I hope your last week was a good one, mine sure was! I loved watching the Inauguration, mainly because I love history and I love to see history unfolding. I read a lot of biographies and have read a lot on the First Ladies as well as life in the White House, they are so fascinating to me.
If you have been around here since the beginning, my blog was originally named ‘Because of Jackie’ after Jackie Kennedy;) I collect books and memorabilia about her and have a really nice collection. One of my most prized possession is a biography about Jackie that my husband gave me the first Christmas we started dating, back in 2000;)
AnYwAy… I was chatting in Instagram stories the other day about feeling peace as I get older and I got asked HOW to do that. I figured this newsletter would be a good place to write more in depth on that, so let’s get going!
3 ways to feel more peaceful with the aging process…
To begin, I turned 40 last year and realize I have a lot to learn about aging! I am in the beginning of seeing signs, but know further years will show me even more what I need to learn.
1) I think part one of aging and feeling peaceful is realizing the role that society places on us believing that looking and being younger is better. Basically, under 30 is best, and if you aren’t using a wrinkle cream at 25 then you are doing it wrong. We grow up seeing magazine covers mocking celebrities for aging and having cellulite or “letting themselves go.” We see mostly younger people in the media and in movies and on magazine covers, and older (basically over 40) women are praised only for looking younger (even when they do exensive work to do so.) Women are not allowed to age, we are sold creams and injectables and lazers and every other commercial is about finding youth again. It is easy to see when you notice, everything is marketed to sell us something, and anti aging products make big money.
I’m not saying any of this is wrong, if you want to buy wrinkle cream or do Botox, go ahead! It’s okay. Just know, it is a losing battle. (I I mean, I dye my gray hair and slather myself in face oil…) We are slowing down the process, but not stopping it. Hard fact. All of us are aging daily and at some point you will not look like you do now. Your skin WILL wrinkle and sag. If you are lucky, you will age and get older. There is no 90 year old out there that looks 20 or even 50. It’s not possible. Are you holding onto the promises that these creams will stop time, or reverse time? Are you buying into the idea that younger is better, that your 20 year old self is somehow better than your 40 (or older) year old self? You couldn’t pay me to go back to a youger age, mostly because I have fought so hard to be where I am now, secure in my self worth.
How can you resist aging less? Can you see how society values being young and makes aging seem like a crime or something to prevent? How much time and money have you invested in looking younger?
2) If I let myself, I can stand in front of a mirror and pick apart every single part of myself.I can see the folds near my mouth, wrinkles in more places I’d like to admit, the gray hair that shows itself really fast, the cellulite and weight gain and sunspots. I am slowly seeing age creep up and change things and it is weird and uncomfortable.
Here’s the thing… I can either stand and stare and repeat negative thoughts till I die, I can buy the creams and hope to stop time, or I can notice what I am grateful for. I can notice that I am more than a freaking body and face, that my soul is here to do good in the world.You are more than your body and face. Someday nothing will look the same, and you will still be YOU. We have the power to notice negative thoughts and reach for the next best thought. Over and over again. I can see a beautiful, younger girl on Instagram and say to myself, “She is beautiful and so am I. I am safe. My body is a vessel for my soul. I love my body, I love my shape.”
Instead of viewing our worth solely on how we look, let’s be grateful for the millions of tiny ways we are here. Our bodies breathe and hug our loved ones. I hope to live to 100 and my body + face will be so different , but I will still be there, deep inside. My soul. As will yours. I hope I am lucky enough to see that. While I still think negative thoughts about myself, I am better at reframing them with affirmations and gratitude. I have fought to get here, this place of peace and love. I am lucky I have this platform to reach you. We are lucky to be in these bodies that see and hear and hug and laugh.THAT is what is important. Looks fade, bodies, change, but our souls are learning and growing. THAT is the joy of aging. It’s about reframing what we think is important into what really is important.
3) Things change a lot as you age. You notice weird things and bodies hurt more and faces wrinkle and sag, but what I really like to focus on is, how do I want to FEEL?
I want to feel joyful.
I want to feel peaceful.
I want to feel worthy no matter what my body or face looks like.
I want to feel like I can do things with my body.
To do that I anchor in affimations and gratitude, and I also like to move my body. I like hard workouts and I like pilates. I like lifting heavy weights and I like gentle walks through my neighborhood. I always feel better when I get out of my head and into my body. I focus on my breath and the next rep, I focus on what my body is doing versus how it looks.
I truly believe in the power of movement to help our mindset. It is kind of like mediation for me, a chance to stop my racing thoughts for a little bit and move. When I move my body I feel proud about what it can DO versus how it looks.I honestly feel the most beautiful after I have moved my body and made that commitment to myself. It is less about what I look like and more about how I feel.
The key thing is, do we wallow in what we are losing or do we embrace what IS? We will all learn what it is like to age (hopefully) and doing so with less resisting and more allowingis the key. Can we allow our bodies to grow and change? Can we allow our faces to change? Can we allow the wisdom and peace that comes from aging to come to us? Can we allow our souls to live their purpose with our bodies as its home? Can we let go of having our self worth be anchored in youth and how we look?
I think we can!
Whew, this got long! I think aging gracefully is along the same vein of loving yourself and believing in our self worth. Knowing that we are good as is, right now, no matter what we look like or weigh or do. YOU matter and are enough and deserve happiness where you are now. I truly believe that.