What exactly does this mean: aging gracefully? Max Erhmann writes in his famous poem, Desiderata: Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

The definition of counsel in this quote means: “private, guarded thoughts or opinions.”

And take kindly, I believe, means: “be grateful for.” So we are to be grateful for -- our own private thoughts and opinions? And why should we? Well, the only reason can be because they are valuable. Our own thoughts and opinions are valuable. We hold in our own mind a literal gold mine in our cumulative life experience. We have banged around here enough to have learned a thing or two. And that is valuable. So much so that it can make the coming years not only easier to navigate, but richer and more fulfilling as well.

Gracefully means: “seemingly effortless beauty or charm.” (I like the sound of that!) Some of us go kicking and screaming into our later years. Trying beauty treatments and surgeries to appear more youthful. This strategy usually takes a ton of effort (and money) and still the result is the same: we age. We get older.

But when we make peace with our age, we begin to realize that every age has its benefits, its lessons, its gifts for us. And we are always the perfect age for what we need to learn right now. We don’t regret the past, because we learned from it. Even more importantly -- our past experiences have contributed to the wealth of “counsel” that we now have. Good or bad experiences - we learn from them both. And the culmination of all we have lived and learned is ours to do with as we will. We can use it or we can waste it.

Using it means to continue to listen for that “call of Source.” That whispering in your ear of things you’d like to do. Ways you’d like to express yourself in the world. These inner promptings are the directions to your next destination. More efficient than a GPS system, these hunches are showing you the next step to take to express the desires of your heart.

Your job is to listen and follow. To ignore them is to waste your opportunity to contribute. We are happier when we are contributing. And the law goes: give first, then get.

Wait no longer. The time is now.

Author's Bio: 

Christina Watson is a dynamic fifties life coach. She helps her clients discover the gifts of their 50s. (& beyond) Christina believes that every person has the power to transform their world and is committed to partnering with them to assist in that process. www.footprintsat50.com