by LORI KLEIMAN
For as long as I can remember, I have been drawn to older women. Not all… just the women who seem to embrace their age, exude confidence and sensuality, move as if they are at home in their bodies and souls, and live life boldly despite the physical and emotional realities of getting older. Now… at 60, I understand that what I have always been attracted to is bold authenticity and confidence. My fascination with what those older women had would end up being the tap on my shoulder, a nudge… my north star, ultimately guiding me toward a life and connection to what I was always drawn to.
As I get older, I feel a freedom I’ve never felt before and a deep reverence for this time as the truth is there are fewer days ahead than behind me now. I’ve found that the more my choices reflect what I value and love, the happier and more peaceful my life has become. Today, my life feels authentic and connected, joyful, meaningful, and full of love. A life that embodies freedoms… to live the way I want, aligned with my values, a life that embraces truths alongside meeting the realities and challenges that naturally come with getting older.
Somewhere along the way, I became more interested in my inner journey than focused on how I look on the outside. Making peace with the lines on my face, the changes in my skin and body, and the acceptance that these come with age has been part of the journey. I am more interested today in improving my health and wellbeing to support the aging process than just to look great in my clothes. I want to feel and look attractive, though without the focus on my looks I feel freer. There is a different kind of peace and confidence I feel today, and I am aware that all the experiences and wisdom I’ve gained in my life have become the foundation for this deep peace and confidence.
This connection and revelation definitely did not just happen in a blink. I have done my work to question and explore my experiences, thoughts, and feelings related to my life’s choices, tried on perspectives, and experiences. Yet I continually find that when I feel most free and at peace, I am enjoying and connected to my unique path, not the choices of my friends or other women; but the choices that support my most authentic nature. My journey has been long and bumpy and has included marriage, children, divorce, sobriety, financial and relationship struggles, and an unconventional career path. Each of those is a significant part of my story. What I know for sure is that I am more at ease and at peace when I don’t do life in ways that feel in conflict with what I value and want for myself. I have learned how to honor and balance my love of connection with others with my deep need for solitude and to embrace that, not judge it.
My life and home are imperfect; my relationships are certainly imperfect, and, in that imperfection, there is always room for growth and possibility. I look in the mirror sometimes expecting a younger version of myself and I’m startled; or I get up and feel pain somewhere, and I am reminded that my body is older. I am older. And then… I remind myself that walking my unique path and listening to my inner voice have opened so many doors and experiences.
For me, aging has allowed for a deeper connection and understanding of my life’s journey and choices. I no longer focus on what-ifs or shoulds, and I realize that life is about embracing all the moments and experiences that support a life I love. I don’t know what the road ahead will hold, though I have a choice in how I show up. And…I want to show up with curiosity, presence, and love while always seeking to learn and understand more.
I am becoming one of those women I was drawn to, and I have found freedom, peacefulness, love, and joy in the journey.
Five tips to start practicing today for creating your most joyful and inspired tomorrow:
1. Remember… you are 100 % responsible for your choices, actions, and words. We certainly do not have control over a great deal of life, though we have a choice in every situation in how we react.
2. Know what your top values are. What is truly most important to you? When you make decisions through the lens of those values there will always be more alignment. Values work is a key foundation.
3. Notice what you feel when you say yes to something you really want and enjoy. What do you feel when you say yes to something out of obligation or a “should”? When we make decisions from a should and not from want, we are saying yes because of someone else’s idea of what is good for us.
4. Remember that if we keep doing the same things, we will likely keep getting the same result, so… If you want a different outcome in any part of your life do something different. Say yes to a plan or adventure you might have hesitated on. Say no to something that continually drags you down. Sign up for that class you’ve been thinking about. Want to learn about meditation or take dance lessons? Go for it.
5. Prioritize your health and wellbeing. This is your foundation. When you take care of yourself you give yourself a greater chance for enjoyment and pleasure in every aspect of life.