• 77: Embracing Ageing and Life-ing (The Gift of Years)

    This episode is a deep dive on ageing. It will provide you with powerful perspective shifts on what it means to age and get older. How to embrace ageing and why it is such a gift to do so. Expect a thought provoking podcast that will make you think. 

    Intuitive message on ageing

    Hi Beautiful Souls, how is your heart and soul today? I’ve been doing some wonderful 1:1 coaching calls and human design readings and a theme that has come through strongly of lately is ageing. Now ageing isn’t unique to some people, it’s a universal passage and journey that we will all experience. 

    It inspired a recent Instagram post I wrote: 

    “And suddenly you’re older. Fear hits you like a truck as does the anxiety and panic. Here’s the the thing, what a privilege it is to age. You are also wiser. You are also stronger. You are also more resilient. Age has made you more agile and adaptable. You’ll never be as young as you are right now. Your spirit is eternal. Your spirit is endless. The sum of who you are in this moment is every age that you’ve been. Think of who you’ve been before, who you are now and who you are becoming. That is oh so very beautiful.”

    Astrological energetic transits ageing

    I’ve been doing Saturn Return readings for those currently in the lead up to and their transit 27-30 which is the spiritual equivalent of turning 21, your coming of age. Many of which this week happened to be karmic in nature.

    I also did a reading for a projector who’s in her 30’s and trying to understand the purpose of why she went through what she did and the current phase after her life (because to have your Saturn Return is one thing, Saturn is about discipline after all so it’s about maintaining the lessons and growth from your Saturn Return) until you hit your 40’s whereby it’s all about your Uranus Opposition, the spiritual mid life point or for some mid life crisis vibes. 

    I’ve also been coaching clients this week particularly aged 20-24 and talking about how each year of your 20’s is so different. 

    At any given point in time there’s astrological transits to help you expand and grow more, to become more aligned with yourself – that’s an episode for another day but essentially if you’re feeling a curiosity around how you’re feeling in relation to a certain age, chances are you’re in a transit. You can find out more in 1:1 coaching or a human design reading with me!

    Oracle card ageing

    I also pulled a collective oracle card for anyone listening to this podcast and no surprises the ‘aging’ one came out with this mantra: I am one with unlimited love, beyond all seeming restrictions of age. I am filled with joy, energy and beauty – a vessel for the divine.

    Redefining ageing

    Society often portrays aging, especially for women, as something to be feared or avoided. But aging is a natural, inevitable part of life that brings wisdom, experience, and new opportunities.

    “It is commonly thought that time is the particular enemy of women. Because we supposedly have so much to lose: our ‘looks’, our fertility, our cultural capital… But there are other ways of looking at it. That women have timepieces built into their bodies – ‘primarily biological clocks’ and the menopause – signs that must eventually be heeded, signs that are, finally, impossible to ignore, seems to me as much a gift as a curse…It strikes me that one consequence of this bodily awareness of time is that adulthood – with all its complex responsibilities and demands – often seems to come as less of a surprise to women than it does to men (there’s a reason our folk tales are full of ‘wise old women’).”

    Further to that, as a life coach I will say that our thoughts create our reality through what we believe and Marilyn Ferguson rightly says

    "Of all the self-fulfilling prophecies in our culture the assumption that aging means decline and poor health is probably the deadliest.”

    Growing up and being in a Western Culture, it’s definitely more youth-orientated where youth, beauty and vitality are the focuses. Aging is seen as a decline in desirability and relevance. This is compounded by a mammoth anti-aging industry.

    Though things are changing, and I share the examples of women in the media. JLo is worshipped for her age defying appearance as is Anne Hathaway who seems to be “ageing backwards.”

    Celebrity culture on ageing

    Though things are changing, and I share the examples of women in the media. JLo is worshipped for her age defying appearance as is Anne Hathaway who seems to be “ageing backwards.”

