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The Grace of Aging

A happy hello to you today, dear Reader. It is clearly winter here in New England. In spite of temps below freezing and the arrival of snow, I'm reminded how much I appreciate the bright sunshine most days. It makes the snow sparkle and lifts my spirits. By March I may be hoping for a bit more than sunlight -- I'll have to look for other things to put on my gratitude list. At least that is never ending.

This week's Seed might have seemed a little odd to you, so here it is again and let me explain ...

"Have you noticed that with age 

comes the ability to be more human?"

I focus a lot, for my own personal consideration, on what it means to be a better human being. It took awhile. I wasn't very good at it in my 20's and 30's. I wasn't a horrible person and I wasn't as nice as I might have been. I always had a soft spot for animals, especially the ones in shelters. With people I was not inclined to show such tender-heartedness. My 40's weren't too much better, however when I hit 50, something started to shift. Now in my 70's I can feel a profound increase in my compassion. 

As I noticed this alteration in my attitude, I started to wonder about it and where it came from. One thing I know is that I have a lot more self-compassion which allows me to be open and receptive to others.

After I got involved in Mindfulness I expanded with Mindful Self-Compassion. If you're interested in this yourself, check out the work of Kristin Neff and Christopher Germer ( 

I'm also more confident. At a certain point, I believe we finally learn to let go of our self-limiting give a f*ck. I started to realize that whatever someone else thought of me or had to say about me was more about them. In Alcoholics Anonymous there is a saying, "What someone thinks of me is none of my business!". In this day and age that can be challenging. Sometimes all it takes is giving up or ignoring social media. Also, remember the image of single ink blot in a huge glass of water. Even though it disperses and can't really be seen, sometimes we keep looking for it and focus on it instead of seeing the clear liquid. We have a real knack for making ourselves miserable by zeroing in on the negative and missing out on all the good. 

I have more of a sense of time, as in how much longer I might be around on this planet Earth. Even though I intend to keep working on my health and wellness, I probably have less time left than what I've already laid down behind me. This could be an opportunity to feel morbid and even discouraged -- I have no interest in living my next several decades as if a black cloud is hanging over me. I'd rather see what good I can do and enjoy being a kind, helpful being. 

I've always loved tarot cards and anyone who knows me will say I can definitely be on the woo-woo side. For years, whenever I would pull a card from something like an angel deck, I would often get the word "grace". At first I wasn't even sure what that meant, but quickly I observed that I didn't feel like I had a lot of it. It can mean "a divinely given talent or blessing". Once I understood that and especially after I started following Oprah's advice to keep a Gratitude Journal, I began to feel so much better about life. This allowed me to start softening some of the edges to my personality.  

It can also mean "elegance or refinement of movement", something I pursued in many years of dancing lessons. And, it can be described as "courteous goodwill" and "to do honor or credit to someone or something by one's presence". This is the goal I keep in front of me. Through my awareness of grace in my life and my desire to share it with everyone, I feel like I am coming into my full human-ness and it feels really good. This is what I wish for you.

Sparkles and Love,


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About the Author




Barbara L Cummings, MS, RN

is a sassy Queen-ager whose mission is to co-create a happier, healthier life with and for others.

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