It is no secret that your personal vitality plays a key role in the quality of your everyday life. Some may refer to vitality as their own ‘life force’ or simply their energy level. If your energy is low, is it possible to naturally ramp up that vital essence within you, in spite of the many physical and mental challenges you may currently face or have faced in the past?
In my twenties, thirties and even into my fifties I felt that I was vital when I could party until 2am and then turn up for work the next day fully focused on what there was to do, or when I could actively crew in an over-night yacht race during heavy seas, or when I could cross-country ski for miles!
What I now realise is that as my body became less agile and my muscles became weaker I unconsciously adjusted what I could do physically in accord with my weaker body – my marker of what vital meant for me, at that time, changed almost without my realising it and I would then say that I was vital ‘for a woman in her fifties’.
However, in my late sixties I had a few accidents that took a toll on my body including a fall down a flight of fourteen stairs that left me with various fractures including my spine, a broken left wrist and a damaged right arm and hand. I was without the use of either hand for five weeks so I could not feed myself or wipe my own bottom – a humbling experience!
After this experience I started to treat my body with much more love and respect. At the same time the pace of life slowed down and allowed more time for reflection on how I had lived my life. I was forced to stop and I chose to use this time to connect to stillness and to my innermost or essence.
Gradually my connection with my innermost deepened and I began to feel a joy in my body that was not dependent on how the physical body was feeling.
I had several hospital stays for various conditions but even though my physical body was compromised I felt vital and alive and could joke with the nurses and other patients.
Now in my mid-seventies, I have a completely different understanding of vitality, which has nothing to do with physical capability. After all, we talk about the vitality of abstract things such as ‘the vitality of the state’ or ‘economic vitality’.
Vitality is an inner quality, which we express when we are connected to our life force, live with purpose and have joy in our heart. We can live a vital life until our last breath – it is our choice.
Anne McR., Australia
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