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Aging - Growing Older or Growing Old?
By Collette Maat

On May 19th 1963, on a little dairy farm in the middle of County Tyrone Northern Ireland, Mrs Sarah Agnes McNally thought the world would be a better place if I were in it, and therefore added me to an 'already overcrowded' brood of 4 girls and 2 boys.
So as I hop over to the next decade, with the acute awareness that laughter lines have inevitably become 'lines of hilarity', I feel it is my duty if nothing else, to investigate and uncover what the whole aging hype is and why people are so desperately trying to stop the clock.
If you look at it from a realistic point of view, time will never stop and there's no point in being on the quest to defy nature. However, there is every good reason to respect the passing of time and ensure that with each moment, you are honoring your body as the vehicle with which to move gracefully into the ever changing experiences that are the gifts of life itself.
Just imagine if you did remain aesthetically as a 30 year old for the rest of your biologically increasing years, and your friends & family all changed inevitably with time, and increased in wrinkle numbers as the years passed, how comfortable would that be? I guess you would just have to keep moving location so as not to be confronted with awkward stares and gossiping envy.
So no, I feel I would rather view it as a natural process that we must begin to embrace and start to enjoy the accumulating wisdom and 'voice finding' which comes with a sense of knowing more and more who we are.
I guess when it comes to 'finding our voice', women especially, and of course that's the only gender I have had the blessing to have the first hand experience of as my vehicle for the process; there is a sense of peace when we can be ok with asking for what we want, for saying 'No' when we really mean 'no', for not being so heavily invested in what others think about us, and for opening up the creative part that is in all of us, that has perhaps been lost, hidden, or just not been allowed to come to the surface, given that life and family and the needs of others came first.
I say this with the utmost respect and admiration for the women of today, who carry the load of responsibility for the needs of others, who juggle life, kids, home, careers, and more often than not, putting their own needs of nurturing on the back burner.
This is a call for Self Care, not only as the clock ticks gently forward, without awareness of those who might be missing the cues, but as a reminder that self care and self nurturing is the greatest gift one can give themselves, and in doing so, have the ability to inspire others to do the same.
Here are my practical tips to set you on your way to make the 'Rest of your life
- The Best of your life'
1. Don't smoke! Really, that simple, if you are serious about having any kind of quality in your years, and if you are a smoker, this is the first thing that needs to be taken care of. Take the time and energy to attend to this if it is an issue for you. The rest can come later.
2. Be well nourished, neither over nourished nor undernourished. Eat a diet of real, whole, simple and good quality foods that are as close to their natural state as possible, ideally leaning towards more plant based foods.
Cooking with love and with the intention to fuel your body with goodness.
Eat your meals until you are 80% full, to allow your digestion to do it's job with ease and as a result promote improved gut health.
3. Movement! Exercise doesn't necessarily need to come in the 'formal' method of trudging to the gym, especially if that doesn't inspire you (but if it does, then do it!). Being more physically active throughout the day in whatever form you enjoy and while going about your daily routine, is more important and much easier to maintain than a set of rules and restrictions, put together by someone who has neither met you or knows how your individual body works best.
4. Stimulate brain health. It's never too late to be inquisitive, to learn a new language, to stretch your mental possibilities and to increase your mental capacity for knowledge. Learn something new, constantly!!
5. Having a sense of community and being around people who inspire you is really key to remaining young in spirit, as well as keeping your immunity boosted along with slowing down the rate at which the appearance of aging comes into play. Statistically, if you have at least 2 or more really good friends with whom you can open up to and who are there for you to support one another, you will add 7 years to your life span, and 7 GOOD years at that!
6. Make use of all the wisdom you have picked up along the way, and go out there and mentor, inspire and advise where you can. Especially to those who are younger than you are and who are seeking to learn and grow.
Have excitement about waking up in the morning, about having a real
purpose, whether through faith, a spiritual practice, a regular period of reflection or journalling, and above all, helping others. There is always someone who could benefit from what you have to offer.
And I leave you with the words of a very wise teacher and source of
inspiration, Anne Marie Colbin, "It's not about being healthy, it's about what health can help you do".
For one on one or group Holistic Health Coaching. email
colettemaat@gmail.com
I am here it help you with your journey, on whatever stage of it you are on.

 
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