Age. Ageing. It’s a bugger, huh? So many people I know just accept it as inevitable that, once they hit fifty, it’s pretty much all over save the hovering up after the party. There seems to be this inbuilt sense of inevitability about it all. That that’s it really…one’s body is going to collapse, one’s mind is going to wander (rather than wonder), and that, if one hasn’t achieved one’s goals by now, there’s not much point in even trying.
And you know what? It drives me nuts. I mean, if you really want to retire into your slippers then that’s fine. Your choice. But is it inevitable? Fuck no!
|Bridget demonstrating eye washing|
One of the things I love about travelling is that I get to meet interesting people and often very inspiring people. Everyone at Yobaba Lounge fell into that category but, in particular, I was entranced by Bridget. Bridget is 89. Now, she didn’t tell me that – she isn’t one of those people who goes round going, ‘I’m [insert venerable age here] you know…’ Why DO people start doing that once they hit a certain age? Some of them do it as if they're faintly surprised they made it this far. Others seem to trot it out as an excuse.
Anyhow. I was feeling a bit washed up myself, truth to tell. But Bridget gave me a big fat wakeup call. She’s nearly forty years older than me and yet…she beats the socks off me at yoga, her eyesight is keener, she’s leaner, her mind is quicker and her knowledge wider.
And it occurred to me that we could all take a few tips from the way Bridget lives. Now, bear in mind this is all just based on what I observed in the week I spent with her and I am probably taking huge liberties…but still…
Life according to Bridget…as I observed it.
1. Sharpen up your eyesight – naturally. ‘Glasses give you arthritis of the eyes,’ she said. She is writing a book on how to heal your eyes and it includes some unusual practices. If anyone is interested, I could do a blog post purely on this.
2. Ditch the alcohol. ‘It’s a deadly poison,’ she said. ‘Not only does it alter your blood sugar but it alters the alignment of your inner bodies.’ And she reckons we should ditch coffee too. ‘Caffeine paralyses the bladder,’ she said. ‘Plus, without it you feel far more awake, more alive – providing you breathe and do yoga.’
3. Practise yoga. Bridget has taught kundalini yoga for years and it shows. She’s supple as heck.
4. Meditate. It’s a no brainer.
5. Eat clean. Vegetarian, ideally vegan. Enjoy your food. Eat mindfully. Don’t stuff yourself and don’t eat too late.
6. Be open-minded and open to new experiences, in body, mind and soul. Have some fun. Don't wear dreary clothes. Sunbathe naked. Chant to the full moon.
7. Then again, stick to your principles. Don't be a pushover. Campaign for change if you feel passionately about something.
8. Be a bit of a rebel.
9. Be passionate about things you love. Be passionate, full stop. In all ways.
10. Contemplate the stars. ‘When we contemplate the stars, we become less materialistic. We live in a very physical world but what we see is an illusion. We need to wake up.’