I just celebrated my birthday and the concept of “age” is front and center. I truly feel I am enjoying my 40s, growing and evolving with each year. I would rather not receive the inevitable effects of aging but I have to face facts. Plenty of times, I have heard I'm lucky, ”Black don't crack.” Ha! Ha! But I have to say my Italian grandmother looked fabulous way into her 80s, so I am praying I'll be inheriting those genes.
What I love about aging is coming into yourself on a whole other level. A little transformation here and there gets mixed in with some acceptance and the art of letting go. Powerful stuff. I loved the documentary “Iris,” about one of my fashion idols Iris Apfel, the 93 year old “it” girl. She is celebrated during her golden years for her incredible eccentric style and bold fearlessness she exudes each day as she outwardly expresses her creativity through fashion. She has lived her life with innate passion that is portrayed in her homes, career, wardrobe, mindset and way of being. She wonders what all the hoopla is about her life. In a T Magazine article, Iris states “I'm doing nothing different than what I've done for the last 70-odd years. Maybe I was ahead of the game, and people caught up with me.” What I just love about Iris, is not only how I completely relate to her personal style, but how she lives a radiant non-conformist life. Whether it's her daily art of getting dressed, designing interiors, scouring the world for the perfect find and inspiring her fans, she does what she innately loves to do, with a loving husband by her side.
You are never too old for new achievements and living out your dreams. On the flip side, one of my personal inspirations is my Great Uncle Pete, my grandmother's very Italian 92 year old brother who, in his late 80s, was once the oldest college student in Rhode Island. As a self-taught linguist and opera aficionado, who speaks about 7 languages, his vast knowledge blows many away. There is proof--- you are never too old to learn and do what you inherently love.
The irony I find is that more often than not, the activities, talents and passions of our adult life are the fruits of seeds that were planted in our childhoods. In 2nd grade, my school project about what I wanted to be when I grew up was all about Diana Ross. Though I never became an R&B diva, my stylish grandmother inspired my fashion career. My own mother is an inspiration to many since at 60-something, she is finally living out her destiny of living and working in Africa. I joke that with all her wild adventures in Ethiopia & Burundi , she thinks she's 25 years old! After college, she had always dreamed of working in the Peace Corp. in Africa, but instead got married and had me & my brothers, so that dream got put on hold for 40 years! When you think about your youth, what did you inherently love? What about the elders in your life inspired you and what do you take from it?
10 Tips for Ageless Wisdom & Wellbeing
1. Eat right. Be mindful of the "MIND Diet" to improve brain health as we age & reduce the risk of Alzheimer's by 53%! Maintaining brain health is front & center for me since I lost my grandmother to Alzheimer's. Eating lots of leafy greens, blueberries, strawberries, nuts, fish and a daily glass of red wine will drastically improve our brain function. I'm going to test this out.
2. Laugh more. They say laughter is the best medicine. Combining laughter with positive thoughts and it's known to heal cancer patients miraculously.
3. Love what you do. Personal fulfillment = joy.
4. Practice self-acceptance. Love yourself.
5. Let sh*t go. Release the old thought patterns that no longer serve you. Try hard not to live in the past, yet right those wrongs that you feel need to be addressed.
6. Power of community. Make time for friends. Surround yourself with those who inspire you. All you introverts, push yourself out of the comfort zone.
7. Work it! Move that body. What form of exercise do you enjoy? If you are sitting idle, just do it. If you are bored with the gym, stimulate your senses and try a completely new activity. For me, it's dance, swim & yoga. What about you?
8. Spiritual practice engagement. Whatever that means to you. Prayer. Meditation. Study. Sit and just be.
9. Be adventurous. Learn new things. It makes life fun.
10. Last but not least----Be kind to your skin. Protect and care for it with natural products when you can. I love making homemade shea body butters and multi-purpose massage oils. Coconut oil is my friend.
Aging really gives us insight to impermanence....the knowing that nothing ever stays the same. Like the snake shedding it's skin, we are ever evolving, so we might as well enjoy what we are doing in our daily lives. Aging gracefully, with love, compassion and a peace of mind is my intention. What is your intention as you age? What activities did you love in your youth that are still ever present? I'd love to hear your comments below. Please share this if you enjoyed it. Spread the love.
As a Transformational Life Coach + Style Maven my passion and intuitive talents involve supporting creatives and changemakers on their own personal path to self-empowerment, aiding in the rediscovery process of one's authentic self and standing as support to achieve goal and make major shifts. Relationships and vocation trajectory are my specialties. Nurturing my "passion for fashion," I help mamas rediscover their own personal "fly" with my “Style Rejuvenation” program. Just the act of sending some love to my clients' personal style offers great benefit...joy, fun, confidence, power etc. I've been bestowed the honor of being called a “catalyst for change."