How do you change? At 59 years old, how do I learn to think a new way? See through new eyes? How do I continue to grow and change with the fluidity of youth? Is it the current of life I continue fighting that keeps me at bay? How do I keep the curiosity and wonderment of every day alive? Perhaps I've simply lost touch along the way. If I have, how do I get back without giving everything up?
— Connie B., Portland, Oregon
I'm afraid your chief obstacle is your belief system, which you have absorbed from others around you. In this belief system, youth is a time of change and flexibility. Really? In actuality, the young are the most insecure among us and the least able to make mature life choices. They stumble and experiment. They worry about finding a self.
In another part of your belief system, to be middle-aged is to be washed up. You think the best of life has passed you by. Instead of renewal and freshness, there's the day-to-day struggle not to fall into boredom and lack of enthusiasm. In actuality, in middle age you know who you are. You have a self. You have arrived.
So the answer to your dilemma is that you must examine your stuck beliefs and old conditioning. Talk with those who aren't burdened by such limiting beliefs. This will require a bit of courage. You feel safe in your gloomy shell. Yet if you look around, you'll see middle-aged people who are enthusiastic, accomplished, ready for any challenge and eager for tomorrow. Be with them. Be open to what they believe about life. Change will come.
What can I do if my family gives me grief about my spiritual practice?
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Deepak Chopra is the author of more than 50 books on health, success, relationships and spirituality, including his current best-seller, Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul, and The Ultimate Happiness Prescription, which are available now. You can listen to his show on Saturdays every week on SiriusXM Channels 102 and 155.