- 40s’ is Fabulous
- Leap of Faith-Taming The Fear
My earliest memories of age 40 is associated with regal photographs of yesteryear Bollywood actress Nutan on the cover of a famous Indian cine magazine. Many years later a tabloid had pictures of Shabana Azmi celebrating her 40th birthday. So when I turned 40 and one of my colleagues said, “It calls for a party” I was all game for it. Few years down the lane I realise why
the onset of age 40 for women is celebrated.
More time, energy and resources
While in the 20s’ one has just finished studies and is looking out for the dream job and later a soulmate (whether one finds them is another point of discussion!). In 30s’ the focus is children and family, homework, PT meetings, birthday parties etc. Work pressure increases as the salaries start looking up. It is the optimum time to climb the corporate ladder. Balancing work,
family, extended family is a tight rope to walk on.
40s’ is the decade by when the kids grow up to be able to take care of themselves without dear mom having to run behind them for smallest of reason. At work one knows what to expect and has learnt and developed enough skills and support systems to be able to deal with the issues.
Even the rough edges with the in-laws are smoothened either by choice or by time. By the time one is in their 40s’ they have decent saving in the bank after many years of hard work.
It leaves one with more time for themselves. One can pamper themselves in whatever way they fancy and enjoy. It is not for no reason that they say ‘Naughty at Forty!”
This is the decade when I have experienced some of the best things in my life (still counting to add to the list). Watched a shark sleep on the ocean bed while I sat 20 feet away from it, dropped from 12,000 feet above ground, saw a 257 year tortoise and suddenly felt quite young; to name but a few.
Value your body
It is not uncommon to take the body for granted in the mad rush of running from pillar to post in the 20s’ and 30s’. One does follow a regime but it is mostly skin deep and for outer appearance.
This is the decade when one first hears the word menopause. It takes a little while to settle with the idea. What follows is a consideration to keep the bones, body and mind fit. Fit as in really fit. For the first time one seriously realises how valuable the body is – it is one’s best friend. The good news is the best friend is happy to get all the attention and responds beautifully. One
suddenly becomes conscious of what goes inside the body- food! With the number of gyms and yoga centres all around the place it is fun to exercise and socialise at the same time. What’s App is full of good advice!
Take on life
Little things don’t bother as much. One has dealt with much worse by the time they are 40. Expectations don’t play on the nerves as before. One knows that there is always a way out or another alternative. One becomes aware that there is always a choice.
This is also a decade by when one would have lost a near, dear one. It makes them more compassionate, accepting, understanding, forgiving. At the same time it also becomes evident that life goes on. And the only way is to Live Life.
Life begins at 40 with a new perspective.
When faced with an anxious situation, the response could be the fight or flight mode. It could be facing an interview or something mundane like crossing a busy street but to an affected person it can be unnerving putting them at unease, panic and embarrassment. Acknowledging what makes one anxious is the first step in dealing with it. It is good for our welfare and well-being.
At times the fight or flight mode is not an option. The situation has to be faced. What then. How to help ourselves. A real life example throws more light.
Gauri had gone on a holiday to Algarve in Spain. As she was walking briskly out of the airport she thought she saw an advertisement on Skydiving from the corner of her eye. Curiosity had the better of her. On arriving at the hotel, she checked at the reception and was informed in detail about parasailing instead. “Good” she thought to herself, “I checked it out and Skydiving doesn’t happen here in Algarve. I can rest assured I am not skydiving.”
The idea persisted. To reassure herself she Googled. After few agonising, apprehensive moments the screen showed results. Skydiving did happen in Algarve! She was nervous. The very idea of jumping out of a plane from over 14,000 feet seemed crazy. What was she thinking of. She had come to relax on the lovely, inviting sun-kissed beach. Skydiving was nowhere in the itinerary. That was completely unplanned. The fear of jumping off a plane from such height felt like a huge monster ready to gobble her up in one scoop.
