Breathe in this forced pause. Breathe out the smell of death, grief and sunken family. Look around and see it’s so much less but more. Feel the hot turmoil under your skin.
Think, my brother died and say aloud, “Again.”
Such great tenderness unveiled in moments. A rush of love begins.
“You’re hurting me,” I say.
“I’m loving you.”
“But, is that the same thing?”
Everything happens in an instant. It is a black flower that blooms and roots in our heart. Some of us hold our breath while we wait. Someone chants in the corner. What are we waiting for? For tomorrow…a new dream… an awakening.
“I don’t want to be here,” I say.
“And yet, here you are.”
“What shall I do with this tragedy?”
“Love. Love hard and love living.”
I watch my family in motion. There’s a huddle and we’re a team. Someone is folding sheets. Another is shifting furniture and making space for Death to arrive and it’s strange really because we know that this guest will not stay long. They will leave us with another hole.
Things mesh and blend, emotions and exhaustion flutter. We find laughter beyond our control. All we can think is—It is time.
“Time for what exactly?”
“Time to come together.”
“Or fall apart,” I say.
My birthday card reads: “It’s time for joy.” I’m reading this while letting go of my brother’s hand and replacing it with someone else’s hand. It’s a warm, loving hand so I don’t fall. But, then in this hand I’m falling into somewhere else.
To be yourself and act fully in the moment is to be young.
We are born authentic, curious and engaged. Children are this way naturally but as we grow older, we absorb knowledge and the perceptions of others, we integrate life experience which translates into fear and insecurity. These things weigh heavy on the mind body. We can age crooked, tired and sick. Or, we can age gracefully. This is the topic of ageless mind body, thinking about how we can we preserve youthfulness and vitality as we grow older.
I am walking down a long, wide road. It’s early fall and I breathe in the cool crisp air. My gait is easy. I feel gentleness and a window opening. I’m both wise and adolescent simultaneously. I wander into a jewelry store and consider an item that has a secret meaning. My eyes moisten with memories of the past, but I am fully in the present and there is a future Self hovering over me. I’m standing at the intersection of time. I am ageless mind body.
I pass by an old toy store. I marvel at the puzzles and charming puppets. I want to go inside and touch the colorful figurines. I’m aware that my feelings about toy stores are changing. My children are no longer with me. I am now the old man behind the counter. I am nobody and somebody. There is timeless magic in an antique store filled with playful things.
We can prepare ourselves for a youthful, vital old age followed by a peaceful death. We can relax our face and body scars. We can heal old wounds and feel well. We can let go of excess weight. It is our nature to be authentic, curious and engaged—to be ageless, happy, light and free; to choose healthy, deeply satisfying activities that will have a positive impact on our mind body.
There is a man who has one shoulder lower than the other. Further down the path, a woman with a hump on her back. I think, these are medical abnormalities. On the other hand, I feel like it’s the burden they carry. In response to this scene, I watch my step and begin to walk mindfully. I feel each step aligned in weight and balance. To my right, a woman jogs with robust legs and she has laugh lines just like me. Beyond, there is an elderly couple holding hands and I estimate their age to be somewhere between seventy-nine and ninety. They are petite and lovely.
When we break with routine and monotony, we are refreshed and exhilarated. When we change our environment our eyes open anew. These are small leaps into youthfulness and vitality; we become aware of different worlds that exist beyond our small world and that moves us beyond our daily suffering.
We become aware we are not our body, that our mind is a tool of perception. We learn that ageless mind body is a mindful feedback loop in which perception impacts behavior and behavior impacts perception and this sheds new light onto our bodies.
I engage with the butcher when I go to buy meat for dinner. I am aware that I am younger and more relaxed when I open up to him and share something beyond my order. Something relaxes in my face and eyes and I see this in his face and in his eyes. I become a magnet with my lips and with my eyes and with laughter. It’s not that I don’t see age, I do. I see wrinkles, I see folds on elbows and thinning hair. But there is something else there– humor, curiosity and irony. That is ageless mind body.