    Pamela Anderson was the epitome of bombshell with her surgically enhanced body and heavy make up in her younger years and as of late has been deemed “unrecognisable,” going make up free. She’s come out saying that “anti-ageing” is a lie,” that  “we’re getting older no matter what,” and that she calls it ‘life-ing, not aging.”

    She penned the following poem on her Instagram “Life humbles you. As you grow old…you stop chasing the big things and start valuing the little things…alone time, enough sleep, a good diet, long walks, and quality time with loved ones,” she wrote in the caption. “Simplicity becomes the ultimate goal…

    With this all threads through gender and more culture; the sensuality, sexuality of being a woman. The erotic gaze, being desired or feeling liberated from desire. The framing that men have a body where as women are a body. 

    Ultimately it boils down to a pro-aging revolution, whether you embrace grey hairs or cover them up, go make up-free or not, it’s about embracing the life you’ve lived so far and who you are at every age.

    Different cultures on ageing

    With regards to other cultures; in different cultures including Asian, South Asian and African there is respect for elders and in particular women are the matriarchs of the family, making key decisions and guiding younger generations. Getting older is seen as something to look forward to.

    Within indigenous cultures, elders are seen as wisdom keepers and spiritual guides who play a crucial role in preserving and passing down traditions, stories, and cultural knowledge.

    With age, yes we lose certain things but we also gain so much…

    With ageing comes experience

    One of the greatest gifts of aging are the experiences we accumulate which hopefully is turned into wisdom.

    “In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”

    It’s the core reason why many of us may wish to be younger but only if we can have with us the insights we’ve accumulated.

    These experiences broaden how we see the world and give us different perspectives on how to navigate life, what matters and what we give meaning to.

    With what we’ve gained we can also share with others, taking on a mentorship or teacher role whether formally or not.

    At 18, there would be so much you would share with your 13 year old self. In your 20’s there’s so much you would share with the version of you navigating high school. What you’d tell yourself in your early 20’s by the time you reach the end of it. What you know at 30 vs 40 vs 50 vs 60 vs 70 and so fourth. Huge shifts. Different remarks.

    Whilst time isn’t a guarantee, often in life it’s realising it’s never too late so long as you are breathing and alive, anything is possible!

    In my book,  The Great Unlearning: Awakening to Living an Aligned and Authentic Life, I write:

    Maybe you’re worried about going back to university and starting a new course aged twenty-nine that takes three years. By the time you finish, you’ll be thirty-two. Whether or not you do the course, in three years, you’ll still be thirty-two. You’re nervous about never meeting ‘the one’ and you meet them aged thirty-seven. Are you upset you’re aged thirty-seven or are you happily in love aged thirty- seven? The only thing that’s keeping you behind is being fixed on a specific timeline. You can’t be falling behind because who set the pace and tone anyway? You’re allowed to move at your own pace. You’re allowed to take your time. Life isn’t linear but an open and organic canvas.

    "Aging is not ‘lost youth’ but a new stage of opportunity and strength.”

    All in all don’t forget you don’t lose every age you’ve been as you get older, you accumulate it. You are all the ages up until this point 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18… you get my point! You are all the ages you’ve ever been.

    Let your mind ponder this layered quote from William Wordsworth, “The wiser mind mourns less for what age takes away than what it leaves behind.” 

    New beginnings and opportunities

    Aging is not the end of new opportunities. Many women find new passions, hobbies, and even careers later in life.

    In my book, The Great Unlearning, I write:

    “Lawyer Amal Clooney (née Alamuddin) met actor George Clooney when she was thirty-five, went on to marry him and have twins. Vera Wang entered the fashion industry at age forty and is now a household name. It’s now even possible for women to have children at the age of fifty with the help of medical advancements. “

    Quotes on the new beginnings and opportunities that ageing brings:

    “When you’re young, there’s so much now that you can’t take it in. It’s pouring over you like a waterfall. When you’re older, it’s less intense, but you’re able to reach out and drink it. I love being older.”

    "You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt; as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear, as young as your hope, as old as your despair.”

    Know that gender plays a huge role in this, men are revered for getting older, becoming “legendary” and “aging like fine wine”  yet it doesn’t necessarily translate to women in society fully yet. 

