Thursday, April 29, 2010
Age is in Our Minds
The other night, Marcy and I watched an excellent documentary about the making of the album Rio. We love music documentaries in general, but specifically, I big time HEART Duran Duran, and I have done so since I was 15 and first saw their video for The Reflex on the newly part-of-general-cable MTV. It was like a little miracle that first song, and I very much wanted to crawl into the television.
They were cute, certainly, but it was the music and Simon's singing that got me hooked. I wanted nothing more than to grow up and be a singer and dancer. I ached with this desire. To this day, their music triggers that response. (Of course, I have -- Thank all that is good -- returned to dance and in doing so have unintentionally returned to song, as I encourage singing in my yogadance classes to open up that 5th chakra that is very tight in most women.)
Back to the documentary. At one point, they show some old footage of Simon le Bon and he flashes this incredible smile, and suddenly, I was not just remembering being 15 but I was 15. Really. I could feel the 15 that I had been and it felt transformative. On the inside. Like I had accessed some part of me that is infinitely and forever 15.
Suddenly, a lot of stuff clicked into place.
I remembered earlier this year reading in a Kripalu newsletter (go here to read the article) about the work of a scientist who did an experiment referred to as "counterclockwise."
Harvard Psychologist Ellen J. Langer basically took a group of elderly men, who suffered from a variety of age-related ailments, and she put them in a house that was purely comprised of things from their youth. They were not allowed to bring anything modern with them.
By the end of the study, she was playing touch football with all of the men, including one of whom came to the house with a cane!
Surrounding them with their youth did not just remind them of their youth but it made them youthful.
Yes. I am listening to way more Duran Duran again.
If you could conceive for a moment that aging is all in our minds, what would you change about your life?
What sorts of things could you do to support this change?*
(*Please. No one needs to get a mullet. Not ever again. I mean, we can take this way too far, right?)
NOTE: The video, The Reflex, was watched for the sake of the creation of this post, and I am pretty sure I felt my skin tighten.