Category Archives: Aging

Something Good

Sundancer, by Mark Wagner. Box it sits on was made by his dad and painted by his mom.

Sundancer, by Mark Wagner — box it sits on was made by his dad and painted by his mom.

1. The above painting by Mark Wagner, an amazing artist and a good man. I sat across from this painting when I was at 27 Powers on retreat a few weeks ago, having fallen immediately in love with her.

2. Wisdom from Elizabeth Gilbert, In Defense of Loneliness and Quote of the Day.

3. Our first date was the last day of his life, a tragic and beautiful piece.

4. Kindness Matters on Kind Over Matter. It’s this sort of thing that makes me say one of my practices is dog, and I would hope if I were in the same situation, I could find my way to the same choice.

5. How to Get Flat Abs, Have Amazing Sex and Rule the World in 8 Easy Steps on Huffington Post.

6. How to Let Your Purpose Find You on Harvard Business Review. I’m sharing this because step one is, “Be uncool enough to love.”

???????????????????????????????7. 10 Things to Really Like About Getting Older on Purple Clover.

8. Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Type and Stress Heads. I’m an INFJ.

9. Sorry: “working on a novel” is not a business model. A loving reality check — and 26 ways to actually make a living as a wordsmith. from Alexandra Franzen.

10. Audit Yourself to Improve Your Circumstances from Chris Guillebeau.

11. Good stuff from MindBodyGreen: 10 Ways to Live to be 100, and 72 Uses For Simple Household Products To Save Money & Avoid Toxins, and A 5-Year-Old Called Me Fat And Changed My Perspective, and Change Your Life in 2 Seconds.

12. Tonight You Belong to Me (Cover) – Me and my 4 y.o., the sweetest video. May we all have someone who will give us a song to sing when we are scared or worried, even when what we are afraid of isn’t real — especially then.

13. Melissa Carroll’s Technicolor Dream on Narrative.ly.

14. Jimmy Fallon making me smile: Jimmy Fallon’s Latest Lip Sync-Off Was Actually Epic and “#Hashtag” with Jimmy Fallon & Justin Timberlake.

15. From Justine Musk‘s newsletter:

I believe in that place where, as Frederick Buechner once put it, “your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” It’s our quest as individuals to find it: acquiring wisdom along the way, overcoming obstacles (a.k.a “character-building experiences”), letting go of the stuff that no longer serves us so we can evolve into the artists that we need to be and grow a life that feels truly ours.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a writer, a VC, a stay-at-home mom, a yoga teacher, an accountant, an online entrepreneur, a student…or just a seeker of meaning and mystery.

The goal is the same: to live deep, and die empty, as my friend Todd Henry likes to say. Don’t go to your grave with your soul’s work still inside you.

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16. For the Love of Podcasts, a really great list on Scoutie Girl. Also from Scoutie Girl, The Body, Mind, and Space of Self-Care for Creatives — Part 2: The Mind.

17. A Weightless Year from Rachel Cole.

18. Daily Truthbomb from Danielle LaPorte, “You don’t have to believe in that.”

19. Wisdom from Finn Butler, shared by Laura Simms in her Create as Folk newsletter,

Everyone who terrifies you is sixty-five percent water. And everyone you love is made of stardust, and I know sometimes you cannot even breathe deeply, and the night sky is no home, and you have cried yourself to sleep enough times that you are down to your last two percent, but nothing is infinite, not even loss. You are made of the sea and the stars, and one day you are going to find yourself again.

20. Emerging Women Livestream 2013, A FREE, Four-day Video Event to Empower Women Around the World. Some of my favorite women are going to be speaking.

21. Writing as Dog. Word.

purplepetalalley-e137942051019322. One cute thing, Cute Corgi puppy excited to play with new toy (VIDEO), and one sad thing, Emotional farewell between loving man and his first dog, (Gracie had the same kind of cancer Dexter did), from Dog Heirs, one of my new favorite websites.

23. KID PRESIDENT CHALLENGE: Spread Joy!

24. Wisdom from the Dalai Lama,

Some people consider the practice of love and compassion is only related to religious practice and if they are not interested in religion they neglect these inner values. But love and compassion are qualities that human beings require just to live together.

25. attention: emotional amoebas – find your edges from Sas Petherick.

26. your daily rock : go directly to the source.

27. Have I told you lately how much I adore Mary Oliver? Here’s another reason why, from Parker Palmer: “A couple of years ago, I was lucky to hear Mary Oliver read her poetry. After the reading, someone in the audience asked her, ‘What is the purpose of beauty?’ Her simple but remarkable answer was, ‘We need beauty because it makes us ache to be worthy of it.'”

