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Ageing With Confidence

Are you afraid of getting older? Here's a challenge for you...


Tell me one thing you can do at 25 that you won't be able to, or can't, do at 50!

I have always boasted about my age, feeling proud of who I am, and gradually becoming a champion of change and ageing until a lady put things in true perspective. At the time of writing this I was 60 years old and shouted it to the world, and will keep shouting my age even when I am 100. That attitude is no easy feat in ageist Britain, where people are written off as soon as they reach 50! I envy America sometimes when I see people of all ages achieving, making their mark, and still enjoying their lives at any age, even though there are many there who still fear getting older. But this stranger really uplifted me.

I was shopping in my local mall and popped into a health store to get something. A very small Chinese lady was talking to the shop assistant rather animatedly, and excitedly, about something that would happen 'in 14 years time'. I only caught the last part of the conversation, and was only paying half attention to it, being no business of mine. She was stressing the 14 years for some reason and, mentally, I looked at her and calculated that she would be about 62 when that time came. She looked between 48 and 50 now, having no tell-tale grey hairs, with a ready smile which easily lit up her kindly face, and a very sunny disposition. Yes, I felt sure she would be in her 60s then.

The shop assistant satisfied my curiosity with a direct question, asking her matter-of-factly how old she was now.

"84 years old," the woman flashed back chirpily, without batting an eyelid, and looking very pleased with herself. It nearly floored me! If we were shocked, we tried not to show it. I stood there trying not to gaze at this woman too awkwardly, as my own perception was put to the test. It was not lost on us both that she would be 98 at the time of the event she was talking about, and it didn't seem to bother her in the least. She was planning for it, looking forward to it, and was excited about it. No wonder she looked so amazing.

She clearly just took her life as it comes and was enjoying every minute! This woman was so adorable, beautiful and inspiring, I thought people like her should be sent round the country to all the others fretting selfishly about their age to challenge their fears. She would certainly alter their perception and definitely reinforced mine! 

Life after 25 years old
At 60 years old I couldn’t think of a single thing I used to do at 25 which I couldn’t do now. So I am challenging you to tell me what I personally cannot do now that I might have done then. For a start I am recently single, and not even when I was 20 did I get as many offers for dates as I have now; desire for sex is still high - too much sometimes..lol..(my new much-younger boyfriend is trying to keep up!). I run up and down stairs, I walk very briskly everywhere I go, and run if I wish to, and I think so fast my brain cannot cope sometimes with all the frenetic activity. When I had my business, my young staff just couldn't keep up with me, mentally.

Furthermore, I have no aches of any kind, especially backache which plagues many older people, I do my own simple exercises three times weekly which keeps me in shape, I dance a lot, I eat healthily and - voila! - here I am as scintillating as ever! The only thing physically different is that I have grey hairs and there is always the hair dye, if I don't want them.

But I tell you what has changed since I was 25: I am far more knowledgeable, far more confident and assured, more beautiful, empathetic, and far more loving and appreciative of others. What on earth would I wish to go back to 25 years for? Nothing at all I can think of, because I am going to look and feel exactly the same even when I am 80 and 90. The reason? Ageing is inevitable, but the rate at which we age is decided by our thoughts and actions

Let me repeat that again, slowly: YOU age yourself according to whether you fear ageing, or welcome it. The more you fear ageing, the more negative your thoughts will be, the more anxious you'll feel, the more you lower your constitution, the worse you feel and, ipso facto, the more rapidly you age! Ageing is inevitable, if we are still alive. But the rate at which we age, and precisely how we look, is entirely down to us. We are all unique beings, so it isn't automatic that you are going to look like any older person you see now, or suffer their illnesses!

If I am still alive in 10 years time, you'll be able to tell me whether I was wrong about how I will look and feel. But right now I couldn't give a hoot about my age. I am too busy just enjoying my life and being thankful for it, because the only sober alternative is death.

Over to you about your fears. Let's have them right out in the open now, and see if they hold any water! Send me an email and answer the challenge. :o)

Understanding The Real Causes of Ageing


For me, there are three main causes of ageing.

First, and most important, is the brainwashing people have, from society and the media, around the ageing process.

