Anger As A Valid Emotion

The other day as I was walking back from my trip to the pharmacy, I saw a man take his shirt off and hit the pole with it several times until he got exhausted, shouting simultaneously. The words were incoherent, but the anger was palpable. It was a sunny morning and many people were walking so I was not afraid. I was a bit concerned. 

Suppressed Anger. Copyright: aesta1

I went on with my walk home and drove to the cottage. My thoughts returned to that man’s anger in the lake’s quiet. Slowly, I was down into my depths, and I felt the rage as well. Persons, events, and memories flooded my mind, and I understood how much anger I repressed and denied in my life. I could hit a pole, too, like that man—more than a hundred times. 

Going back to my childhood, I felt anger but never got a handle on my feeling. I remembered my mother asking me why I was happy in school and with my friends, but the moment I arrived home, I got angry and vented my anger on anyone or anything.

I never thought about it then, or maybe because, at that time, I did not have the answer, so I let it slide. Looking back, my teachers and classmates had a say in my performance. My teachers rated me, and my classmates voted in classroom elections. My parents and people at home did not. So, in school and outside of the house, I pleased people. I was outstanding at pleasing people. I was a model student and topped everything, but something nagged inside me.

Maybe, because I was a second child and tried to get more attention, I hated home because my elder sister, the firstborn, was there. I resented this without anyone noticing it, or maybe they saw and recognized it as normal behaviour in a second child.

After years of this anger, I became an expert in hiding my anger from others. I hid it as my pride would never allow me to let others know that anything hurt or affected me. No way will they get such satisfaction. But the outbursts came, often at people I expected to understand me. Of course, they didn’t, as I had never expressed how I felt. Outwardly, I was an achiever, so nobody thought of the feelings I had as a second fiddle. They only saw the pride and wanted to deflate the inflated ego.

Sometimes, these outbursts would come at the most unexpected times. A word or comment could trigger it. After such strong emotions, my husband would say, Eow, where did that come from? 

Now, I am seriously taking the steps to acknowledge and accept this anger. 

Anger was inside me, ignored or denied for many years. I grew up in a culture where you do this. You are encouraged to keep to yourself negative emotions for harmony within the family and the more extensive group the family is part of.

Acknowledging anger started my liberation. I accept it as a valid emotion responding to what threatens or hurts me. It no longer has a hold on me. I have a handle on it.

Embracing the Present: The Gift of Mindfulness for Seniors

Practicing Mindfulness

Isn’t it wonderful to be fully present to someone or something? It’s a moment full of magic. Mindfulness is a powerful tool to cultivate a resounding presence, enhance well-being, and find joy in simple moments. It offers you a doorway to engaging with life fully, embracing each day with gratitude and awareness.

Ages ago, a missionary sister from Africa told us how the locals she was living with in Kenya would come to visit and stay for hours, just being there. We don’t do these visits. When nothing happens for even a few minutes, we get anxious. We can’t even wait in stores.

For Seniors, we have the time to spend with those we love, with something we enjoy or are curious about. So, this is our moment to be more mindful and look at people and events with patience and appreciation. But what is mindfulness?

1. The Essence of Mindfulness: Living in the Present Moment

The key to Mindfulness is to be present in the here and now. It is embracing each moment with curiosity and non-judgment.

I was talking with a friend who is now in her 80s, and we acknowledged that we immediately make judgments. Instantaneously, we do. We were programmed to do so.

Mindfulness cultivates a deeper appreciation for life’s simple events and for people we encounter everyday. Each person is unique and every event is full of meaning.

2. Cultivating Emotional Well-being: Nurturing Inner Harmony

Mindfulness can support emotional well-being in Seniors. It offers techniques for recognizing and managing emotions, cultivating self-compassion, and fostering resilience. As we transition to being alone or be neglected, we need ways to manage our feelings and our ways of being with everyone especially with people around us.

It includes mindful breathing, body scan meditation, and loving-kindness meditation to promote emotional balance and inner harmony.

3. Enhancing Physical Health: Mindful Movement and Self-Care

Mindfulness promotes physical health and vitality for Seniors. Mindfulness encourages gentle movement practices, such as mindful walking, chair yoga, or Tai Chi, to improve balance, flexibility, and overall well-being. 

