You can’t change a belief that is unconscious. But once it’s conscious, then you are in the driver’s seat of your own life. — Christiane Northrup, M.D.
I devoted all of the past year to crafting, documenting, and living a new story about age. In a nutshell, I’ve been reveling in getting older myself. I’ve become more flexible, happier, more fit, and more optimistic about the future than ever. That’s because I’ve learned how to get older without any of the deterioration or decline that our culture has taught us is standard after the age of 50.
I’m not alone. Many of you are living the same way, knowing that some of your best years are AHEAD.
Still, you’d have to be living under a rock to avoid the deadly effects of our inherited and time worn beliefs about what is supposed to happen as you get older. How many times have you heard someone utter one of these phrases:
Oh-my aching back;
Age is a bitch;
Youth is wasted on the young;
Oh to be 21 again; or
Those were the days.
Perhaps you’ve even heard yourself say At my age, it’s too late to _________ [fill in the blank].
Here’s the truth:
It is your beliefs—and the behavior that stems from those beliefs—that largely determines your experience of moving through time.
There’s also the issue of co-authoring your reality—a concept that was taught to me by Dr. Mario Martinez author of the Mind Body Code. Each of us affects the biology of those we are around—and vice versa. So, if you are a woman over 50, chances are pretty good that you’ve felt the effects of ageism. It might be in the form of feeling less valuable, being passed over for a younger woman, or being made to think that you’re no longer sexy or desirable. I’m sure you can relate. Our culture is incredibly ageist, especially when it comes to the mainstream media.
But why dwell on what we can’t change?
Instead, let’s continue to be the change agents we are capable of being. Let’s create a new culture—one person at a time. In truth, what we call “aging” is chronic deterioration as you move through time. While its accumulative effects typically show up later, this kind of aging actually begins in your 20’s when you start sitting all day. And then it gets progressively worse the older you get.
If deterioration is essentially optional, then you can write a new script, follow a new path. You can actually become biologically younger this year than you were last year. It all starts with your beliefs. And the behavior that follows.
This deterioration is not inevitable! You have the power to change your experience, no matter what “runs in your family” or what you’ve been told. If deterioration is essentially optional, then you can write a new script, follow a new path. You can actually become biologically younger this year than you were last year. It all starts with your beliefs. And the behavior that follows.
So—as 2015 rolls out before you, what thoughts and behaviors about getting older are you willing to change? Are you willing to move your body more? Eat less sugar? Find a new tribe that doesn’t spend all day complaining about their aches and pains? Are you willing to allow VIBRANCE and EXCITEMENT about life to fuel your life?
Make no mistake—misery does indeed love company. And it’s far easier to remain in everyday misery than to practice the causes of health—which include thinking more uplifting thoughts. You have the power to make 2015 your most vibrant and healthy year yet. All you have to do is connect with the Divine Source within you—get aligned—and then take it from there.
You can’t change a belief that is unconscious. But once it’s conscious, then you are in the driver’s seat of your own life.
And nothing is more exhilarating than that.
Let’s make 2015 the most vibrant and healthy year of our lives. Sound good?
I have to say I’ll be 54 tomorrow and I look and feel at least 15 years younger…I’m single and loving it I have a man in my life who is only part time (lo ng distance) who is 32…life is an open book for me and i am doing more than i did i. my 40s…i am getting younger not older…
Dr Christiane, I LOVE YOU AND LOUSIE HAY, my spiritual mothers and teachers.
I love your book ” Goddesses never age ” I have showed my beloved wife Wendy , and my precious daughter princess Michaela sky ( age 16 ) your footage on youtube, thank you so much for teaching and educating men , about the HOLY GRAIL , in which I highlight to my precious princess Michaela Sky , whom has a rare disability because my princess was born 16 weeks premature ( March 13 2000) when time allows you, please check out : Littlemfoundation.com
I state to people , family & friends * my wife and I , we embrace ageing however , we refuse to grow old, but to grow wise !!!. I have give copies of your book * Goddesses never age* to friends for they birthday etc.. I also embrace *ANDREAPAUSE * men going through menopause !!!