Deep within she was afraid. But, it was Gauri’s childhood dream to skydive. Over the years as other things became priority, she had forgotten all about it. She remembered sticking newspaper cut-outs of skydivers in formations as a young girl. She had often wondered what it felt like dropping freely from such a great height. What all could they see from up there. How did it feel in their stomach. She had read of people getting hooked and returning to skydive to experience it again and again. Now was her chance to make it happen.
Gauri dialled the number which the website on Google had shown. She hoped they would say they were unable to accommodate her as she had not registered before or they did not do it on a weekend...anything to call it off. Something to suggest that she had tried but it didn’t work, to take the guilty feeling off her. The voice on the other side came on and said “Welcome to Algarve Skydiving Centre, when would you like to skydive?” The answer her ears heard her say was, “today!”
Gauri panicked. The heart rate went through the roof. The mouth went dry. Yet, here was her golden opportunity to tick an item off her childhood wish list- to experience skydiving first hand and feel the thrill of it all as she had dreamt when young. Gauri tried to take stock of the situation.
First she needed to breathe. Once calm she decided to do a simple check-
What was she experiencing -Fear. She was scared.
What horrific results had she heard of people skydiving- none that she remembered.
What could possibly go wrong- none if security check was done well. Only beautiful memories to take back.
What risks were involved- none other than tackling the fear itself.
What was there to lose- Nothing. If she did not try she would lose her only chance.
So what was there to be fearful of and stop from enjoying the experience?
After Gauri had taken care of ‘What could be the worst case scenario,’ she relaxed. She let out a deep sigh and breathed freely.
With effort she was able to put her mind to rest. She now focussed and visualised what she would be able to see from up there. Gauri could experience and see what the skydivers in her childhood cut-outs had experienced and seen. As the plane took off from the tarmac and soared high above the ground, her heartbeat too took off for the high. In the end she did take the leap of faith.
Gauri was glad she could overcome her fear and fulfil her childhood dream. She wondered how would it have ended if she had not taken the jump. She left the thought for another day.
A person had a beautiful piece of crystal ware.
He admired it from all angles- lifted it to the light and delighted in the shimmer it made along the walls of the room.
He cleaned it diligently with utmost care and love, more frequently at firt.
With time he forget to clean it. He looked at the collected dirt on it and reminded himself to clean it- when he had time.
He had something running in his head while cleaning, and dropped it.
He looked at the mess and wondered what happened. The crystal had slipped out of his hands- he was not paying attention.
What was once beautiful and pretty became mundane and ordinary due to neglect.
The pieces had to be picked up and thrown out- every bit of them.
If he held on to the glass pieces, he would hurt and bleed.
The earlier they were cleared the safer he was.
Relationships are like beautiful crystal wares. They need attention, love and care to bring out the best and make it a success. But if shattered, it is best to throw the useless, broken stuff; no matter how beautiful they once had been. The longer the pieces are held, the deeper is the hurt. Throw out the pieces completely for a happier you.
Allow yourself to enjoy Each Happy Moment of Your Life-Steve Maraboli
A happy moment could come at the end of much awaited period of time or surprise you at the least expected times. It could be results most eagerly anticipated, smile from the dearest, promotion most sought after, birth of a child, well deserved praise or just a wow-moment amidst nature. It could be silent or thunderous; it could have any hue or colour.
A happy moment never fails to touch us. One dances with joy, the heart misses a beat and the feeling of exhilaration is all engulfing. One wishes to sing with joy, hug someone, thank profusely or cry with happiness. Life couldn’t have been better and there is not a care in the world.
Ride the wave of happiness. Immerse yourself in it completely. Feel it intensely through all your senses. Capture the beauty of the moment with your eyes. Hear the sounds gentle or loud. Inhale the fragrance associated with it. Taste the exuberance of it all. Be aware of what you experience. Live that sense of achievement. You waited for it and worked hard for this moment. You are filled with gratitude.
The idea is to make your happy moment work for you. Each time you involve your senses you capture it in your brain. The mind never forgets an experience which you have cherished and stored so lovingly. Don’t let them become distant memories. Revisit them often. Share them with your loved ones and friends, those who care about you. You help them identify with your happy moment encouraging them to look for theirs. It reverberates in the universe and you draw more happiness towards yourself.