28. 20 Images That Prove Kids Are Weird from Pleated Jeans.

29. Shared by Tammy in her Happy Links list on Rowdy Kittens: Worthy on The Minimalists, and Ebb and Flow from Courtney Carver, and Overcoming Writer’s Block on Medium.

30. Good stuff from Tiny Buddha, Where True Happiness Comes From: How We Gain by Having Less and 6 Tips to Release Anxiety to Feel Calm and Free.

#augustbreak2013 Day 18

Looking Down

Eric and Sam went hiking without me today. I had planned to go with them, but this morning decided I shouldn’t. My right quadriceps muscle has been tender and irritable the past few weeks, getting tight and sore when I don’t pay attention, work it too hard. The last time I ignored an issue like that in my knee, kept hiking and running and pushing it anyway, I ended up with an injury that took almost a full year to rehab. I don’t want to do that again.

Now that I’m older, I have to give my body a different kind of attention. I can’t ignore the aches and pains like I used to, can’t insist that we keep moving in spite of them because any small thing can turn into a big thing, something chronic if I’m not careful. It sucks. I wanted to go hiking this morning so bad. I don’t want to be limited or held back, resist accepting this reality, the experience of an aging body.

Baring illness or accident, the women in my family live a long time. I can reasonably expect to make it to my early 90s if I continue to take care of myself. That’s great news, (and yet at 45, I am at the peak of my life, a literal middle age, half way there already). I’m looking forward to the wisdom, the ease that comes with time, even if I do have to take a lot more naps.

Y is for Yoga

image by lululemon athletica

I am embarrassed to say it happened again. I didn’t know what word I was going to use today, even though yoga is one of my four primary, regular, spiritual practices. I started brainstorming a list: yawn, yesterday, yes. I got as far as opening my dictionary to “y” and as soon as I saw that first page of words, I thought “yogi” and immediately after came the next thought: yoga. D’oh!

So again, I suppose it’s that thing about fish and water, it’s such a part of your world, your life, your environment that it becomes oddly invisible.

Yoga grounds me in my body, centers me there. As in other practices, the act of doing it regularly teaches me a lot about myself. I learn how I spend too much time comparing myself to others, judging and evaluating, and I realize that the practice, the experience isn’t about competition at all, with anyone. It’s about the reality of what is happening on my own mat, about cultivating compassion.

Some days, I move fluidly, am flexible and strong, can balance in tree for a full five minutes, can hover in crow or hold a headstand with confidence. Other days, I come to the mat shaky and raw, irritable, stiff and weak, one side works but the other needs extra understanding and gentleness.

image by lululemon athletica

And other times, I can trust my body, but my mind is a mess, a wreck, a wild animal. It won’t stay with me on the mat. It keeps wanting to rush off or draw me in to long conversations or even arguments. I stay with it, stay on the mat, and hope it will settle, be still. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t and instead spends the whole practice in another room, another moment, another universe.

For me, yoga is meditation in movement. I expand the breath focus of sitting meditation to include my whole body, moving my awareness as my body moves from pose to pose. It expands the practice of training my mind (as in sitting meditation) to training my body and mind to be in the same space at the same time, moving together.

I’ve been struggling a bit with my yoga practice lately, feel a bit stuck and bored, but more importantly I have been struggling with my body. As it ages, I have entered a new phase of being that is utterly confusing. I haven’t quite learned how to care for my 44 year old body. It’s needs are so starkly different. It feels fatigue in a way I have never experienced. I work to be gentle with my Happy Buddha belly, trying to see it’s roundness as lucky, rather than stubborn and ugly. I try to be compassionate towards this body’s need for rest. I really want to understand what it needs from me, I want to not just love it, but to care for it in a way that allows it to thrive.

I contemplate impermanence, cultivate gratitude for the chance to get older, a chance so many others will never have. I also remember that this “old” body will be the “young” one I remember later, maybe even mourn, and that my sense of age is relative.

image by lululemon athletica

And I practice, strong in warrior pose one day, needing to rest in child’s pose the next, accepting whatever my current reality might be, and when I am done, I dedicate the merit of my practice, offering it so that suffering might be dispelled.

Namaste, kind and gentle reader. The divine nature within me perceives and adores the divine nature within you. I honor the place in you in which the entire universe dwells. I honor the place in you which is of love, light, peace and joy. When you are in that place in you and I am in that place in me, we are one.