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Bliss is our birthright

I have a wonderful picture of a lion on the front cover of my soon-to-be released book, Aging into Bliss.  I've been working really hard on the book, by the way, which is why I haven't written a post for a little while. I'm sorry about that.

The lion in my cover picture is alone and at rest in the South African bush. He gazes out at his world through partly-closed eyes and looks very much at peace with himself and his world. He is a picture of bliss – which of course is the point, given that is the theme and title of my book.

Bliss is our birthright

Bliss is our birthright. Mind you, just because we're blissful doesn't mean we can't also be ready.  There’s no doubt in my mind that if a threat emerged in his vicinity, the wonderful lion in my picture would move aggressively and decisively to meet that threat.

He is getting on a bit, the lion on my cover. He has obviously seen a lot in his life, and would have a lot of stories to tell if he was so inclined. For example, a piece is missing from one of his ears where I presume he was bitten in a fight back along the way. But although he is aging, he is gorgeous. The power of his presence is undeniable.

It’s my hope that the picture will symbolize a central premise of my book, which is that our true nature is also blissful and strong. Our presence is also undeniable.  And though our bodies age, our unconquerable spirit does not age.

We too are born free

We too are free. We may not feel free some of the time, for various reasons. But this does not deny the fact that we too are “born free,” just like the lion on the front cover of my book -- and like Elsa, the lionness made famous by Joy and George Adamson in their book, Born Free.

Freedom is our destiny. It is our birthright. It is our true nature, just as joy is our true nature and peacefulness of mind and heart is our true nature.

Not only lions are magnificent. We too are magnificent. And aging, despite its challenges -- I argue in my book -- can be a door to an ever deeper experience of the wisdom, happiness and love that is our birthright.

Some trepidation in my heart

As I get ready to launch my book there is some trepidation in my heart, trepidation that is natural, perhaps, when we push our boundaries a bit and tackle something new. But there is also an enormous feeling of thankfulness.

I am so thankful for the opportunity I have to share something of my own experience and passion relative to aging -- to contribute to the conversation that, as Dr. Linda Fried of the International Longevity Project at Columbia University observed recently, we so urgently need  on this subject.

"We have such a human aversion to getting old; it's associated with death, and death is scary," said Dr. Fried. "But as a society, we have not had the conversations we need to have. There are huge opportunities there."

Aging does seem to have a bad rap in our culture. But speaking for myself, as I enter my 80's, I find that despite its challenges aging is a door to increasing happiness and fulfillment.

"I've had a beautiful life and I love everyone"

I love some words spoken recently by a centenarian named Lille Magette. Lille, who lives in Centennial, Colorado, quite near to JoAnn and me, was one of dozens of U.S. Army nurses who landed on Utah Beach after the invasion of Normandy to care for the wounded and dying in WWII. At a birthday party in her honor, Lille Magette was quoted in the Denver Post as saying, “I’ve had a beautiful life, and I love everyone.”

What beautiful words. May we echo these sentiments when we look back on our own life journey.

I send you blessings and love. Thank you for your support, it means a lot to me. By the way, I’ve self-published print books before but I’m a babe in arms as far as digital publishing is concerned. If you have any tips or ideas re marketing my book – or any other thoughts re the above article – please do share. I would surely appreciate it.

Picture credit:   safari-partners


{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Sheila September 5, 2012 at 9:30 am

Good morning Christopher
I do agree with you…why is it that aging is such a terrible thing and yet we have no control of it , can’t stop it, it does happen… We spend so much of our younger years worrying about hitting 30, 40, 50 and so on that we will be ” OLD ” as if it will be an awfully terrible thing…
Well since hitting my oh my goodness 50’s I’ve come to realise that as each year goes by we’ve been given a deeper gift of knowledge, appreciation, awareness, memories, life moments etc etc. So many gifts that are too long a list to write down. I think so called aging is a wonderful journey that we all go through so why fight the process and make it a bad aspect of our lives.
Yes our bodies may fight the activites or want to slow down more and more but our hearts and minds can always keep up so we can remain forever young if that is important to you….
For me I love where I am… I can look back and rekindle many life moments and now look forward to many more to come with a more valuable appreciation for everything to come.


Christopher Foster September 5, 2012 at 3:09 pm

Thank you for sharing these beautiful thoughts and experiences Sheila. Your words are an inspiration. That’s the simple choice any of us can make, isn’t it: ‘I love where I am.’ I am happy and honored to share this journey with you and wish you much happiness now and in the days to come. Life brings its challenges, of course, but it brings other gifts too, such as an increasing awareness of the underlying calm that is with every one of us all the time. Be well Sheila.


David Banner September 5, 2012 at 10:35 am

Chris…I am feeling the same sense of thankfulness as Lillie in your post….the life experience just grows richer and richer……..increasing levels of bliss are also my experience…….


