What I Would Say to My 50 Year Old Self!
This past week, a dear friend of mine and I were having a conversation about aging. She is 14 years younger than me—just turning 50 and we were discussing her internal conflict going on. She was getting the sense that she needed to start taking more time for self-care and yet she was resisting because it felt like it was giving in to aging. “I keep resisting these new routines like taking walks every day and eating better and getting more sleep,” she admitted, “because it feels like these are ‘HAVE TOs’ for an old person.” Then she shared with me a story about a younger friend who had been complaining about her mother who did not want to come out in the evenings because she HAD to feed her birds and take a shower hours before going bed. We laughed as I admitted to her while I don’t have birds, I love taking a shower at 7:30 at night and settling in for the evening maybe reading or in front of the TV. I also related how, as a younger woman, I never really understood my mother-in-law’s list of several dozen self-care routines. But she has made it to 92. Just saying!
I thought about my own 50th year. That was the year I was diagnosed with autoimmune Hashimoto’s disease. That was the year I started experiencing horrible aches and pains from playing competitive tennis. That was the year where my weight kept creeping up and my menopausal symptoms were out of control with non stop hot flashes and terrible brain fog. I was still coloring my hair every five weeks to look and feel younger. I was comparing myself to many thinner, fitter, younger people who seemed to be able to eat anything, stay out and drink with friends and not show signs of aging. At least that is what I thought!
It was also the year that I got serious about my health and discovered the true meaning of Meno PAUSE. Menopause is an invitation to pause and learn what our older bodies, minds and hearts need. This is key to living a healthier present live and upping the chances of joining the exclusive group of vibrantly aging women. While I am not judging or shaming anyone who makes different choices, if you want to age gracefully and vibrantly, then this is one path that really works! So with this in mind, I have been about adding in one new good habit after another for the past 14 years:
- changing what, how and when I eat,
- adding in high quality supplements,
- walking more, running less
- doing less and breathing more
- talking less and reflecting more
- exercising more mindfully in a less taxing way to my body
Click below for a sample on what yoga looks like for me today. It may be right for you.
It Did Not Happen Over Night and At First It Was Daunting!
I did lose touch with many friends who were still resisting aging. I struggled with loneliness at first until I found my footing. And then something happened. I blossomed.
- My health got better.
- I started being more authentic.
- I let my hair go gray.
- I created my own style.
- I wore fun jewelry that I designed.
14 years later, many people remark that I have gotten younger not older. I still have health struggles and days when I feel lousy. But that does not diminish my joy. I love my new mindset. I love being different. Ironically, more people want to be my friends despite my quirky aging ways. I don’t look bad either. I ran into a few tennis buddies of mine recently at the health food store. They were returning from a four hour day of tennis and lunch at a restaurant and they looked at me with awe. “My you look different. So much thinner and healthy,” they remarked. “What is your secret?” I could see they wanted to ask. To sum it up, I understand that my current lifestyle supports healthy aging by keeping inflammation at bay and stress managed. As we age, those of the two big factors that lead to most of our age-related health problems.
Advice to My 50 Year Old Self and Other 50 Year Olds!
Here are the secrets I shared to my younger self and all of you who are facing age-related challenges.
- Do not focus and fight what you do not want.
- Pause and let your heart, body and nervous system guide you to what you do want the second half of your life to look like.
- Understand that the transition will at first be uncomfortable as you are leaving a familiar place.
- Give it time and soon you be developing the new habits needed to feel better.
- Pay attention to the ways you are gaining so much more than you are giving up as far as health, inner joy and peace.
- Rely on those of us who have been successful navigating these challenges for support.
I am here to help. My programs include:
- Group and Individual gentle somatic yoga sessions to heal the body, mind and spirit. Click here to learn more.
- Group and individual training and coaching in dealing with difficult emotions, stress, anxiety and depression using HeartMath emotional regulation tools, biofeedback, the Connection practice, polyvagal approaches to the nervous system, and other Mindfulness techniques. Click here to learn more!
- Group workshops and private health coaching on cooking and eating foods that support your goals, supplements, detoxifying your home, personal care routines and other lifestyle measures all of which I am trained in and personally use on a daily basis. Click here to learn more about my health coaching services!
Most importantly, do not believe the best days are behind you! Wishing You Vibrant and Graceful Aging, No Matter What You are Facing!