Hands up who here hates the aging process? It's a stong, self-assured person who can say they don't, but my bet is that most of us are in the camp of wishing ageing didn't have to occur. There are benefits of getting older, though, such as increased knowledge and wisdom (and also hindsight, but that one is not always to great!). I'm primarily talking about physical ageing.
My reason for bringing this up is because I went to Tesco today for an eye exam (they are free, by the way - check it out!), and I caught myself, as I so often do, wishing I still had the perfect, 20/20 vision of my youth. My eyes are not that bad, only 0.50 in both eyes, making me slightly shortsighted, but rather than accepting this natural part of growing old, I so often wish I could turn back the clock when it comes to my body. OK, there are people such as Peter Grunwald who say you CAN improve your eyesight through various exercises and a change in perception - I attended one of his facinating workshops - and Deepak Chopra also espouses the theory that we can 'reinvent our bodies' which he talks about in his book Re-inventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul (which I am currently reading), but althoguh I am sure there is lots we can do to be proactive to preserve our bodies, we will all, inevitably, age and then die. So it's how we approach this process that will affect our quality of life.
Change is inevitable
Buddhism teaches that everything is impermanent. And while on an intellectual level I know this to be true, I still find myself getting cheesed off at my increasing number of white hairs (and not just on my head, I have white arm-pit hairs, white eye brow hairs and I even found one in a place I wont mention, the other day, much to my horror!!!). While I can and do dye my grey hairs (only the ones on my head, I must point out) and wear factor 30 sunscreen each day in a bid to stave off the wrinkles as long as possible, I have to come to terms with the fact it will all - my body, that is - disintegrate and turn to dust one day.
Just remembering this is a stark reminder that while I, and you, may try to maintain control over many aspects of our lives, Mother Nature is on course to do exactly as she wishes, whether I, or you, like it or not.
Don't fight it!
Learning to accept change and to see the beauty and wisdom in each progressive phase of life is the best way to stay healthy and happy. Just look at Louise Hay, founder of Hay House Publishing and a beacon of positivity and productivity in her 80s! I love her saying, which she often quotes when giving speeches in front of thousands, or to a camera for one of her videos, that she "chooses to make this decade the best of my life!"
Change is the nature of reality: either go with it and relax, or fight it and be stressed and miserable. OK so I may not be the best practitioner of this school of thought just yet, in fact sometimes I rail against it and wish I had back my 20-year-old body, but that thinking will only lead to sadness and suffering. Better to enjoy and be greatful for what I do have, and for how things are now, as that is the key to a happy life.
What Katy Louise Did...
- Katy Louise
- Katy Louise writes about health, wealth, happiness and relationships, and the spiritual insights she gains along her path. She is currently editor of Top Sante magazine (www.topsante.co.uk). Prior to that she was editor of Bodyfit magazine (now Your Fitness www.yourfitnesstoday.com) and the launch editor of Soul&Spirit magazine (www.soulandspiritmagazine.com). Katy is also a certified Fitsteps and STOTT Pilates instructor. She is the go-to girl for all matters relating to health, wellbeing and spirituality.
Sunday, 22 August 2010
Why hating ageing is futile
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