Is it possible to age without growing? This is todays writing prompt for the NaBloPoMo and it's a great question.
Let's look at the term aging for a moment. Aging merely calculates the number of years since your date of birth. As a culture we are anti aging - just check out any cover of a magazine for the latest tips on remaining youthful or any cosmetic counter for all the very latest creams and potions to fight the ravages of time. But the truth is that aging is a given. The years are going to pass regardless of how much we try to stop them.
The only guaranteed anti-aging device is to die young. Hmmm doesn't seem like much of a choice does it?
As George Bernard Shaw says
Youth is wasted on the young.
When we are young we think we know everything. We think that we will live forever, that we are invincible. We also think that we are the only ones having sex ( Miley Cyrus is famous for stating that people over forty don't have sex anymore. You are sooo wrong Miley! So very wrong.) or at least that we are the only ones having hot, steamy sex.
The truth is very different ( a) sex gets better with age ( b) there is always so much more to learn (with sex but also just in general) (c) nobody lives forever.
How we age is a different matter all together.
Christiane Northrup has just written a great book called "Goddesses Never Age" which talks about the effect of our thoughts on aging and the impact that has on our bodies.
In my own life I look to some of the older people that I know. My ex mother in law is 86 years old and still just amazing. She travels the world. She still lives in her own house which she built - out of mud bricks while in her 60's. People thought she was mad to even attempt something at that age but she didn't let that stop her. You can read more of her story here.
The most impressive thing in all of that was the way Dhaj continued to grow and evolve into the person that she wanted to be. Other people's opinions were of little interest to her, what mattered was what she envisioned for herself.
On the other hand is my own mother who is now 82. In her 70's she decided that she could no longer travel the two hours to come and visit me, she was too old to be making such long trips. A completely different attitude to the process of aging to Dhaj.
Aging is inevitable. Growing, on the other hand, is a choice.
In any given moment we can grow into a better version of ourselves.When a car cuts us off we can flip them a hand sginal or breathe and grow a little wiser and softer.
We can choose to grow by learning something new, stretching ourselves in different ways. We can take up exercise or start yoga or dancing. We can develop a spiritual practice such as meditation or go on a retreat or travel.
Growing is always available as an option.
How are you choosing to age? Are you finding new challenges and stretches? Or are you settling, comfortably into old age?