I had a birthday yesterday. I turned 38. I know, I know, many of you are like, “what? you don’t look a day over 30!” And I say, “you are too kind, I get that all the time;)”
So how do I feel about another year of life passing? I feel BLESSED! Grateful for my good genes and outer appearance but even more grateful for my inner appearance...and here is why...
1. Because I've been through alot of shit and I have learned and I've grown - I've expanded my empathy for others and set boundaries to protect myself, I've turned my wounds into wisdom, resentment into compassion and fear into love...this having been through shit tells me in no uncertain terms that I am my age, I may not look it but I have the resume to prove it;)
I'll clarify that life has not been all shit, it’s been fun and amazing too, summers in Hawaii and winters in ski cabins, travelling the World playing with elephants and monkeys, I could go on and on - but these aren't the experiences that made me the wise and fearless, badass love warrior I am today.
No, its not these, it’s those shit times you want to escape from, that bring you to your knees, that you beg to disappear from...transforming like the lotus flower out of the muddy dark waters into a undeniably beautiful flower...that’s what makes aging worth it.
2. Because Buddha and Einstein told me to - these dudes nail it every time, they're my heroes...here's what they said:
Buddha: “If we can see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change.”
Einstein: “Don’t wait for a miracle, your whole life is a miracle.”
**bonus nugget of wisdom: Einstein was very fond of Buddhism!! So not sure if his stating this was a shoutout to Buddha or his own but both guys are hail-worthy.
And this is how I have learned to look at life and each of us - as miracles. I didn't always look at life this way and I thank the universe for my meditation and law of attraction practise for getting me to this mindset...without them I'd be blind... you either choose to look at life as a miracle or you don’t, choose wisely.
3. Because my job...I get to change people’s lives - without all these years under my belt I would not have the honour and privilege of teaching people the transformational powers of positive thought, the healing powers of intentional touch, the grounding powers of meditation or the life enhancing principles of yoga. Being able to effect positive change in people’s lives through sharing my wisdom and teachings lights me up…I’ve recently started taking on-on-one Reiki clients and can’t tell you how rewarding it is...I couldn’t do any of this without all these years behind me!
4. Because I have my inner child to keep me young and curious - we all have an inner child who we never lose. Yes we "grow up" and for that think our child self is gone but have you noticed that when your elders get old and frail they revert back to being child like? It's because our child self has never left us but as adults we ignore him or her! Well, I don't ignore Mandi (no one called me Mandalei growing up unless I was in big trouble;) anymore, I reacquainted with her a couple years ago and being with her and asking her what she wants and needs keeps me curious which keeps me young.
5. Because yoga told me to - the principle of Santosha (the 2nd Niyama, Niyama means “positive duty/observance”) leads us to contentment through acceptance and Svadhyaya (the 4th Niyama) leads us to going deep inward to get to know ourselves. Without these principles I wouldn't have been able to reflect or write anything like I’ve written above, I’d probably be crying about being another year older, loathing the wrinkles and sagging to come...but instead I can embrace them for with them comes more life, more miracles!
With that I’ll admit, there is the old, socially (and perhaps inadvertently) conditioned part of me, the Mandalei who grew up in Las Vegas and enamored with Hollywood - showbiz, showbiz, showbiz - that believes that aging is bad and we need to stay looking and acting young.
I denounce that conditioning….because numero 6...
6. I get more time to become who I was always meant to be… - the late and great David Bowie said:
“Aging is an extraordinary process where you become the person you always should have been.”
The late and loved Osho said: “Discover yourself, otherwise you have to rely on other people’s opinions who don’t know themselves.”
Hear, hear guys... aging gives us time to get to know ourselves and reverse the conditioning that caused us to be blind to our truth selves to begin with… and becoming our true self is the greatest gift of life there is. Who said that one? Did I just coin a tweet-worthy quote?!
Looking forward to getting to know Mandalei a bit better and how the years to come will serve me in serving others along their journeys…