I once had a wonderful voice coach whose skills mid-wifed many beautiful and successful voices.

She had incredible energy and conviction about the value of her work, and so all who know her were deeply shocked when illness brought an end to her career and eventually, her life.
She was very angry at what had happened to her. “I’m only sixty-seven!” she would say. “I’ve so much work to do. I’m too young to die!”
We grieved with her, and when she died we were devastated by her loss.
Then came the shocker. Going through her papers it was discovered that she wasn’t sixty-seven, she was actually seventy-seven!
Everyone who knew her, even those close to her, had no idea. Even people who had been friends for decades were completely taken by surprise. We all believed she was in her late sixties, a professional woman in the prime of her career.

A colleague whose work takes her to many nursing homes told me that a considerable percentage of the inmates consists of people from fifty onwards who would be perfectly capable of independent lives, but have simply decided to surrender the burden of living.
These people have made the decision to pack up their lives and wait in somemental railway station until death comes to relieve them of decision making, responsibility, all the tiresome tasks involved in the effort of living.
Every human who lives long enough will experience a confrontation with the irreversible rush of time. … those increasingly weighty significant birthdays, scything chunks off your life with each celebration.
It’s enough to put years on you! So what can you do to beat the odds?

We are all exposed to depressing stereotypes about age: frail, slow, weak forgetful, confused. These stereotypes can have a powerful negative effect. But there are many ways to re-programme the mind to positively influence the rate at which we age, and how we age. You could, for instance, do what my clever friend did:
‘clock’ your biological years, just like scam car dealers do to sell a car. Re-set your total self-image to ‘age minus 10’ – or whatever you decide.
1. Get a mental picture of your body, mind, outlook etc., just as you are now. It needn’t be detailed, just a snapshot of what you think of as you.
2. Go back and retrieve from your mental databank a bright, vibrant image of you about ten years ago. Notice the differences: the way your younger body moves, your appearance, health, energy, optimism …
3. Go back to your first picture, remove it and replace it with the vibrant younger ‘clocked’ you. Now re-set your age to ‘age minus ten’ and notice … what changes?
4. Now you can do what my friend did. Get out there and begin to act the age you want others to see you as!

It takes effort. The less you do the less you want to do until you become like a dusty little hermit muttering away to themselves in their cave.
So volunteer with a charity, join a ‘stitch and bitch’ circle, a political party, a protest march … who cares. Just get out there and be somewhere different. Be someone different!


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