I always wanted to age gracefully, to be regal like the grand dames and the likes of Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly and Lauren Bacall. I even named my latest book Golden Grace to reinforce how I viewed getting older. As I age, I picture myself being calm, self-assured and statuesque, which at 5’3″ and shrinking is going to be a real magic act to pull off.

          Then I read Goddesses Never Age: The Secret Prescription for Radiance, Vitality, and Well-Being,” by Dr. Christine Northrup. Her approach to aging is more about the attitude than the actual age. “Age is just a number, and agelessness means not buying into the idea that a number determines everything from your state of health to your attractiveness to your value,” she writes.

          Her words sprang to life when she wrote “… getting older is inevitable. It just means moving through space. Aging, on the other hand, is optional. What we’ve come to associate with the word “aging” in our culture is an inevitable decline and deterioration.” 

          What she’s talking about is re-framing the experience of moving through time, so that as we grow older we can step out of these age-based associations that can keep us in a cage.

          I really got it when she said,”…aging with attitude means getting older with full access to your life force, to your passions, to your soul. It means growing older with all of you intact, and living from the dictates of your soul. It means knowing what’s worth getting riled up about and what isn’t. Aging with attitude means aging with full capacity to experience and know your own value.”

See the shift change from the number of your age to the feelings of your soul.

          Part of what Dr. Northrup is sharing is that we need to let go. We need to give up being isolated, being grumpy, being a victim because of our age. We need to find solutions to those problems regardless of whether we’re 25 or 80!

          I’ve known people who feel it’s their prerogative, their right to be pissy or rude or grumpy because they’ve attained some advanced age. Heck, I myself have thought I was entitled to something on numerous occasions just because I was a senior citizen.

          Look around; we constantly see reminders that aging is way more than just a number. People like Rachel Welch (75), Betty White (92 ), Dame Judy Dench (80) and Paul McCartney (73) all continue to share their talents with no signs of slowing down. 

So here’s my challenge to you

          Does the number of your age define you? Or can you truly be ageless by grasping and nurturing your passions and your soul and reversing the tide of spiritual deterioration that is often associated with getting older?

           As far as living gracefully … well, I think I’ll focus on living gratefully. How-ever you decide to live, be sure it’s in the moment, regardless of your age!

Contact Antonia at Antonia@TheJoyofAgingGratefully.com