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Posts tagged ‘aging well’

Making A Difference As An Elder

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Jane Goodall is one of my favorite and inspirational women elders of this day and age.  She just turned 80 years old and is still traveling the world as a very powerful agent for positive change in the world.  In this last year I have had the honor of connecting with some very powerful women who are not only older than me, but in some cases decades older.

As I near the age of 66 in July there are moments when I wonder if I have the stamina, energy and yes courage to not walk in the footsteps of these amazing women, but instead create my own path, and as Jane says above “decide what difference I want to make”!  This question is most probably in many of your minds and hearts these days as our planet demands that we shift our consciousness and take actions from that place of deep listening and opening to new and authentic places within ourselves.

A couple of weeks ago now I was privileged to listen to Gladys McGarey, MD, MD(H) give an hour long talk  here in Austin, Texas filled with stories from her life and demonstrating to me that age only inspires a greater longing to be taking action and serving from that higher purpose that we came in with.  Dr. Gladys as she likes to be called was brought up in the Himalayas by American parents and climbed up 1000 feet everyday (from 6,000 to 7,000 feet) after school to be embraced by her amah and taken into her shawl where she was comforted after a challenging day at school (she was severely dyslexic).

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Gladys McGarey, MD, MD(H), age 93

From this start Dr. Gladys became the “Mother of Holistic Medicine” here in the United States and now has The Foundation for Living Medicine.  The new Living Medicine model recognizes the wholeness of life rather than the absence of disease.  Dr. Gladys states that life and love are the aspects that really do the healing.  She is still seeing patients and is the director of The Foundation for Living Medicine.  Dr. Gladys is 93 years old!!

As I watched her that evening speak of the concerns that she is most passionate about I saw a vital, alive, vibrant, intelligent, beautiful woman standing erect in her flowing clothing from India and not once taking a break in an entire hour of speaking.  The inspiration for me came not from her words, which were very wise indeed, but from her presence!

It is women like Dr. Gladys, Jane Goodall, Jean Houston, Barbara Marx Hubbard (whom I was privileged to study with for 6 months last year), Lynn Twist,  elder women in political, economic, creative and social change roles and the thousands of global “grandmothers” that are doing such important service in the world – who have found what making a difference is in their own unique ways.

There is an inquiry that I use in my breathing workshops often.  It asks, “if you were to live your life as you breathed, how would you want to be breathing?”  My answer of course is fully, naturally and authentically….which can be the foundation for every thought, word, movement, choice and action we take impacting the world around us.

What kind of difference do you want to make?

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photo(62)Gaye Abbott, RYT assists individuals to drop the layers that cover the natural innate blueprint we came in with and reveal, through a combination of evolutionary energy work, Jin Shin Jyutsu, Reiki and breath re-patterning, the larger purpose and co-creative expression that we are here for.

For those interested in receiving private sessions please contact Gaye at: JoyfulGaye@NaturalPassages.com.  Travel to your location in the U.S. or globally is available.  Please inquire.  Skype: gaye.abbott

OTHER BLOGS BY GAYE ABBOTT:
www.BreathingSpaces.net
www.NaturalWealthJournal.com

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The Yearning

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Enough. These few words are enough. If not these words, this breath. If not this breath, this sitting here. This opening to the life we have refused again and again until now. Until now.David Whyte

Today I sat with two beautiful women friends and we leaped from one deep discussion to the next often with laughter and humility.  What kept breaking through every topic, whether it was about profession, creativity, men or patterns that seemed to have kept us stuck….was that deep yearning which we jointly decided every human on this planet has within.

The seemingly elusive “missing” piece to the puzzle that makes up our life.  Is it love, the Divine, the person or child that we wish to shower our love on and have it returned, being at the peak of our profession, or any number of things that we are chasing after.  Kahlil Gibran says, “And think not you can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course”. 

Is it not enough that we open to the life that we have this very moment and find within that moment a glimmer of the missing piece that will “complete us”.  In the very act of chasing after this piece we miss that it is always right here – beyond the “refusing” to open, the refusing that this may be the only breath that we will ever take, the refusing to deeply understand that only in this moment are we complete and that there is nothing else beyond it.

