20 Aug What’s Your Secret
When people learn that I’m 80 years of age, a common response is, “What’s your secret?” I have come to discover that for most people, asking this question is largely social repartee rather than an honest interest. This is mostly due to the fact that if someone really hears what I have to say, it may require looking at one’s life in an honest manner.
Assuming that you want to know what my secrets are, here are my answers:
My Mental Outlook
I live in the moment and this is what I teach. Most people are lost in the past or fearing for a future that never comes. They have internalized ideas about age that include the notion that at age (fill in the blank) you start getting “old” and this idea permeates how they think, move, act and everything they do. When you engage in the moment you bypass that social conditioning and become ageless. Then an ache or a pain becomes something you attend to or include rather than proof that you are old. Yes, it is true that one’s stamina and strength can diminish over time but if you don’t compare now to then, then you simply live your life rather than reinforce old self-defeating, self-limiting notions of age.
Exercise – Keeping on Moving
A follow up question is often, “What do you do for exercise?” My first response is generally: Sex. A relatively young man once replied, “What good does that do? You know it doesn’t last more than 3 minutes. How can that be exercise?”
My wife Ariel and I enjoy an active sex life. Our intimate encounters are occasionally brief if we are extremely tired and want to have sex, “for medicinal purposes only.” But often we have aerobic “get-togethers” that raise our heart rates for an extended period. Hidden in this is the realization that in order to want to have sex with one another, we need to keep our communications open and honest. Otherwise our desire would dry up – pun intended!
Many people enjoy the gym or a formal type of exercise and if that’s you, I heartily endorse it. For me it is the gym of the outdoors – using a chainsaw, for example. I enjoy activities such as cutting, stacking and hauling wood. Ariel and I frequently take walks, often down by the river, and have recently taken up riding bikes after a 60 year hiatus. I am also passionate about going fishing, with all that implies. Not too long ago, I went on a one-day fishing trip to upstate New York. It was approximately 4 hours driving each way (not exercise to be sure but I needed to be alert… see point 1, my mental outlook). I fished in very cold conditions for 10 hours, walking more than 5 miles with heavy wading boots and using my upper body while casting.
Diet, Hormones and an Interest in Health
I have an active interest in well-being, health and longevity. This has led me to be honest about things that work and things that don’t. One of the things that has supported me in remaining robust and sexually active is hormone replacement. At some point during the natural aging process, my testosterone levels began falling. This led to fatigue, the beginnings of muscle loss and a lack of interest in, well anything…including sex. I currently use a bio-identical hormone cream with testosterone every day. I also take supplements and eat in a way that works for my body – a high protein/low carb approach. I know that different bodies have different needs so I am not recommending my routine for everyone, but I do recommend looking and telling the truth about what works for you and what doesn’t. People often think it takes a lot of “discipline” to eat well. What it takes is honesty – telling yourself the truth about how what you are consuming affects you.
Over the years, I have experienced many health conditions, from mild to debilitating. I have had and continue to have an active interest in addressing them. It can be a challenge to keep going when you don’t feel well but it’s worth it.
Hidden in my healthy routine is regular bodywork. It often goes unnoticed because it is such a seamless part of Ariel’s and my self-expression for each other, even in the middle of the night. When I get an ache, Ariel routinely does a bit of ShyaWork* – the bodywork technique I pioneered that was a precursor to our seminars.
Sleep is a Weapon
Once I listened to an audio book and the hero was a soldier who was on a difficult mission. He had a saying: “Sleep is a weapon.”
While I am not fighting a war, my mission is optimal health and well-being. I find naps a blessing and getting enough sleep to be a vital part of the puzzle. So I work when I work, go when I go, and don’t hesitate to sleep as needed.
Investing in This Moment: The Basics
And in those moments when I lose my sense of myself, I go back to the basics. I talk about my concerns with Ariel or another one of my friends. I’m kind to myself, for this moment is perfect – including how I am. I complete projects in my environment, investing in the people and things around me. I take seminars regularly. (Yes facilitating a weekend seminar or a Living Made Easy Virtual Seminar or a retreat in Costa Rica is participating in one.) I give back to my community by hosting our Being Here podcast and writing blogs and articles so people around the world have free access to transformation.
I share what’s possible with others and that rekindles my sense of self. I do it because I recognize it matters, I matter…and so do you.
*ShyaWork is a hands-on neuromuscular approach where the practitioner directs a person’s awareness into an area of pain. As a result, pain, tension, stress and even long-term conditions simply dissolve – Instantaneous Transformation.
If you would like to learn more about ShyaWork, you are invited to join Ariel and Shya for Discover the Healer in You seminar they are offering on November 6-7, 2021.