As soon as we are born, we learn about the negative things we can expect from being older, because of society's fear around ageing. Everything is supposed to get worse, fall off, droop south, or just stay droopy! There is nothing positive associated with ageing, so everyone is directly and indirectly taught to fear it, mainly because of its connection with ill health, physical degeneration, compulsory retirement, and emotional exclusion from the wider society. Not surprisingly, people come to dread the ageing process and precipitate it in more negative ways through their attitude. I bet if we were told we would live forever when we are born, we would have a different mindset about ageing!

Second, we age through our thoughts first, and then our bodies follow.

We cannot get a positive life from negative thinking, especially through our negative labels. We need to get rid of that 'old' label and think in youthful terms. A guy I spent some time talking to kept saying “You can't teach an old dog like me new tricks.” Not only did he look older than his age but he acted it. Whatever he kept saying was becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy, because he certainly had a closed mind. If you see yourself as 'old' and 'useless', your body will happily oblige. That is why some older people are extremely youthful and agile, because they refuse to conform to society’s limiting age boxes.

Most of the illnesses we have are induced by the mind. A long time back we started fearing getting older, fearing certain illnesses, telling ourselves that by a certain age some painful things are going to start happening. We focus on them constantly, dreading them daily, instead of on the positive things we might enjoy, and the great health we still have. Then a few years later they all fall into place exactly as expected. Sadly, by that time, we would have forgotten that we brought them into being by our continuous focus upon them. The powerful mind is what dictates the quality of our life, and when we use it to think negatively, negative events are all we are likely to get.

Third, we age through not sufficiently using our brain and other faculties.

Many people, especially when they retire, stop using their brains, memories and problem-solving faculties. They stop dreaming and aspiring, and often live a completely sedentary fearful life. Of course, the quality of their life deteriorates much quicker. If we don't use it, we lose it, and that is the biggest cause of both mental and physical ageing, the way we CHOOSE to live as we get older.

We might age physically according to our natural years, but it is our thoughts, expectations, and activities that determine how much we really age in every other aspect.

Are you 40 years old, or 40 years young? That choice could decide the quality of your future.

Are You Aged 49-59? It Can Be A Crisis for Women


This age is a curious one: liberating yet often frightening. At a time when everything seems to be happening, life can become another mid-life crisis because many women now fear the ageing process, especially if they start to feel unattractive. Many dread being 50 for all its perceived implications. A breakdown may occur in a mother's lifestyle and thinking patterns, particularly when the children depart and leave a huge emotional void. Depending on her self-evaluation and level of esteem, she may make some desperate changes in an attempt to escape the life she leads.

This is often a time to start anew with a fresh approach or shiny new partner; a time when many people need understanding, encouragement, and support to be able to value the remaining stages of their life and to make the most of their personal journey. Yet, though many couples draw closer together for support, for too many others it's a time when they are unlikely to get any support and that results in many divorces. In the UK, 71% of divorces sought by people over 50, since 2000, have been initiated by women.

On the plus side, by the time women are at this stage, they have developed a richness of friendships with other women that helps them to determine and understand their own individuality. They have reared their children through adolescence and into adulthood. Now it is time to reflect and accept their own lives. It may be seen as a time of freedom from childbearing responsibilities, and for new opportunities to pursue interests in personal development or career. They are likely to seek fulfilment and significance outside the home, in either new training, employment or voluntary activities. If they are already in work, they will be moving up the ladder.

But this is also another period of stress and uncertainty for women, due to the menopause, which may occur in the late forties, or early fifties. A woman may experience a hormone imbalance at about the same time her last child leaves home. She may find herself readjusting in her marriage, especially if her partner is at a different stage and looking to a rival for affirmation and support. She is also likely to be an in-law and a grandparent at the same time her hormone imbalance is producing states of depression, loneliness, and bewilderment. Not a pleasant time to be living with someone who might also introspective and unhappy. Neither is it the best time to feel undervalued and taken for granted.

Looking Back to The Past
The young/old dilemma becomes very important here, too, because when a person faces the fact that she will die someday in the not too distant future, it can be an overwhelming thought. The young look only toward the future, with much hope. The old can only look backward to the past, with a sense of accomplishment (if one has led a satisfying life), or with sadness and regret (if life has been disappointing). Regardless of which way they look on their life, both young and old can change very little about it, and that is the hardest thing to accept for people who are older.