The more happy moments you create, the happier you become. Your mind will work to create more ecstatic instances for you making you a positive person. You will attract these joyful moments to yourself unknowingly and unconsciously, rather involuntarily. In times when you feel low or lonely these moments will come to your rescue uplifting you instantly and never letting you lie low for too long. They will inform you that you have done it in the past and you can do it in future. You have been successful once and you can repeat the story and make it even better.
As the year 2015 draws to an end and the curtains fall over it, it is time once again to look for resolutions for the new year. Some hate making these decisions and some joke that promises are made to be broken. However, most of us still go ahead to carry the tradition.
Here are pointers to successfully choose a goal which you wish to accomplish. If we do not opt a resolution carefully you can forget committing to it for longer than a short time. Choosing the right goal is the bedrock to whether you will be successful in achieving your end result.
Write down all the goals that you have in mind to achieve for the coming year. The numbers could vary from 2 to 20. It does not matter. In fact, the more the better. For these goals give you direction in life. Once you have finished writing down all that you wish to accomplish, you can relax for you have taken a lot off your mind. You surely will feel lighter, I promise you. As you go over the list, ask yourself the following points.
If there are things you wish to do which are dependent on someone else e.g. I will have more fulfilling time in my marriage, be sure which part of the fulfilling time you are in control of. Or I want a promotion; check how much you are in control of to make it happen. The idea is to keep the list realistic.
If you wish to lose weight, is it inches you want to drop or a better fitness level that you seek. If you wish to change job is it because of something you don’t like in the workplace or is it something more challenging you seek.
Is it something that you want or is it on the list because it is expected of you. Will it add to your sense of achievement once the task is done or will it make someone else happy.
Once you have sorted out your list on the basis of the above, you would have knocked off many and would be left with but just a few items. Next prioritise the remaining and check for the following.
Can you visualise your goal nice and clear? If not, may be it is meant for another time. The more the clarity, the better you can visualise, the more certain you are of achieving it. What your mind can conceive, it can achieve.
Plan your landmarks beforehand so that you know how you are progressing in your journey. Celebrate your achievement at each step. This boosts your motivation and carries you till the very end.
Well begun is half done. May you have a happy resolution making time as you welcome the New Year 2016 and emerge a winner.
A young woman who was in a Coaching session said she spoke more negative than positive. She lamented, “I am a pessimist. I doubt myself in everything and create my own boundaries.” She seemed to be really stressed out.
On further inquiry it came to light that things happening around her disturbed her. Her loved ones, whom she dearly respected, tried different businesses but met with failure. Hope rose in her of a better and brighter tomorrow and it came to a sad end each time. This left her disappointed. She lost faith and felt negative.
This story reverberates with many. People are often left feeling low because of the impact of someone else’s decision. If there is something happening around them which has its direct impact, one does have responsibility to its outcome. It is happening or playing out in their presence. Its consequence matters to them in the long run. If people who matter have failed repeatedly, one does need to step in and take charge.
Irrespective of age, people leave the decisions to others consciously or unconsciously. In today’s time people are becoming busier by the hour and they have enough on their plate. They pass their responsibility, to someone else. Or they undermine their own ability and think that another person is better equipped than them to do the job. They are only too happy to have someone else take the lead. It is easy that way but it will soon lead to disappointed results and an unhappy person.
Did the young woman have control on the events that happened? Maybe or maybe not. Did it affect her? Absolutely. She felt depressed of things happening around her which made her feel let down, anxious and negative.
One can choose to take responsibility and use their influence to ensure success. This is easier said than done. They might be termed as acting ‘too big for their boots’ or too ‘nosy’ and be reminded to ‘mind their own business’. Nonetheless, be involved and participate to analyze, check, clarify and evaluate. If one prioritizes and takes charge, things can pan out that are in their best interest.
Everyone likes responsible and reliable players. It takes time to build trust and prove they are a well-intended person willing to take responsibility. The idea is to act so that the result is positive and they are not hurt. One does not wish to be a victim of circumstances. One improves their chances through participation.
What seems like an end of the road..... .... May be a beautiful turn waiting to be discovered.