Written by Carolyn Tucker
Carolyn Tucker is a longevity coach and the founder of Yogility™, a movement practice that focuses primarily on mobility, stability, and agility – the three cornerstones of health and wellbeing for those in or approaching midlife. She helps highly productive individuals recover from injury, overcome burnout, and conquer barriers to wellbeing by getting to the heart of the matter through authentic connection and open dialogue. In this guest post, she writes about life at 60. You can learn more about Carolyn here.
I recently did a photoshoot for my website, and amongst the many lovely photos I received, the above portrait captured my attention and gave me pause. I had never really looked at photos of myself as a representation of my age, but this one was different. It said, “me at 60,” and it got me thinking about the months following that milestone birthday.
Not long ago, I was discussing 60 with a friend. She described her entrée into this decade like stepping through a gate into a new stage of life. Thinking about that metaphor, I realized that I did, quite literally, walk through a gate on my 60th birthday last October – specifically, the Sun Gate at Machu Picchu.
Though people today don’t consider 60 to be as old as previous generations thought it to be, the number doesn’t lie, and the likelihood is that there’s a lot more for us to see in the rearview mirror than there is through the windscreen ahead.
They say the heart chakra – our emotional centre – is the bridge between our body and spirit. I say the sixties represent the bridge between the sunrise and the sunset of life; we’re young enough to do better and we’re old enough to know how.
Self-reflection and inquiry are not new concepts for me.
I have been on a spiritual journey of discovery for the better part of my life. In recent months, I’ve become aware of many hidden truths about my limited beliefs, as well as old hurts and false images that I have been holding on to.
Perhaps it was turning 60 that brought about my new awareness, or maybe it was breaking my wrist four weeks later, or this global pandemic, or reading Mark Matousek’s book, Writing to Awaken, which I embarked on a few months back. I can’t pinpoint the reason but things have certainly been changing for me lately.
This is me at 60.
Surrender: Strength, fitness, and agility have been a large part of my identity for most of my life. I have pushed my body hard over the years to maintain that identity. Since breaking my wrist and injuring my shoulder, though, my body has not been what it once was and my self-image has been deeply challenged.
For years I have ignored the whispers and gentle taps from the universe asking me to slow things down. It took a bad fall and a broken bone to finally get my attention. Now, at 60, I am slowly learning to listen to my body and practice self-compassion. It has been a profound lesson in patience and acceptance.
Forgiveness: My mother turned 90 last week. Things have never been easy between us. I have carried around a barrel full of difficult emotions around this relationship, including shame, frustration, anger, and more. This year, though, I have started to let it go.
I have forgiven my mother and I have forgiven myself. Instead of focusing on the negative, I now focus on her love for life, her youthful and creative spirit, and her incredible, boundless energy. She has not allowed her age to dampen her spirit, which is probably the reason for her genetic good fortune. This shift has been a transformative gift for both of us.
Fear: I have allowed fear to stop me more times than I care to remember. It has held me back, prevented me from showing up, and kept me prisoner in my own limited beliefs. Fear is a tough obstacle to overcome completely because it continues to show up in so many ways. Still, I strive to overcome it.
This is my new mantra: “If not now, then when?” Instead of succumbing to the fear, I choose to feel it, to see it, and to then just do it.
Gratitude and Presence: Entering my sixties in the year of a global pandemic has certainly shined a light on many things. With so much uncertainty in the future of our world, living in the moment is really the only way forward.
I am nourished by so many small pleasures, like sipping my morning coffee in the warm summer weather, taking long walks with friends, enjoying backyard meals in the company of good people, and teaching Yogility, to name a few.
It has been an interesting year so far and I expect there will be much more to learn as I continue to move through this auspicious decade. Whether you are heading towards 60, midway through your sixties, or already on the other side, I welcome your thoughts about this journey, so share a comment below, or drop me a personal note. I would love to hear about your experience.
Be brave and own your magic.
Before you go …
I believe things happen for a reason. You landed on this page because you’re open to becoming a more authentic, fulfilled and self-aware human being. So am I. Let’s do this together. Before you leave, take a moment to sign up for MY WEEKLY NEWSLETTER so we can keep in touch.