When you are a teenager, you want to be older. When you are in your twenties, you want to be in your thirties. When you are in your thirties, you want to go back to your twenties, and when you are in your forties, well, you know how it goes… expectations, desires and misery all along the way.
Aging is not fun folks. It gets us closer to death (sorry!!). No matter what plastic surgery we get, anti aging creams, or how much yoga we do, we still age. Of course my yoga practice is not what it used to be in my twenties or thirties. Oh yes…I remember with regret. Now it takes double the time and hard work to get the pose where it feels good and my body is definitely much less flexible. This morning, the first person in a very long time guessed my real age. My ego screamed (do I really look my age???, I need to color my hair!!) but my soul surrendered to my reality. It whispered to me: “It is OK. Embrace who you are. Be content”
Why do we put so much pressure on us? Why is aging such a denial? Society, norms, culture…The number associated with our age is just a number dictated by the society. We could count by ten, or 5, or nothing. Maybe nothing would be less traumatic and we would not have to live up to anyone expectations, specially ours. What if we decided to have no number age, and our real age would be how we feel physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually? What if we looked inside our soul and gently asked: what is my soul age?
Now, for those of us that don’t believe in reincarnation, I humbly ask you to ignore the next paragraph, unless you don’t want to, of course. For those of us that do believe in the process of birth and rebirth, by all means, keep reading!
Reincarnation is key to Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, and some Native American traditions, specifically the Inuit. The soul has different stages, from infant soul to old soul. Some say 5, some say 7. No matter what the number (right?), the soul has a process of evolution as it is contained in a body, acquiring experience and knowledge. Mainly, it evolves through different levels of consciousness, from focusing on immediate survival needs to wanting fame and fortune and ending with the realization that what really matters is not out there. Again, do we need to put a number to our soul age?…
But…what I encourage you (and me) is to fully embrace who you are, age gracefully, healthily, honor the cycles of your body and mind, with a sense of contentment that makes each day worth it. No matter your body or soul age, you are unique, with special gifts to share with the world, so let go of the conditioning and set yourself free. Make each day count, as I plan to do for the second half of my life (hopefully).