    "When it comes to aging, we’re held to a different standard than men. Some guy said to me: ‘Don’t you think you’re too old to sing rock n’ roll?’ I said: ‘You’d better check with Mick Jagger.’"

    Self acceptance and growth

    Why do people tend to become more self-accepting as they age?

    Resilience. As time goes on those moments you thought the world would end or you wouldn’t be okay… you realise well hey I’m still here and I’ve overcome a lot. Not only that you are more true to yourself as opposed to caring so much about what other people think and what’s happening in the mainstream. To be your true and authentic self. You develop the courage to speak your truth and do what you really want to.

    "Aging is an extraordinary process where you become the person you always should have been"

    "It’s good to have a sense of self and to be able to be your own best friend."

    “I’m tired of trying to be young. I don’t want to be young. I’ve been young.”

    What also becomes apparent is that comparison dwindles down as you get older and isn’t as alert in your life as say when you’re a teenager or in your 20’s and 30’s. 

    “At age 20, we worry about what others think of us. At age 40, we don't care what they think of us. At age 60, we discover they haven't been thinking of us at all." 

    It becomes more natural to be at peace with yourself than not.

    “Aging is as natural as a baby’s softness and scent. Aging is human evolution in its pure form.”

    “The great thing about getting older is that you become more mellow. Things aren’t as black and white, and you become much more tolerant. You can see the good in things much more easily rather than getting enraged as you used to do when you were young.”

    “Growing old with someone else is beautiful, but growing old while being true to yourself is divine.”

    Physically ageing

    Physical changes are a natural part of aging, and they tell the story of our lives. It’s time to embrace these changes and see them as badges of honor rather than something to hide.

    I’m going to read out some quotes from various women on their perspective of physical changes to the body as life goes on.

    An interesting perspective to consider is one from Eleanor Roosevelt,

    “Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art.”

    “There is a saying that with age, you look outside what you are inside. If you are someone who never smiles your face gets saggy. If you’re a person who smiles a lot, you will have more smile lines. Your wrinkles reflect the roads you have taken; they form the map of your life. My face reflects the wind and sun and rain and dust from the trips I’ve taken. My face carries all my memories. Why should I erase them?”

    “In interviews, the first question I get in America is always: ‘What do you do to stay young?’ I do nothing. I don’t think aging is a problem...Yes, my face has wrinkles. But I don’t find it monstrous. I’m so surprised that the emphasis on aging here is on physical decay when aging brings such incredible freedom. Now what I want most is laughs. I don’t want to hurt anybody by laughing — there is no meanness to it. I just want to laugh.”

    “I don’t relate to a 26-year-old model. I don’t want her life. I don’t want her face. I don’t want her experience. I’ve earned my life. I’ve earned my wrinkles. I have been through so many highs and lows, and there’s a sweetness that starts to emerge from that, from having lived, from being wise, from being humble, from loving and losing and all of this stuff.”

    “Listen, the best advice on aging is this: What’s the alternative? The alternative, of course, is death. And that’s a lot of shit to deal with. So I’m happy to deal with menopause. I’ll take it.”

    The zinger?

    When it comes to staying young, a mind-lift beats a face-lift any day. 

    In the end it’s your perspective on the physical changes that occur with age and Eva Longoria reminds us that we do not lose beauty but gain a deeper appreciation for it.

    What is ageless about ageing?

    What is at the core within the fear of ageing comes many universal experiences we have as humans: a fear of change, a fear of losing, a fear of life (mortality itself).

    There is no right way to age.

    Ultimately what is ageless about ageing, is your spirit and soul. Time passes for the home of our soul, the body, the physical vehicle, however your soul is ageless in the sense that it is timeless, eternal and the core essence of you are whether in this lifetime, a past or a future one. It’s why speak of ‘young’ or ‘old’ souls it’s not about the age but the characteristic of someone’s spirit no matter their physical age.

    “I’m happy to report that my inner child is still ageless.

