Yes, you are ageless and you have pizazz. That’s the core principle of my workshops, my private sessions, my forthcoming book, and this newsletter. All are meant to wake you up and make you tingle. Contrary to what we were brought up to believe, we can keep blooming, and blooming, as we get older.
I haven’t always believed this. When I was nine there was a radio drama, “The Romance of Helen Trent…the story that asks the question, ‘Can a woman over 35 find romance…in her life?’”
That question, and all the cultural assumptions I breathed in as I grew up, led me to expect a grey, boring life in my later years. I remember figuring out which of my birthdays over the years would fall on Saturday. My 69th would, but I’d be beyond caring, I thought.
But as I neared and passed 50 I became ardent about changing that programming—for myself and others. I wrote a thesis about it. I looked for thriving elders and found out what they did. I took classes in drama therapy, improv, self-hypnosis, chi-kung. I learned a lot. My 69th birthday was delicious, and my 70th birthday was a blast!
The Ageless Pizazz!® groups I offer now set out to dissolve that old programming and to activate the creative force in all of us that often gets buried under worries, obligations, and our imprinting about elderhood.
Transforming Pain, Fear, and Anger Into Creativity
Women who come to my workshops find they become more adventurous and more confident. They tune in to that little voice that says “express yourself!” and they let it out. They find new sides of themselves. They have more fun.
To activate your creative force, you have to be willing to push your own envelope. In my groups and classes this often means acting a little silly, behaving outrageously, doing things you wouldn’t do just anywhere, such as singing loudly off-key or having a conversation in gibberish. Laughter, which is known to stimulate good health, happens a lot.
Most of the activities I use are best done in groups, but some can be done alone. Here are some things you can try if you’re feeling stuck or down:*
- –Stand in front of a mirror, look into your eyes, and say hello to yourself.
- –Talk to your reflection, telling your painful story. Let yourself feel it. If crying comes, cry. If you are angry or frustrated, let it out.
- –Now tell your story again, exaggerating your intonations, facial expressions, and gestures. Really get into it.
- –Now tell it once more, making faces and gesturing even more broadly, as if you were part of a slapstick comedy team.
- –Tell your story in gibberish, assuming different characters: tragedy queen, self-absorbed aristocrat, angry activist, biker babe . . .
- –Sing your story! Make it a rock song, a country and western song, a song in a musical. Imitate a famous singer. Exaggerate!
- –Look into your eyes again and laugh with yourself. Compliment yourself on your performance and on at least three other things you like about yourself. Express love to yourself.
- –And finally, if you want to really push your envelope, share your performance with a friend.
*Note: If you are feeling long-term depressed, to the point of contemplating suicide, be sure to see a professional. Doing these practices on your own can be helpful, but is not usually sufficient to overcome deep-seated depression.
How It Works
When you exaggerate or play with your own story, you are stepping outside of it, into a larger identity. You are freeing yourself, if only for a few minutes, from your constricting belief about how things are, and letting in some fresh air, a new perspective. You are exercising your imagination, strengthening the creative part of yourself, and affirming that you don’t have to be stuck in one perspective. You are reinforcing a healthier, more functional, more joyful neural pathway.
When you do activities like these in the company of other people, who laugh with you and affirm you, a new positive community is formed that supports you in being your happiest, most powerful and creative self. This is one thing that happens in our Ageless Pizazz!™ groups.
Wishing you radiant aliveness and divine pizazz,