Friday, October 5, 2012

Getting Older

So I just celebrated a birthday. This birthday does not end in a "0" or a "5". For this reason, I found myself saying, "this is not a major mile stone." "It is not a big deal." And even though it was not "a big deal," I found myself sort of down about it. It feels like a big deal. I am another 365 days older. After some investigation, I think I am ready to move on and feel good about this change in my life.

I have determined that every year is a major milestone. Last year, I celebrated my 30th birthday. A big year, a special year. But what makes 30 more special than 31?! Every year we have is special, every day we have is special. And every year, day, and moment should be treated as such.

What smacked me into reality was a short discussion I had with an older man. He asked me how old I was. I didn't realize, until after I said it, that I sort of grumbled my way through the statement of my age. As though 31 was a death sentence. He then told me that if I was feeling old now - wait until I feel what 70 feels like.

I said, "I am looking forward to it." And I am. Not because I don't have a choice (I obviously can't look back at it), but because I wonder what I will be like. What will happen to me in the next 39 years - what will shape who I become. I have many new moments ahead of me. I might as well enjoy them, be ok with them, be sad about some, be happy with some, and be overjoyed by some as they come.

What does all of this have to do with yoga? Well, I feel like I reached a crossroad. I crossed a certain line in my life. I found myself clinging to that line, not ready to cross it. Clinging to something: my age, my past... It made me think of the Kleshas - specifically abhiniveśāḥ (fear of death or clinging to life). I have been so down about getting older - is this a fear of death? Of getting older? Am I ignorantly holding onto my life?

This has made me start to think about the way I am spending it. It is time to take things slower - and do more things for me, my spiritual life, and practice. Be with my moment now.

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