4. Sharpening Cognitive Abilities: Focus and Mental Clarity

Mindfulness practices can support Seniors’ cognitive health and mental clarity. It improves focus, attention, and memory through mindfulness-based exercises Engaging in mindfulness practices stimulates mental agility and improves overall cognitive abilities.

Some Religious Sisters practice “presence de Dieu,” during which they ring the bell at specific points of the day and then recollect themselves. It makes them focus on what is essential in their lives in the midst of activities.

5. Nurturing Social Connections: Compassionate Interactions

Mindfulness enhances social interactions and fosters deeper connections through mindful communication techniques that promote active listening, empathy, and understanding.

It also includes practices for cultivating gratitude and appreciation for loved ones, fostering meaningful relationships, and contributing to a sense of community.

6. Cultivating Self-Care Rituals: Moments of Stillness and Reflection

There are some mindfulness exercises that you can incorporate into daily routines, such as morning rituals, mindful pauses throughout the day, or evening reflection practices. Start with creating a tranquil space at home for meditation, relaxation, and self-care.

Sometimes, I light a candle and send a friend or a family member loving-kindness wherever they are and whatever they do. It makes me present to the person.

Mindfulness is a profound gift that you can embrace to bring a sense of calm, clarity, and contentment to your life. For Seniors, practicing Mindfulness can cultivate emotional well-being, enhance physical health, sharpen cognitive abilities, nurture social connections, and create moments of stillness and reflection. When fully present to someone or something, magic happens. Give your senior years more magic.

Being One With You

Being One With Yourself

These four words recently struck me as I spent time during the pandemic watching self-help videos. I have ignored these videos for some time, but I got into it during the lockdown. Some were not helpful, but others opened me to what I needed to do in my life. Because I was devoid of many engagements during the lockdown and was engaged entirely only with myself, I got to know it better.

The value of being one with my inner being became very compelling to me.

The dark side of my inner self revealed itself to me.

I talked to myself. I began to be more aware of what is happening in myself. I started to know it, explored its inner realities and what a surprise it was. I got to know myself better and learned so much about my inner being. This inner world had been waiting for me to know it better, and as I started exploring it, I delved into its dark side.

This dark side greatly influenced my actions and decisions, and I didn’t even know how much it affected me.

I felt its fears, insecurities, deficiencies, sorrows, anxieties, and secrets. It astounded me that I connected to it, got to know it and brought it to light. As I dug deeper, I found my inner self beneath these, a self full of light, beauty and capable of creating a life. I started connecting to this creative self, and my life changed.

Could this be real?

My life became magical as, each day, I welcome the daily unfolding, the unknown getting known. A different pattern unfolded before me, something I created but not with the usual effort of the previous self but with the ease of connecting to power within one’s self.

Now, I love these moments of being with myself, getting to connect to its power to its depth, to its unending capacity. I realize I am not seeking my mission in life which for years I agonize over. I strive for myself, the self that is my gift to the world. It’s my self as it continues in its creative unfolding.

Here I am, universe. I am the gift, the mission, the calling. I am as I become and connect to the universe.

I had for years felt the longing for home, not the physical home.

I was restless wherever I was as the longing got even more intense. I moved from country to country, and this longing kept nagging at me. I did not understand it, so I ignored it, but it stayed on. Recently, with time for myself, alone with myself, I have come home. To a world right there inside of me and yet connected to all.

I have come home.

I now realize I have one call, one mission, and that is “to be.” To be the fully developed being that I am. As I do this, I become more connected to the world because I become one with the world as I become one with myself. Oneness. No more division. Wholeness.

Time for Inner Transformation

Finally, I followed my advice to use our senior years as the time to wake up. So, for weeks now, I have been working on my inner self. I did not realize how little I knew about my inner world. It’s a world on its own.

I realize that I have allowed mostly the external environment to determine my behaviour, action, and view of life all these years. I learned everything I needed to know from this environment to live my life more effectively. I lived this for years, and it is an approach very familiar to me. I know it very well, and I am comfortable with it. Little did I know that this utter dependence on the external environment has deprived me of a fuller life. I can say I had been relatively successful in life, and so this approach worked.

