The birds are louder than ever, for once there not competing with the sounds of traffic or overhead planes. There is nothing in their airspace but the sounds of the morning; a dog barks, another down the block answers it. The bright red Bottle Brush tree in the back must be a high price condominium so loud are the songs of my feathered friends at eight in the morning. The chime of church bells tolling the hour sounds wise and celebratory.
I skip the headlines and pick up where I let off in the New Yorker with morning tea.
When the breakfast dishes are clear, I lay out my mat for a morning yoga stretch and follow with an extended meditation. It helped to have structure, and it grounds me in grace and quiets my impatience.
Depending on the weather, I take my daily bike ride through empty streets. I cross over the 10fwy and think how wonderful it would be if the freeway were closed to traffic for one day. I could ride to the beach and back again without ever looking over my shoulder for on coming traffic.
Due to climate change, our arid hot California spring has not been the slowly rising temps, instead the cool air comes for a visit. Yes, the traffic is slowly coming back, but we’re are alive after so many months of death.
I call my oldest friend, who had contacted the virus. I worry about him because the nature of the virus is that one has to tough it out by yourself. His voice sounds a bit more gravely but he is a survivor. My tomatoes are blooming and I am grateful.
John Shinavier, MA, Coach, K.N.Y. Instructor
There are two ways of arriving at a ripe old age; ready to take on the world, or fade away and become invisible. Since I’ve reached such an age only a few days ago. I thought that I would share what I have learned.
- Eat only when your hungry and always in smaller portions.
- A full 8 hrs. sleep is at the top of the list for mental sharpness.
- Meditation will not only reveal your own wisdom, but has been shown in studies to lengthen ones life.
- Stop talking, respond less, and listen more.
- Review the supplements your taking and read up on magnesium.
- If you’ve had life long depression, and have not taken care of it, then this period of your life will be hellish.
- Exercise, move your body. Gardening, and housework are not counted as exercise.
- Pride takes on a better meaning and is more internal. You can’t still be that insecure?
- Find a place in your community where you can do some selfless service. You always receive more than you give.
- By this time in your life, you should know to spend your time with friends that are supportive and less opinionated.
- Stop being rushed into activities that you don’t want to do. Make “I’ll have to get back to you” your standard reply.
- If your not alone, practice it. Loneliness is based on regret and dependence.
- Greet strangers on the street or throughout your day. It takes you out of your own troubles and makes you and someone else happier.
- Wear what ever makes you happy. You’ve earned the label eccentric.
- By now your aware of what makes you happy and what makes you sad. Do more of the first.
- Stop swearing. It was freeing when you were young, but now just makes others feel sorry for you.
- Above all, on a daily basis be GRATEFUL, especially when your feeling sorry for yourself. It’s a powerful word that’s taken me a lifetime to arrive at, and the most important word to use as often as you can.
John Shinavier, MA, RYT, Life Coach