Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely.” ~Rodin (1840-1917)
I met a woman who was 100 years old. She was beautiful. Stood tall, no cane. Gracious demeanor. Totally present. White wavy hair, sparkling blue eyes, creamy soft skin creased near the eyes from a century of smiles. She radiated a vibrant energy people pay for, but can’t keep because its not real. I not only saw her beauty beneath the etchings of time; I felt it.
A hundred years of surfing the unpredictable, yet universal waves of emotions. One person holding thousands…millions, of experiences inside. Witnessed technology born and change the original idea of connection and convenience. Had her own challenges and heart aches like every one else.
Loved. Laughed. Cried. Hurt. Happy. Hoped. Dreamed. Touched. Listened. Talked. Lost some, gained more. Grew stronger in grief. Loved more. Let go of the past. Said hello to each day…knowing she wouldn’t say goodbye to her last.
In the twilight of her life, her eyes twinkled like a child’s. Lighting the room with her mere presence.
In awe, I asked, “what keeps you so young? What’s the secret?”.
She chuckled and she motioned me to come closer to hear her secret: “I may have snow on my head, but I have a fire in my heart. That is what keeps me warm.” She smiled as she tapped her heart.
With gentleness, her fingers touched my chest. “Keep adding to it by sharing it. That’s keeps it lit.”
Wow. I wanted to bow and kiss her hand for this gracious offering of life earned wisdom.
We think technology gives us time. The truth is, technology is a time thief. The faster things get done, the faster the clock ticks. The list gets longer and time gets shorter. We grasp on the latest craze for fitness, health, happiness….never satisfied for long. That’s why the cycle of history repeats.
With yoga, I’ve noticed how the practice changes the body and the mind changes the practice. What was once a novel pose becomes a familiar comfort. The secret is when you morph familiar into the unfamiliar. That takes practice on and off the mat.
As the practice sharpens all the senses, so does the relationships the yogi has with him/herself and others. You discover you had to stretch your muscles to stretch your consciousness. Your rooted essence reaches out to feel beyond the physical.
You hear what resonates and deaf to what doesn’t. That never changes.
I can say this…you care less about edges and more about energy. The older you get, the deeper you go. Wise are those who stop thinking they know so much. Liberated are those not standing knee high in the past. Sophomoric reaction replaced with a soft space. It takes experience and effort to attain senior status. The greatest don’t let go of the child’s hand that guided them from the beginning.
Perhaps that’s what it means to age gracefully. You may not have 100 years to learn this; so, I’m telling you now. Keep adding to your ring of fire….your smile will brighten every heart you meet.