Aging with Trickster Wisdom
Many of us find beauty in gnarly old trees, amongst overgrown forests and within nature’s oddities, but shudder at the wrinkles, barnacles and deformities human bodies develop with age. The Japanese have a jaunty term—wabi sabi—for the beauty of imperfection. In our rather adolescent culture, imperfection is seen as a flaw. However, striving to achieve some kind of perfection or perpetual youth can rob us of joy.
I find the “anti-aging” movement a bit of a con job that feeds a vanity-motivated, death-fearing, multi-billion-dollar industry. Instead, consider “pro-aging my way” as a better description for a natural occurring process, and then choose wisely. Our bodies and our hearts know what to do if we listen and take care of them.
Having a good sense of humor is a vital attribute in aging well and being able to appreciate the unpredictability of life. This is where we can invite our clever trickster-fool to assist in this play. Knowing and accepting that anything can happen at any time, we can train ourselves to shift from feeling anxious to being amazed. As our bodies and the world change, humor can be one of the best medicines.
Getting older can be so liberating, which is learned more easily thanks in part to a trickster-ally—that mythological character who crosses boundaries and questions authority. He’s the playful disrupter who can take us off course in order to bring us back to ourselves and what we love most.
Now in my 60s, I find that I have fewer self-imposed restrictions, less self-consciousness and enjoy more passion for life. Every day offers a creative opportunity to play, as well as nap. Aging with humor can offer wisdom and spicy stories to share. Events that once seemed emotionally devastating can now be looked upon as rich experiences that contributed to our growth and maturity.
As we age, the trickster can help show us that everything is sacred, as well as humorous, and beauty is everywhere. May we look upon our body like we would upon a formidable old tree with deep roots to the ancestors and wide branches that reach into the cosmos to worlds yet unknown. May joy and laughter light our way.
Linda Joy Stone, OMD, L.Ac., is a practitioner of Chinese Medicine and Akashic Acupuncture. She is committed to living and aging with humor. Connect at LindaJoyStone.com.