“Every man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world.”
– Arthur Schopenhauer
I came across an article today about a woman who decided that she would not undergo treatment after being diagnosed with cancer. Instead, she embarked on an RV adventure of a lifetime, with her doctor’s blessing. It reminded me of a man I learned about a few years ago who started running marathons after going through the tragedy of losing his son. These stories made me think of my own mother, who took up yoga and community service after losing her best friend, her life partner, her everything. Each one of these stories warms the cockles of my heart, and I know you feel it too because each of these individuals are beacons of bright light that people are drawn to.
We often get caught up in our lives and forget about our childhood dreams and passions in the name of making a living, or raising the children, or growing up. We are socialized to believe that we must leave those fantasies in childhood and get on with it. The thing is, what we learn after we’ve gotten on with it for twenty some years, is that we want to change gears and pursue the dream, find out what our passions are, and start our second career. It used to be called a midlife crisis, now it’s called a spiritual awakening.
When we find out that we aren’t happy with our lives, it’s a good thing because you can’t change what you aren’t aware of. Consciousness is the catalyst for change.
Awareness alone will not bring about change. Change is scary. We are creatures of habit, we like what is familiar, even when it’s not what we want. Our thoughts stop us from acting on our desires. I’m too old. What if I fail. What will people think. I don’t know how. The list goes on. Sometimes what we need is a little encouragement. Some proof that we will succeed, that it’s not too late. That we can do it.
So why do stories about people breaking from the beaten path appeal to us? They give us hope that we can start anew and be whoever we want to be, they inspire us to live a life of passion, they give courage and concrete evidence that our only limits are the limits we impose on ourselves. Their stories show us the way.
The three individuals whose stories I’m sharing today have a few things in common – they all have an amazingly positive can-do-spirit; they don’t believe in limiting themselves because of silly things like age; and they all started their new adventure at the age of 75 or older!
“There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.”
– Sophia Loren
Meet these amazing trail brazers:
90-year-old Driving Miss Norma is exploring new adventures on the road. This burst of inspiration is creating the life she wants to live by choosing to see the joy and beauty in all things, with complete faith that everything will be ok. Miss Norma has 150k likes on her Facebook page.
I can’t believe Fauja Singh is a centenarian who started running marathons in his 80s, never mind that he set new records. Today, this 104-year-old man is still inspiring me, and countless others to pursue their dreams and be the best version of themselves, no matter how old they are.
My 80-year-old mom, known as Yoga Daadi is super energetic, full of life, and has completely reinvented herself since my dad left his earthly form over 6 years ago. She started out taking yoga classes to keep herself in excellent health. Since then, she’s been on a yoga retreat to India with one of the best known yogis today, and is now a yoga instructor herself. She is a passionate volunteer at her local temple, is always giving back to her community, and paying-it-forward by sharing her knowledge and skills with the younger generations. My mom is my biggest blog fan, she wakes up with excited anticipation about what I’ve written each day, because she is open to receiving all the universe has to offer her, and she’s soaking it up with grace and a smile! Mom doesn’t have an online following yet, but give her time, she’s just a babe in the woods compared to Fauja and Norma, between the two of them, they have 35 years on her!
Each of these amazing youngsters was forced to look within and find meaning and purpose in their lives because they endured a devastating experience, but you don’t have to wait for a tragedy to make a change.
They’ve shown us that loss doesn’t have to be the end, it can be a new beginning, it can be a blessing and a gift; they’ve shown us that age doesn’t matter; and they’ve shown us that the perfect time to start pursuing what you love is as soon as you become aware that you don’t love what you do. Their auras are beaming from the inside out, like beacons of light to show us the way. You can do it too. It’s never too late!
Thank you, thank you, thank you!