Mindful Breathing Thought Leader: Nancy Candea
I sat back, quietly observing my friends on a Zoom meeting make fun of their bodies and thought processes now that they’re older.
I don’t engage in these conversations anymore. And I also don’t want to be a know-it-all, but I am super opinionated about how our society views aging.
We are inundated with messages from the media, the medical system, and maybe even our community, that being older is a problem to be managed. We also might give ourselves messages about the mistakes that we make, or the way that people treat us indicating that we are broken.
“I want to let you know that we are getting better as we get older.”
Between the messages from society and the messages that we give ourselves, we can easily feel stuck in unhappiness and decline as we get older. Whether we are conscious of it or not, these messages about getting older haunt our waking hours and dreams. I want to let you know that we are getting better as we get older.
Five Signs That The Second Half Of Life Is The Best:
1. Your Body Is Real Clear About What It Needs:
Have you noticed that your body is very sensitive – positively and negatively – to the exercise that you do (or don’t do), the food that you eat (or don’t eat), and the relaxation that you do (or…you know)? That is a sign of a well-tuned body. A sign that your prefrontal cortex, the part of your brain that registers thoughts like: my heart tells me, my gut tells me…that person is a pain in my neck is working well.
This attunement is a positive attribute of knowing ourselves. The downside is that our body is also demanding that we take better care of it. A little more time, a little more healthy food and water, and a little more conscious relaxation will go a long way to nourishing the relationship between our body and mind.
Listening to what our body tells us is a step toward more attunement into our intuition.
” If we let ourselves quiet down, get past the messages of what we should do, we can find this sharply tuned intuition and let it guide us.”
2. Your Intuition Is Stronger:
We have had YEARS of observing what happened when we followed our intuition and when we didn’t. The first half of our life was like a research project. We have been there, done that – maybe more times than we care to think about. We have also been cursed/blessed with hindsight.
Moreover, we understand, on an experiential level, the nature of consequences – known as karma. We have mastery that we can draw from. If we let ourselves quiet down, get past the messages of what we should do, we can find this sharply tuned intuition and let it guide us.
Intuition is another executive function of our prefrontal cortex, along with compassion and understanding.
3. It Is Easier To Be Understanding:
In the second half of life, we have a little window into everyone’s life. We now know that everyone has something to deal with: even the people with a lot of money, the people with superhero bodies, the people with all their kids living in the same town.
Yep, this life wasn’t meant to be perfect. It was meant to be lived in all its beauty and messiness. Our understanding is that we are all basically in the same boat. We were born into an imperfect body, and it isn’t meant to last. The people around us try their best to love us, but they fall short – as we do for them. We are destined to make mistakes that affect other people.
“We understand. Along with understanding, we also have boundaries to keep ourselves safe and well.”
So when that person who promised to be there for us, serve us food, or fix our plumbing, falls short, we are understanding. We understand. Along with understanding, we also have boundaries to keep ourselves safe and well.
4. We Only Have Time For Truth And Authenticity:
Knowing the odds that our last day is closer than yesterday gives us a sense of urgency in the second half of life. We know that we were born with gifts and talents that need to be expressed. We have to have boundaries for anyone or anything that isn’t part of our truth.
Our authentic cooking, teaching, creating, loving, knowledge, tenderness, core values are who we are. We aren’t going to put up with anything that gets in the way of expressing our truth or anyone else’s. If we have been putting up with someone holding us down, we are now over that crap.
We are very clear about our boundaries. We hear the Santana lyric, “Make it real or just forget about it.” Lastly, we have also discovered that being authentic is being in the present moment.
“The attitude and confidence we bring into the second half of life are the foundation for our health and happiness”
5. Sitting Down And Exhaling Is A Luxurious Moment:
When we get older, we know that the best moments are in the here and now. Those Zen moments that our younger self worked so hard to maintain. We know that calm and serene is where it is at. Yes, we might be able to throw money at a situation to make it enjoyable, but we aren’t interested if it is full of drama.
Luxury moments are way different than sitting around anesthetizing ourselves with media and other mind-numbing addictions. Luxury moments are the pure ecstasy of calm. Maybe we take the laugh of a baby, the twinkle in our beloved’s eye, the first song of the first songbird on a perfect spring day, and we let the beauty of it become absorbed deep in our hearts. This is luxury.
I want to have conversations with you about how much better it is now that we are older. Yes, we might need to learn a few new skills to take care of our older bodies. That is the easy part. The attitude and confidence we bring into the second half of life are the foundation for our health and happiness. Let’s get better – better than ever.
About the Author:
Nancy Candea is a life coach and yoga therapist who helps women make peace with their past, find self-acceptance, and step wholeheartedly into their purpose. Nancy, who specializes in yoga therapy for trauma, addiction, and chronic pain, has led trainings and retreats in Greece, Uganda, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, upcountry Hawaii, Detroit, and Newark. She created 2017’s social justice summit on the Navajo Nation in Arizona. She has brought her personal trainings to the Boulder Women’s Shelter and to seven-figure households. Nancy’s articles have been featured in Elephant Journal and Purpose Fairy. Check out her freebies at NancyCandea.com.