I never could have modeled when I was younger, because I was too self-conscious about all the ways that I didn’t fit the societal ideal.
I didn’t look like a model. I wasn’t super tall or thin. I didn’t fit the ideal at all. For a long time, I was really self-conscious about it.
That changed for me when I went through a real process of self-discovery. I had been thinking that it was all about the outside, but I learned that it’s really all about the inside.
I had been living according to what I believed everyone else thought I should be and do. After thinking about this and studying women, I started living according to what brought me pleasure.
That shift in thinking changed my entire persona.
I dropped the self-consciousness. I started focusing on what felt good. I started living my life according to what pleasured me on the deepest level.
And voilà, there I was, at 49, silver hair, way shorter and heavier than a model, and I was noticed on a street corner and asked to model for a worldwide Dolce and Gabbana campaign. I had been in fashion and beauty studios for over 25 years, and I was never asked to model until that day.
On that very same day that I was approached to model, I had just cut off the last bit of the dye from my hair. It was like the Universe said to me, “You go girl! Bravo! Here is your reward for celebrating your age and life!”
They actually wanted a model with silver hair! Who knew?
Be curious about aging.
The process of aging always continues.
I notice every new sign of aging. I see every change in my knowledge, wisdom, skills, appreciation and my body. I also pay attention to what feels good to me, and I honor that. I stay curious.
I am aware that there is always something to learn about life.
Curiosity can be a freeing experience as our life continues. What is Mother Nature going to do next? She is our friend, not our adversary.
Here are a few more ways I’ve found to support a positive viewpoint on your own aging.
My body is not me.
I have a very close relationship with my body. I’m in it every day! It’s where I live. Yes, I live inside this body—but this body is not me. “Me” is my being, my soul, my spirit, my mind—whatever you want to call it.
So if you have just that little bit of perspective about your body, that little bit of distance, it can help you to develop your curiosity about aging.
It is possible to look at aging with that kind of objectivity and say, “Okay, what’s Mother Nature got in store for me next?”
Focus on your health.
Part of why we’re so afraid of aging as a culture is that we’ve seen our elders get sick over time.
But that is not necessarily the way it has to be. I know young people who are unhealthy, and older people who have amazing health.
We can be aware of the fact that age does not have to bring illness.
When you nurture your health, body, mind and spirit, you create vitality. It is possible to keep that spark of life which gives one enthusiasm to live—that curiosity!
Love yourself no matter what your age.
Women really want to know that we will be loved, valued and appreciated our entire lives, not just in our youth. And we worry that if we show our age, we may lose that value.
The way to be valued is to value oneself.
And when we love and value ourselves, we become confident. When the stress of fear is gone, there’s a whole lot more space to enjoy life and keep our curiosity alive.
Why waste precious time when we can love ourselves and continue to create our life—all of our life?
Remember aging is simply another word for living.