    “Growing old is mandatory, but growing up is optional.” 

    "Aging not just adding years to our total on earth. It is a process of humanisation, of becoming more spiritually and culturally complex. It allows us to get down to business and make life worthwhile. Over the years it is also a blending of valuable experiences.”

    “There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.”

    When I really think about it, I feel the same inside as I did 18 or in my 20’s or now 30. It’s the same consciousness within me with added experience and wisdom. Regardless of the age I am physically. It wasn’t like when I suddenly turned 30 inside completely changed, it’s been shifting and progressing the whole time since birth whether I recognise it or not, whether I am conscious of it or not.

    Phi's personal take on ageing

    “Today is the oldest you've ever been, and the youngest you'll ever be again.”

    Something that has really hit home for me and many clients I share this with is a hypothetical, that this age that you are right now, in 10 years time, if I said to you hey, if you give me everything you own, all your money and possessions, I’ll let you be 10 years younger again … you’d do it in a heartbeat.

    We spend the first part of life wishing to be older and with that also comes different sets of life responsibilities and things we become aware of about life – it’s precious, fleeting nature, how quickly it can start to go… that really ultimately all you wish for is to be fully present and savour right here and right now whatever age you are.

    When I was younger worrying about my school marks and now I am running my own business which isn’t directly related to my university degree yet I remember being 17 and 18 really stressed and studying to make sure I had high enough marks. I mean I got into law school but then ended up dropping out anyway because it wasn’t really in alignment with what I wanted to do in this life.

    Ageing in your twenties into thirty

    I’m now 30 and looking back at my 20’s I was stressing how to figure out my life when really life figured it out for me, this grander plan. My purpose came to me when I was 26 unexpectedly, out of no where yet made sense all at the same time. I enjoyed my 20’s because I lived life to the fullest and I’ve always maintained that I want more life but should it be my time I wouldn’t have regrets, that I would be really proud of myself and how I have lived my life and what I’ve achieved so far. I’m living my purpose and making a difference to this world in my own way: helping others be happier and live their best lives. That is a huge privilege. Even when I wasn’t a life coach, I was making the world a better place by doing my best to be kind and care for the important people and causes in my life.

    What truly matters as you age

    All of that wouldn’t matter if it weren’t for the important people in my life, my friends and family. They, connection, community is what makes life worth living for in addition to the incredible experiences we get to have whether it be as simple as seeing the vivid colours of sunrise or travelling the world being immersed in different cultures. Consciousness is so special I mean I don’t know if animals register the full sensory experience of witnessing a sunrise – the colours, that sensation of awe, of feeling small, of feeling part of something bigger, of feeling magical and divine because what makes a sunset makes us human too.

    I don’t know if anyone ever really does truly have it all and everything figured out no matter what age nor would we want to. That would make life really boring and dull. Life is a dynamic storyline continually changing and shifting to ensure we continue to evolve in this lifetime. It’s not easy, it’s quite the ride. Sometimes sweetness brings the greatest lessons and healing, and other times challenging times are required for that.

    “Every year should teach you something valuable; whether you get the lesson is up to you. Every year brings you closer to expressing your whole and healed self.”

    The core of ageing?

    I think it’s natural to look back when you were younger and think you were happier, but I think it’s different types of happiness and what we really yearn for is the feeling and sense of ease and carefree which is also achievable now whatever age you are.

    Ultimately, what if it isn’t time that ages you? Time is constant, time is something we feel and relate to with regards to our awareness. That maybe it could be something else, “aging” you… your thoughts, your emotions and how you feel, that question in itself may it get you to reflect and explore your internal world to answer that question for yourself…

    Consider yourself in reference to your biological age, chronological age, spiritual age, emotional age, mental age… 

    “How old would you be if you didn’t know old you are?”

    Ageing is a beautiful journey

    Aging is a beautiful, complex journey. To end this podcast in the words of Louise Hay;

    “Know that you are the perfect age. Each year is special and precious, for you shall only live it once. Be comfortable with growing older.”

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