Thus many people in this stage tend to live in the past, rehashing their lives and experiences, to compensate for their loss or disappointment. To them the past was better in every respect, and their current environment is always worse, or more threatening. Many believe they have gone as far as they can, and feel devoid of creativity, energy, or capacity for further development, and even hasten their own demise. It can even do new apprentices a disservice if they are led by someone who is likely to be settling for mediocrity at this point, or just marking time until he/she retires.

The more forward-thinking ones in this life stage tend to emphasise 'being young', trying to hold on to the dying youth that is slipping away; a kind of pre-adult perspective with no degree of structure, stability, or responsibility. As they continue to hold on tenaciously, they are likely to stress how 'young' or youthful' they are; likely wishing they could be 20 again; perhaps trying hairpieces, transplants, and various tactics to prove to themselves and others that they still 'have it'. The current proliferation of discos for the 'over 30s’, but which are increasingly dominated by the over 50s confirm that growing audience. But seeking to be back in Stage 1, as a teenager, instead of accepting one's age disgracefully, and living it to the full, tends to lead to tears eventually, as others notice the superficiality and pretence and react accordingly.

Saying things like "I'm 55 going on 21”, and seeking much younger partners to match it, not only keeps one feeling inadequate, as one strives to be what one is not, but it is also an insult to 21 year olds. No person at this stage can ever behave like a 21 year old, no matter how hard they try! Their knowledge and experience will always get in the way and force them to be more cautious than a youngster would! In other words, to appreciate another's age, we have to first acknowledge, appreciate, and accept our own age fully.

If you are older, do you live in continuous regret about your age? That's looking a gift horse in the mouth when dead people don't age! The best place to be is to shout: “I’m 55 and proud of it. Youthful, fabulous, and formidable. I do not wish to be any other age!”

And live that life to the full!

The Main Reasons We Fear Ageing


It seems that at least 42% of people fear ageing. That's nearly half of our population in the UK. Yet, like death, age is an inevitable part of our existence. We cannot NOT age, just as we have to die. So the only way to treat those two elements of our existence is to accept them as willingly, happily, and joyously as we do life. The minute we accept life, we accept ageing and death, too, because ALL THREE come as a package. We cannot have one without the other. If we constantly remind ourselves of that, and live each day as it comes, life will be more enjoyable, because we won't spend it worrying and stressing about something we cannot change. We'll spend it on living to the best of our ability.

It seems that we fear ageing because it is usually associated with illnesses and ill health rather than anything vibrant, energetic and sexy. We also see many people who have not aged very well and are likely to assume we will age like that too, forgetting our own uniqueness and individuality. But there is no single blueprint for ageing. Ageing begins in the mind and the body then follows suit so that, quite simply, we age how we think. It means that people with 'fragile', 'victimlike’, or negative thought processes, who write themselves off at certain ages, or who fear the actual process, are going to age quite differently, and more rapidly, from those who feel strong, confident, aspirational, worthy, and enhanced.

Furthermore, society brainwashes us into the desirability of being young through its focus on the young, especially by the media and entertainment industries, and we accept it meekly instead of asserting our presence. We also worry about ageing skin, being incapacitated by our age, and having to retire and lose our status, job, and friends. Most important, we worry about being excluded, unwanted, and insignificant. So instead of welcoming old age as another important phase of our life, where we can set the rules to please ourselves, we dread it and fear it, which then affects the quality of that life in a negative way.

Yet it is not the actual age we are that should be the focus of our lives, but the age we choose to live, and wish to be. Age certainly provides a marker and direction, but it isn't the route, so try not to live according to the fears, or limitations, of others. Let your own positive beliefs and expectations guide your life, because how you think also influences the perception of others, who will treat you accordingly. Chronologically, we might be a certain age, but it is up to each one of us how old we really wish to be in our attitude and actions, because that's how we will be treated by everyone else.

We have this incredible developing world dominated by technology, yet are still back there somewhere, trying to use old mindsets around ageing to cope with the new innovations. Yet, unless we move into the 21st century too, especially in our thinking about age and how to treat it, we will be missing out on an awful lot of talent and resources, while living a needlessly sorrowful life that is dictated purely by fear!

Fun ways to live longer


People tend to take their life very seriously, but we only pass this way once and should really make the most of it in every way we can, particularly having fun amidst the serious aspects of living. In fact, the more we can have fun is the more we are likely to lengthen our lives, because we tend to boost our immune system, and are not so prone to illnesses as when we are constantly feeling down.

