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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Don’t Let An Old Person Move In

The Mirror Labyrinth and Strahov Monastery, Prague
You’re no longer in your 30’s, maybe not even in your 40’s anymore. Or more: So you’re getting older. But think of this: don’t let an old person move in. I heard that the other day on a CD by the perennial Wayne Dyer. What he was saying was this: don’t let your mind-set become that of an old person. Don’t buy into the cliché that says that when you’re older you’re no longer productive, that you no longer have an agile mind, that you no longer function the way you did when you were younger. Above all, don’t let mass thinking cloud your mind and cause you to believe that you have to age.

Now let’s be clear: you will age chronologically. You will also get wrinkles and grey or white hair. You will furthermore notice that people of an age you once considered old, are now younger than you are…but that does not mean you should let an old person move in.

Move in where? Into you. This addresses your whole outlook on aging. Your aging paradigm. The way you think about aging. If you decide that aging means slowing down, no longer producing and functioning in a vital way, well then that is what you will have. If, on the other hand, you greet each passing chronological year as a new challenge to continue growing as a human being, who is constantly learning something new and continuing to contribute to society, or the neighbourhood, or his personal environment, then you do not age.

Much developmental and life-span research has been completed in recent years about what is being called the third and fourth age, those periods of life that comprise somewhere between 65-85 and 85 and upwards respectively, and this is what has been discovered, much to the surprise of Western empirical thought: wisdom in chronologically older persons equals if not outweighs the speed and agility of thought in younger people. In other words, while it is true that people lose some of the swiftness of thought as they grow older, if they remain mentally active, the quality of their thought, called wisdom allows them to perform on a highly functioning level as compared to younger people. Some of their brain cells may no longer be around, but the connections, or dendrites between their existing brain cells are so numerous, that they make up for possible losses. Remember this as you consider your own aging.

Aging consciously is a process that allows you to recognize that while you have lived a great many years, and while you are no longer physically young, you are, however, and continue to be - if this is your choice and you actively follow it - young in your inner self, in your mind and spirit.

This is truly your choice. Decide now, no matter what your current age, that you will not let an old person move in. Decide now that you will always be young in that part of you that is important: your thoughts, your feelings, your soul.

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