I, like you, have been caught up in this eternal chase powered by the deep yearning that resides within, something seemingly deliciously greater than life in the moment.   The inability to accept that this single moment is not, as our mind would tell us, lacking in anything at all.

Can we ever know for certain what will reveal itself in the next inhale and exhale?  We confront….and then we must surrender.  We create….. and then we must rest within that creation.

Simply opening to the life that has been refused again and again…..there rests the missing piece called yearning.  Coming home over and over and over…..

Be content with what you have, rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.”Lao Tzu

A meditation in yearning, beauty, sensuality, and creativity…..

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941546_10201139084457154_1085573193_nOTHER BLOGS BY GAYE ABBOTT:

www.BreathingSpaces.net
www.NaturalWealthJournal.com

Give Us This Day Our Daily Breath Preview, Reviews and purchase links can be found here:
http://resonancewithlife.com/daily-breath-book/

You Are More Beautiful Than You Think

How does the title of this blog post make you feel?  What are the feelings that arise when you consider your own beauty?

As women we are so often self critical about many things in our appearance.  If it isn’t the media or our culture that is demanding we look a certain way in order to be loved, get the job, get the man, or even get the attention….it is our own inability to accept the features and bodies that we have been given.

Beauty is considered in so many different ways by people all over the world.  But isn’t real beauty that which shines through the features? The features that are a pathway to all of the experiences that have made up this one precious life!  The soul of who we are!380354_10150709043892185_280837062184_8265230_1562739305_n

It is the deepest parts of our being that shine forth if we but allow the open and whole expression of who we really are.  Accepting the natural beauty that resides within and reflects on the outside – even the wrinkles, lines and flaws – encourages us as women to express fully without holding back anything!

Can we really be open to how others see us and realize that we are much more beautiful than we think?  Watch this short video and reflect.  Perhaps it will lead you to come out of hiding…

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www.NaturalWealthJournal.com

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www.ResonanceWithLife.com

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A Lesson On Aging

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This beautiful woman named Rose has a lesson to teach all of us who find that we are slightly, or greatly, discouraged by the aging process.  Although Rose is no longer with us her story is below and I think will give you some inspiration as to the preciousness of each moment of this incredible life we have been given.

As I come to the turning of 65 this coming July I keep thinking (and feeling!) that I am so much younger.  What it seems to be to me is the timelessness of our indomitable spirit which is ageless and craves living full tilt, though the body at times fails to cooperate much to our dismay!  There is always another opportunity to live our passions!!  For Rose it was going to college and getting her degree…for me it is returning to doing energy bodywork, teaching, and starting a new book just for women!

These days I find all around me examples of “older women” stepping right into their passions and staunchly refusing to crumple 394078_422487367817367_1125191106_nunder the youth crazed culture.  They are real, aware, wise, healthy, courageous, creative, beautiful….and very, very sexy!  I will include myself in there,  as well as many women that I know!

As Rose so wisely said, “REMEMBER, GROWING OLDER IS MANDATORY. GROWING UP IS OPTIONAL.”  What will you fill the “optional” with??  …in this one wild and precious life?!  Oh, so many things to choose from! Yummm!!

Roses Story:

An 87 Year Old College Student Named Rose
The first day of school our professor introduced himself and challenged us to get to know someone we didn’t already know.
I stood up to look around when a gentle hand touched my shoulder. I turned round to find a wrinkled, little old lady beaming up at me with a smile that lit up her entire being.

She said, “Hi handsome. My name is Rose. I’m eighty-seven years old. Can I give you a hug?”
I laughed and enthusiastically responded, “Of course you may!” and she gave me a giant squeeze.
“Why are you in college at such a young, innocent age?” I asked.
She jokingly replied, “I’m here to meet a rich husband, get married, and have a couple of kids…”
“No seriously,” I asked. I was curious what may have motivated her to be taking on this challenge at her age.
“I always dreamed of having a college education and now I’m getting one!” she told me.

After class we walked to the student union building and shared a chocolate milkshake. We became instant friends. Every day for the next three months, we would leave class together and talk nonstop. I was always mesmerized listening to this “time machine”
as she shared her wisdom and experience with me.

