Remember when you used to do that to your siblings? Your fingers in your ears, “Lalalala, I can’t hear you!” Sometimes that’s not a bad thing. Sometimes others can say really damaging things to you that you internalize. This can be unintentional for the person giving the message and the person absorbing the message. But there are myths that we have accepted as true. One of the biggest misconceptions is that we must decline as we age.
You can only do what you can imagine is possible. If you can’t imagine yourself doing a leap or a turn in dance, then you will never achieve it. Your body believes what you say.
Sometimes people will ask me, referring to my job, “How long do you think you can keep doing this?” This is my answer: FOREVER.
I believe in my health more than I believe in any illness. I believe that getting older does NOT mean decline—unless I believe it does. And I don’t.
When I get a cut, my body automatically heals it. All of the cells in our bodies regenerate constantly. When I dance, I am rehearsing. When you rehearse anything you get better at doing it. As we get older, we learn from our experiences, making us more able to cope with life.
Why don’t we just decide to believe that there are no limits around the self and see what happens? If you continually put limits on yourself, you will surely experience limits.
We have friends, Don and Marcia, whom I always think of as our contemporaries. They have more life and vigor than most people (of any age). In their 6th decade they were doing things like: climbing Mt. Everest, dog sledding in Antarctica, horseback riding and camping across Mongolia, camping in the Australian Outback, to name a few. They recently decided to just change their lives and move to Colorado. They were married the year I was born: 1957. And they don’t look anywhere near their chronological age. They have not bought into the concept of decline, so it is not in their experience.