Emerging From The Downhill Slide

Last week at the chiropractor we ventured into the topic of what age is too old and making changes no longer works.

Not surprisingly, this was a bit of a one-sided conversation.

 

Her practice is founded in the idea that at every age, health is developed and you can find ways to thrive in every decade of life.

My outlook is we should go out on top, like great athletes and hit TV shows.

Only “on top” is reached many decades down the road, all the while showing up and allowing our true selves shine through.

That elusive Fountain Of Youth we’d all like to bottle is sourced from being ever more full of ourselves in everything we do.

 

As with many great conversations, further ponderings were sparked on such things as the nature of transformation, our perceptions of age and the blurring speed of time passing.

 

We gain young eyes once again as we watch kids grow up. There’s an eager anticipation for each milestone to be reached in the progression through infancy, toddler, childhood, adolescence and young adult.

First smile, first steps, first words, first grade, first sleepover, first date, first car, first apartment and all the other firsts in between.

Certainly not a bed of roses in every moment, but remain by their side, offering encouragement to keep moving over hurdles and past failures until the next breakthrough is reached.

Then someday, somehow (and sometimes somewow) we become “adults.”

The end has begun.

 

Typical thinking views life as a linear function to slide across.

 

Aging In Line

click to enlarge

 

Or a hill to climb and slide down.

 

Aging Hills To Climb

click to enlarge

 

But our growth doesn’t end in some nebulous abyss of “adulthood” highlighted by a few benchmarks of marriage, kids, retirement, then death.

 

As young adults we were experts at being young. We knew the ropes and where we came from.

In becoming an adult we’re faced with not fully knowing all that lays ahead.

We’ve entered infancy again (albeit equipped with a few more abilities than our first passage through this stage).

Our focus returns to the basics of learning the skills to manage the responsibilities of being an adult.

Groceries, bank accounts, repairs, full time jobs, loan payments, saving, relationships and even raising babies suddenly lands squarely on our shoulders to manage.

 

Our progression through adulthood leads us once again through the stages towards being young adults again.

A level of comfortableness is reached in our day to day lives, making our way through transitions, encompassing what we’ve been through, and finding ways to manage what’s thrown our way from left field.

Suddenly we’re facing retirement or another situation causing a shift in our identity away from how we’ve come to know ourselves.

 

We’ve crossed into being seniors.

And learning the ropes of infancy again.

 

What becomes apparent is instead of aging from beginning to end as a line, we continually emerge in a spiral (see possible breakdown).

 

Spirally Age Progression

click to enlarge

 

W.O.W.

From this perspective we aren’t on a straight line to the end.

We’re continually emerging into our next greatest level … with a familiarity of what is to come and integrating where we’ve been into something even more.

 

The older we become, the more equipped we are to show up and bring more of who we are to what we are called to do.

Retirement is a concept of work, not of ourselves.

The Fountain Of Youth is more like a geyser springing upwards.

We have no choice but to go out on top because that’s where we’ll end up regardless.

 

 

The next logical step then, is taking a closer look into the signs of emerging.

 

 

 

 

 

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Lorraine

Not quite a crazy cat lady (yet?) – Lorraine’s insatiable curiosity of life leads her to explore, question and push beyond the box. A self-professed “left-brained creative big picture idea” type, she has an intuitive knack for seeing possibility everywhere and in everyone, and is a moth-to-flame for being part of making that possibility come true.

17 Comments

  1. Jenny on March 6, 2014 at 8:16 am

    What a great post, Lorraine!

    I love the idea of the spiral, and even within the spiral, see further little spirals that spring up as we come across new things. It’s like a spiral tree, sprouting constant spirals.

    The concept of age and specific definitions around it has always befuddled me, because we all define our own reality, and the idea that certain things take place at a certain stage of life is not a universal truth. When we hold to these ideas, it only serves to separate us further from one another. The spiral offers a perspective that allows for so much movement!

    Thanks for you wonderful insights.

    Big Love <3

    • Lorraine on March 6, 2014 at 1:35 pm

      Jenny, I saw those little spirals springing up too. Figured I shouldn’t complicate the drawing even more. Not yet, at least. LOL

      When I look at those who truly shine brighter with age, some of whom just began to venture into their own in their mid-forties, what could be more inspiring. Quite opposite to feeling fated to a downhill slide.

