I look at Betty and I see that she has aged gracefully. I am sure she has had her challenges and setbacks during her long life but her attitude and body language, since I have known her, is positive and outgoing. Probably due to her stubbornness in the past, her present moment is less than ideal. She has continually rejected assistance from others and during these twilight years has chosen to live alone only because she has not found the right person to give her the nurturing care she seeks and deserves.
When I look at her choices I realize that I will need to think about my choice for my future. It alerts me to the fact that I, too, am getting older day by day so I better start making mental preparations for my future. I do not know what my future will hold but I do know that I choose to take care of myself for as long as I can. I also realize that how I live my life today is a small window into the future of how I will age. I choose to stay healthy and active. I eat well and always enjoy a good meal. In fact, I give thanks daily that I can enjoy a feast and most of the time, I eat alone yet that doesn't stop me from enjoying my feast.
Do you see my attitude and behavior?
As far as I am concerned, the power lies within me - that is the power to maintain a happy and healthy outlook about my life and how I live it. The power lies within me to cook and eat nurturing meals including fresh vegetables and fruit. I must admit I have a weakness to sugar and I am working on keeping it in control. I blame that on my upbringing because after every dinner we always had dessert yet I refuse to let that weakness stop me from staying in balance. Discipline and constant awareness are two traits that help me maintain that balance. I am an active woman. I go to the gym five mornings a week for one or two hours where I take classes or work out on the machines. In between I walk one to three miles daily in the early evening. I love walking in nature and take advantage of the beautiful landscape that surrounds me.
I have told myself from a young age that I do not want to grow old in poor health. As a result, I have made a conscious effort to live as healthy as possible. I am not a purist, I certainly have my weak points, but I work on being in balance with my mind, body and spirit.
I am learning to have greater compassion for me and I am conscious of the messages that my body is sharing with me. It is important to remember that your body is a living organism and will respond to you and the way you treat it. If you verbally put it down and find fault with your looks and your body, it will begin to shut down and die off. Oh, don't get me wrong, it may take years, but that is exactly what will happen. So I encourage you to engage in a conversation with yourself and let your body know how much you appreciate it.
When many people approach the age of 40 or 50, they believe that they have reached the climax of their lives; that the best part of their lives is behind them. They assume that it is all down hill from here. That is absolutely false! I may not be as fluid as I was when I was 23, but I am still a vital person who feels and is very much alive. I personally believe that each stage of life, and my life particularly, offers something to be explored. When I was younger and raising four children, my needs and desires were totally different than they are today. Now I have the time to explore new horizons experience different adventures and learn new ways of living as I open myself up to change.
I wonder if the issue here is one of fear of change more than it is one of growing in age. Change to most people is frightening. It must be part of human nature to be afraid of the unknown; yet once it is revealed to us, our perception changes and we realize that it is something grander than we ever imagined. I have said: "When you change what you believe, you change what you do. Change and growth can only come when you are willing to open up to your possibilities." Think about those words. Let them filter into the recesses of your mind and heart as they help you open up to a greater awareness of self. Be loving and compassionate to self. Express
it often and let your body know that you care.
Joan Marie Ambrose
Author, Creative Writer, Motivational Speaker
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