The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Sunday, January 23, 2005

I am Ageless

You know something?  Just two weeks ago, looking at a Bikram Yoga book, I finally understood the concept of "agelessness."  There are pictures of Freda Payne and other students taken 25 years apart--and they look darned good. Yeah, sure, they look somewhat older.  And that was the cynical part of my brain speaking, every time I've heard Chi Gung or tai chi or Yoga or health food adepts talk about "agelessness."  "What in the world is THIS crap?"  I'd say to myself.  I could SEE them getting older. And yet, and yet...there was something, if only I could grasp it.
And two weeks ago, I did.  I came up with a definition of "Agelessness" that works for me.  It is knowing that your aliveness, your dynamism, your enthusiasm, your sex life, your physical appearance, your joy in living have more to do with your attitudes and actions than your years.  Perhaps that means a healthy physical discipline.  Or a joyously strict diet, or a meditation routine that re-connects you with spirit.  Or a beautiful garden that constantly replenishes your spirit. Or a connection to your family that constantly amazes and awakens you.  Or a career that makes you remember the simple joys of childhood.  My dear friend Harlan Ellison, at 70, is utterly ageless.  BKS Iyengar is ageless.  Kali Master danny Inosanto, in his 60's, moves like a teenager.  He said to me: "Steve, you can keep the physical just takes a little more discipline every day to do it."  How incredibly true.  And if you choose the right selection of of disciplines, you will show far less wear and tear than your contemporaries...but that isn't the only advantage.  You remain YOU. You are not your body, but if you treat it well, it can be the best and truest friend you ever had.  You are not your family, but they are an expression of your energies and heart.  You are not your career, but the product of your life shows the path you have walked since childhood.
I choose to be a mature adult, one of the elders of my tribe. I am no longer "young", but by God,  I am ageless. 

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