ANGELS watch over you Dr Christiane and Louise Hay , always. love you .love you .love you!!!
CChris .Sydney Australia
I wanted to thank you!
Last year I found myself in so much raw pain, I thought I was dying. All I knew was that I needed to make a move. 25 years ago I met my husband on Coronad Island. We married a year later. A year after that we moved to Michigan so he could work with his Dad in the business they owned. Within 7 years I had 4 beautiful children. They are my greatest gifts and teachers. A seemingly perfect life, so why so much pain? I couldn’t figure it out.
Last year I packed my car and headed home to California. I couldn’t take my kids. Leaving them was unthinkable. Staying felt like the death of me.
I had my business set up in three weeks. Opening day was a great success. It was also the day I knew I couldn’t be without my children, so I packed my car again and headed back to Michigan.
Knowing I needed to find a way to survive, I packed my car with CD’s. Depak Chopra, Oprah, Gary Zukah and Wayne Dyer.
The trip was a gift. I had just taken on another’s beliefs. Mile by mile, cd after cd opened my eyes & heart. It was a miracle!
As soon as I arrived home, I looked into the Chopra Center. The Chopra Center was 5 minutes from my rental in Carlsabad. I had no idea how close I was to it, how close I was to a new life.
It was clear to me that my career needed a new direction. I had spent 35 years baking, following a path others believed was my calling. A career that was never in alignment with my desires.
After enrolling at the Chopra Center for Ayurveda Certification continued to listen to CD’s on mind/body healing which led me to you.
Inside-Out Wellness. I can still hear your words. The Tumor. I wasn’t crazy. Yes, my tumor was real. But I’m 52. I was still holding on to the lack of self worth. The lack of self worth that tells a mother she has no value as a mother. I have those beliefs no more.
“Age is just a number, and agelessness means not buying into the idea that a number determines everything from your state of health to your attractiveness to your value”
Thank you for all your words that have helped me rewrite my beliefs! Thank you for the beliefs I can now pass to my daughters!
With Deep Gratitude,
2 years ago I completed a full marathon and hiked down and up the Grand Canyon in one day. Last year I cycled across Ireland and trekked the 4 day Inca trail. I have many other great physical challenges ahead. So vital to keep fit and positive. I want to return to Nepal next year to help out. These activities provide the base energies to move forward as a yoga teacher pre birth doula coach and massage therapies. Alternative life still is not pretty. Love all the stories from goddesses to you, Dr Northrup, it is great work YOU are doing. Thank you!
I was wondering how about I could set up a book club for “Goddesses Never Age.” I loved your interview on Super Soul Sunday and I had to get your book! I love everything you had to say so I’m excited to read it. I want to share this book with goddesses so how would I go about that? Do you have a workbook that goes with this? Thank you!
Turning 50 in a couple of days! Great timing to find you and your awesome thoughts!
If some has the courage to ask me how old I am, I smile and say “I don’t know” and they have NO idea by looking at me. I have never focused on my age because I don’t feel the age. I am 58 and ok moving forward…I love being active, with tennis being my favorite sport. Every weekend all year round, I walk on a trail for one hour. I have ortheoarth..I refuse to learn to spell this word, because it has no hold on me. I use completely natural products on my skin. I eat lots of veggies and fruits and fish. I love tea. I smile a lot. I don’t complain about any aches & pains, because I just want to feel good. I have a unique style of dressing which can be fun.
My lifestyle is my style and no one can take that away from me,
When I saw you on Oprah, I connected with EVERYTHING you were saying. What a blessing to have seen you. Seeing and listening to you was an exhaling moment!
Thank you Christine
Turning 80 4-22-15. Still running my own business. Cared for my husband for 10 years with Alzheimers. Learned a new way of caring I teach to other caregivers. Made it through the year after my husband’s death, then moved out of the CCRC to live a more “normal”life. My motto has always been to practice caring, compassion, and service, and to live up to my name with a big smile.
thank you . compassion I loved hearing it. you are inspirational!
