Golden Years Really Can Be Golden
Far too many people are living with the assumption that their best years in life are behind them. This does not have to be so! The vantage point of having lived through various times in history and encountered so many different types of people and situations, affords one with a larger and often more thoughtful perspective which can lend clarity and purpose to any endeavor. The Golden Years in many cases allow for a freedom of time and attention not previously available in younger years when tied to a job or raising a family; when it felt like there just wasn’t time or funds to pursue that interest, write that book, start that non profit, or take that trip.
We have a tendency to believe that as we age, and the body may slow down, that we are unable to accomplish in the way that we used to. Our paradigms about what we are capable of, how the world works, or why we are the way we are, arrive with us in full form and can block the view of what we truly are capable of. If you didn’t think it was impossible, is there something within you that you would still love to create, experience, or express? What if there really is so much more in store for you than you ever thought possible? What if you are not truly as limited as you think?
There was a study done in which people who were near the end of their lives were asked if they had any regrets about their lives. What came as a surprise was that almost all of them did not have so many regrets about the things they did do, but more about the things that they didn’t do. The things they never allowed themselves to attempt or gave up on.
Henry David Thoreau had many thoughts on this. At 33 years old he decided that he wanted to “suck the marrow out of life so that when it came his time to die that he did not discover that he had never truly lived”. He decided to build a cabin where he could “live deliberately”, where he spent 2 years, 2 months, and 2 days. When he was finished he wrote Walden. In addition to his famous quote “if one advances confidently in the direction of their dreams, and endeavors to live the life they are imagining, they will meet with a success unexpected in common hours”, (more on this quote in another post), he also spoke of the importance of each moment. He had said “each second we live is a new and unique moment in history”. As humans we are the only species so far as we know, that has this magnificent capacity to change our environment and to decide how we want to think about something.
In any given moment we can focus on the tapes running through our minds about all the reasons we are where we are, and why we can’t do anything else, and this ache and that pain. We are also free to wonder what is it that I would love to do? What experience would I like to have? What would I like my relationships with others to be like? What really matters to me? As we begin to entertain different possibilities for ourselves, this is when new ideas percolate to the surface. In some cases, these may be ideas may have been buried from long ago yet still feel a vibrancy when thought of. What might that be for you?
One of the first steps in creating a life you love living is gaining a clear picture of what it is you truly want. As we begin with our imagination, and imagination is free, why not just allow your imagine the freedom to wonder not just about limited ideas, but really about what you would truly, truly love! Just allowing ourselves to picture this and wonder what it would feel like causes our bodies to release a cascade of different neurochemicals, which actually effects our mood and bodies in real time! When we spend our time and attention focused on all the things we can’t do, this too causes our bodies to create and release neurotransmitters that leave us feeling poorly.
Let’s take a moment and consider. We all have results in our lives. What I mean by this is that we are always creating. We can’t not create! We might think we are not creating, just sitting still, not doing. What we have created is a life of sitting still and consequently the results of our life will reflect what we have created. We each have results in various aspects of our lives. We have results in our health. We have results in our relationships. We have results in our time and money freedom. We have results in our vocations or how we spend our time. As you look at the results in your life right now, from a position not of what you think is possible, but what you would truly love,
what results would you love to have in the area of your health?
What results would you love to have in your relationships?
What results would you love to have in the area of time and money freedom?
What results would you love to have in the area of creativity and how you spend your time?
As we begin to picture what we want, the details come in and we begin to get ideas about steps we can take.
What tends to get in the way at any age is our own thinking! When we are able to shift our thinking to serve us rather than hinder us, whole new avenues begin to open up, we see possibilities that were there all along but simply not seen!
Let’s use electricity as an example. It has been available since before there were humans. The only thing that shifted to allow it to be harnessed was human understanding of how it works! The same is true for computers, airplanes, etc. All the raw materials have been here all along; the change came about when human understanding changed.
You may be wondering, so how do we go about changing the way we think?
We begin by noticing what it is we are thinking.
We begin to ask different questions that lead to solutions rather than the same limiting beliefs we have held all along.
We connect with a system of support which helps us in recognizing when the way we are thinking is not serving us, so that we can shift it again and again. To change a pattern of thought takes repetition and practice; much like learning a new language or an instrument. You can know about it but if you do not pick it up and use it or speak it, the real learning and bringing it to life does not happen. Once you begin to master the new skill is when that feeling of freedom comes in, where it becomes fun to practice and create. In learning to shift your thinking, there becomes a whole new avenue of freedom available that was hidden from view. One client in her late seventies recently told me “the whole world looks different to me now!”
If you are interested in learning more about how to bring this into your life, I would love to speak with you further about what your next step might be. As a gift for visitors to this site I offer a one time complimentary “Discovery Session” where we meet together one on one over the phone to talk about you; what matters to you, what you would love to experience in your life, and what steps you can take in that direction. If this is you, fill in your name and email in the box on the left hand side of this page or you can send me an email directly to email@example.com and put “Discovery Session” in the subject line and we will connect and get you scheduled!
I also offer workshops or brief talks for groups and would love to support your group. If you have a group that would like more information or to schedule a workshop you may also leave your name and email in the box on the left side of the page or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To the life you absolutely love,