As I turn 60 today, I am reflecting on my life’s journey thus far. Growing up, I had no idea that I would face a lifetime of health issues. Life rarely goes as planned, and it has been a long and exhausting road in many ways. But now, at 60, I am surprisingly grateful for all of the challenges that plagued me for so many years; I am stronger and more at peace thanks to my ability both to overcome the bumps in the road that I have encountered and to accept those things I just couldn’t change. I feel extraordinarily lucky that I found my passion for wellness and helping others after having pursued a corporate career. I have been able to experience the utmost joy in giving back and guiding others on their own paths towards healing.
Emotionally, my young adult life was challenging for me because my family was so accomplished. For as long as I can remember, my dad was an extremely impressive, self-made entrepreneur. It was as if everything he touched turned to gold. My mom was very successful with all the things she was passionate about. I spent years wondering how I could measure up to them. The emotional toll that it took on me was draining throughout most of my life, I deemed myself “not good enough” because I did not follow in their footsteps. I cannot begin to convey how relieving it is to finally accept myself and appreciate all of my own achievements, even though they might not be based on the goals that I was taught by my parents to pursue. It took me a long time, but once I realized that I have been successful by my own definition, my stress melted away.
I have also completely changed my perspective on what is most important as I’ve gotten older. At 40, I was still in the mind-frame of wanting to make money and I was yearning for recognition – that was my idea of success. On my 50th birthday, I was more focused on my aging body. At that point, I felt like my body was not cooperating and I was terrified of the idea of falling ill again. Now that I’m turning 60, I have gotten a taste of peace for the first time, and it is intoxicating! I know that I am still learning, and I have to work to maintain that peace. But even knowing that peace is accessible to me has been such an unexpected gift. I was really living my life out of fear until this point and being free of that is the most gratifying feeling that I have ever experienced.
As I approach this milestone, my idea of success has morphed into the ownership of this newfound inner peace. To me, being successful now means that I own the fact that I am good enough just the way that I am and that I truly love myself for the first time in my life. I also value connection with other people more than I ever have before. All of the fear and insecurities I harbored used to turn people off. When someone is competitive and insecure, you can imagine how they might function. People like to be with those who own who they are and can offer them genuine love. Now, success means being able to exude authenticity and self-love in order to attract the people who I am meant to spend my time with. I have been trying to teach my girls to tap into this power at an earlier age and not move through life with self-scrutiny.
Reflecting on some of the decisions that I have made (or not made) up until this point, my biggest regret is not dedicating energy to my emotional health when I was younger. I wish I had focused on my mental well-being as much as my physical health. But for the most part, I am really proud of my achievements – the most significant one being how I have raised my girls. When I first became a mom, I was terrified that I would not have a great relationship with my daughters. But I find comfort in the fact that I have been the best possible mother to them. And they are my gurus in practically everything that I do. They have taught me more than I could have ever imagined, and I am in awe of them every single day. We had so much to overcome together with the death of my husband Marc, but their strength and grace have made me prouder than anything else I have ever experienced.
I would be lying if I said I was not resisting this birthday. Full disclosure: the idea of turning 60 completely freaks me out. But because of all of the work that I have done on myself and the resulting growth that I have experienced, I am confident that I will overcome this discomfort. For anyone else who might be resisting turning 60 (or really any other birthday), I highly recommend starting a gratitude practice. You are never too young for this, so I recommend sharing this advice with your children as well. I also recommend looking into psilocybin mushrooms. I credit them for so much of the transformation that I have experienced within myself recently. I truly believe that almost everyone could benefit from a medicinal mushroom journey.
I also implore you to tap into breathwork and meditation. Quiet your mind and discover what really excites you. Consider taking risks to move in that direction without worrying about what the outcome will be. If you start working towards something you are passionate about, chances are it will be successful. Even if the result does not meet your initial expectations, you will get to explore something that thrills you and you will undoubtedly grow from it. Of course, not everyone has the luxury to be able to follow their dreams full time, but there is always a way to dedicate more time to something you are passionate about – even if it means working on it late at night when the rest of the world is asleep. We all think doing something solely for ourselves is selfish, but it is actually the opposite. Investing in yourself will only expand your ability to overcome any obstacle.
I am grateful for every single one of my readers and feel an immense appreciation for the fact that I am not alone in this journey. I find comfort knowing that I am taking this next step with a network of beautiful humans that I am connected with – if not physically, then energetically. We are all walking this path together.