Heidi Dillon is an artist, philanthropist and brand ambassador. Follow her on Instagram @heididillon_hfd or visit her website www.heididillon.com.
My mother used to say, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” She was correct; no one can make you change. On the other hand, no one can stop you from changing.
When we hear the word evolution, we think about physical changes that happen to species over the eons, however, if we have the desire, we are capable of consciously changing our personality, relationships, actions and mental capacity. As an artist, I like to think of myself as a work-in-progress. When I sit down to create a new piece I have a vision of where I am going. The work progresses one small step at a time with slight shifts in direction. When it is finished, which can be an hour, day, month or year later, I am delighted that I was able to let go of my fixed idea and allow the creative process to take over.
Having reached what I like to call my “Elderhood”, I struggle with choosing to behave in ways that are counter to my usual “fixed” personality and behaviors. Childhood and adulthood were a breeze by comparison. Life was busier; there wasn’t much time to think about my own evolution – I was completely engaged in being a mom, wife, volunteer, etc. Being old (it’s OK to use that word because it’s the truth) and trying to change is challenging.
The kids are grown, my husband and I are considering a move to another town – preferably on or near a large body of water- and I have plenty of time to do whatever I like.
So, where to begin? The experts, by this I mean, psychologists, pastors, self-help gurus, etc. say that conscious evolution begins with simply acting more like the person you want to be.
A good way to start figuring out who that person might be is to make a list of qualities that you find admirable and may already possess or that may be underdeveloped or that you just don’t have. By the same token taking a moral inventory of your more negative qualities is essential. This is painful because, let’s face it, no one likes that kind of intense scrutiny – especially from oneself. The key here is to be loving and patient with you. Build your new life with layers of small accomplishments.
Practice the qualities that you are evolving towards. It only takes a slight shift in direction, one single step to change your life.
“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” Lao Tzu
- How do we consciously evolve as we get older?
- Act like the person you want to be
- Build your new life with layers of small accomplishments
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