At this time of new year’s resolutions, many of us are pressing a refresh button questioning what we need to change or improve in our lives to be better human beings. Should I recommit to more …
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At this time of new year’s resolutions, many of us are pressing a refresh button questioning what we need to change or improve in our lives to be better human beings. Should I recommit to more exercise and try to lose those holiday pounds I gained? Should I get on that dating app that’s been dormant on my phone for months? Or maybe I need to change my hairstyle or my job? What do I need to do to be a better being?
After hours of visioning, journaling and dreaming what my best self should be, I have come to realize I’m actually really happy with who I am and how I show up in the world. Of course, I could be in better physical shape and have a few less wrinkles or cellulite. But would erasing those wrinkles also erase my memories of laughing, crying or expressing that I earned and learned from over the years? Yes, I’m 61. Good on me. I just need to rid myself of the American marketing propaganda we’ve all absorbed throughout our lives that says aging is sad, hard, and bad. And I think I’ve heard that 60 is the new 40 anyway, right?
That said, I do want to be here for many years to come and enjoy my new spiritual-career adventure, next relationship, and see my daughters’ and grandchildren’s lives unfold. So I guess I better at least keep my body in shape to take me into that beautiful future. But I certainly don’t have to look for the newest fad diet or self-help routine to keep up with the illusive appearance that I’m still young enough to be relevant. That’s within me, not outside of me.
So yes, I can change things about myself … if I want to, not need to. Change is healthy if I’m not obsessed with a compulsion to change because I need to please others around me, but that I want to in my personal evolution of growth. But I actually don’t want to change my Self; my higher Self that is my direct link to the Divine, that still small voice that guides my ethics and integrity. I believe that should be unchanging and constant in my life assisting me through all the uncertainties and changes around me. But then that’s not myself, but my Self.
So to spite the $10 billion self-improvement industry nagging at me to lose weight in order to attract my mate, color my hair to look young, and wear the most expensive yoga pants (because of course we’ve got to look good while we’re exercising), I’m going to do the most rebellious improvement this year. Nothing. I’m going to finally release the consistent stress of being the perfect-looking human or trying to keep up with the illusion that I’m some model of a gracefully aging woman. What is that anyway?
Yes, I’ll take care of myself for continued health, but from my core I’m going to be my most radical Self this year and just be me. Wanna join me?
Formerly a Colorado state senator, now a seminary student at Iliff School of Theology, Linda Newell is a writer, speaker, filmmaker and consultant. She may be reached at email@example.com, www.lindanewell.org, www.senlindanewell.com, @sennewell on Twitter, Senator Linda Newell or @TheLastBill on Facebook.
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