Openness to New Things Enhances Longevity

Do new things every day. •© GLOW IMAGES •models are used for illustrative purposes

Do new things every day.
• models are used for illustrative purposes

I was intrigued and inspired by an article published March 19, 2012, in the Gloucester County Times, by Bob Schryock — “At 109, Mable ‘Aunt Mamie’ Wilson is ready for new challenges.”

How many of us, at any age, are ready for, much less welcome, new challenges?  How many of us are set in our ways and shun anything new?  How many of us are in a rut or have a habitual way of doing things?

A friend of mine once told me, “A rut is a velvet-lined coffin.”  We are comfortable but never try to get out.   He admonished me to avoid having a daily routine and/or having a resistance to breaking that routine.

I took him up on his warnings.  I started mixing things up and forcing myself to try new things.  I began encouraging my children to try new things.

“Forget anti-wrinkle-creams and botox treatments.  The key to slowing the aging process starts with an injection of a positive attitude,” says Dr. Deepak Chopra, a famous wellness expert and North America’s pioneer in alternative medicine.  He intimates that the “best anti-aging tool is the mind.” (1)

Stop thinking old.  “People don’t grow old; when they stop growing, they become old.”  Chopra admonishes.

“People who think younger are often biologically younger,” Chopra continues.  “People can choose whether or not they have weak immune systems or stress-related illnesses such as hypertension by simply approaching life with humility, cooperation, and compassion rather than greed and arrogance.” (1)

Mabel, Aunt Mamie, Wilson says her “secret is faith in God and prayer, not getting stressed over things, a close family and making up your mind to do something and just doing it.”

I can identify with all of what she says, especially relying on God and prayer to get us to where we need to be in our lives.  A few years ago, I took ballet lessons and accepted an appointment for a new and extremely challenging job.

On a daily basis (and not always at the same time) I think about the non-aging process.  We are, after all, only as old as we think.  According to the article, Mabel, Aunt Mamie, Wilson never refers to herself as old.

Mary Baker Eddy, a Christian healer and teacher, who also established an international daily newspaper, The Christian Science Monitor, in 1908 at the age of 86, said this about aging:  “The measurement of life by solar years robs youth and gives ugliness to age.” She further admonishes us in her best-selling book on spirituality and health, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, to “shape our views of existence into loveliness, freshness, and continuity, rather than into age and blight.”  She indicates that we, as God’s creation, should logically grow more beautiful, grand, holy, and wise since those are also qualities of the divine.

Mabel, Aunt Mamie, Wilson wants to try roller skating.  And she says, “I bet I can.”  And I say, “Why not!”

Next, I want to learn to sing!

(1)    April 28, 2003, Christian Science Sentinel, items of interest, Aging-a matter of perception, first reported in The Star Phoenix (Saskatoon), April 2, 2003, by Sue Pratt, “Best anti-aging tool is the mind.”

Kate is interested in blogging about health, health care, spirituality, Christian Science, science, religion, the importance of prayer in maintaining a healthy mind and body.  She is a Christian Science practitioner and the media, legislative and public contact for Christian Science in the state of Maryland.  She and her husband enjoy hiking, especially with Callie, a Blue Heeler, and riding motorcycles.