There are five very simple fun ways we can live longer, and four are entirely within our control.

1. Try to laugh as much as possible. The more we laugh is the more we feel good inside, the more positive chemicals are released inside us, and the better we feel. Most importantly, the more laughter we engage in is the more we are boosting our immune system to cope with the rigours of life. Research has discovered that people who are quick to laugh and enjoy themselves tend to live up to seven years MORE than those who are grumpy, dour and complaining regularly! Seven years is a long time to lose in sheer grumpiness.

2. Have as many hugs and as much sex as you can. Hugs are one of Nature's ways of ensuring we connect to each other in a warm, caring emotional way. A hug is inclusive. It embraces others in intimate, or just friendly ways ,and it is very affirming. Couple that with wonderful sex with someone you love or desire, and the body benefits, big time! Researchers have shown that sex has rejuvenating properties and is great for our health. Above all, it is hugely enjoyable and excellent for emotional wellbeing. It can't be ignored in the happiness stakes.

3. Try to be more positive each day. The way we see the world is entirely down to us. We can either see the world as a terrible place (as pessimists and people with low self-esteem observe it), seeing only the bad side of it, or we can see it as a place of opportunities and joy, where both good and bad exists side by side (as people with high confidence and self-belief tend to perceive it). Being positive is far more likely to yield the results you want, as well as to make you feel good, than simply seeing the negatives, especially when everything in life has a balance. There is a lot of fun in being positive, because we empower ourselves with positivity, we are likely to see things pessimists cannot, which then allows even more of what we seek to come into our lives.

4. Give rather than receive. Whenever you can, try to give someone something, no matter how small, and watch their reaction. Even it is only your smile, the effect on someone else can often be amazing because a simple smile speaks across all cultures and boundaries. The minute we become less self-absorbed and actually put the focus on others, we put our own lives in perspectives and get more of the joy we seek. The greatest fun and pleasure comes from GIVING, not just receiving, for the sheer impact it might have on the receiver. Above all, sometimes that impact could be well beyond what we could ever imagine!

5. Walk as much as possible with your ipod. Whether you like music or not, get yourself an ipod, load some music on that you wish to hear, and go WALKING. Not only will you feel fantastic hearing your music while you walk and keep in trim, but it is a most glorious feeling when you have finished, knowing that you have not only enjoyed yourself, but are getting some necessary exercise whenever you can without too much effort. It is a most wonderful feeling walking in rhythm to whatever is playing, while getting some exercise. Music is a very calming force and when combined with something else you might not like as much, the rewards can be massive.

There are many ways to have fun to aid your longevity but, these have certainly worked for many people, and it’s worth passing them on.

5 Reasons to Love The Internet


When the Internet reached my neck of the woods some years ago, I was one of many people who viewed it with great curiosity, some trepidation, some excitement, but even greater fear. All one heard about was the amount of porn one could get on it, the way one's identity could be stolen, and all kinds of other imaginary things which a fear of the unknown usually breeds.

As with any change that takes time to sink in, I have had over 18 years of this incredible innovation and I adore it immensely, because it has dramatically changed my life, my perspectives, my knowledge, my skills and me, as an individual - from a parochial person to a global one. And what a colossal journey it has been!

It is easy to love the Internet for a variety of reasons, but the 5 main ones for me are as follows:

1. It is a great leveller. No matter what age, gender or ability you have, the anonymity of the Internet means that you could be anyone. What you are in person doesn't really matter. It's what you have to share with everyone else that will get you noticed. No matter what the age, it is easy to interact with people of other ages, like some brilliant 15-18 year old writers who, unless they revealed their age, sound as mature, competent and articulate as any experienced writer. On a terrestrial level, many younger people would perhaps see an older person as ‘too old', 'finished', not up to it. Fearing age as they do, they are likely to project their fears on to others and rob them of a life. On the internet, age doesn't matter. It's what you have to say, how you say it, and the way you participate which says who you are, and that's the way life should be. Allowing us to be whom we want to be at any time.

