You have a choice about ageing

You have a choice about ageing

One reason no one wants to age is that we have so few examples of people thriving in old age.

Old age narratives are of loss; loss of beauty, mobility, strength, flexibility, independence, intellect, memory, relationships etc.  Old age narratives are of separation from the flock, of weakness, sickness, depression, decline and … death.

Talk about a downer.

Getting old is like going to the front line of a war and knowing that you can’t ever come back.  You stay there till you’re shot.

And that explains it.   Of course we don’t want that, and we don’t want to be around people who are not only on that front line, but who are not dealing with it well, old people who complain and are impatient, intolerant, cynical, resigned or depressed.

A metaphor for ageing

e9356f8bb4a35358_640_parachuteAgeing may be a natural process but so is another deadly phenomenon: falling; and we do that every day in ways that are fun, healthful, exciting and routine.  Walking is a controlled falling; we run, jump rope, mountain-climb, sky-dive, dance, trapeze  and on and on it goes.

I think falling—like in sky-diving—can be a metaphor for ageing; a slow motion falling where we’re moving away from some things and getting closer to others.   Ageing is a falling away from things like strength and physical beauty towards a physical end, yes, but on the way there we can collect and experience peacefulness, compassion, wisdom, artistry, helpfulness, contribution and of course love.  And the longer we’re in that ageing free fall the more of those beautiful things we can collect and experience.

How we age is the choice

a079e7a2efd730cd_640_old-personYet many don’t, because while the moving away from the trappings of youth are mandatory, the moving towards the gems of ageing is optional.  Despite popular belief, wisdom, compassion, purpose, and peacefulness does not come naturally to the old.

Ageing is mandatory but maturing, growing wiser, more peaceful and compassionate is optional.  It’s a lifestyle practice committed to before you’re old.

And if we want to experience a great, thriving, flourishing old age we have to begin when we’re not.

Otherwise we’ll age like a sky-diver trying to get back into the plane he jumped out of, instead of enjoying the ride and the view all the way down.  And by the way, the sky-diver knows the ground is not really the end, but only a new beginning or at least a return to where he came from.  What’s not to be at peace with?

 

Slavery 2.0

Slavery 2.0

Slavery didn’t end. But of course you know that.  The news still features human trafficking and children sold into the same cruel millenia-old slavery.  Likened to software or web development, this legacy slavery would be slavery 1.0 or maybe 1.1 But I think there’s a new pervasive form of slavery around today that I callContinue Reading

Making practice sexy

Making practice sexy

Imagine how we could perform in art, sport and career if the idea of practicing was a turn on. Practice is the consistent engagement with actions and behaviours that confer “expert ease” at something.  Practice, at least deliberate practice, increases our capacities to perform at whatever we’re practicing for.  Yet most of us find itContinue Reading

Imagination practice

Imagination practice

Do you still use your imagination?  If you’re like most, my guess is not so much.  When you were a child your imagination was on overdrive and now it’s like a favourite toy that’s been put away. You still have it but you never take it out to play anymore. But imagination is the gatewayContinue Reading

The good thing about a bad boss

The good thing about a bad boss

If you work, sooner or later, you’ll have a bad boss.  It’s just like if you drive long enough you’ll have a flat tyre and get pulled over by the cops, but while these last two can be over in a few minutes, a bad boss can last for years. A bad boss can costContinue Reading

Robots taking our jobs; not a bad thing

Robots taking our jobs; not a bad thing

Most everyone thinks about robots taking our jobs as a bad thing.  How will people earn a living? But perhaps it’s not a bad thing.  Robots taking our jobs could completely reinvent what it means to work and earn a living. Wouldn’t it be great if everyone had machines do their farming, manufacturing, cooking, cleaningContinue Reading

The real reason to forgive

The real reason to forgive

When people talk about forgiveness it’s often in a religious context—as heaven’s admission price. But forgiveness is not only for the deeply religious, it’s a fundamental human capacity—like capacities to think, work and create —that we either develop or it withers.  And before we can even talk about how to develop one’s capacity to forgive,Continue Reading