Part one of this article described how many of the writers for the book, ‘The Joy of Ageing, Esoterically’, came to a point in their lives where they became aware that the way they were living was in total disregard for their body. As shared in part 1, all writers made the choice to be more self-caring and loving with their bodies – to be open to looking at the way they were living and willing to give new things a go to learn more about what worked for them and what didn’t. But how did they actually go about making changes? Where to start?
It was similar for Ulrike, “The decisions I started to make [in order] to take loving care of myself were small ones at first, because if I looked at the whole or thought of making big changes, they appeared too overwhelming”.
For all the writers it was not so much a matter of changing what they did but how they did it. As Judy observed, “or the first time in my life I was learning to live more gently and make self-loving choices . . . I notice I have become more gentle in the way I do things – how I prepare my meals, how I clean the house, how I make my bed, how I open and close doors and how I am at work.”
Ulrike had similar experiences, “I became more aware of the way I dried myself after the shower or how I typed at work or was closing my car door. I decided to hold the intention to be gentle with myself”.
Jane writes, “I am no longer driving myself into the ground in the way I used to and have a deeper honour of myself in my daily life. I don’t worry nearly as much and the anxiousness is rarely there and if it is, then it is a telltale sign that something I am doing in life isn’t working; it is a great indicator I can use to navigate my daily choices”.
Thus, our writers started by making choices to be more gentle, self-loving and tender with themselves in everything that they did.
Lack of self worth is a common condition for many women both young and old and several writers talked about changing the way they thought about themselves. As Kathleen further shares, “it is amazing when you discover that the constant mood of self-deprecating thoughts and hurts can be arrested – that you have a choice as to what chatter you allow in.”
Ulrike writes “I decided to hold the intention to be gentle with myself, but mainly I focused lovingly on me – choosing to have loving thoughts about ‘Me’ instead of negative thoughts.”
Anne H. also found that, “By far the deepest challenge has been to rebuild a sense of self-worth and to let go of self-loathing.”
The most important discovery our writers made was that the key to making changes in their lives was to tune into their body – to make changes from what they were feeling and to constantly refine their choices. As Lyndy shares, “The body is the greatest educator if only we give it a chance."
Mary agrees, “The more I make my choices from what I feel, the clearer I become about what supports me and the improvement in my health, my vitality and enjoyment in life continues to amaze me.”
It was not just a matter of making more loving choices now and then, but doing this on a consistent basis in all areas of life. As Kathleen found, “It was certainly time to work on a new way of being. This meant changing everything in a steady, consistent manner, not in my usual pendulum swing: the way I ate, what I ate, when I ate, the time I went to bed, why I went to bed, and the way I prepared myself to go to bed.”
Lyndy had a similar approach, ”I began to re-assess my diet by feeling the effects in my body of the various foods I ate, I began to go to bed at a reasonable hour, waking up earlier so that my body could get true, refreshing rest. I began to go for walks regularly and build a rhythmical way of conducting my day.”
All writers would now agree with Jane when she shares, ”I now have the greatest relationship with myself that I have ever had and it continues to build day by day. I know myself more than ever, and a lot of the disregarding habits I had have completely dissipated as I continue to learn through my daily living experiences.”
Why not give it a go – there is much to gain and nothing to lose? As Mary reminds us, “as we get older we become aware that our bodies require more loving attention to keep them in good working order, much as an old cherished vintage car needs to be kept in a garage, receive regular maintenance, be fuelled with the best quality fuel available and not taken out for drives in bad weather conditions.”
Compiled by Anne McR., Australia