doing our bit in our little corner of the world to make life more peaceful and joyous for those coming behind.
By example we can show them that although we have been through tough times, may even be ill, may be physically challenged, they can still expect to learn from us, that there is no room for bitterness and unforgiveness.
In my work with Elderly people, in homes and their own homes, I have seen the effect that people have on the carers and their families and themselves.
One old lady had lost one leg, her breasts and was blind. Yet we loved looking after her because she used to cheer us up. She used to joke that they would save money on her funeral because they would only be burying half of her.
On the other hand, one old chap used to swear and curse us, and we dreaded taking care of him. We learnt afterwards that he had been a man who had abused his family. The point is that it was he who needed to look within. Even though he was living in misery, we still gave him the care that he needed. We did not punish him; he was punishing himself.
Giving and receiving are the same energy.
So to sum up, the point of getting ourselves sorted out while we are still able to, is not just for ourselves, but for the sake of the world at large. We are part of the Universe. The Universe is one big, vast cosmos, everything in it is energy, and you too are made up of that same energy.
Every individual is essential to the growth and survival of it.
So can you see that ageing with intention or vitality in a conscious way, is our part of the whole plan?
As we go through our lives, we unconsciously make transitions through several changes in our lives.
But only unconsciously as we define it in our eyes.
Because in a lot of ways we make conscious decisions, or they are made for us.
When we are born, we are placed in the care of adults. We may be born to that adult, or they may adopt us in some way. In any case, we would not survive without being in the care of a responsible adult. Consequently, they are making decisions for us.
We are all greatly influenced by others decisions for us, but as we grow older, we start to realise that many of these decisions are not the ones which we would choose for ourselves. They have not been conscious, informed decisions.
So when we reach our teenage years, we can rebel. Often we rebel in a diverse way, far apart from anything that our carers think is the right thing.
We almost become strangers to ourselves. If we do not make a choice at this age, and just go along with the status quo, and what is expected of us, it will happen sooner or later.
I did not become aware that I had a choice until I turned forty years of age. When it did happen there were consequences that literally brought the roof down over my head! (Details will be in a book that I have decided to write!)
I did not “surrender” to getting married, having children and being a good little Christian and housewife. All the time that I was in this role, my spirit was rebelling. I was not submissive, although people around me were telling me I should be. What I did, was go along with the flowand “give in”to what I thought was expected of me. That was what good little women should do. I had been taught that if I went against the flow, there would be dire consequences. And so I lived in fear.
In my previous blog, I talked about the difference, with ageing, between “giving in” and “surrender.” I promised I would tell you the difference.
My story above is a typical example. I will add that there were dire consequences, but, at the end of the day, I am so glad that I did not spend the rest of my life in a “giving in” and boring way. The life that I have had since I stopped giving in, has been exciting and I feel liberated.
When we know the truth, it will make us free!
We are ageing throughout our lives. In many cases, we are giving in, especially while we are children and naïve. Maturity brings wisdom. As we go through life, we start to make conscious choices, or not. Some people never make consious choices, and live their entire lives doing what is expected of them or “giving in.”
If we don’t make conscious choices, then we will just go along with or give in to what our peers or elders expect. We may smoke, drink or not. We may eat healthily or not. We may decide to have a baby because our friends have them. We may decide to have sex because everyone else seems to be doing it.
This is not surrendering, it is giving in to what is expected of us.
So what about retirement and the third age?
We expect to have certain illnesses. We are expected just to go on outings. We are expected to join the senior citizens club.
We have less energy, become forgetful, may need a stick, not see so well. Become hard of hearing.
We start to lose friends to death, or to Dementia.
We feel as if we are falling into an abyss of old age, and it can be frightening and depressing. BUT ONLY IF YOU ALLOW IT, BY JUST GIVING IN to what is expected.
Consequently as a younger person, usually in our late fifties or early sixties, we start to become aware of these things happening, and we become afraid, deny it is happening and try everything we can to avoid it.
This is where surrender comes in. This is where we make conscious decisions.
While we are in our sixties, we need to start planning ahead. Look at surrendering to ageing, with an intention.
If you are reading this as an older person, you can start to change things now. It is never too late.
We can fight the older years, become stressed out with the battle, and make ourselves ill, frail, depressed or lonely.
OR, we can give in and go along with the flow of what is expected.
OR, best of all, we can surrender to the ageing process, but at the same time find out what our intention will be in our older years.
With intention, life in our older years can be a pleasure.
My next blog will be about how we can have intention in our older age, and see those years as Eldership, not just being old.
For more on Ageing with Vitality, go to https://www.patriciacherrylifecoach.com
I thought that I would just share with you today an amusing and true story.
It is never too late for romance, is it?
