2017 has been a wild ride. We’re all another year older, and for those of us past our first bloom of youth, the typical New Year’s year-in-review reflection and resolution/intention-setting may now be tinged with a sense of urgency over passing time and/or regret or grief over disappointments and lost advantages of youth.
After my birthday this year, for the first time in my life, I fantasized about a do-over. I wished I could go back in time and do things differently, but only if I could back with everything I know now. I struggled for a few months with self-judgement and heartbreak over failures, disappointments and lost years.
My life wasn’t where I thought I’d be by this point and I hadn’t accomplished all I set out to create and manifest.
Then one day, in a meditation, my inner guidance pointed out all the things I’ve gained with age. When I listed them out, I realized that every single one can keep growing and getting better with each year of my life. My capacity for these values and qualities is basically unlimited, so as I grow, they grow.
9 Things That Got Better with Age
Embodied presence – my ability to be present to the moment and with other people, to be fully present in my body
Self-awareness – understanding my true nature and personal issues
Creative power – my capacity to open the channel to pure creative energy
Trust and self-confidence – confidence in my abilities, trust in myself, my intuition and inner guidance
Pleasure – my capacity for pleasure is greater, I savor things more
Love – I’m more open and able to share and express love, my relationships are much deeper and richer
Self-love and self-worth – more love and appreciation for myself and my humanity, more sense of my intrinsic value and worth
Compassion – more compassion for myself and others, more understanding of others
Sure, I’ve lost some things with age, but it’s mostly superficial things about my appearance. I’ve gained a few pounds with a more sedentary writer’s life, I’ve lost some skin tone, my hair’s gone grey and my knees aren’t what they were before the toll of downhill skiing, but overall, my healthy lifestyle of the past 35 years has kept me in glowing health and vitality. I can still do pretty much everything I could do when I was 30, with no loss of flexibility or strength. I owe this to a clean, organic, vegetarian diet and regular advanced yoga practice. I’m adventurous and curious and will pursue anything that interests me. I took up tango in a serious way a couple of years ago and will happily join in most any water adventure. My skirts are a little longer, because at my age, it’s just tacky to dress like a 22-year-old, but that doesn’t stop me getting down on the dance floor. I won’t apologize for, or suppress my sexuality, which is undiminished in appetite but more sensitive and deeper than ever.
When I review the list of qualities that got better with age, it’s obvious that my commitment to personal growth work and spiritual practice have made the ultimate difference in my life.
There’s no limit to the amount of awareness, wisdom, or compassion I could potentially access. There’s no limit to the amount of love and appreciation I could experience and share. There’s no limit to the amount of creative energy I could contact and channel.
Many people gain little wisdom or self-awareness over the years, but if you’re willing to grow and stay open, your life experience can be deeper, richer and fuller now than when you were younger. I don’t fantasize about a do-over anymore. I’m grateful for my unlimited capacity to grow and evolve. Another new year? Bring it on!
Sending love and a shower of blessings for a happy magical New Year 2018!