Christopher Foster September 5, 2012 at 3:15 pm

Delighted to hear from you David. Much love to you across the miles and thank you for sharing. Been thinking about this word bliss. It doesn’t mean a kind of static state of unending “peace” does it? Plenty of room for the natural wildness and unpredictability and ups and downs of life — but always the underlying presence of the calm of our own true nature.


Linda Hewett September 5, 2012 at 1:28 pm

Hello Chris ,
I’m excited for you! Looking forward to your book very much.
I’m releasing a free eBook very soon for my subscribers and contributors to my blog. Scary or what!
All will be well with your book, I’m convinced of it .
I think the phrase is… ‘Bring it on!’
Linda Hewett recently posted..20 Reasons You’ll Benefit From Joining Our Confidence Forum


Christopher Foster September 5, 2012 at 3:16 pm

Hey Linda. Good to hear from you. I’m excited for you too, all the very best with your book, what’s the title of it?


Linda/Positive Spin September 6, 2012 at 5:22 am

Hello Chris,
Thanks for asking, it’s called ‘You Can Choose Confidence – Step by Step.’
Linda/Positive Spin recently posted..So You Want To Be More Confident? And When Do You Want it? NOW!

Evan Griffith September 5, 2012 at 5:02 pm

Oh man oh man, Chris — I can’t wait to get my digital hands on your digital book. I hope you’re publishing to Amazon Kindle simultaneously when you’re publishing to other formats.

You are one of the reasons I look forward to advancing in years. I see a jazz fusion of wisdom, experience and insight hurtle out of you with great regularity.

I look forward to 20 years from now when I’ll be reading you in your 100s — (!)

Evan Griffith recently posted..Friendshipping instead of networking


Christopher Foster September 6, 2012 at 12:09 pm

You always bless me with your kind words Evan. Thanks. Let’s not talk about hitting my 100’s though… I’ve enough on my hands getting a grip on being 80 ….


Beth Wilson September 5, 2012 at 7:02 pm

Hi Chris,

Congrats on birthing your baby! I cannot wait to read it. Some books are fine for digital publishing, but when it comes to my blogging colleagues, I want the physical book, please.

Regardless of age, I’m proud to hang out in your “pride.” Get it?

Beth Wilson recently posted..Treatment Talk: What I’ve Learned


Christopher Foster September 6, 2012 at 12:12 pm

Beth, what a pleasure to hear from you. Yep, I get it, glad you haven’t lost your sense of humor lady. How’s everything going? How’s your blog coming on? Got another guest post up your sleeve? I hear what you say about a physical book. My sentiments exactly. Thanks again Beth, and a ton of good wishes to you.


Kathleen Breslin September 6, 2012 at 1:02 pm

Hi there, we are remembered by the tracks we leave and you are leaving tracks that will be remembered. I always make time to read your posts Christopher . Your body of work absolutely is very valuable in shaping positive thoughts around ageing and is really challenging to conditioned thoughts/ opinions that are reinforced through negative media, advertisements etc.

Have you heard Jane Fondas third place talk on “ted talks” if not I would recommend you listen to it agin a very positive and uplifting talk which I feel you would identify with.

Take care and know your work is meaningful and important it is touching mine and many others and takes discipline and courage.

Well done. Please keep it up and I look forward to reading both your book and blog

Very best regards Kathleen Breslin


Christopher Foster September 7, 2012 at 10:10 am

Dear Kathleen,

Your words are a great blessing, and touch me in a deep place. Thank you for your kind, generous, uplifting remarks. You know, I haven’t got into Ted Talks, it’s something I need to do, I’ll certainly check out Jane Fonda’s talk. She’s a valiant lady.

It looks like you live in Ireland, is that right? I was wondering what part of Ireland you’re in? I remember a holiday with my parents on Achill Island and the west coast of County Mayo when I was a kid. We took a train across Ireland and I remember these fields and fields of peat. Very happy to have connected with you Kathleen. Thanks again and I wish you all the very best.


Kathleen Breslin September 9, 2012 at 6:09 am

Hi Christopher , yes Dublin in Ireland – Mayo is a very beautiful county has some very dramatic landscapes. Let me know what you think of Jane ‘s ted talk 2 others I think you might like purely from a good story with historical interest are delivered by Malcom Gladwell one on spaghetti sauce and the other about 2nd world war bomb sights.
Best regards from Dublin, Kathleen

Julio Remington September 10, 2012 at 9:40 am

Really I’m looking a fantastic picture of lions. Thanks for it and also thanks for your excellent wish to me.
Julio Remington recently posted..http://www.celebstaped.com/kim-kardashian-tape/


Christopher Foster September 14, 2012 at 9:39 am

Thank you Julio.


Christopher Foster September 6, 2012 at 12:19 pm

Sounds good Linda. Thanks for getting back to me on this and I wish you very well with your new post and your blog.


Christopher Foster September 14, 2012 at 9:38 am

Thanks for your update here Kathleen, I haven’t listened to Jane’s talk yet but look forward to it.


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