Last year, on June 17, when I turned 49, I realized I had had the best year of my life.
The last year of my 40s was even better.
I’ve always thought that aging was something that causes suffering. That I was supposed to cry for my lost youth. My hair is not as lush, my belly is not as flat, my thighs are not as firm, my skin is not as smooth. Even though these facts are upsetting and disturbing, they don’t change the fact that I am happier than I ever was.
How is that possible?
I can sum the changes that made my life sweet in the last year to four things.
Cultivating Radiating Inner Beauty
There are many treatments that could eliminate or reduce the physical manifestation of aging. At a certain point, I even considered some of them. I thought that I was going to fight my aging with more rigid exercise and some firming treatments. But then I asked myself if that was a good use of my time. The answer was that it was not.
I’ve always cared about my looks. To be honest, I’ve been quite neurotic about it. I used to step on the scale every morning like I was walking toward judgement day and adjust my daily chocolate allowance accordingly. Aging could be miserable for me, but I found it could also be liberating.
When I look at women who inspire me, like my teacher, the renowned astrologer, Debra Silverman, and the well-known intuitive counselor, Colette Baron Reid, I notice there is something timeless about them. It’s not only their external beauty that shines, but also the sense of deep fulfillment and purpose that they embody.
I decided to follow their footsteps and become more beautiful from the inside so that my inner beauty will radiate so powerfully, that it will overshadow the signs of external aging.
I am going to fulfill all my dreams, embrace all my shadows, get better at everything I do, dream big, and use all my gifts in my service for others. I am going to make life so incredibly awesome that all the exterior factors would not really matter.
I still care for how I look. I do many things to stay fit and healthy. These things bring me joy and make me feel good. Looking good is just a side effect, or a nice bonus.
The truth is that I even feel more beautiful today than I felt when I was younger. Back then, I was so neurotic and insecure that I could not really enjoyed my looks.
Enjoying The Benefits of My Experience
When I was 30, I thought that I figured it all out. Then my world turned upside down and I experienced serious depression that lasted a few years. I had to restructure my entire worldview and start all over again.
Now, at 50, my overview on life is rooted, grounded, and unshakable. My life experience inspires my writing and the advice I give to others. My guidance is now based on practical long-lived evidence. Trust me, it’s worth every wrinkle!
Another gift of my experience is that instead of continuously seeing what’s wrong with my aging body, I developed a great appreciation for it. After all, it has been carrying me for half a century and has been doing an awesome job.
Turning Inner Struggle into Delight
I wish I could say that my inner struggles subsided at this point in life. They have not. I care when I gain two pounds. I care to be liked. I care about the number of readers and hearts I get on my articles. I care about how much money I make and how many social media followers I have.
The inner struggles haven’t subsided, but the way I deal with them has. If I do gain two pounds, if someone does not like me, or if my article does not receive the attention I desired, it has a milder effect on me. Instead of trying to pretend that I don’t care, I allow myself to be in a bad mood and connect with my emotions around my frustration. I try to modify what I can, learn my lessons, and move on.
I do not blame myself or feel guilty for caring about two extra pounds or the number of hearts on my article. I accept and embrace my honest desires, and therefore avoid creating a new inner struggle around my initial struggle.
It’s also a matter of priorities. I prefer to spend my time under the maple tree with my son, making up stories about saving the Paw Patrol from the evil battle eggs. I prefer to write, to learn, or to make love, rather than beating myself up.
When I manage to cope with a struggle at ease, I do not forget to congratulate myself for it. It is an achievement that should be celebrated. Then the struggle turns into delight.
Allowing Sweetness to Flow into My Life
Last year when I visited my teacher, Debra Silverman, and offered her some tea, she asked me to add honey to it. “I am a honey person,” she said, “Are you a honey person?” I had to admit that I was a “nothing” person and that I usually tended to be rather strict with myself.
Right there and then I started adding honey to my tea and life become so much sweeter.
It’s also worth mentioning that I started taking hormones. I am working with my hormone specialist to reach “the sweet spot,” as she calls it. My natural tendency is to avoid medical intervention, but last year, I learned that the human body needs certain levels of hormones to function well. I see this as another step of allowing sweetness to flow into my life.