Aging from the heart doesn’t happen for everyone, but it can, and I think it’s happening to me. Aging from the heart can help us discover opportunities in our natural aging process.
In our last third of life, we may find that possibilities open to us naturally. In this post-adult phase, there is increased opportunity to recognize a quality of being that, as Frank Ostaseski notes, “senses what is needed without relying solely on rational processes.” This is part of the noetic character of aging.
Writer Anais Nin wrote, “We don’t see things as they are. We see things as we are.” So, who am I as I get older? Am I in “automatic pilot” mode or am I flying the plane? And if I have the attitude that the plane has reached its apogee and is now in decline, how does that affect what I see, hear, feel and experience?
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Join us for a special interactive two-session online workshop.
Conscious Aging from the Heart:
Thursday, April 15
Monday, April 19
I recently received my Covid-19 vaccine and had no negative reaction after the first shot. I kept hearing rumblings about possible intense side-effects after the second shot, especially if the first one went smoothly. For my second shot, I chose to hydrate well and kept my eyes and ears open for signs of any reaction. I was actually trying to listen carefully to my body, not something I’ve had very much experience with throughout most of my life. I slowed down, stayed still, paid attention to small things and focused on what was happening in that moment. This is what aging from the heart offers me.
For the past year, to one degree or another, we’ve all been faced with the tremendous uncertainties of immune systems, lockdowns, social isolation, physical distancing, economic instability and/or dying alone. At the same time, I’ve been, and continue to be, educated about long-standing systemic prejudice and inequity. Some of my lifelong assumptions and habits are being sorely challenged, and I’m making friends with some of that discomfort. These uncertainties and discomforts have shaken much of my world and have provided me with an opportunity to accept and work for change. Similarly, my body will change and I will die, but I don’t really know how or when. Aging from the heart offers me an opportunity to trust not-knowing those details.
Trust in not-knowing can help me throw open the curtains of life and let in more light. Science tells us there is much more to our existence than just the physical light we can see. And as I see more of the glorious physical light, I might also get to know some invisible infrared or ultraviolet, or perhaps get a sense of unseeable dark matter. I might even be able to remember my dreams or to hear the whispers of my own intuition.
Carl Jung said that “synchronicity is an ever present reality for those who have eyes to see.” Aging from the heart makes that ever present reality more visible to me. When I am lost in my head, I may not see the synchronicities and non-cerebral information of my environment. The same applies to my relationship with myself. By allowing me to see more of who I am and what I am “seeing,” aging from the heart can help me become my own best friend.
“That’s as exciting as watching paint dry!” I remember using that sarcastic expression a lot throughout my life. Now that I’m older, it’s not so sarcastic. It means I’m being more aware of what’s going on around me.
For example, as I get older, I’ve been spending time appreciating the different speeds at which trees move, from wind in the branches to motions underneath the bark to just watching them grow. I’ve been watching trees grow —that’s kind of like watching paint dry! The noetic character of aging leads me to know that a forest is actually one connected living organism. Noticing and appreciating what I’ve previously taken for granted is part and parcel of my getting older. I want to explore more of the possibility offered as I age from the heart.
For more information about our upcoming special two-session interactive online workshop visit, Conscious Aging From The Heart: Perceiving Possibility.
About the Author
Marc Blesoff used to know everything and trust nothing. Now, Marc says he knows nothing and has glimpsed trust. He used to believe in coincidence, but he doesn’t anymore. For over 30 years, Marc was a criminal defense attorney, then a mediator. Six years ago, he began facilitating the IONS Conscious Aging Workshops and he hasn’t stopped. It has helped him melt the armor that he’d built up. It has helped him get a clue about who he would like to be. Marc is an IONS Conscious Aging Facilitator and a member of A Tribe Called Aging.