When we enter the cycle of redefining celebration in our elder years it may be hard for us to acknowledge it as a time for celebration due to the conditioning of our beliefs and ideals. However, if we look at the true meaning of celebration there is much to celebrate as we grow older – our beauty in full bloom.
However, now in our elder years, we are perhaps less self-centred and can celebrate without the focus of an exciting or stimulating event. We now know that to ‘celebrate’ has a deeper meaning for us: to honour, observe, recognise, acknowledge and appreciate. We are talking about celebration being an inner feeling that stays with us and doesn’t need others to confirm a reason for celebrating. It is a steadiness that doesn’t have ‘ups and downs’, it is more of a joyful acknowledgement of what we feel within and emanate to others. It is also a time when we can acknowledge others, so let’s take a moment to celebrate all the people in our life – partners, children, grandchildren, parents, friends, neighbours, work colleagues, bosses, our doctors and health practitioners, and appreciate how they enrich our lives.
As we age there is the opportunity for a deepening connection to our body, as it often speaks loudly to us! Usually, it is not until we have a stop moment from an illness or injury that we begin to really appreciate how amazing our body is. If we are willing to listen and learn, we realise that there is a more loving and gentle way to move and live. This is the time in our lives when we may have space and freedom to be more self-caring and self-nurturing.
If we can let go of the never-ending busyness dictated to us by the ‘to-do list’, we find that, though the ‘to-do list’ may still be there, we now have freedom of choice in the how, what, when & why and there is a deeper quality in the choices we make. It is this focus on quality that supports us in appreciating who we are and what we can bring to others. We can bring more value to what we are doing rather than being caught up in the stress and pressures of life.
As we discover this deepening relationship within ourselves, we feel a settlement in our being and it becomes effortless to share this with family, friends and all the people we interact with during our daily connections.
Once we connect to this inner quality, we don’t play ball with outside pressures or promises to be younger. We are then able to accept how we look and feel without judgement and allow our beauty to emanate from within. It is, in fact, a celebration of the whole being, an appreciation of our strengths and qualities and the wisdom of an elder – our beauty in full bloom.
This way of being is noticed by others and is a powerful way of connecting with and communicating our joy.
We are all social beings no matter what our age and it is certainly no different when we pass the sixty mark! Having the space and the confidence to connect to people with a smile and a lightness of being, can turn a dull day into a joyful day. How special is it when we give a compliment to a service-worker who might be so intent on their own busyness of getting things done that they haven’t stopped to enjoy meeting their fellow human-beings? Connecting with others as equals dispels the divisions of age and gender. The simplicity of smiling at life is to be appreciated and we can be wonderful role models to show how it is done.
In our elder years we are able to appreciate simple pleasures without the glamour or excitement that we may have sought in our youth, for example a fuss-free dinner at home with friends rather than a fancy restaurant dinner, can bring much joy and pleasure, as can the simple activity of picking spring flowers or fresh herbs from our garden.
We can also celebrate those moments, on our own, when we connect to divine order and celebrate the magic of being touched by the beauty of the sunrise, a fresh dew-drop on a petal, raindrops falling on the window pane, a clear bird song or the power of storm clouds.
In our elder years, we are more likely to recognise that what is important is to live in the moment, knowing that it is all part of the journey of life. We have an understanding that difficult situations and stresses of life don’t last forever, so therefore stress and anxiousness don’t run our lives like they used to because we are now more able to observe and not absorb the dramas that may be happening around us. From our experience of living we have gained a level of trust that we can deal with whatever is before us, and this confidence allows us to keep a steadiness and not be so challenged in our lives. Throughour life experiences we have built a solid foundation that enables us to be confident in sharing our elder wisdom.
It is worth celebrating that with this steady presence we are able to support others through listening, without any judgment or comparison, and not feeling any urgency to tell our own story. When we hold people with understanding and truly connect with them, they feel safe to open up and share with us.
Age is just a number – we can feel old at any age but when do we start to appreciate what it is about each stage of life that makes it worthy of celebrating?
If we are open to our own potential and what we can bring, there is much to celebrate in our elder years and if we can bring this quality into every action and appreciate ourselves, others will see Beauty in Full Bloom.
Ruth A., Sandra N., Bernadette C., Australia
You may also like to read this article to confirm our beauty in full bloom: