There is No Age Limit for Rebirth
If there was a poster child for rebirth in later life, it could be me. I wake up most days filled with happiness, gratitude, and energy that seems to spring from an unseen well. I’m not buying into “it’s hell getting old.” Even though I’m eligible for Social Security, I’m excited about the new career path I’ve chosen, and the person I’ve become. But I wasn’t always like this.
Only a few years ago I was a stressed-out, impatient fury. For decades, though I had financial success and material comfort, I was dissatisfied with life, but couldn’t figure out why. Depression lodged deep, like a phantom under a bright mask of gaiety and self-assuredness. Struggling with a laundry list of niggling physical problems, popping pills like candy, I had worked myself into a dark hole, unable to climb out. Then came the words that pierced like a knife in my gut, “you have cancer.”
Once the shock wore off, I assessed my options. I have Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS); my intuition told me that conventional cancer treatments would overwhelm my body. I was actually afraid the treatments would kill me before the cancer did. Fortunately, I was seeing an alternative/TCM practitioner who was attempting to help me with the MCS. He became the one guy in my corner who actually listened to my feelings and concerns, and offered sound advice for various options specifically suited to my body. Little did I know he would be my lone guide, my emotional support for what was to become the journey that changed my life.
There is an emotional component that plays a role in all dis-harmony in the body. The book “Cancer As a Turning Point,” by Lawrence LeShan, PhD., shook me awake. I discovered exactly when I had reached a point of despair and given up ever finding a way out of the pit I was in. The author and my alternative/TCM practitioner helped me see that psychological issues manifest physically; I realized then that my fight to be cancer free must include figuring out why I was so unhappy. This meant uncovering deep emotional issues from the past that shaped the person I had become.
First I took responsibility for my recovery. Instead of asking ‘why me?’ I put myself in the driver’s seat, did not just blindly follow the full course of treatments recommended by the oncologists. With my alternative/TCM practitioner help I selected a balanced protocol from conventional, alternative, and Chinese medicines that felt right to me. Healing became my top priority and nothing swayed me from that focus.
Movement also became a critical component of healing. I’d been doing yoga but I began a daily practice in Qi Gong. In some sessions I was releasing so much stuck emotion, tears would stream down my face; I couldn’t pinpoint exactly why; it simply felt good to let go.
As we continued on my quest, my alternative/TCM practitioner helped me recognize that all the choices I’d made in life were out of deep-seated fears from early childhood: fear of poverty, being alone and unloved, not being good enough. Thus I had to make some of the most difficult decisions of my life, not only with cancer treatments, but with my career and personal relationships as well.
I won’t lie to you: the emotional upheaval of letting go of fears and finding the softer, more loving and accepting side of myself was no picnic. But it was an experience I am truly grateful for because I am living a life I never could have imagined was possible. Today I am happier than I’ve been in decades and people tell me I look ten years younger. At last I am comfortable with ‘the real me;’ I feel free and energized with the path I’ve chosen for my new career and lifestyle, even at my age. I continue to find new teachers and slowly evolve with greater insight and personal strength.
If my story resonates with you, I invite you to join me in a revolution of sorts. As Baby Boomers, many of us have watched our parents age with disease or unhappiness. We hear people complain about inability to lose weight, aches, health problems; they chalk it up to aging. But we don’t have to follow along; we don’t have to believe that growing old is hell, or ‘that’s just the way life is.’ We can take action NOW to resuscitate our health and happiness, to reinvent our final decades. Here’s the deal: if I can change so dramatically, so can you, if you choose to.
Come with me. We’ve all seen societal perspectives swing dramatically. Together let’s create another shift, a new aging paradigm where Baby Boomers and seniors are vibrant and vital to the community. Let’s find our courage to make deep, meaningful change, give ourselves permission to dream a new life, and dare to go for it.
After finding tremendous healing benefits from the holistic approach, Stephanie Prima trained to teach a holistic movement class, trained in a Results Coaching Fundamentals program, and is in the process of completing her vegan nutrition certification. She also holds a two-year Culinary Arts program certification, and was the editor/publisher of a food journal in Central California.
Stephanie loves mentoring people who are committed to taking charge of their health. She is an avid Qigong student with a dedicated daily practice, and is currently in Teacher Certification Training, which she is looking forward to sharing with clients and students.