Discovering the 5 Secrets to the Fountain of Youth
01 Jan 2018
This past July I turned the big 5-0 marking the beginning my Jubilee. So here I share the biggest lessons I’ve learned so far that I believe are also part of my secret “fountain of youth” (since many claim that I don’t look my age).
Planning is a wonderful skill to have for if one “fails to plan you plan to fail” and with my personality, the Whose Shoes Book Planner has been a tremendous help to me in putting my vision on paper as well as concrete action items to fulfill my goals.
However, those plans must be tempered with the understanding that life happens and that God has the absolutely perfect plan for us as He tells us in Jeremiah 29:11. Whatever plans we have, let us first commit them to God before we proceed but also be ready to step out in faith, which may require some spontaneity. I’ve been blessed to have my family as my supporters be it through prayer, singing background vocals or performing in my Zion Daughter videos as Mbuutu of Uganda. Knowing that they are behind me has made a world of difference in helping me fulfill some of my biggest goals as I’ve stepped out into the unknown. Therefore, surround yourself with people that will have your back and to support no matter where your life’s journey takes you.
Because I’ve experienced the unconditional love and mercy of God, He in turn has taught me how to love others, as well as myself. (John 13: 34-35) At Calvary, Jesus showed that love is an action and not just a feeling (these are fleeting). In fact, when we act out of love, as Christians, it may go against everything we’re feeling (I can’t imagine that Jesus felt excited about going to the Cross but He did it for love of you and I). When do acts of love it can bring hope and joy back in someone’s life that may have otherwise been feeling hopeless, which in turn makes our own hearts full of joy. Just ask all those people who participate in the WGTS Drive Through Difference program where listeners are encouraged to perform random acts of kindness and the people whose lives they affect by this simple gesture. Love brings hope, love makes a difference and when our hearts are full of love, it shows from inside out.
Stepping out of my comfort zone to learn new things is something I’ve found myself doing more and more as I’ve gotten older. The biggest learning opportunities for me in recent years have been when I went back to school in my 30’s, took on a new career path in my 40s, and began a Gospel music ministry as I approached my 50’s. The latter has been my biggest challenge as I’m an introvert at heart. Yet, this has been the most rewarding of the challenges I’ve faced as I’ve been able to hear from people from all races and ages that they are being blessed by the music and our Mbuutu of Uganda videos.
In recent months, I’ve found myself doing something new and each time I’ve felt rejuvenated. For my 50th birthday we went to a Gospel music cruise on The Spirit of Baltimore and were treated to a surprise performance by Byron Cage! Then I joined some girlfriends and hit some golf balls for the first time in my life as we shared food, laughter and testimonies. And more recently, I attended a birthday party that was actually a painting class at a bar and went to a karaoke bar with my sisters and some friends! Trying all these new things has made me uncomfortable at times, but in the end, they have been a lot of fun. If we want to remain young at heart, doing new things that are out of our comfort zone can both help us grow as well as help us enjoy life more.
Want to age faster? Stay angry and hold on to the poison of anger, hate and un-forgiveness! Well, I’m not trying to rush the aging process so I’ve learned to let go of emotional baggage and let God using the Word of God. As I’ve gotten older I’ve become more keenly aware that the thoughts I allow to linger in my mind become words and actions. So if we want to stay young at heart, we have to let go of anything that poisons our mind. But I’ve also learned through lessons learned from my mom, daughter and internet, that we must let go of things that age our bodies and lead to chronic illness. My goal is to have this body in forever young working condition for another 50 years so I continue to listen to wisdom of eating healthy, using natural products on my body, staying hydrated, and exercising often…I came in this world fighting as a 7-month preemie and I’m not leaving it without a fight!
LAUGH (every chance you get)
Getting older has given me permission to just be me, mistakes and all; and those mistakes have often given me great opportunities to laugh. I recall a performance we had about 3 years ago during my dad’s 70th birthday celebration when my wig flew off just as we were finishing the number and dancing off stage. I laugh at how the younger basketball-playing MVP in me resurfaced that night as I retrieved the wig mid-air, unceremoniously plopped it back on my head and continued dancing. Younger me would have been petrified and would have probably never performed again! It really is true that laughter is good medicine as we’re told in Proverbs 17:22 so if we want to look and feel younger I say, let’s laugh more!
My goal is to live, love, learn, let go and laugh into the next 50!
What are some things that have helped you stay young?