I had an experience 10 years ago that I still think about when I go into a department store. My best friend and I were at the makeup counter and no one would wait on us.
"It's our age," she said to me with disdain.
"Our age? We're not even 60 yet," I quipped.
"You're clueless," she replied. "We're not getting waited on because they can't see us. We're getting older. We're invisible."
"That's ridiculous. We look hot and hip and we're just trying to buy some age-defying makeup." I laughed. "It's not about age. They need our business."
"No, really. They can't see us," she said firmly.
"Get over this, Arlene. The sales lady is at the cash register. That's why she can't wait on us."
What my friend didn't realize was that being seen has nothing to do with aging. Being seen is all about attitude and whether you exude confidence and style. Being seen is about understanding that women are more beautiful and certainly more interesting as they get older. Most of my friends are young -- really young -- and they actually find me interesting. I guess at 70 I've got some pearls of wisdom gleaned from years of experience. Or maybe as my friend said to me on the occasion of my 70th birthday: "So far so good."
Life gets better as you age because you are more mindful about your place in the universe. You have a greater ability to recognize amazing possibilities and imagine untold opportunities. Simple things take on new importance: You can say "NO" without guilt; you can say "YES" with more joy; you can find humor in almost anything because you finally understand irony.
And here's the best part of aging: You can let go of the past, get rid of emotional baggage, be present, look forward with excitement, and forgive anybody who ever said an unkind word to you because it's in the past, over, no mas! Aging is like being in recovery, but a lot more fun.
Mindfulness reminds you that the gifts of acceptance and surrender are never far from your consciousness. It is a relief to know that you no longer have to "prove" you are worthy of being you. Your conscious awareness sets you on the journey of gratitude every day for those you love and cherish and for your amazing talents and skills.
When a practice of mindfulness is at the center of your aging journey, you resonate a state of peace, increase personal awareness, foster great health and inspire growth and transformation. According to the UCLA Mindful Awareness Center, the practice of mindfulness alters the molecular structure of the brain and makes you healthier and a whole lot happier.
Being invisible because of age is a myth perpetuated by those who feel badly about aging. We need to empower ourselves and be more mindful. Because those that spread negativity to others or sit in a state of mindlessness are throwing themselves a pity party. That's not a party you need to attend. Mindfulness is what's hip and cool.
Joan Moran is a keynote speaker, commanding the stage with her delightful humor, raw energy, and wealth of life experiences. She is an expert on wellness and is passionate about addressing the problems of mental inertia. A yoga instructor, Moran is the author is Sixty, Sex, & Tango, Confessions of a Beatnik Boomer. Visit her at www.joanfrancesmoran.com.