14 Oct Learn to Embrace the Beauty and Wisdom of Age
The other night I facilitated a Dharma Talk, a time where people come together to share insight on spirituality and learn. One of the topics that came up was aging and how awful it can be. Why do we hate aging so much? The big reason may be because we are afraid of death and the older we get, the more we feel we are almost there. Many students are currently dealing with aging and dying parents, and mixed in with the sadness of their loss is the fear that they are next in line. The other reason is that our culture has supported this disgust toward aging and anything to do with it—wrinkles, grey hair—and we blame all aches and pains on aging. Our culture equates beauty with youth, and we can become insecure in our physical attributes as we age.
I believe, however, that our beauty is contained in our soul. Dictionary.com defines beauty as:
the quality present in a thing or person that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind, whether arising from sensory manifestations (as shape, color, sound, etc.), a meaningful design or pattern, or something else (as a personality in which high spiritual qualities are manifest).
My favorite Aunt who is now 85 years old is very proud of her wrinkles as she calls them happy lines. And she giggles often like a little school girl. I think she is one of the most beautiful women ever. When she passes away, I will remember her laugh and talk about how beautiful she was. She is constantly giving thanks and so happy when I call and visit. And when she doesn’t hear from me or see me for awhile, she’s always so excited to hear my stories. She asks about yoga, and laughs as she thinks an Iowa farm wife doesn’t know anything about it, but she is one of the best yogis I know. She celebrates life and the people that are around her.
A simple yogic practice if you are struggling with aging, besides the asana practice, is to turn off the T.V. and sit and meditate. There is no reason to watch “beauty” commercials when they are all about anti-aging. This is not helping you feel better. Instead, feel your body, your breath, and that inner joy you have that makes you radiate true beauty and light.