he building blocks for a foundation for successful and positive aging are: The Power of Us (social support), The Power of Me (your spirit), Mindfulness, Positivity, the Four A's, and Balancing. Below presents the benefits of tapping into your spirit (the power of me) as you age.
Your spirit is your best friend. It’s part of your social support group; it’s the power of me. As humans age the physical body declines while the spiritual body continues to grow. I believe growing old is about your spirit taking center stage and I’m not alone in this belief. Spiritual awareness is on the rise in America. Meditation groups and yoga classes are becoming increasingly popular across the nation. Some companies offer meditation to their employees. More and more people use phrases like “universal life energy” and “unity consciousness” which reflect the beliefs that there is a consciousness connecting all life. The revolution of the spirit is here.
Follow your spirit and the marks of aging become inconveniences rather than burdens. They are inconveniences because they do not threaten your life, they only threaten your way of life and possibly the quality of your life. Inconvenience is something that causes trouble or problems. View marks of aging as an inconvenience, and the obstacles ahead aren’t as intimidating.
Embrace your spiritual body and you will perceive aging through a stronger lens with greater clarity. You will be more confident and secure and you will no longer be embarrassed or ashamed about marks of aging, whether it’s battling cancer or heart disease, a decline in physical appearance, a disabled body function or a mental impairment. The goal is to have a healthier and longer lifespan filled with meaning.
Physical appearance is not important; it’s what is inside that matters. Try telling that to any teenage girl (or boy) getting ready for a Saturday night date. Or for that matter try telling it to any woman who is putting on a nice outfit, applying make-up and fixing her hair to run to the grocery store to pick up some lettuce and milk. The importance of physical appearance is firmly entrenched in American society.
Most people are more focused on how they appear to be—both physically and socially—than how they really are. Many of us care more about how other people perceive us then how we genuinely feel about ourselves.
Not surprisingly, superficial appearances matter less as we grow older. Older people covered in wrinkles and age spots become more focused on their health and the authenticity of relationships than with physical attributes and social status.
So how do you nurture and grow your spiritual body? As you rely on your five senses (see, hear, touch, taste, smell) to nurture your physical body, you should rely on your intuitive perception to nurture your spiritual body.
Perhaps you have experienced times when your spirit unexpectedly surges ahead of your ego. For me, one such time occurred when I vacationed in Costa Rica years ago. I was walking in a place where the rain forest meets the ocean. As I strolled on the white sands of the Costa Rican beach, to my left was a breathtaking sight of clear blue ocean waves hitting against the shore, while on my right was a picturesque view of a tropical rain forest with monkeys jumping from tree to tree and exotic birds boasting the colors of the rainbow perched on tree limbs. In that moment, I was free of past and future thoughts; I felt no anxiety or sadness. I felt happiness and joy and I didn’t have a care in the world. My spirit had come for a visit.
Seek out these moments that allow your spirit to reveal itself. Create more of these moments as you encounter the marks of aging and you will feel that sense of calm and infinite peace in your inner self. Harness it; capture the feeling and call upon it often as you age.
Create activities that make it easy and fun to tap into your spirit. You can reach your spirit by clearing your mind through meditation and other activities. Let’s introduce spirit-related activities that can be inserted seamlessly into your daily routines.
Just as you exercise your physical body to gain strength and stay healthy and fit, your brain/mind also needs to be exercised so you can tap into your spiritual body.
Someone who has never trained for running would have a difficult time finishing a 26-mile marathon, but with proper training running a marathon is an attainable goal. Similarly, someone who has never trained in a spiritual sense, may experience frustration, but in due time will likely succeed.
My next blog will present some popular ways that people tap into their spiritual body. I used some of these successfully during my battle with cancer.
David Alan Lereah, PhD