Over the course of the year, Rose became a campus icon and she easily made friends wherever she went. She loved to dress up and she reveled in the attention bestowed upon her from the other students. She was living it up.

534833_395426110514228_703915838_nAt the end of the semester we invited Rose to speak at our football banquet. I’ll never forget what she taught us. She was
introduced and stepped up to the podium.  As she began to deliver her prepared speech, she dropped her three by five cards on the floor. Frustrated and a little embarrassed she leaned into the microphone and simply said, “I’m sorry I’m so jittery. I gave up beer for Lent and this whiskey is killing me! I’ll never get my speech back in order so let me just tell
you what I know.”

As we laughed she cleared her throat and began, “We do not stop playing because we are old; we grow old because we stop
playing. There are only four secrets to staying young, being happy, and achieving success. You have to laugh and find humor every day.  You’ve got to have a dream. When you lose your dreams, you die.  We have so many people walking around who are dead and don’t even know it!

There is a huge difference between growing older and growing up.  If you are nineteen years old and lie in bed for one full year and don’t do one productive thing, you will turn twenty years old.  If I am eighty-seven years old and stay in bed for a year and never do anything I will turn eighty-eight.  Anybody can grow older. That doesn’t take any talent or ability. The idea is to grow up by always finding opportunity in change.  Have no regrets.  The elderly usually don’t have regrets for what we did, but rather for things we did not do. The only people who fear death are those
with regrets.”

She concluded her speech by courageously singing “The Rose.”  She challenged each of us to study the lyrics and live them out inbernice-bates-91-year-old-yogi our daily lives.  At the year’s end Rose finished the college degree she had begun all those years ago. One week after graduation Rose died  peacefully in her sleep.  Over two thousand college students attended her funeral in tribute to the wonderful woman who taught by example that it’s  never too late to be all you can possibly be .When you finish reading this, please send this peaceful word of advice to your friends and family, they’ll really enjoy it!”

TIP:  Watch the wonderful film: My Afternoons With Margueritte (Available on Netflix)

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WEBSITE:  www.ResonanceWithLife.com

OTHER BLOGS BY GAYE ABBOTT:

www.BreathingSpaces.net
www.NaturalWealthJournal.com

Breath-Book-coverW2(3)Give Us This Day Our Daily Breath Preview, Reviews and purchase links can be found here:
http://resonancewithlife.com/daily-breath-book/

Realize Your Own Magnificence

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Many, many years ago now when I was a Neurosurgical Assistant and Neuroaugmentation Technician in Southern California I was privileged to go to a Conference on Laughter and Play on the Queen Mary docked in Long Beach.  We actually spent two entire days learning about all the ways that one can bring laughter and play into daily life moments.

I attended such events as learning to juggle with marshmellows, how to tell jokes, watching comedy in action on the stage and discovering how improv is created from within…..to the other end of the spectrum – a class on laughter in the death and dying process.  At one point I remember asking a man sitting next to me at the end of a simply hilarious comedy routine what he was writing about so seriously in his notebook.  He proceeded to tell me that he was a comedian and was taking notes on timing, jokes, etc.  Wow!  A seriously committed comedian.

I remember clearly how shifted I felt after bathing in laughter and play for two solid days.  Once I returned to my job at Scripps Clinic in San Diego, back in “real life” so to speak,  I was broadsided by the observation of the seriousness of everyone around me!   I placed joke books in my exam rooms for patients to bring some lightness into their visit, and found that they disappeared pretty quickly.  To this day I hope that it was patients taking off with them to lend some laughter medicine in dealing with a diagnosis of a brain tumor.

My point here is that we do take life way too seriously and our culture seems addicted to drama fed veraciously by our FEARS!  The fact that we are amazing and magnificent human beings housed in these beautiful (but very small compared to who we are) bodies seems often to take a back seat to our current fears or feelings of being less than.

Below you will find a video which I encourage you to watch in its entirety.  It is an interview with Anita Moorjani  who has written the book “Dying To Be Me”.  This is not only a story of a woman who discovers she has cancer and comes to death and back again….but a “resurrection” story of sorts as she recommits to a life lived fearlessly,  making choices from what brings her joy – and supported from a vast awareness of the magnificent, amazing and loving beings we truly are.

