Is there Shine after 60?
Oh yes there is – not just Shine, but Thrive! I’ll share my own story to prove it!
My life changed dramatically after sixty! I’m a late bloomer and a baby-boomer. Here’s what happened to me after I turned fifty, then sixty, and now soon to be 73!
I improved my attitude and perfected my “I don’t give a damn what you think about me!” I fully embraced my life, the love in my life, and who I am.
When I was 52 (in 2002), I moved to Mexico (from Canada). I was in love with a very young Mexican guy. Most of my life, I’ve been heart-centric, and this is something I never want to change. We eventually split up, and we are still friends. Dating someone much younger than you will toughen you up to what will people think! In my 50’s, I still had a lot to learn about the woman I was becoming.
When I hit 61, I was diagnosed with incurable heart disease and given 6 months to live! Like most women, I ignored the warning signs of severe heart disease. For months I walked around with shortness of breath. I self-diagnosed my condition as an allergic reaction to drugs I was taking for a chronic sinus infection. Stupid, I know. And then, I spent two weeks on the road by myself, driving from Mexico back to Canada, living with what would be diagnosed two months later as Idiopathic Dilated Cardiomyopathy. A broken heart.
After months of treatment, the Cardiologist advised me to get my affairs in order. He said my heart was not responding to medication, and he felt there was nothing more he could do. Instead of wallowing in self-pity, I turned to the things that had sustained me my entire life, my faith, Reiki, energy healing, self-healing, and keeping a positive attitude. After months of no improvement, I was desperate. I made a trip to Sedona, Arizona, one of the most beautiful places in the world, to visit the energy vortexes and to work with a Shaman. I was managing a large sales entity at the time, and other than one co-worker, I kept my dis-ease to myself. When I came back from Sedona, I requested a specific test to be done because I was sure my heart was healed. And it was.
I published my story in 2017 LOVE, The Beat Goes On. That was the first time I talked about my age. That was the year I turned 70.
Why did I finally accept my age? I wanted to be an inspiration to young women that turning 30 or 40 or 50 or 60 is NOT the end of the world!
At 70, my life was just beginning! Maybe I’ve been blessed. I feel exactly the same way I’ve felt my whole life, except I’m finally free—free of the self-limiting belief that there are things I cannot do. Free from making excuses or putting off the things I’ve always dreamed of and wanted to accomplish.
In the past year, I sold everything I had to be able to retire. I left my beloved Mexico to travel and find a new place to live in. I spent months in and out of airports in the US, France, Turkey, Israel, India, Malaysia. I spent my 72nd birthday in Tel Aviv and heard the air-raid sirens! I thought I might live in Bali for a while, but it seems fate had another destination in mind for me.
I feel the most together I’ve ever been in my life. I’m finally retired from 9-5, although in my case, I never worked 9-5, it was more like 7:30 until whenever the day was done! Yes, I’m blessed with good health. I try to do Yoga every day. Sure, I take meds for high BP and heart, but that’s not WHO I am. I refuse to allow my mind to dwell in that place of “I’m getting old… and I’m sick, and woe is me!” I will not do it.
And remember fate? During my long and fantastic voyage, I spent 2 nights in Istanbul, Turkey. I left Turkey with so many places to go and people to meet. But messages came daily from a young guy with a very old soul. It seems we were destined to meet. So, I came back to Istanbul. It’s eight months now. I’m writing, taking care of my body, heart, and soul, and having the best time of my life.
I’ve published 16 books on Amazon, I post my photography on Instagram, blog, and keep in touch with friends, fans, and family around the world on social media. Someday I’m sure I will get old. But as long as I’m not, I’m going to enjoy my amazing life. I think I’m like that wild Irish side of my family. My grandpa went out to feed the cattle on the farm one morning, came back for his afternoon nap, and never woke up. He was 93.
I often think of my mom. I don’t know where the soul goes when the body dies. But I hope Rita Mary is proud of the woman I’ve become. After all, I learned to be fearless from her.
Now wish me luck, it’s my first winter in Istanbul, Turkey—I bought a fuzzy jacket to hide under!
Here’s my gift to you:
A CHECKLIST OF THINGS THAT WORK FOR ME - BODY, MIND, AND SOUL:
- Daily yoga practice—I’m definitely allergic to exercise! But doing yoga daily has changed how I sit and sets my headspace up for the day! If you don’t like groups, find online practices. I use the Matt project for beginners and Yoga by Adrienne.
- Walk. Take out your phone and photograph while you walk. Be creative. Play games, give yourself a close space. Stop. Be aware of everything in your pathway within one meter. Now shoot. Post to Instagram. Convert shots to Black and White. Be aware. Take pleasure in ordinary things that surround you. Look at the world from a different point of view.
- Gratitude. Elizabeth Gilbert talks about having a Gratitude Jar. You can use anything. Each day, take a moment to write on a post it. “I am grateful for…” example: Today I’m grateful I did yoga even though I only wanted to go online and chat! I am grateful I have a free promo on Amazon and its #1 in its category today! I am grateful for the fresh strawberries I picked up at the corner store last night. I am grateful for the writing this article for SHINE today!
- Have projects. If you work, or not, have projects that make your heart sing. They might be volunteering; they might be mentoring like I do with fellow writers and people who are going through heart issues. There’s a FB site for Cardiomyopathy. I post, motivate and inspire others to never give up hope. I don’t need the support, but when I was diagnosed in 2008, the disease was considered incurable and I had no one to talk to. I have huge empathy and want to show my support for others who are scared of dying from a broken heart.
- Mantras. I swear without mantras I wouldn’t fall asleep at night or get through the health crisis I had in 2008/9. Every night before I fall asleep, I whisper I call in the highest vibration of light to heal my physical heart and pour out through the thoughts I have and the words I speak and write.
- Always be Curious. I love to learn new things. When I write, I do so much research. I love to take my stories around the world. I use political and international events and build novels around them. Every single day of my life I learn new things. Now, if I could only wrap myself around Turkish!
- LOVE. I don’t mean necessarily to be in love with someone. Just LOVE. Love your life, love your friends, love your passions, love your talents, love the world, love pets, love food, love entertainment. LOVE. When your heart is filled with love, you feel joyful. When you feel joyful, you are at peace. When you are at peace, you will find and follow the life you were born to live.
As you go through the times and seasons of your life, I hope these 7 tips will inspire you to realize and act upon the truth that every season of life can, and should be, a Shine-Season!
About This Contributor
Lynda Filler is a prolific and critically-acclaimed Novelist, Poet, Freelance Writer, Photographer. Lynda spent 2019 traveling - she left Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and visited the USA, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Malaysia, and India. Her travels have filled her creative mind with plots and intrigue, which she unapologetically pours out into the books she writes—Mystery, Action, Contemporary and Romantic Suspense, Urban Poetry, and Memoir.