Nurture strengths to assist our journey

And so we begin the month of February in this New Year of 2014.

Barbara 2In this ‘job’ I’m extremely fortunate to meet a very wide range of people from all areas of life and across all age groups – from very small children to those who used to be known as ‘elderly’ (or the ‘older’ generation).  Looking at those small children and knowing that one day, if all goes well, they too will join the older group I can’t help wondering what lies in store for them as they travel toward the autumn shades of life.  In this, a picture of utter tranquility, Barbara demonstrates that the mature person can find a new way, a meditative way, to ensure that life can become easier, healthier and far more enjoyable.

The 21st century has brought many positive changes including tremendous medical progress.  But not least, the recognition that age is no barrier to enjoying our latter years.   So how can one experience it throughout the life span?

We can’t really enjoy life if we’re unhealthy so keeping good health as we age (mature or ripen to fullness maybe nicer concepts?) simply has to be top of the list.  Think of all the things we can’t participate when we’re unwell, injured, depressed or in pain.  The list is endless and the disappointment very compelling.   If we want prolonged life enjoyment then we must nurture health enhancement – and that means health of body, mind and spirit.  And, perhaps (especially from a woman’s point of view) we also want to look as ‘well’ as possible, too.

I happened to catch a short radio interview recently with ‘May’ now aged 108 and living independently in Melbourne.  What an achievement – and as she described her weekly activities to John Fain, she sounded pretty much up to date with where she aimed to be right now.  A few days later, browsing The Age Good Weekend, there was another mature age achiever – Carmen Dell’Orefice, the American model still glamorously strutting the catwalk at age 82.  And lo and behold, just as I put that article down, among the mail was the local pharmacy network magazine which included an ‘Ageing Well’ article, prompting more thought on this important matter.

Putting beauty therapy aside, National Pharmacies recommend regular Pap smear testing, bowel screen testing and breast screen to name the obvious few of many tests available for men and women.  Well and good.

But there’s one other very important area of health enhancement to address: what about stress?  It’s well accepted (even to most scientists these days) that stress plays a powerful role in hastening the ageing process and inciting illness.  So it’s very important to heed ways and means to nip that process in the bud and set about sourcing remedies for stress.

With due respect to the pharmacies and to prescriptive medical remedies, stress is best managed through natural awareness of the needs of our whole being and personal dedication to attending to these.  There are many ways to achieve that attention including participation in physical or sporting activities, eating a balanced diet, keeping well hydrated, walking among the trees, taking up Yoga or Pilates (or even just regular stretching), staying involved in social interaction and never neglecting the practice of mentally stimulating hobbies or interests  … and absolutely never forgetting books and music!  We also need to keep abreast of current affairs and interesting conversations and I think the observation of some avenue of spiritual or religious practice is another necessity to satisfy the hunger of our soul.

Added to those items mentioned is our specialty at this Centre which is, of course, the practice of mental rest – the complete opposite to all activity and a very necessary moderating influence for body, mind and spirit.  That brings me to recognize again a moment in the life of our very own mature age achiever and ‘meditation model’, Barbara, (who is entirely happy for us to mention her name and also screen her photograph).  And guess what?  Her practice of SMT only began within a matter of a mere few months.

Stories like this abound and we love to share our excitement in telling you of others’ positive change.  In short, it’s never too late to learn any new skill – in this case, one that some may approach at first with reservations … but having done so, then literally sit back and enjoy the results.

Treasure each day as the gift that it is and enjoy building strengths to sustain the journey.