“The most important thing I can tell you about aging is this: If you really feel that you want to have an off-the-shoulder blouse and some big beads and thong sandals and a dirndl skirt and a magnolia in your hair, do it. Even if you're wrinkled.” - Maya Angelou
Here’s a thought about the inevitable process of growing older. You can spend the day recounting the difficulty you have with the parts of your body that no longer work as well as they used to or be thankful for the ones that do!
I find that when I approach each day as a gift my reality continues to evolve rather than stagnate. I learn that the older I get, the better my life becomes. Every day can reveal new aspects of a beautiful life and that is key to my understanding that beauty is difference.
What do I mean by that? When I have the self-confidence to honour myself, and others, the nonconforming and the unconventional - my life becomes richer through knowing in my heart that everybody is beautiful and it is our very differences that define our individual beauty.
Don’t let perception become reality
Perception can be our reality if it reflects what we genuinely believe. I believe aging can be a beautiful process and one which can deliver great depths of joy - mostly about how you feel and think and less about how you look. Gravity happens. Wrinkles appear. These are the marks of experience and a life well lived rather than burdens we must bear.
I choose to live in constant gratitude for the gifts I have been given rather than lamenting those things I’ve lost.
I know I’m not alone in this thinking and my hope is that by growing a community of people who think similarly we will all approach our coming decades with hope and a spirit that welcomes the opportunities put right on our doorstep.
You have a voice and a gift that comes with aging gracefully
You have a voice and wisdom that comes with age. Every year you are on this planet is a privilege and your wisdom should be shared with others. I write more about this in my free guide How to Find Your Voice.
And, while there are cosmetic things we can do (see what one of my mentors Iris Apfel has to say about this) most of the positive development comes from within us.
People will tell you…don’t judge a book by its cover and that’s good advice. However, we so often form opinions about people based simply on how they appear to us. Our society is obsessed with traditional interpretations of beauty. What is important to acknowledge though is this - if someone’s soul is hollow, no amount of good looks make them true beauties.
Inner beauty can be described as a blending of intelligence, elegance, personality, integrity and other characteristics. It is who you are without any layers of makeup or false presumptions.
“Aging gracefully is about no heavy makeup, and not too much powder because it gets into the wrinkles, and, you know, to not get turtle eyelids and to not try to look young.” - Iris Apfel
Audrey Hepburn, one of the great physical and spiritually beauties of our time commented, “The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mole, but true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she knows.”
While it may be presumptuous of me to try to improve on what she wrote I would say that this applies equally to men. In fact, one of the most relevant comments on this was written many, many years ago by George Bernard Shaw. “You don’t stop laughing when you grow old, you grow old when you stop laughing.”
It all comes down to a matter of choice.
If we can’t completely control our destiny we can acknowledge that it is not a matter of chance. We have a choice and living your life well at all stages is not something we should surrender to others. That’s part of the reason I wrote How To Find Your Voice.
I am determined to help others in their quest to embrace the beauty that is aging. In it I share how to make your voice heard and how to tap into the confidence to raise your hand.
You can download it by visiting the Begin Here page on my new site.
Love and gratitude