One of the most valuable lessons life can teach as years pass by is to be alert to the simple joys of life that can slip by unnoticed if we are too busy or preoccupied with external concerns or responsibilities.
Joy likes to surprise you. I thought of this the other morning when our neighbor, Janet, came over to visit JoAnn and me with her 16-month-old little boy, Maxwell, who doesn’t speak too much yet.
The whole universe was in a little child's eyes
After cruising around the house a bit, checking things out like the good little supervisor he is, Maxwell decided it was time to check me out. He came over and stood beside me, looking at me intently, and I had a sudden notion to pick him up and hold him in my lap.
His mom smiled and nodded so I picked up this quiet, very curious, strong faced little child and sat him on my lap. He sat there for quite a while, just looking at me, and I felt like I could see the whole universe in his eyes. JoAnn told me later he had a look of complete bliss on his face.
“He never does that," said his Mom, amazed. "He never sits quietly like that."
He even shared his chocolate chip cookie
Finally Maxwell, who had a chocolate chip cookie he was working on, held it out to me so I could have a bite too. I pretended to nibble away at it like a mouse, which brought a big grin to his face.
And then he went even further -- he held out his sippycup toward me.
You can be joyful at any age
Fortunately, joy is eternal -- something we can know and experience at any age.
As I've mentioned before, I'm getting ready to launch a course on the true promise and potential of aging -- which I believe relates very much to the joy that is inherent in our being.
The course is entitled, “How to look (and feel) 10 years younger in four weeks."
While aging brings a lot of anxiety and challenges, obviously, I've written this course to offer joy, hope, and practical advice to people who may be a bit depressed about the idea of getting older, or anxious about the changes going on in their body -- or who perhaps have regrets about their life.
I'll be 79 in May. I seek to assure anyone who takes this course that it is possible to lead a meaningful, happy and fulfilling life at any age. And I seek to share the deepening gratitude I feel for aging -- something I didn't think about much until I realized one day it was actually happening to me :).
Here is what I find so beautiful, fulfilling and also, of course, sad about aging. You realize your life in the outer sense will slip away before too long. But you also have the opportunity to realize that only your physical form is aging -- the unconquerable, joyful spirit that you truly are is not aging at all.
The unconquerable spirit never dies
I love some words that a fellow blogger, Rob White, sent me recently on this:
“As I age toward my late 60's I have experienced that indeed, the truth within does not age but rather comes through clearer and clearer. I take solace in knowing that the unconquerable spirit will never die. I've come to realize it is my job to express my spirit as fully as possible while I am here and leave behind a conversation that will live on.”
What about you? What are your thoughts or experiences related to aging? Please join in the conversation. I'd love to hear from you.
Also, if you're feeling stressed and troubled by all the craziness in the world these days, and looking for a bit of peace, please check out my free e-book, The Wisdom of Serenity, if you haven't already done so.
My love and blessings to you, and if you enjoyed this article, please share it with your friends.