How to Be Ageless 1. Focus on the present, not the past or future There was a time, oh tender elf, when you were poetry itself, Christopher Morley When we are very young, we give little if any thought or attention to past and future but rather, we live in the continuous now. In doing so, we were fully present to our experience (rather than our thinking). Adults are always going to experience life differently to young children, but focusing on the present moment helps us :- be aware of the life, aliveness or consciousness in all things and our connection to them, which revitalises us be more present, which helps us avoid accidents, which is the single most important factor in staying healthy avoid adding to the weight of time we impose on ourselves with our past/future regret, worry, grudges, should'ves, if onlys... relax the tiring and, hence, aging, habit of non-productive thinking. Whenever and however you can (e.g. leave your watch off, limit unhelpful time related thinking) forget about time. 2. Live open-ended, present based questions Focusing on the present does not preclude the possibility of positive change. On the contrary, it increases the probability of it. An effective way to focus on being present and facilitate the change we want to see, is to ask open-ended questions and pay attention to what is then different. Since we can only consciously notice a tiny fraction of 'reality', lets notice what's most helpful. 3. Play outside time ...certain women who work with spiritual power and outside of time take on a near timeless quality. Simon Buxton, The Shamanic Way of the Bee We do not have to be perfect or special to play outside time (or in the 'gap', field of all possibilities, matrix, source, consciousness, God etc.), we simply need to surrender our sense of control and drop down into our hearts and beings. When we do this, we have a fuller, deeper sense of and connection to the present moment and our sense of time tends to either stretch or shrink. We also have a deeper connection with ourselves, others and our environment, which allows us to be aware of and present to much that we would otherwise miss. Our normal mode of existence is one dimensional and our interactions superficial in comparison.In the timeless dimension, we may also recognise that we and life are perfect, beautiful, whole, which decreases our future-based wanting. Surrender and decreased wanting both allow that which is timeless, perfect, beautiful and unique in us to shine through our outer shells, which can give us an ageless quality. 4. Cultivate intuition and creativity Playing in the gap also makes us more intuitive and creative, qualities we can cultivate separately. The benefits include :- being less caught up in and dependent on our rational minds and hence more present rather than focusing on personalities, our own and other people's, which do not endure, we bring something that is timely (relevant to the moment) from the timeless into our workaday world develops useful skills and attitudes playing outside time 5. Open, relax, accept and breathe The more we open, relax and accept, the more energy can flow through us. Relaxation, acceptance and openness all support each other. Suggested resources: Sacred movements, yoga, stretching and massage can all help. Even simpler and more fundamentally, we can fully accept the breath of life, opening our bodies by breathing deeply and breathing into the places where we feel stuck or contracted. And we can become more open, relaxed and flexible by playing more. 6. Live with an open heart Hardening of the heart ages people more quickly than hardening of the arteries. Franklin Field The most important part of ourselves to keep open is our hearts. When we close our hearts we restrict the depth of our connection with others and all life, which restricts the flow of energy, of life. As a culture, we are becoming increasingly self centred but recent studies show that those who give a significant amounts of support to others, tend to live longer. 7. Live with an open mind Use it or lose it. If we don't use our minds, they tend to atrophy and lose their flexibility. Our repetitive thoughts and attitudes eventually affect our facial expression so that we become caricatures of our former selves. To be ageless, we therefore need to use our minds well by being careful what we repeat and continually doing, learning and thinking new things. One way to enter the timeless dimension is through being absorbed in something. All beliefs (which are thoughts we have heard repeated by ourselves or others) can keep us from perceiving life afresh, which also keeps us from being interested enough in anything to be absorbed. For absorption, we have to accept all ideas as provisional and investigate the ones that interest us. 8. Be open to life And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. Anais Nin We might appear to be able to cling to life longer if we stay closed but, in doing so, we cut ourselves off from life and the flow of life force energy. Blossoming involves following what interests us and taking intelligent risks. In addition to doing new things, we enter into them fully, passionately, giving them our all. This quickens the life force in us, enthuses us with life. It includes inner adventure. 9. Cultivate joy and energy To enhance our life force, we do well to cultivate joy and energy. Everyone is different and so we all need to find out what gives us most joy and energy. This includes what we eat, where we live, how we spend our time and who and what we spend it with. When we are poorly, we often isolate ourselves, yet being in the positive energy of others, if only in a cafe amid strangers, can lift our energy and spirits. For even better results, cultivate friendships and habits that enhance your life, joy and energy. I mention habits because some of us spend more time with the internet or tv than we do with our friends 10. Avoid forcing In ancient China, those people who had had one illness were often the healthiest. Many of us have also benefited from a wake up call but our deep seated habits of forcing the pace, of thinking that more and quicker are better, and our inability to listen to our bodies often cause major setbacks. 11. Own your own power To avoid muscle loss and osteoporosis, our muscles need weight bearing exercise. Similarly, other 'muscles, like our decision making muscles and the ones we use to feel our feelings, stand up for or express ourselves, also need exercise. When older people go into care and stop using these muscles, they tend to age rapidly. Even before this, when these muscles are not effectively used, we may be childish but our energy is usually blocked, or we are weighted down with emotional baggage, both of which cause us to age prematurely. ly.