Remember who you are….live that…and watch your life and that of others around you shift and change.

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OTHER BLOGS BY GAYE ABBOTT:
Give Us This Day Our Daily Breath Preview, Reviews and purchase links can be found here:Breath-Book-coverW2(3)
http://resonancewithlife.com/daily-breath-book/

Celebrating Natural Beauty

This last Friday I was privileged to watch “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”.   There are many reasons why I found this film delightful, but one of them was that these older actors and actresses were not changed to look younger than their years.  Instead there were lines on faces and bodies that showed age and a life lived.  Each person was a character study in where life had taken them up until the moment that they all found themselves together at the Magnolia Hotel….and by the end of the movie each person had come full circle into acceptance of who they were whether it was by death or by taking a good hard in the face look at life and what they wanted now.

The video below shows Cheryl -Ann Webster and what she is doing to open women and men’s minds to the acceptance of themselves just as they are.  Her Beautiful Women project focuses on what is natural and beautiful in this world versus a socially created image which is unattainable for most people.  She has found that 80% of women, when asked, would change several things about their bodies and appearance if they could and 50% of men.  Are you one of those 80%.  I know that I have been. Cheryl-Ann reminds us that body image is NOT black and white.

Aging, if done gracefully, brings us the wisdom to accept the changes that are inevitable.  It is almost a relief not to feel compelled to mold ourselves into a socially acceptable rendition of what society feels we should look and be like.  The characters in the Marigold Hotel movie are simply being themselves and at times struggling with the fact that they have aged.  Yet in the end, there is a celebration of the natural beauty and wisdom that has been seasoned over the years, and a deeper self acceptance and knowing.

When is it time to accept our bodies and our own natural beauty?  How about now….

WEBSITEwww.ResonanceWithLife.com

OTHER BLOGS BY GAYE ABBOTT:

www.BreathingSpaces.net
www.NaturalWealthJournal.com

Give Us This Day Our Daily Breath Preview and Reviews can be found here:
http://resonancewithlife.com/daily-breath-book/

Feminine Force Transforming Fear Into Love

Several years ago I was privileged to study with many curandera’s high in the hills above Mexico City.  Hardly knowing any Spanish at all I found at the end of 12 days spent there that I was dreaming in the language! This is a testament to the deep healing and opening that occurred as I sat, communed, ate, observed and learned from these very wise people.

I love the face of Grandmother Margarita here as it reminds me of the wisdom, love and passion that women grow into as they age.  Sometimes I don’t quite know how to take steps in this elder life of mine as it seems so different from what came before, but the words below remind me of what is so vitally important for women to remember.  Thank you to Awakening Women Institute for sharing this on Facebook!

Wise words from Grandmother Margarita Núñez García, Curandera and Wisdom Keeper, Mexico (Ingles y Español):

1. The awakening Feminine power corresponds to the heart and affects men and women equally. We are born with two possibilities, love and fear, and this feminine force is urging the transformation of fear into love.

2. Change will occur at the hands of women. For thousands of years (during pre-patriarchal times) woman was considered equal to man, and Earth was never poisoned, then both circumstances changed. The role of women is to honor and value herself and to teach men to love and respect the Earth.

3. Sex is sacred and it is being trivialized.

4. Older people are “like spun gold” for society — at that age it is an ideal time to share experiences and wisdom. According to the Mayan cycles of 13 years, when people turn 52 years of age [note: meaning 4 cycles of 13 years], they “open to universal fatherhood-motherhood,” so any feelings we have of victim-hood should stop and we should say “here I am.”

5. Death does not exist, our consciousness, our spirit, survives the physical body.

6. We are all sacred beings and we should honor ourselves.

7. Our thoughts have the power to create our reality.

8. Joy is an important ingredient in life. Shared with deep respect and prayers for the well being of Grandmothers and Wisdom Keepers of all traditions.

Translated from the Spanish, by Grace Alvarez Sesma.

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WEBSITE:  www.ResonanceWithLife.com

OTHER BLOGS BY GAYE ABBOTT:

www.NaturalWealthJournal.com
www.WildlyFreeWoman.com

Give Us This Day Our Daily Breath Preview and Reviews can be found here:
http://resonancewithlife.com/daily-breath-book/

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