  2. Renee on March 7, 2014 at 7:07 am

    I LOVE this:

    We’re continually emerging into our next greatest level … with a familiarity of what is to come and integrating where we’ve been into something even more.

    That is what I have been telling people is that there is always that hurdle to overcome and that next step and next phase to enter and go into.

    Great article! 🙂

    • Lorraine on March 12, 2014 at 12:29 pm

      Making our way through growth spurts is definitely a life long pursuit. Good thing there are some rest points along the way, just long enough sometimes for us to catch our breath before the next one arrives.

  3. Karem on March 10, 2014 at 7:48 pm

    Really love this Lorraine, it is so true. I know when I was a child I was so much more flexible. I am learning as a adult that this is a practice and the more I focus on peace and calmness the easier everything is. Thanks for another loving reminder. Bless you!

    • Lorraine on March 12, 2014 at 12:41 pm

      I love when kids given ‘five more minutes’ turn the opportunity into forever. Now I’m inclined to say “what’s the point” until I’m reminded how much play, reading or whatever can be accomplished by just being in the moment. How we were can certainly be brought forward and transform who we will be.

  4. Bernard Charles on March 12, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    LOL doesn’t this parallel what my post is about.

    • Lorraine on March 12, 2014 at 12:46 pm

      Certainly does Bernard. There seems to be a lot of paradigm shifting going on which hints at a significant shift coming about.

  5. Vironika Tugaleva on March 12, 2014 at 3:38 pm

    Well said, Lorraine, “Retirement is a concept of work, not of ourselves.” We are picking up many pieces of the Industrial Revolution in our views of education, health, and self-improvement. Thank goodness we’re realizing that we are not machines, constantly working in binary on-off mode. Thank goodness more and more of us know, now, that we are like trees: feed us what we need and we’ll grow forever upwards.

    • Lorraine on March 13, 2014 at 6:08 pm

      Love the tree analogy for continued growth, and the older we get the more equipped we are to extend our branches and connect with others. These are exciting times to live in and be a part of creating the shifts that are happening.

  6. Suzie Cheel on March 12, 2014 at 3:43 pm

    How timely, I just love the spirals, they keep emerging in my life right now , We are all continually emerging in our life
    thanks for sharing

  7. Shan on March 13, 2014 at 5:53 pm

    Lorraine, how refreshing to be reading about other approaches to getting older than the traditional “Grow until a certain age and then slowly stagnate until death takes you from this world.”

    It constantly surprises me when people categorise others by their ages. People are so very much more. I was contemplating this yesterday after speaking with a much younger woman at my Taiko class on Wednesday night – how people, regardless of their age, can have so much incredible wisdom to impart, or can still be childlike with wonder and learning so many new things at an age when others might consider them to be a fountain of knowledge and experience.

    Beautiful post, which creates even more food for thought, as always. Thank you 🙂

    • Lorraine on March 16, 2014 at 3:27 pm

      I see far too many people coming into their own power as they ‘grow older’ and making a difference to ever think again our fate is slow stagnation. On the other end wise young souls who are shifting perspectives too. The last thing Life is about is age.

  8. Tricia on March 16, 2014 at 3:24 pm

    This is a great article. I do not understand why when a certain age is reached everyone is telling me that I should be feeling the aches and pains and the body breaks down. I look at them and wonder are you ready to be six feet under? I am all about the fun and enjoying life no matter the age. I never want to feel OLD, always young at heart and experiencing life

    • Lorraine on March 17, 2014 at 12:33 pm

      I hear you about the ‘aches & pains’ comments. There is so much more to look forward to, and I am far better equipped to jump into what’s ahead. LOL – the key to a good life seems to be Life itself.

  9. Ineke on January 1, 2017 at 4:22 pm

    In my late seventies:I am a tree and still branching outwards. I love the analogy!

    • Lorraine on January 1, 2017 at 5:58 pm

      That’s awesome Ineke! Still looking at all the ways you are beginning brings about quite the different experience from those who are looking at only the end.

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