Aging gracefully; you’re as old as you feel

Posted on Apr 15, 2016 in Healing, Spiritual living

Telomere in the DNAI’ve never really been bothered or felt limited by age. Perhaps it’s because I grappled with lack of self-confidence and shyness as a child and teenager, whereas the older I got the more confident, comfortable and relaxed I became. Consequently, I fulfilled a lifelong ambition of learning to ride a horse in my early thirties, experienced paragliding for the first time in my late thirties, decided to live as a nomad in a camper van for a year in my mid forties, and have consistently danced and exercised my way through life. So far, I seem to have lost none of my strength or flexibility and I have no intention of giving any of it up either.

I’m lucky in that my parents have always set a good example. They’re now in their late 70’s but look much younger, are fit and healthy, and active both in terms of physical exercise and enthusiastic involvement in their community. So I’ve never been fed the idea that you have to stop doing or aren’t able to do certain things once you reach a particular age. I also don’t consciously hold a count of my age in my head. It’s so off the radar for me that a couple of years ago I remember having to go back to someone and correct the previous age I had told them, when my partner pointed out that I’d stated I was a year older than I was. So much for age vanity!

I also feel unbelievably fortunate to have had my grandmother living in the same house for most of my childhood. This is an exception rather than the norm now, and as a result we’ve become a society that marginalises the old, seeing them as useless, used up, with nothing to offer a youth and beauty-obsessed culture. I was gifted, through Nan’s bright spirit, with an appreciation of all that the elder years can bring, and to see first hand that your light doesn’t dim with the passing of the years; in many ways it burns brighter and clearer.

Even when she moved out to live in a flat within a wardened property, I would take my lunchbox over to Nan’s little flat or to the communal room if she was there, listening to her and her friends recounting their fascinating life stories as I munched my sandwiches before returning to school. They were all incredible women – brave and strong in the face of adversity, funny, wise and open-hearted. I’m grateful to have learned early a respect and gratitude for the older generation, and so I suppose I’ve never developed those negative connections with the idea of aging that hold so many of us in dreadful thrall.

I recently celebrated my 50th birthday, which even I have to admit is a bit of a milestone – half a century? A friend jokingly said in her birthday email that she wanted to sign up for my “Ageing backwards programme”! So unusually I spent some time thinking about aging, and how our beliefs and thoughts around aging can clearly affect our experience of it. With perfect synchronicity, an article popped up on my Facebook feed which stated that recent medical experiments had been found to reverse the cause of cellular aging (which is down to a specific part of the DNA, called telomeres, decreasing in size as we get older). You can read the full article here: New Innovation in Telomere Extension.

As a healer, I know that thoughts, beliefs and feelings have a massive impact on the physical body, and there’s already plentiful scientific proof that this is the case. So perhaps my positive attitude towards my age, along with taking good care through nutritious food, lots of water, exercise and rejuvenating sleep of course, is causing my telomeres to lengthen. Why not?! Is mind (and I would add Spirit) over matter why people consider me youthful?

What about you? How do you feel about the passing of the years, and have you bought into a limiting myth that reduces you to just a bunch of slowly degrading cells? If so, then now’s the time to rethink and reframe that, and if nothing else (and if you’re more of the scientific type) to use visualisation techniques that restore your telomeres to their optimum length. Science says it can be done with drugs, but I know we’re powerful enough to do it for ourselves.

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Semele Xerri

© Semele Xerri is a psychic intuitive guide, healer, animal communicator, and Reiki Master Teacher. To find out more about her and her services, go to her Work with me page.

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