Sedena C. Cappannelli
Health and wellness means different things to each of us as we age. According to longevity expert Dr. Dharma Singh Khalsa, aging merely refers to a passage of time, and time can be used for regeneration, not just degeneration. “The power to regenerate lies within you,” he says. This is good news at any age, and it’s even better news as we get older. Of course, we are all aging, from the time we are born. It is part of life. It’s just that our youth-obsessed culture is so age-averse that from the time we are very young, getting old is not something we look forward to. But aging can be transforming and enlivening.
This is important to us in Santa Fe, where 62 percent of our population is already over 50, and in New Mexico, where we are one of the first states in the nation to have a population in which 50 percent of its citizens are over 50 for the first time in history.
As co-founder of AgeNation, an organization providing education, inspiration, engagement and solutions for “people who weren’t born yesterday,” I believe that every stage of life matters, including the second half of life, which can be one of wholeness, meaning and fulfillment, if we are willing to apply some practical tools and a higher perspective.
The old perspective about aging, thankfully, is changing at last. If you are over 40, you are in new territory…the old perception no longer fits. You’ve seen it. You’ve been wildly fooled when guessing someone’s age. People who are 50, 60 and 70 are doing age-defying things that only 30- or 40-year-olds once dared achieve.
There is also no shortage of exciting, revolutionary ideas and scientific breakthroughs surfacing, changing the paradigm of aging we all grew up with. We are finding that we can in fact live agelessly, which does not mean we do not age chronologically. It means that with an empowering perspective, integrating new scientific advances, and by implementing some simple, yet powerful lifestyle changes and practices, we can truly find ourselves growing biologically younger and moving into optimal wellness, feeling our best as we age.
We already know the basics of being healthy, like eating smarter to live longer, taking supplements, de-stressing, exercising and social engagement. Let’s also remember that happiness is healing. Every cell receives healing, balancing hormones, and the body turns on its own self-repair when we are happy. Our body knows how to fight infections and retard aging. And we are just plain happier when we are living our dreams, so finding our purpose and passion is a proactive way of being healthy, living longer and well.
The key is living well as we live longer. Scientists tell us we are living in a time of extremes, where everything is changing faster than most of us are prepared for, an obvious fact in our new world. So in order to have resilience and true health and well-being as we age, we need new tools to help us navigate this uncharted territory.
If we believe the ancient and contemporary wisdom that tells us that we are energy, it becomes easier to stay balanced, healthy and whole. Keeping our whole system of energy in mind, body and spirit open and moving efficiently and positively is the key to our health and wholeness. A simple gesture can be the beginning of a lifetime of self-love and self-care, something else we need a lot of as we age. Much of the dis-ease in our world comes from the buildup of pressure that is held in. So, an ongoing release of that inner buildup allows us to embody our wholeness. It’s essential to dance, exercise, swim, garden, play, practice yoga…or anything that keeps the trillions of cells moving. My favorite way of generating deep well-being and healing is with Chi Kung.
In 1990 while living in Los Angeles in the midst of a personally challenging time, I was led to study with a Chi Kung master. The ancient energy technologies I learned saved my life. In a matter of a few months I was transformed with a sense of wholeness and energy that was astounding. After practicing diligently for some time, I distilled the deeper levels of Chi Kung into a daily routine that would allow me to continue to feel this incredible aliveness. I share this personalized wellness program along with a combination of wellness, longevity and life skills in the talks, programs and retreats I present.
Through a series of wonderful synchronicities, this ancient energy healing practice has once again taken a prominent place in my life. In 2016 I connected with Master Mingtong Gu, a new resident of New Mexico and an internationally known Chi Kung Master who recently created The Wisdom Healing Chi Center in Galisteo. Master Gu offers his healing, loving energy and a variety of energy healing practices and retreats at the center and online.
After 25 years of practicing and teaching a variety of ancient and contemporary energy concepts and personal development skills that I call Enlivened Ageing, I have the additional support of Master Gu to help me deepen my practice and to engage and support others to experience deeper levels of health and wholeness in this time of life extension.
With so many people now a part of this demographic revolution, needing preventative ways to support their well-being, Chi Kung is a perfect, low-impact health and healing practice that can be life-changing, as it was for me and is for thousands of people around the world.
So we now have a huge opportunity in our challenging world to elevate our consciousness and our perspective about all stages of life and health. Our fears and doubts that come from restrictive, obsolete beliefs that dull our perspective can be eliminated. We can also move forward in acceptance and love for ourselves and each other with compassion and a new, enlivening vision celebrating the fullness of life as we age. We can drop doubts and insufficiencies and stand tall together in celebration of our aliveness, our talents and wisdom and make the best of the rest of our lives, as we serve as role models for younger people who will inherit our brave new world.
Sedena C. Cappannelli is an award-winning author, speaker, Enlivened Aging and Life Wellness coach. She is passionate about supporting people to embrace their highest potential, regardless of age. Cappannelli’s upcoming UNM Center for Life workshop, Ageless & Awake, is Feb. 11 (http://tinyurl.com/zq5sn4j) 505.470.6295 or