Recently, a friend introduced me to the ideas of Dr. Joe Dispenza. This friend has taken the workshop and found it very useful. At first, I hesitated to get into it myself. I got into Youtube to check out some of his lectures to know what he is talking about and whether it is valid.

This friend, who is now in her eighties but looks like she is only in her sixties, has researched the whole area of spirituality well. When she says something about spirituality, I believe her. So I continued engaging with Dr. Joe Dispenza, and as this friend took the workshop, she shared her experience. I was impressed with the changes in her that eventually, I registered. What impressed me was the way Dr. Dispenza used science to explain spirituality. The scientists are the new mystics. His team has measured what happens as a person enters into meditation. They showed the effects of meditation on the person.

Because I had wanted to develop my inner self, I got into it. I have never experienced such intense meditation before. I used to do meditation, but this guided meditation is new. In this guided meditation, the person undergoes an experience of transformation in which the self transcends itself and creates a new destiny, a new being.

This transformation is what I desire to happen in my senior years. It is happening. I am getting away from being my old self and creating a new person, someone I love and treasure, joyful, and enjoying life to the full.

You can do this, too. Start being the person you want to be, not someone created by your past, your environment, or the significant people in your life. Someone victimized you, so you go around waiting to be oppressed. It feels familiar and comfortable. You know it so well. You can relate to it quickly, but is this what you want to be in the following years of your life? You want to change, and you can do it.

I started reading the book of Dr. Joe Dispenza, Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself. I did the exercises. I also watched the youtube videos detailing what he wants us to understand to become new people. Later on, I registered for the workshop on his website. This workshop brought about a change in me that pleased me much. Here’s a video link to give you a peek at his work.

For those interested, here’s the link to Dr. Joe Dispensa’s book.

Time to Wake Up

Life is a gift of the Universe. Retirement is a time to wake up. Awaken to all the possibilities life brings. Finally, the challenges of raising a family and racing to the top of your career are behind you. Start anew.

How do we do this? Explore your area. Familiarize yourself with all the resources you can find around you. Take a more in-depth look now. Don’t just pass by. By the time you get home, your mind will be full of ideas about how to make your retirement fun.

FUN is the word. Forget all the obligations that tied you down all these years. This time is for you. We live in a time when it is best to grow old. Why am I saying this? We have all the resources to live as fully as we want. If you’re going somewhere, there’s active transport. Uber and Lyft are willing to bring you anywhere. There are discounts for Seniors for the activities you might think of doing, so what’s keeping you from enjoying your retirement?

Ah, many things do this to you. I know it so well because I have experienced them as well. There are countless worries about your health, finances, safety and many more. We can easily list a thousand and one reasons to keep ourselves from having fun.

Time to wake up, to be aware of the things around us. But what is more crucial is to be mindful of our environment and ourselves. With waking up, we are not just talking about fun. Make it fun, but the other result of waking up is a change in awareness.

When before, we were always busy about many things, now is the time to go deeper and inward into ourselves. Now, we have more time to listen to ourselves as there are not a hundred things to do on our list. Sometimes, there is nothing to do.

With the recent lockdown, you had so much time because of the limited social interaction. Many of you were upset that you couldn’t see your families, especially your grandchildren. You miss all of them. But now, it is the best time to go into yourself and become a better person so you can be a gift to your families. Imagine their wonder when they see you – your newly transformed self, the New You.

Waking Up is not a significant activity at all. It will not take too much time. All you need to start is allocate a few minutes every morning upon waking up. Spend a few minutes in silence, listening to your inner self. You will be surprised at what you’ll discover. Look at yourself closely and learn to appreciate it. Maybe you’ll find something you may not like at all. Look at it. Know it better and transform it. Right now, at your age, you already have the resources to deal with anything you’ll find. Your experience managing your life successfully for over 60 years is enough qualification. You are certified by experience to handle any of your discoveries. Embrace all – both the positive and the negative. These are just sides of the whole, opposite sides of our single self.

Wake up and have fun. Start Now.

7 Reasons to Celebrate Ageing

Celebrating Ageing
Celebrating Ageing in a Song

Ageing with anger is a speciality of Irish poets, American novelists and aahhhhh maybe, Indian pilots. For the rest of us, ageing can be an absolute joy.