2. Its incredible knowledge base. Thanks to the Internet, it’s like having one’s own personal library on one’s computer, in one’s own home, and at the click of a button. To have so much wealth of information available, and freely accessible, without having to go anywhere for it, is just mind-blowing and unbelievable. There is no reason for anyone to be ignorant, or in the dark about life, health, wealth, education or any subject. It is all there for the taking. What an age to be living in when knowledge is at our fingertips in such abundance?

3. Connecting with others. It must feel really time consuming and old fashioned to send things by post these days, to worry about stamps and parcelling up items to send away. One is so used to emails now, that are so quick, simple and accessible, posting anything just seems cumbersome. Then there are all the networking sites like LinkedIn and Facebook which connect people from all over the world in ways that they choose. The Internet is truly awesome in the potential for linking up with others.

4. The business potential. One can actually get filthy rich on the Internet, and in a remarkably quick time too, if one has the product - like a search engine - or computers to sell! The global market means that a really popular idea will not only attract a rapid amount of traffic to it, but also a huge amount of money from that traffic. The cumulative nature of having such global audiences means that one can easily run a business without much outlay, from anywhere in the world, without having to be in the same place, and with as little resources as possible, except the time to monitor and maintain it. The possibilities for innovation are limitless.

5. The opportunity to date online. If you’re a single woman who dislikes pubs or drinking, being able to date online is just the ticket. Over 8 million people in the UK are registered with dating sites. Women tend to find it secure, they can control the attention they get, there are lots of choices available, and all from the privacy of their homes. Much better than going anywhere by themselves hoping to be noticed, and feeling vulnerable. The Internet has allowed many people to meet lots of professionals, with the similar aims and aspirations, on their own terms, and to make choices about meetings in relative obscurity, without having to worry about their safety either.

The Internet has certainly changed my life in many ways, especially changing my focus, improving my knowledge, allowing me to connect with like-minded people from across the world, and showing me what is still possible. My mother and grandmother could not have envisaged such a world as I am enjoying, and theirs seem so primitive now.

Come to think of it, the sky is really the limit now for Internet users, no matter what age they have reached! And that is the most awesome fact.

Step 1 in Enjoying a Disgraceful Life - Love Yourself!


You cannot grow older, gracefully or disgracefully, if you have no confidence to do so, and confidence comes from self-love and high self-esteem. Nothing else.

How many of us cannot bear to see ourselves in a mirror, cannot stand to hear our voices coming back at us, or to see ourselves in a photo or on a video? Too few people like what they see or hear of themselves. In fact, one famous actress said she never watches her films at all as she cannot bear to see how she acts. Luckily for her, the paying public takes a different view, otherwise no one would bother to watch her performances.

We are all beautiful and unique beings, made in the image of our god, universe, nature or whatever we believe in. But some higher power/intelligence is at the back of us somewhere because our body is nothing short of amazing. Everyone has some beauty which is uniquely theirs. We tend to seek the approval of others for our existence, especially when we are younger and need help in making our way into the world. That personal need follows us into old age where we continue to wait for people to approve of us before we like ourselves. But self-love and self-respect are the key items which keep us as young as possible They not only bring out the best in us, they also give us a deep feeling of oneness and happiness in ourselves that gradually affects our well-being, and our interaction with others.

When we love ourselves, we give permission for others to love us too, to appreciate our strengths and weaknesses, and to enhance that sense of worth and significance we all seek. Many people undervalue themselves, and use either their parents or their lovers to set the standard of acceptability for them. They deliberately ignore their strengths, preferring to focus on their perceived weaknesses, to the extent that if their relationship is 'failing', they are likely to blame themselves for it too.

If they were not loved and affirmed as children, they are also likely to see themselves as unworthy and inferior to siblings or friends, always lagging behind while clinging to the judgements of significant others in a constant comparison with them. As they become older, that negative reaction would have cemented itself inside their heads, and then their self-esteem takes a battering. By the time they are in their 50s or 60s, the weight of the world is likely to be upon their shoulders, helped by their loneliness, anxieties, endless problems, and low opinion of themselves. In fact, the biggest tell-tale sign of this unhappiness is likely to be extra weight gain. As the weight piles on, they feel even more unattractive to themselves and to others. Gradually, their feelings begin to affect their health when the negative reaction of others unwittingly makes their fears come true in an unrelenting cycle of self-loathing.

