“To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest. To live fully is to be always in no-man’s-land, to experience each moment as completely new and fresh. To be alive is to willingly die again and again. ” ~Pema Chödrön, What happens when things fall apart
I am forty-nine years old, and I’ve never felt so young in my life. Many of my peers feel older. People younger than me feel older, but many others who are older feel still young.
How does one feel young? It has absolutely nothing to do what number of wrinkles you have. You are missing something more important than this, but it is very easy.
When we turn thirty most of us start taking serious note about our lives. Building our careers, our families, or both are our priorities. Young people are more concerned about having fun than being responsible. It is important to be able to show our self-worth, earn money, purchase a house and ensure our financial future.
“Along the way, I forgot to get excited about things. Everything became a project, something I had to deal with,” a friend told me when I asked her if she was thrilled about buying a new house.
We leave behind a piece of ourselves when we create our homes, careers, families, reputations, and family. The fun of life is gone when we venture into the world of pension funds, insurance, and mortgages. That’s when we start to lose our spark.
Fire is fun; it’s freedom, it’s joy. Fire represents courage, boldness and determination. Fire can be passion or excitement. Fire can be spontaneous and take risks. It is also a way to speak your truth. Fire is moving and exercising energy.
You believe that fire is fighting for your beliefs. Fire represents believing in yourself, believing and living your dreams. Fire represents wild ideas. Fire loves to learn new skills and share them with others. It’s being inspired and inspiring.
So often we are overwhelmed with life’s demands and we forget to have fun; we forget to keep our fire alive and we lose our mojo. Many of us were young and got burned by the fire in our youth. Addictions led to destructive behavior and fun led to other addictive behaviors. Our fire has taught us to avoid it and fear.
During a few wild years when I lived in New York City, a friend once said to me “In our twenties we have to do crazy things so that we have something to talk about in our thirties.”
We live this way, believing that life will continue to decline. It feels like we have lost our prime years. To feel more youthful, we try to minimize the effects of ageing. But no matter what we do, we won’t look like we did in our twenties.
Around three years ago, my feelings of oldness began to set in. I’d always looked younger than my age, but I lost in the Botox race, as I did not do any. I lost passion, lost my ability to enjoy and have fun; it was all very serious.
My pictures were disgusting. What I could see was the absence of charm and beauty I had once displayed. Although I thought these concerns were unimportant and external, they were actually a sign of something more.
Don’t get me wrong. I was working full-time at something I love with my whole heart during that time. Mothering my son was the most rewarding thing in the whole world. I was deeply grateful to my husband for his love and devotion. But except for my work and my family role, I didn’t care about anything. It was impossible to have fun or find the time.
Things got worse. After I became ill, I had to deal with my nutrition and health constantly. My food choices became less varied and I was unable to enjoy eating. My thoughts were that I was about to die. My mother had died at forty-four. I was older than I thought, so it made perfect sense for me to follow her lead to heaven.
But, I also was lucky. It was because I had something within me that was more powerful than everything. The inner voice of my soul told me to not assume that I am still alive. Each day that I was allowed to live was an opportunity. Was this what I was going to do?
Did I look back at my life and feel sorry for being less beautiful than I was once? Do I look back to see how I can make my life better? It was up to me. Or I could sink into my diet limitations, home-work problems, and aging appearance.
I decided that it was time to make a big move, from Israel to the US, where I’ve always wanted to live. To be truly alive I needed to get out of my nest.
Although my husband was not interested in making this decision, it was something I felt strongly about and had to do. I had to tell the truth. It required that I take great risks.
We were unable to make any preliminary visits during the pandemic, and we couldn’t know for certain if our son would get accepted at school. But we decided to try our luck.
When we first settled down in Asheville NC, I started to buy new clothes. I finally added some color to my wardrobe after years of wearing only black bamboo jumpsuits.
Some of my courses were with amazing teachers, which was a great inspiration. I returned to yoga practice and joined the local yoga group. Music that makes me dance was what I came back to.
My work was published and I began writing. My truth began to be spoken more frequently. There were some important conversations with people who mattered in my life. I said some things I’d never dared say before. Was there anything I could lose? Was there really anything to lose?
That’s the beauty of being older. Your wisdom and experience are greater, your knowledge is better, and your understanding of life has never been higher. You have the maturity to manage your passion in a healthy manner.
It is obvious that you don’t need to pretend or hide. Living your truth is possible. You are able to be yourself and work towards your goals. And it’s rejuvenating, so rejuvenating, despite the wrinkles and the fact that your body is no longer in its prime.
You can live like you’ve died and came back to life. How will you live differently? Do it. It’s now! Don’t wait.
Make your life exciting if it is boring. Life is not enjoyable if you don’t find it entertaining. Obviously, you can’t control everything. The human experience is not always fun, but no matter what your circumstances are, you can always make things better for yourself, even if it’s just a change of attitude.
Many people, particularly those who are on the spiritual path dismiss the joy of having fun. I’m the first to admit this. There is always more important work to be done. It’s so hard to find time to mother, to be a partner, to work, to cook, to write, to meditate, to practice. Sugar is dangerous, as is alcohol. It’s bad for all the fun things you did in your twenties.
For years I prepared all of my family’s meals. If you order food out, it is less personal and the ingredients are not as fresh and organic. Although this is true, I found that the stress of cooking was a problem for my health.
It makes me feel so good to order in and eat out sometimes. My flexibility, openness, and health are much better. It’s all about finding the middle path. It’s a sign that you are not on the right path.
It’s not that igniting my fire has solved all my problems. Human experience can still be difficult. Many challenges remain for me, with some additional challenges. When you change, or say your truth, it’s usually not so easy for the people around you to deal with. My problems are not my problem. I have the power to fix them. I feel alive, beautiful and full of life.
I am proud of the way that I look today. It is inspiring to see the positive changes that aging men and women can make. Radiating beauty is possible when you live with passion, courage, honesty, and love.
You can look past the ads about anti-aging and see that aging itself is beautiful. I’m excited to age. I’d like to grow old. My mom didn’t have the opportunity to age. There are so many things I want to accomplish, and every opportunity to do them is a blessing.
It is certain that I won’t lose my healthy fire ever again.
Yael, who is Debra Silverman certified as an astrologer, has been a writer and mother for over twenty-two years. For twenty-two years, she has studied meditation, yoga and Buddhism. Yael’s background includes twelve years working in finance technology. Yael’s approach to life is grounded and spiritual. The website has a variety of astrological information including basic information and a calendar. She can be found on Facebook and Instagram.
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Tiny Buddha published The Secret to Eternal Youth: What to Do to Get Excited about Life Again.