Blog #14 in the Blog-each-weekday for a month commitment.
Last year I led some workshops and presentations in Portland, Oregon and Arcata, California called Make Peace with Aging.
Some of my Facebook friends were so excited about this topic, they asked how they could get in on it if they didn’t live nearby. So, last fall I put together a free Teleclass.
One of the things I love about my work is that I learn so much, and am able to explore my own issues and entrenched beliefs as I do the research, hold sessions, or present the material.
Make peace with aging was no exception!
There’s a reason I am drawn to this topic and that I created a website that’s all about feeling healthy, hot and happy at midlife and beyond. This is an issue that is seriously up for almost every woman of a ‘certain age’ — at least in the West. And it was UP for me!
Anxiety about aging shows up as early as the 30s for some, and it morphs and changes as we move through the years. Some of us do come to more of a peaceful place with our changing bodies and faces. Others of us…. well, let’s just say the plastic surgery industry is booming!
So, there I was, feeling pretty good about making my own peace with aging, when my oldest daughter called me to announce she is pregnant.
Whoaaa!! Wait a minute! My mind took off like one of those little dogs after a squirrel.
I’m not quite ready to be called Grandma! Does this mean I have to change and somehow start acting more ‘mature?’
It was crazy—the thoughts my squirrely mind threw out in the nanoseconds following this announcement.
Of course I responded immediately and appropriately with all the proper congratulations and excited exclamations.
Yet, as we chattered on morning sickness, if she was going to tell people, when’s the due date, etc., my mind raced along with unhelpful thought forms. Not the least of which was: “What’s wrong with me? I’m supposed to be happy and excited to have a grandchild. Most of my friends WANT this.”
Yet, for some reason that resistance was there.
I needed to make some peace with aging!!
And, I obviously had the resources to do so. After all, I’d been teaching them.
Ah, it was time to WALK THE TALK!
Learning to love the face in the mirror was one thing. Reconciling with a new identity that seemed synonymous with being ‘old’ took some deeper digging into my own resistant thoughts.
Over those months I began to embrace the idea of being a grandma. Of course the excitement of witnessing my beautiful daughter’s expanding belly helped.
Today I am the healthy, hot, and happy grandmother of a beautiful baby boy!
(But don’t call me “Grandma”. In tribute to my beloved maternal grandma, I am “Gaga”.)
Here’s what I learned from this:
Making peace with aging is not a final destination. It’s an ever-evolving journey, a continual revealing of new layers.
The ‘aging’ process is actually a gift. If we stay conscious and present to the feelings that arise, we are given the opportunity for new insights, lovely AHA moments, and continued personal growth.
How peaceful are YOU with aging? Are you at a place of full acceptance? Complete non-acceptance? Or, is there one or two aspects that are really gnawing at you?
Let’s share in the comments!
If you’d like to listen to a recording of the Teleclass on Make Peace with Aging, shoot me an email and I’ll send you the mp3.