If we’re very lucky, a sense of grace falls over us and although enigmatic smiles sometimes betray indigestion or even secret flatulence, they can also suggest that we’ve come to terms with our lives, that we can live with our own histories, that we’re not competitive in our legacies and that the world is not only the place to be but by far the best.

Money could be a part of this but looking at poor villagers in any Asian country, the smile of peace is there, the sense of being a part of a family’s history and its endless future has brought watchful contentment. 

Here are a few key reasons that ageing can be a blessing:

1. We enjoy life

Laughing at our own and others foibles leads to curious glances from others but it can really make an average day a good one.

My friend recently told me that sometimes while doing something very ordinary as cleaning her house, she stops and enjoys the fact that she feels really happy. We seldom felt this before if we ever did. We were so busy with living that we did not have time to pause and just feel our joy.

But now, we do have the time to savour whatever we feel and better still, whatever it is we are feeling, they no longer threaten us. Lfe has taught us that nothing really stays. The next moment, it’s going to be different. Everything turns for the good.

2. We celebrate what we have 

We have climbed the mountains, we poked around in a few of the depths. and we can now relax and stop wrestling with missed promises.

We have nothing to prove. We’ve gone beyond that. If you still are trying to outdo your friends. you have not grown. By this time, your friends know you very well and accept you as you are, so, relax and accept yourself and enjoy life by just being you.

Some in our circle of Seniors have not yet reached this moment of self acceptance. They still try to prove they are somebody so they get stressed at little things which do not support their image of themselves. They do everything to prove that they are better than anyone else and pressure their kids to enhance their image. But because we really can’t control circumstances and people like our kids, we get frustrated and eventually depressed.

With depression comes poor health and sickness. It’s our way of manipulating people and events. Our Senior years must not be like this. It must be enjoyed and lived joyfully. Let the cares and concerns of our earlier lives go and embrace what is, enjoy it and cherish whatever you have.

Nothing like the breath of life felt every morning could compare to all these concerns. Enjoy every day. Remember, we have limited supply of these so enjoy every moment.

3. We accept our shortcomings

In our 40s and 50s, mirrors are a tragedy. As we age, and gently become self caricatures not just physically but emotionally, our weaknesses fit in nicely to the thing we’ve become.

No longer do we have shortcomings. We realize that shortcomings are part of life and will always be there. We know this from experience so we are now able to laugh when we look at them. We can’t deny the aching body, the stooping posture, the wrinkled face, the constant reminder of arthritis, the blurred vision. We do something about them but we don’t let these stop us from enjoying our lives.

Yes, what we have become is what we celebrate in our Senior years. When we look at ourselves, each one of us, there are so many things we can celebrate in our last 60, 70, 80 or 90 years of life. Just the fact that we have reached this age alive, we should be happy. This, alone, is reason to celebrate.

4. We have clearer priorities mainly because we don’t have so many of them. 

We have time and space to focus on what is really important whether that’s learning or family or sports nostalgia or the craziness of politics. we can pick our spots. Besides, age has made us realize that only few things really matter. The many things we pursued when we were younger no longer have the same intensity in our Senior years.

5. We accept our grumpiness and go and hide when we feel it coming on. 

The random savaging of children, grandchildren and trim adherents are at last controlled.

Age has taught us that most things can be managed. Also, we have less stress so very few things worry us. We have reached an age when we know we can no longer do much so we let go.

6. We embrace everything that we are

More searching for who we really are? We’ve stopped that. We have accepted who we are, knowing it or not.

I remember the angst of younger years when we were driven by getting to know what careers fit us, what will I do with my life, how can I make myself better, what job will really be fun for me and many more. Now, I laugh at the fact that at my age, I still don’t really know myself and will never fully know as it reveals more each time I think I have a handle to what I really am.

7. Most importantly, we can sit back and reflect on our lives and the age we’ve lived through.

Even if our own story is not filled with drama, the headlines and achievements and tragedies of the world that have been our companion can consume hours of review and end with some tentative conclusions or insights that if we’re really careful, we can sell to the young as wisdom.

So, ageing is not the only thing we have ahead of us. It may also be the best time of life.