My focus for the first quarter of 2021 on the coaching blog is aging. I thought it would be interesting to explore this challenging fact of life from an Ifa perspective. One of the best ways to embrace the aging process is to engage spiritually. Let’s explore why that is.
When we do any kind of spiritual practice we are connecting with the timeless dimension. From there we start to see our lives in a much bigger context. It brings perspective to our journey and lessons. Without experience, we don’t grow which is the reason we’re here. Seeing our development over our lifetime we can appreciate the value of the process.
Ifa’s focus on ancestors helps us to understand the continuity of life. If we’re coming back, we have no reason to mourn our lost youth. Our ancestors can help us appreciate the natural progression from youth to adulthood, to our senior years. Death is simply a return home where our existence continues in energetic form until it’s time to return.
One of the many things that come with age in wisdom, the actual point of life. Experiences create knowledge. Applying that knowledge over time creates wisdom. Wisdom is both broader and deeper. It is easily applied across contexts. The wisdom and knowledge that we accumulate over a lifetime are what our destiny is about. We came here to develop in certain areas and deepen into others. If you have any younger friends notice that you’re better at figuring out challenging situations. That’s wisdom in action. Using wisdom is so important we have an Orisa, Ela, who presides over its use. Wisdom can only come with experience.
Some of the changes we experience as we get older feel less than positive. The strength and vibrancy of youth give way to aches and pains, but we find calm, acceptance, and a more easeful attitude towards life. If we’re in balance we lose some of the urgency to achieve as we age. Out of alignment, we push ourselves relentlessly to accomplish what we feel is important before we run out of time. But we never truly run out of time. We’re meant to accomplish some things in this lifetime. But, many more over the course of lifetimes.
As we age we adopt a more emotional, and spiritual, orientation to life. We’re concerned with deeper, more meaningful, things. Our society doesn’t serve us well in this regard, Overemphasizing work robs elders of their sense of meaning. We must develop spiritual, creative, and other interests, that will be our focus as we get older.
It’s terrible that so many of our elders find themselves struggling with day to day life. Coupled that with isolation and loneliness, and what should be a powerful time becomes a hopeless end. So, do what you can now to ensure you’ll be able to thrive when you reach your later years. A simpler life may be in order. But that is likely a better one at that point.
As we progress in years we also become closer to our ancestors. Through consistent practice, we’ve built deep relationships with the ancestors and other energies of the Universe. As life progresses the veil between dimensions becomes thinner. I noticed it around fifty. I’ve also seen it in elderly relatives who seem to access very old memories and to “check out” momentarily, returning with ancestral wisdom.
“Old” is very much a state of mind. Our culture has done a great disservice to the process of aging and to our elders. It’s time to recognize, and delight, in all phases of life. This life is a gift from the Universe intended to help us grow. A long life certainly must be one of the greatest blessings one can receive.