Welcome to Minding Your Mind, a weekly show for those looking for new thinking about old knowledge in the areas of Time, Living, Success, Health, Love, and Happiness.
In episode 12 I talked about the perspective we all have about the knowledge we possess, and how they may shift or change over time. I talked about the many who hold a shared perspective about living life based strictly on what is unknowable. Take a listen.
Today…, what I am going to talk about may not apply to you if you are young or relatively so. If you are, you may know someone who could benefit from this talk…, mom, dad, grandma or grandpa, for example. Share it with them… They will thank you.
Still, you may very well benefit just the same…, if only as something to think about. After all…, you are headed in the same direction.
If you are like me…, a long-lived person…, share this talk with your fellow travelers. They will thank you.
Hello, I am William Garcia, Philosopher and author of the book titled Now O’ Clock…Being Mindful, it Always is.
I really don’t remember exactly when…, but it was a few years ago. I was lying in bed, and suddenly…, I had a panic attack. My heart started to beat hard and fast, I wondered if I was having a heart attack…. I began to hyperventilate. I was really freaking out.
Instead, what had happened…, was that it occurred to me…, for the first time…, the thought of being or getting old.
I told myself…, hang on man. Don’t lose it now. Just take a deep breath. It’s ok.
I did…, and my heart rate started to slow down…, and I began to breathe easier.
Lying there…, I asked myself…, where did that come from? But I was just asking. I already knew the answer. Thoughts simply occur to us. They come out of thin air or, perhaps in this case, from the corridors of my subconscious mind.
As important as knowing where the thought came from…, it was more important to know how to control and direct how it made me feel.
I applied the same lesson I talked about in episode 4; Say Yes to No…, the effectiveness of self-talk. It is what got me through my panic attack. It was me …, telling myself to hang on…, not to lose it…, to take a deep breath ,and that it was ok.
Not all the time self-talk works for me. But most of the time it does. It did that time and simply because first…, I listened, shifted my perspective and acted with positive expectations. This is how and when self-talk is effective. Otherwise…, self-talk is just talk.
Going back to my panic attack…, I guess…, exhausted from the stress of the experience, and thinking about why it happened…, I fell asleep.
When I woke up that morning it was as if nothing had happened. I was being OK. I felt rested and hungry.
I don’t know about you…, but I most always look forward to breaking fast.
It was only while I was eating…, that I remembered what had happened last night. But then…, I had to ask myself if it was all a dream or if it really did happen.
In that moment I was not sure. I thought about it for a second and remembered talking myself out of the attack. That is how I knew it was real…; that it did happen…; that it was not a dream.
To this day, I don’t know why…, that night, the thought of getting old had occurred to me. I now remember I was 60 years old at the time. But it’s not like I was sick or anything like that. Except for bad knees that, most of my life, I used more than most other people do…, I was otherwise, healthy… I still am.
Talking to myself when I need to…, I reminded me that I am the man trying to inspire you and others to be mindful that you are only as old as the moment…, and that the moment is always new; That because this is so…, we are always new even as we grow old…; that life lasts but an instant…, and because it does…, we are always living our entire lives in this present moment; that we should try to be always mindful to live in the present positive tense; Thinking now. Thinking positive.
It has been a few years since I had that panic attack and even as I talk to you about it now…, it is like it never happened. Maybe, it really was a dream after all. Regardless…, there is a lesson here. Think about it; If not now…, soon enough…, you may need to apply it.
Still the reason for the attack evaded me until it occurred to me that, at the time…, it may have been my inability to do the physical things I could do when my knees were fine…, when I was younger. It was about things, specifically, like running and climbing stairs.
Well…, it is not like I cannot do those things anymore. It is just that I should avoid doing them … or…, do them and pay with pain.
Of course, I sought medical help and…, got the best.
As fate would have it, my doctor, an orthopedic surgeon…, happened to be one sought after by professional football and basketball athletes across the country. I was in good company and…, in good hands.
His strategy for me was to delay knee replacement surgery for as long as possible. He said that I was still young and had a few years before even considering knee replacement surgery.
In that moment I remembered the panic attack I had a few years earlier. So…, I said to him…, guess what doc…, are you suggesting that my knees are young? He looked at me as though he did not understand the question.
I went on to say that my knees and I are the same age. For that matter…, my whole body, parts and all, are the same age. He got the question and smiled. He said he never heard it put that way…, but that it was true.
I now ask you…, has this thought ever occurred to you; the thought that your entire body and the person living in it…, you…, are the same age? I cannot imagine you have…, and that’s ok. For me…, it was something that simply came to mind.
Regardless…, to me, a 66-year-old anything is old when talking about living beings. It is certainly not young.
At some point in life when you have more years behind you than ahead of you…, you are old. Of course, I am not very old, but I am old…, not young.
By the way, as thoughts do…, it occurred to me that we use the word old when being told or telling our age regardless of age.
