When I was about 32 I started seeing signs of my own ageing.
It showed up in the form of laughter lines deepening around my eyes, but I never really worried about it. I did my best to keep at least relatively fit and healthy, I ate well and did my best not too drink too much wine too often (nothing wrong with wine)!
But, when I was diagnosed with breast cancer at 34 and then faced chemo, radiotherapy and more it kind of brought my whole self image to the forefront. I still didn't really worry about it, I was quite happy wearing a cap through chemo BUT, what was hard was that people looked at me differently. Even doing my best to look 'normal' I know people could see something was up. I could see them out of the corner of my eye looking at me, following me with their stare, trying to figure out why I looked a bit different.
I suppose I can't really blame them ... I was pale, eyebrow free and my skin was taking a hammering. Yet I still kept smiling despite the terrible strain and fear deep within - and it was then my HighBorn journey began (but that's for another time).
This is NOT about me having breast cancer - let's park that to one side. What I became strangely aware of was that despite getting older, I was becoming happier, healthier, wiser, and more authentically me - it was like I finally gave myself permission to be ME!
And as I talked to my friends, I realised it was happening to them too. We were realising that getting older meant getting better—not worse.
I realised that NOW was (IS) the time to get into motion, to enjoy every moment and to just let myself or perhaps accept myself as looking and feeling my best no matter what was happening. To embrace getting older with both hands and enjoy it!
To me that doesn't mean stop trying to hold back the years because I don't think there's anything wrong with that. Looking after my health, my skin, wearing nice clothes just makes me feel good. I've always used skincare products to help me look my best; why the 'devil' would I stop now?! And in turn I can project more of my best to the world and hopefully help others feel good too.
The same thing can happen for you. But first, I find it helps a little to transform some of the negative ideas about women and age that society has planted in your head.
I promise you, when you do, it will show on your face, in your eyes, in your smile.
Remember how you felt about getting older when you were little!
Little Henry and Matilda reminded me of this. Turning 'double-figures'! I remember it so well, the proud feeling of joining the 'double figure' team!
When we were little we’d claim every last bit of age that we possibly could—“I’m nine and a half!” “I’m seven and three quarters!” When we were little, getting “older” meant getting “bigger.”
It meant more knowledge, more independence, more ADVENTURES. Guess what? It still does. As we get older, our capacities expand. We all knew that truth when we were little. Remind yourself!
Redraw your graph of life!
Are you 'over the hill' i.e. over the 'hump' of the graph of life?
You know, supposedly, life goes uphill until we hit this imaginary peak called “the prime of life,” and then it’s all downhill from there.
But who drew that picture? I certainly don't want it to match my life from here on out!
No way! I'm going to just keep on expanding, keep on rising, keep on 'breaking the rules' and defining my own life! So I re-drew my own picture. You can too.
Check your language
Language is very powerful. The words we use to describe ourselves carry all sorts of emotional associations we don’t even think about.
And words matter. When I stopped calling the lines in the corner of my eyes "crows feet” and started calling them "laughter lines", all of a sudden my feelings about it -and what I was communicating to the world - totally changed.
So pay attention to how you talk about yourself! The tiniest changes in language can totally reshape the way you see yourself—and the way the world sees you. Give yourself the value and recognition that you deserve---and you’ll find that reflected back to you tenfold.
Have an AMAZING Day.
Love and hugs, Tracey x