Consequences of Lacking Self-Love
Self-love is crucial because it leads to a love of our bodies and talents. It also frees us to stop focusing upon what we lack, while we accept ourselves as the beautiful and wondrous beings we are. When we love ourselves we are likely to nurture our bodies, to be proud of who we are, and to nurture others, too, for who they are. If we have little self-love we are hardly likely to have much love to give either. In fact, people without self-love tend to be more self-centred and uncomfortable with their surroundings, finding constant fault with their environment, nit-picking at others, and whingeing eternally about the 'good old days' and what should be happening now. The present is never quite adequate, despite our phenomenal inventions and benefits.

Again, people without self-love are usually reluctant to learn new things because their identity is attached to a past life that would unravel if they strayed too far from their anchor, or were challenged to change their outlook. They tend to live in fear of new innovations while feeling confused and bewildered by rapid change. The extreme ones are likely to make people around them feel inadequate, because they are still striving for what they wanted in their earlier life and haven't yet achieved. Believing they have lost their opportunities forever, they tend to be full of regret and will perhaps expect their children to chase those lost dreams for them. More likely, they will expect anyone they value to live up to the impossible standards they have set themselves in order to feel better, and to fuel their sense of significance.

This kind of behaviour is not so surprising when loving the self is not an easy thing to do. It is very difficult to change years of negative treatment and a lack of reinforcement into something positive and wholesome. Someone once said that we are prisoners of our own experiences. If we were brought up on persistent abuse, we will assume that behaviour to be not only morally right, but we would also regard it as the accepted practice everywhere else, too. That perception would hold until our life experience widens sufficiently to show us otherwise.

When we have been through a lifetime of neglect, put-downs, non-reinforcement, striving to please, or even having abuse of any kind, it is really difficult to change those habits and begin to value ourselves enough. There is no quick-fix remedy, but making a start at least promises some action, because that’s the only way we are going to enjoy every single day of our lives, no matter what age we are. 

Tips for growing older disgracefully


What's the real secret to ageing disgracefully?

There is really no secret to it. Many younger people fear ageing, but there is nothing to fear about it. Just because someone else might have problems in old age, or look really bad for their age, does not mean that will automatically happen to you. Each of us is an individual, influenced mainly by our genes, our surroundings and, importantly, by the way were brought up, and the perceptions we have of our life. Genes apart, ageing depends entirely on how we approach it. You approach it in fear, and a fearful accident-prone life is what you would be sentenced to, because one cannot have positivity out of negatives. The body can only deliver what we think, so we are the ones who either age ourselves badly or age well.

There are 5 major tips to how we age, and if they are followed to the letter, ageing would be a cinch, as I am living proof of that. When I think about it, the following is what I have subconsciously followed, without any real effort at all, or set regime. I know that when I am 70, 80, 90, I will look the same as I do now, because I seem to be getting better with each year. It is getting difficult to tell which pictures were taken at 50, and which ones at 60! And I am not complaining.

In order of their importance, the five tips are:

Ageing disgracefully begins with your thoughts. Everything in life starts from our thoughts - all intentions, inventions, and actions. So why should it be any different with age? What kind of thoughts do you have? Are they fearful, complaining, whingeing, victimlike? Whatever you think, you are. If you believe you are ugly and awful, soon enough your thoughts go out there, affect your interactions, and come back to confirm themselves through the reactions of others. I tell myself everyday when I look in the mirror, how gorgeous and wonderful I am. How grateful to have such an amazing life, just even having a pulse. And guess what? People keep telling me how gorgeous and wonderful I am!! There is a connection there somewhere, whether we believe it or not. People cannot treat us better than we treat ourselves, so we have to set the standard for others to follow, and we’ll be treated in like manner. So thoughts are the most important things for setting the quality, direction, and essence of our lives.

Following close on your thoughts is what you do with your brain. READ, LEARN, and EXERCISE that mind. Anchor yourself to the Internet. It is the greatest repository of knowledge our world has now. For example, I subscribe to tons of sites which send me words to learn every day and games to do, to boost my brain and memory power. I play scrabble and card games whenever I can, and am always finding out unusual facts. In short, I am voracious in my quest for knowledge, and the more I learn the less I think I know and want to learn even more. Somehow, by exercising my brain non-stop it seems to have an effect on my youthfulness and general well being. I have little time to feel bored, feel pain, feel lonely, sad, or feel down. I am too preoccupied living, learning, and reaching out to others to feel sorry for myself. The effect all round has been astronomical, especially on my writing, my confidence, and general capabilities.

