This blog first appeared on Sixty and Me Website where I am a guest blogger.
When you think about freedom and ageing well, what pops into your mind?
Is this an oxymoron or can you step into an even greater personal power in your sixties and beyond?
I’ve noticed a pattern to my work over the years with clients when it comes to unlocking personal freedom and ageing well. Here are the 3 top keys to freedom I have identified:
1. Don’t worry
2. Be True To Your Dreams
3. It is what it is and I am what I am!
Many of us worry how we’ll be when we grow older. Will we act similarly to our parents perhaps? Experience same problems and illnesses? It’s inevitable really, to worry or wonder what might or will happen to us as we enter our sixties and beyond.
Of course, most of us are pleasantly surprised because through wisdom and experience we learn a vital freedom-rich secret, which is not to worry. That it is what it is.
In fact, take note of this lovely Tibetan saying:
· If you can do something about it, then why worry?
· And if you can’t do anything about it, then why worry?
Actually, it makes sense, really, after all, it’s impossible to second-guess others. On average, we have 60,000 thoughts going around in our minds in any 24 hours, so how can we know what people are thinking about us? And, as importantly, if you really want to think about it, how many of us can discern every thought that goes around in our very own minds at any given time?
One of the ways we learn how to move into this freedom from restriction is to discern the difference between expectations to reality.
A typical one many of us experience over the years is how we juggle the balls of work and home life where we can be restricted by expectations from others as well as our own. Along the way, we worry about ‘fitting in.’ Especially if we’re climbing up the slippery and political career ladder and having time off for children. As we aim high in our expectations we find ourselves not wanting to ’rock the boat’ after all, juggling work and home life take a particular set of expert skills!
With work and home life probably different than in our forties and fifties now’s the time to expand your freedom.
It can begin with taking your personal power back. You no longer need to walk on eggshells, worrying about what people think. In fact, if you have to worry at all, worry about where your own freedom is restricted:
· Begin with asking for what you want. Because you are worth it.
· After all these years it should now be about your own self-worth, living by your own set of values.
· If you are a caring and sensitive soul, let's be very clear, it is a fact: we cannot nurture others from a dry well!
As we all move through the gateway into our sixth decade, there are vital secrets we need to know and learn to enhance our personal power enabling us to age well. One vital key is how to live in the moment, with the first step being not to worry.
This is what the Gateway into your Sixth Decade is all about: moving into a greater sense of your own self.
BE TRUE TO YOUR DREAMS
Are you following what makes your heart sing? Are you in alignment with the dreams of your earliest years?
Life has a way of taking us everywhere but where our heart really lies - in that special and sacred space where we can lose ourselves in joy, peace and creativity.
Two clients of mine recently began a new business together with a combined age (wisdom and experience) of 128 years.
Their hearts were calling to them and they wanted to revolt against the expectation that when you’re in your sixties or older, the presumption is that work will cease, let alone the idea of setting up a new business. They told me they could identify with their childhood dreams and in opening up to them, they were experiencing a new surge of energy.
We discussed positive role models identifying the rock and film stars from the seventies and eighties, and how many of them are challenging society’s assumption around ageing.
I see this pattern again and again: where the working career takes a person into say, law or engineering, yet on the inside they have always been an artist – poetry, painting, writing, some form of self-expression. This is exactly how my clients were looking at their lives right now. They were honouring the artist inside of them.
When we listen to our hearts and our dreams and act upon them our payback will be more energy and vitality. My clients power of self-determination was giving them their longing for freedom to be in alignment with their childhood dreams.
It is what it is and I am what I am.
Bill Wyman of the Rolling Stones gave an interview where he said “When I reach an age where I’m unable to look after myself easily don’t assume I’ll want to be taken on outings with others of a similar age. No, I’ll want my independence to the end, marijuana on tap and any carers will need to be young, pretty and with short skirts!” OK, so we might not all subscribe to Bill Wyman’s vision, but at least his view was a humorous one, where having fun and maintaining independence was high up on his list.
Some countries are taking advantage of this, in what I might call a silver-revolution: Japan is experiencing a super-ageing society with over 30% of the population now over sixty years of age. They are gearing up for this ever-growing people power aware they are performing at a higher level than those of a similar age from the 20th century. Japan may well be leading the way in terms of the freedom and the quality of independence.
What could all this mean for you and me and our personal power and freedom in our sixties and beyond?
What pops into your mind when you think of freedom and ageing well? I’m curious to hear your thoughts. Please join the conversation!
THINK YOURSELF INTO HAPPINESS
"Everything is possible and nothing is impossible. You are only ever limited by your mind."
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"We are all made of stars and carry eternity inside." Thich Nhat Hanh