Back in the late 1970’s, my Grandad was in a Residential Home for the Elderly. He was a bit of a loner, loved his own company and his pastime was reading and listening to the radio.
His room overlooked a block of flats, and he started to notice a lady come out onto her balcony every day to feed the birds. One day she looked up and saw Grandad watching her, and waved. After a while, waving to one another every day became a routine
Then one day, she wasn’t there. Day after day he would look out of the window in the hopes of seeing her again. But it never happened.
One day he went to the dining room for his lunch, and a new lady was sitting opposite to him at the table.
It was her!!!
They now became good friends, and because neither of them wanted the entertainment and jollity of the Residents Lounge, they took to visiting one another in their respective rooms.
Humans beings love a gossip, and soon my Grandad and his beloved friend became the centre of gossip in the Home. One day Grandad was called to the “Matrons” office. “I was on the mat again,” he said. This was his way of describing it. He was always a bit of a rebel, and he used to be forever “On the mat in front of Matron!”
He was asked to please stop visiting this lady in her room, as it was causing quite a lot of unrest in the Home. But they both knew their rights and stuck to their guns. All they wanted to do was talk about their views of life and be in each others company as the good friends that they had become. In the quietness and privacy of their own rooms.
While at home one evening, when I answered the phone, there was the Matron. My mother was living 300 miles away, and the Matron could not get hold of her. But she was in a panic, because;
Grandad had gone out in the morning in a taxi, and come back with a special licence to get married the very next day!
I immediately phoned my Auntie, who was married to Grandads son, and we decided that we had better go into the Registry office to be witnesses to this wedding. The bride was 80, and the bridegroom was 81.
So there we were, in the registry office the next morning, all four of us, but even though we had contacted my Mother and her brother, it was too late for anyone to be there, who did not live in the immediate vicinity. Matron was devastated as she would have put on a “bit of a do.”
As it was, we left the registry office, my grandad sat on the wall outside and said that perhaps we could all go and get some pasties! That was their wedding reception.
But, although they did not do things the way that everyone else thought they should, they were happy, and Matron moved them into a double room together. Their chairs were near enough so that they could hold hands and watch TV. They both had about two years of married life, companionship and above all as far as Grandad was concerned, they had “Put paid to the gossip,”
Grandad was a rebel, and he was a good example of thinking for yourself and getting his needs met. He knew what he wanted, and got it. He used to say; I will never be happy without my beloved wife and Mother of my children, but I will always be content.
I like to think that in his last days, with his woman friend beside him, he at least glimpsed happiness on top of his contentment.
I would love to hear any stories you may have of people you know who found romance and companionship in the older years.
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 can have several “roles” in our life, such as Mum, Dad, Daughter, Son, Auntie, Grandpa and so on. But who are you at the core of your being?
“What is Conscious Ageing and how do I do that?”
This is the most asked question when I tell people that I teach Conscious ageing.
In the next few blogs I will take you through some initial steps to finding out.
Today we look at “Ageing and who we really are”
Writing down the answers and your responses, using pen and paper,to the following questions is the best way to do this, because you will then be able to read back through, make any adjustments and monitor exactly where you are. This will in turn help you towards becoming conscious.
If you just answer in your mind, with no notes, you will easily forget and your thoughts will just be put somewhere else and mixed in with the rest of your thoughts for the day and get lost. That is the reason why many people keep a journal. There is something in writing it down, with a pen and paper, that instils it into your sunconscious.
It is still better if you obtain a special book for your journey through consious ageing, and write a little dedication and promise to yourself. It will be a great way to monitor your progress and look back on it in years to come.
Please remember that this is only for your perusal and no-one elses. It is not an examination, there are no right or wrong answers. Only you will see this.
So here is a list of questions and thoughts. This is where you are today.
Which decade of life are you in?
Which age do you actually feel?
Are you a carer (for someone who is ill, or for children?)
Are you nearing retirement?
What is your current state of health?
Generally speaking do you feel; happy, sad, fearful, worried, depressed or can you think of any other emotion that takes precedence over the others in your everyday life?
Do you live alone?
Do you live with a partner?
Do you live with a relative other than your partner?
What is your gender?
Do you have any living parents?
Do you have children?
Are they living with you or apart from you?
What are their ages?
Do you have friends, close friends, or just aquaintances?
What is the state of your finances?
Are you dependent on other people in any way?
Do you have any hobbies or interests outside of your everyday life?
What are your particular interests?
By answering these questions and pondering over them, you will begin to have more of a picture of how conscious you are. Are you living a life that is just being what other people see you as? (See my blog, “Whose life are you living?)
Two more questions.
What do I expect people at my 90th birthday party to say about me?
What would I like them to say?
The next part of this mini series will cover your expectations.
Enjoy your day, and set aside an hour to enjoy this exercise in finding out who you are?