June 15 Meditation - On Aging, Well
I’ve been reading Christiane Northrup’s book, “Goddesses Never Age,” which has some really lovely parts. The gist is that joy and self-love keep you youthful and vivacious. And, related to that, things like self-criticism, guilt, shame, and obligation both age us and also hold us back from our fullest expression. So, she repeatedly encourages the reader: find out what lights you up and pursue that! Whether it’s dance or supportive relationships or your favorite foods or reconnecting with your sensuality, find the things that make you feel beautiful and alive and feminine, and don’t accept cheap knock offs.
I’ve been thinking about aging lately, maybe because I have a birthday coming up, and a lot of these ideas are really resonating. As the body ages, and the face changes, and parts of physical mobility decline, it’s so important to connect with the ageless, eternal part of myself. It’s another example of seeing and accepting what is. And it’s both validating and a reality check. I am more than this body. I am more than my thoughts.
And, of course, a big part of this process is coming to terms with the inner dialogue. If your inner voice is telling you that you’re worthless or ugly or spent, that’s going to become your reality. You are creating and enforcing your own belief system every time you criticize yourself or berate yourself. So once again, the challenge is to resist the thoughts, or at least to question the thoughts. As Byron Katie says, “Is it true? Can I know it’s true? How do you react when you believe the thought? Who would you be without the thought?”
I was listening to a podcast with one of Ram Dass’s followers and he said he had a huge breakthrough when he realized that most people’s problems began and ended with the fact that they believed their own thoughts. Let that sink in—what it means is that you have immense power to change your thoughts and therefore change your reality.
So here we are, as young as we’ll ever be. I’m 35 for 5 more days. Let’s use this time to show gratitude for what is and also to find the eternal stillness that’s beyond the mind and beyond the body.
A Man Talking To His House
I say that no one in this caravan is awake
and that while you sleep, a thief is stealing
the signs and symbols of what you thought
was your life. Now you're angry with me for
telling you this! Pay attention to those who
hurt your feelings telling you the truth.
Giving and absorbing compliments is like
trying to paint on water, that insubstantial.
Here is how a man once talked with his house,
“Please, if you're ever about to collapse,
let me know.” One night without a word the
house fell. “What happened to our agreement?”
The house answered, “Day and night I've been
telling you with cracks and broken boards and
holes appearing like mouths opening. But you
kept patching and filling those with mud, so
proud of your stopgap masonry. You didn't
listen.” This house is your body always
saying, I'm leaving; I'm going soon. Don't
hide from one who knows the secret. Drink
the wine of turning toward God. Don't examine
your urine. Examine instead how you praise,
what you wish for, this longing we've been
given. Fall turns pale yellow light wanting
spring and spring arrives! Trees blossom.
Come to the orchard and see what comes to
you, a silent conversation with your soul.