Hang On For the Ride
by Denise Linn
Hattie Linn, my husband's grandmother, was a role model for me. She was independent, fun, and feisty and lived to almost a hundred years old. She loved to travel and have adventures. When she was in her nineties, she found herself close to the epicentre of a huge earthquake in California. When it hit, she was standing next to a door in her home; she grabbed on hard and thought, I'm going to hang on for the ride!
The earthquake whipped her body back and forth, but Hattie staunchly hung on. When the shaking stopped, she yelped for joy. The earthquake had been like an enormous chiropractic adjustment that had released the pain in a chronically troublesome back. The earthquake had thrown her back in, and it felt great. If her attitude had been different and she had thought the world was coming to an end during the earthquake, I don't think that she would have had such a positive reaction.
Being Willing to Take Risks & Dance with Abandon
I want to be a glorious older woman. I want to be willing to take risks, learn new things, and dance with abandon under the stars no matter how old I am. But I know that being a glorious older woman starts with being a glorious younger woman. It starts here and now.
We are all getting older every day. One day you and I will both be old, if it is our destiny to live that long. It is our choice whether we live in fear and act according to other people's expectations of what an older person is or whether we allow ourselves to be authentic and real. Start now; you are an elder in training. The more you experience joy, satisfaction, and fulfilment in the present moment, the easier it will be to have these qualities in the years ahead.
As we age it's important to find the joy in the present moment rather than clinging to what we once were. On the day I turned forty I was lamenting growing older. Meadow, who was twelve years old at the time, said, "Mum, it's true that you're not as young as you once were ... but you're certainly not as old as you're going to be. Enjoy forty." And she was so right. It's all perspective. I'm fifty-two now, and forty seems young to me.
Finding Joy in the Present
My mother is eighty-four years old and lives in a Veterans of War nursing home. She stays in bed most of the time. I was feeling sad about this, but she said, "Actually, it's great to be in bed all the time. I love to read and now I can read to my heart's content. And on top of this, my meals are brought to me!"
I was impressed with her ability to find joy in the present, rather than clinging to what she once had. If you cling to what you once were or what you once had, you will be miserable. If you find joy where you are, your life will blossom.
I don't know what I'll be like when I face my death. I'd like to think I will be noble and gracious. In my wishful imagination, my death will be a spiritual experience. But most deaths are painful, messy, unpleasant, and accompanied by fear. I don't know how or when I will die. I do know that my willingness to accept it will make death easier and will make me live more fully until that time.
It's a Good Day to Die: Being Complete Right Here & Right Now
In Native American culture, there is an expression that I love. When it is a beautiful day, we say, "It's a good day to die." To me this means that I am ready to face death today because, right now, I am complete and whole; therefore, I am ready to live fully this day. A woman who recognizes and accepts her natural cycles -- including death -- experiences an unparalleled depth of life. For as long as you fear death, your fear hovers over every moment of your life and filters every experience.
Are you ready to die? If not, why not? What is incomplete or undone in your life? With whom do you need to communicate? Whom do you need to forgive? Whom do you need to tell that you love? If you aren't ready, get ready. You might die in sixty years or thirty or ten or next month or tomorrow. When you live as if every moment were your last -- your last sunset, your last rainbow, your last kiss -- then life becomes so much more precious.
One of the best ways to prepare for your death is to be genuine and authentic. Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, a powerful advocate for dying with dignity and who has been with thousands of people as they died, says that people who are "wishy-washy Protestants, or wishy-washy Catholics, or wishy-washy Jews" have a terrible time dying. She claims that people who are "solidly something or solidly nothing, die with more peace." If your beliefs are half-hearted and merely intellectual, they will fall apart at the approach of death. Whoever you are and whatever you believe, be solid in it without hesitation or remorse; be all of it.
Acceptance & Authenticity: The Key to Living & Dying Well
It's comforting to think that we can die with dignity and grace, but death isn't always neat and tidy. Sometimes it's hard to maintain our sense of self and authenticity when we are faced with fear, suffering, and pain. However, as you begin now to rid yourself of anger, fear, and resentment, you'll be more prepared for death. This way, whenever it's time for you to cross over, it will truly be a "good day to die."
Acceptance is the key to dying well. When that day is upon you, accept yourself in whatever emotional state you are in. If you are afraid, accept that. If you are angry, accept that. If you are whining, accept that. Acceptance and authenticity is the key to stepping through the veil with grace and ease.
Denise Linn has researched healing traditions from cultures around the world for more than 30 years. As a renowned lecturer, author, and visionary, she regularly gives seminars on six continents, and also appears extensively on television and radio shows. Visit her website at www.DeniseLinn.com. Article Source:Secrets & Mysteries: The Glory and Pleasure of Being a Woman by Denise Linn.