We have used so many terms in our culture to describe aging. "The Autumn Years". "The Waning Years" "The Sunset Years of Your Life". "The Twilight Years".
We lament the loss of memory, child bearing years and the tight young skin that once adorned our bodies.
This conversation can take a life of its own, and women delight in the shared horrors and conflicting serenity wisdom of the ages bestows upon us in the Silver Age.
Well, I am in a different conversation, and I welcome you to join me. I am soon turning 55, and I cannot remember ever feeling better. I began a new career in my early 50's as a life coach, and wanted to have my brand reflect who I am today. Western culture failed me in the name department. It is not that I do not meet many men and women my age and older who are in their prime, it is that our culture holds onto "old people speak" and ageism long after we have shifted the narrative.
I can speak for the men and women in Westchester County, NY. This may or may not hold true in my home state of Michigan or other parts of the country. But here, people are more youthful and vibrant later in life than ever before. They stay fit and active. I have a 60 year old client who recently climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro! She said 10 years ago she never would have believed that her future self would make this happen! People are embracing this next stage like never before.
But the anti-aging secret I am actually most fascinated by is the most challenging. Sure, proper diet, exercise and cosmetic surgery enhance the outside surface and the internal physical body. But the spirit can still sour if one does not keep stepping into possibility. Trying new things that are uncomfortable or downright scary is thrilling and life affirming. What have you not done that has had a hold on you? Fear of flying? Fear of public speaking? Fear of standing up for what you believe in? Fear of pursuing your passion even after you are financially secure? What is available on the other side of victory over this fear? Freedom. A sensation so madcap and exhilarating you will want to keep going!
Really think about the people in your life who have stopped challenging their thought patterns or habits. They often become a world class complaint department. Daily life has become an irritant. The neighbors, their kids, their dog, the too slow server, the crazy driver. These are the conversations that suck the energy right out of me. I cannot bear the dull whine of "meh". It is more than "keeping in shape" that is required. It is a brain/heart expansion that is required to be magnetic, vibrant and youthful. The childlike wonder must be tapped!
The Chinese refer to this stage as "The Second Spring". They are referring to the next new you. The one who can create from passion, discipline, connection and transformation. The one who has gathered tremendous knowledge and has built a vast array of connections and interests. The one who no longer hides from ridicule or other people's opinions. Second Spring is a leveling up beyond anything experienced thus far. Second Spring suits me as nothing else has in describing my current status!
If this is what you yearn for in your life, you can make it happen. Spring has arrived, and so have we!