Why is that…, and when is the use of the word old, correct? I bring this up because words matter to me.
Well…, let’s start with its definition. The dictionary defines the word old as…, having lived for a long time; no longer young. That’s me. It may, be you too.
Ok then…, why do we say, for example…, the baby is now six days old?… What’s with that? 6 days being alive is very young to me…. Don’t you think?
Still to this day…, that same baby, as it is with you and me, will be told we are old for the rest of our lives…. Really? …. Why? …Think about that.
As a matter of fact, now that I am thinking about it and…, on the other hand…, the word young, is now used to describe people like me…, long-lived folks…, you know…, seniors…, old people.
You’ve heard the tv and radio commercials; I am 60 years young, for example. How do you go from being 6 days old to 60 years young?… Again…, what’s with that?
Saying it does not make it so. My state of mind is just that…, a state of mind. The physical reality of being a certain age does not change. There is no mind over matter here. My knees and I are the same age. That goes for my heart, lungs, kidneys and everything else that make up my entire body.
Come on…, let’s be real now.
But don’t take offense here. I understand that saying the words…, I am X amount of years young may make you feel young or, perhaps, better about your age, despite the naked really that you are in fact a certain age…, and that’s ok. If it makes you feel good…, say it…tell yourself.
But there is more to feeling young than saying it …, right? We can avail ourselves to the medical miracles of transplants, replacements, implants and whatever else there is to enhance our state of mind about being old and feeling young.
So…, I could be a 66-year-old man with a 20-year-old kidney. How old am I again?
By the way, here is something else that may enhance your state of mind. It is a word I found…, kind of an in between word. The word YOLD; y-o-l-d. You can say that you are yold, meaning that you are too young to be old and too old to be young. I think it is an interesting word.
Maybe there is something about having a state of mind after all. To each, his or her own mind. Right?
Well…, it is not my mind. I think of myself as a realist about all things life or death. I accept the reality that life is finite and that I can live to a ripe old age before I run out of life.
I not only accept, but I embrace being any age…, my age. What is most important to me however…, is being…, being alive…, right here…, right now.
It is when and where there is still so much life to enjoy…, even being old. I went from having fun to living a life of leisure…, from feeling pleasure to feeling joy…, from feeling anger, to feeling compassion…, from feeling sad to being calm.
I have said it before. It is all about perspective my friends. This is my mind.
I believe long-lived people have a fully developed taste for life and with taste matched with so much experience …, older folks could be considered connoisseurs of life…, a title well deserved. Don’t you think?
Anyway, getting back to my doctor. He used cutting-edge procedures and techniques to get me up and walking comfortably and painlessly.
I still should not run or climb stairs. But then again, I don’t have to. What I can still do…, is go on long walks and dance…, and those are fun and healthy things to do… I’m good. At least…, I’m good enough for now.
Listen…, there could be a million reasons why people would have anxieties about aging…, some more challenging than others. But they are challenges we should not fear. They are challenges we should recognize, accept and take on in a positive way, while expecting the best.
Life is precious at any age and there is always something to appreciate about it. I may not be able to run, but I can stand and walk. I may not be able to see, but I have 4 other senses I can use to brail my way through life.
Whatever your condition, and having lived this long, remember…, you are a connoisseur of life.
Minding your mind…, find your own way keeping in mind that finding is exclusively reserved for searchers.
Start with having an honest conversation with your…, self; listen and follow through with whatever action is helpful. Expect that something good will come of it.
If it would help…, seek, therapy, medical advice or a combination of these. Take advantage of the many medical miracles available to you.
As you now know…, I did…, and it has helped in maintaining the quality of life…, or at least kept it from getting worse sooner than it otherwise would.
It is also helpful to realize that there is always more right with you…, than is wrong with you…, regardless of what is wrong.
I learned this valuable and helpful lesson in a mindfulness class I attended. It was taught by my mentor, Dr. Gus Castellanos. It continues to serve me well…, and I am happy to have now…, shared it with you.
Listen. Our present condition or situation is what it is. We are as old as we are. We either deal with it…, or it deals with us. We take control… or be controlled.
There is a quote that says…, don’t take it lying down. In many…, many cases, we don’t have to. There are ways to get up. Just remember, there is always more right with you than is wrong. Focus on the right; the positive…, otherwise the wrong; the negative…, will dominate your life. Try your best to not let that happen.
Here is another quote titled, A Doing Proposition
“It is important that our focus be on being aware that living is a doing proposition fueled by emotions and steered by our thoughts”. – William Garcia
Now…, I end with what I believe is the simplest…, and what should be our most important guiding principle…, A quote titled, Is: “Is will always beat If”. – William Garcia
Until next time, stop by my website, nowoclock.live. There you will find more original, positive, inspirational, and thought-provoking content you can mind your mind with. Share what you find there and spread any idea you agree is worth spreading. There is something there as there was here, for almost everyone. I hope there was for you.