My husband and I have found that to live a truly harmonious way of life in our eighties requires us to be responsible for the quality of the lives we lead. Twenty-five years ago we moved from Sydney to the Northern Rivers area of NSW. My husband had stopped his full time work and we decided to make a sea change. It was wonderful to live in the country again, with fresh clean air, green fields and to also be near the ocean.
We, on the other hand, find that our lives are expanding with new friends and new challenges all the time. As we enter into our ninth decade we feel more aware, more alive… and more blessed by sincere and loving friends than ever before.
We have found that by listening to our own body rhythms and going to bed early, we can live more productive and balanced lives. By taking full responsibility for our actions and our reactions we can live more harmoniously with each other and with all others: this has made our lives so much more worthwhile and so much more meaningful.
We no longer feel the need for any stimulants, either coffee or alcohol, which both play such a large part in our society at present. We have found for ourselves that both are very harmful for our bodies and should not be considered ‘harmless’. It sounds very judgmental to say these things but when one has experienced how these substances affect one’s body one can but say it how it is for us personally. My husband was drinking wine with his evening meal every night and was suffering from sleep apnea and snoring and this was getting worse. Since he stopped drinking wine he no longer has sleep apnea, nor does he snore - much to my joy!
Living harmoniously is something that so many do not understand – and probably don’t want to understand – because it means that they really have to look at how they live their lives. How one thinks, how one reacts and how one communicates with one’s fellow humans is all one’s own responsibility. No-one can do this for you, and it is not something you can wriggle out of either, although many spend a lot of energy trying to do so!
We have found that establishing a rhythm to living and recognising when that rhythm is disturbed – either by our own actions or reactions or by absorbing the energy of others – enables us to deal with anything that life throws at us.
It is all a matter of being with ourselves one hundred percent all the time – this does take practice, but it is so worthwhile.
In all honesty, I feel that I will continue to live a productive and loving life until I die, whenever that might be. I feel more alive and more joyful than at any other stage of my life because for the first time I take full responsibility and know that my wellbeing is totally up to me – not because of anything or anyone else, and not because I have to be a certain way or not.
I am simply me and it is wonderful.
Rowena P., Australia