We are back to those thoughts again! People worry needlessly about things happening in their lives, but worry merely paralyses action. It resolves nothing. Moreover, when you have lived to be 60, and looked back to what you worried about, you soon realise that life always pleases itself while you worry. It will happen with, or without you, and you can either accept it gracefully, or fight against it, getting the same result later on, but with a lot of angst in between. Whatever you want to happen in life, just work towards it, trust in the Universe, your God, a higher power, or whatever, and LET GO. Don't try to control it because, the minute you do that, you rob yourself of any surprise you might have had, and you will also feel less capable of bringing it to a satisfactory conclusion. Let go and enjoy life, while you do the best you can. You would be surprised at the outcomes. Life tends to deliver in its own time, not ours. That's why a lot of the best things in life happens when we are not looking, and are least expected.

I enjoy doing some simple exercises that I have done sporadically for the past 25 years. I used to go on diets and buy exercise books etc. After the umpteenth book of not really getting any long-term remedies, I threw away the books and did two things. First, I devised my own 15 minute exercise programme from activities I really liked, and which clearly worked for me, and did them 4 days each week. For three other times I have walked at least 2 miles per day, and on two days I do nothing. If I didn't feel like doing it on any day, I didn’t, which meant it didn't become a chore.

As to my food, I keep away from sugar, fat, and alcohol ,and eat anything else that I like, in moderation, three or four regular times each day. I stopped putting on weight years ago, which is very good for my diabetes. I am now very shapely through the constant exercising over the years, and I have no angst about my body. You can join a gym, by all means, if that makes you feel good. But something that is simple and done regularly, like running up and down the stairs a few times, has far more long term effects than a few quick blasts in the gym now and then. By the way, I don't use any kind of anti-ageing creams or anything that isn't natural, except cosmetics. Beauty comes from within, and is reflected in my face and body. It doesn't happen the other way around.

Many people ignore their instincts which are always trying to talk to them. They think they know best, that they have all the answers, but they would be surprised how little they know about their lives. Our instinct is our subconscious. Look how awesome it is at night when we are asleep, protecting us through our autonomic system until the next morning. We have nothing to do with it then, yet the conscious part is completely controlled by our subconscious when we are asleep. The same during the day. If we wish to do anything and just listen to any inner voice that we might hear, it connects us spiritually to others and the world at large, often giving us answers we don't even dream about. Without some kind of spirituality we are nothing, and people who fear ageing are not really connected to themselves, so everything becomes a pain, with little joy or contentment.

I have learned to listen to my instincts and the effect on my life has been phenomenal in what I am achieving, how I relate to others, and the gratitude I feel. Most important, I feel protected and fearless because I know that I will always have an answer. There is nothing to fear, not even death.

Finally, a key point to bear in mind about enjoying life as you get older: Dead people don't age. So PLEASE give thanks and appreciate the fact that you are ALIVE! Life is not a guarantee, it is a gift. That's why it's called the present. Life also goes in a strict cycle of birth, growth, maturity, ageing, and then we die. That was the deal when we were born, take it or leave it. The best we can do about that gift of life is to appreciate it fully, make the most of each day, and leave a legacy for others.

Should You go Gray Naturally or Dye Your Hair as You Age?


Many older women often worry about whether to dye their hair or not. But it shouldn't be any kind of issue. Dying one's hair is like any other fashion statement: we go with what makes us comfortable and uplifts us. We do not have any angst about dying our hair in different shades when we are younger. We do it even without thinking to experiment, to be in vogue, or to keep a certain shade fresh and attractive. Getting older should be no different in that regard. It is simply another stage of life that we react to as necessary.

The way we look is highly related to the way we feel about ourselves, the mood we are in, or the desire to experiment. When it comes to new clothes or a new hairstyle, we should not get into fossilised, unmoving ways of restricting our choices. We should do whatever feels natural, comfortable and beautiful.

The essence of being is to live as whom we wish to be. Life is too short to be rigidly sticking to anything to prove a point, to conform to other people's expectations, or to please anyone else. Live it to the max, and if dyeing your hair is part of that objective, just go for it, and wear it with pride! You cannot live anyone else's life, only your own, and you are the best judge of how you wish to live it.