I watched the PBS special on Goddesses Never Age. Could you please clarify the process of the quick burst of 20 exercise. I know that you said do this 8 times, but I was not sure if there was a rest period between the 20 second burst of movement.
I think a key point in your article is linked to being willing to step into creating change. Change can feel uncomfortable and scary and a mountain to climb which is why folks often settle for the status quo. So totally agree about the importance of embracing proactive change. Also imporatnt to keep in our minds that the permanent pain of staying stuck is far worse than the temporary pain of creating chnage.
I have always believed being ageless in body, mind and spirit is the Truth. That is all about what our minds tell us. I don’t accept genetics as a determiner for my life. I am so grateful for you Dr. for being at the forefront of what I know to be the truth of my being. It is not about being fearful of my age but a desire to be fully awake, aware and alive, fully functioning at 100+ I want to share my unique time and talents and live life fully. I am doing that now. I celebrate that 80 is the new 60. I choose love and let go of fear. Thank you
Dear Dr. Northrup,
If only you had entered my life when I was younger! Caught part of your televised program this a.m., and felt compelled to thank you for all of the helpful health issues you covered. I am 93 years old, and can’t believe I lived this long, and still have a fairly active life style. My traumas started at birth, as I was a breach baby, born with a misshapen head and bones of a year old. Mother was afraid I was retarded. So here I am at 93, aching from head to foot, trying to keep up with my younger friends (those my age are gone). Not easy. My childhood was filled with falls, lack of joint strength (although I was ‘double jointed”, or loosely jointed), with large bone structure. Not able to do much athletically.. Also, curvature of my spine didn’t help any. Pain was always present. I stood putting most weight on my right leg and my right hip. Now that leg and foot are out of position. Did years of exercise and Yoga, but always had my limitations. Loss of my first husband after 4 years of marriage, he at 31 and me at 27, left with a 3 year old son, and pregnant with our daughter. More trauma. A second marriage lasted over 50 years, but my husband became ill (brain tumor, heart, and more), so I had to take care of him, the house, and work, too. My involvement and talent in music kept me going. So, even today I play piano and direct monthly sing-alongs. Even have a wonderful man friend in my life, who at 90 still works out, swims, rides a bike. I am slowed down with osteoarthritis, neuropathy, post herpetic neurology, and impaired vision. My two children died in their 50’s, and here I still am! I guess I decided years ago it was either sink or swim, and I chose the latter.
Miriam Strauss: You are my hero! You are a true survivor and may God bless and keep you Always!
May the sunshine keep on shining on your beautiful soul! you are an inspiration!
Miriam, I think you need to change your outlook from ‘My lifetime of trauma’ to ‘My lifetime of Overcoming Extreme Adversity and Living Life to the Fullest.’ Your story is truly inspirational. You’ve had a rough time but at the same time a very fortunate life’s journey and you’re still here writing your story. Also, you’ve had the good fortune to find a 90 year old friend who is very active and still writing his life’s story. Someone once said good things and bad things will happen to us all, how we respond to the bad things (not letting them consume us or define who we are) will determine the kind of life we will live…a pitiful life or a victorious one. Obviously, you got that memo and are still alive and kicking or should I say…alive and swimming. Great choice! Keep living victoriously and on purpose!
Blessings to you. Thank you for sharing your story. Sending you a cyber hug!
As a fitness instructor/trainer I realized that in training workshops and comments from my peers the word “older” was being used instead of “deconditioned” or “conservative” as if everyone “older” was stodgy and outta shape. As in “here’s a low impact modification for your older participants,” or “that music mix is probably too hardcore for an older group.” When in reality there are people of all ages who may need to modify an exercise or not enjoy a specific style of music. We just default to this verbalization of a cultural attitude we’ve internalized. When I hear someone saying such things I will good naturedly call their attention to it saying something like “it’s funny how we use the word older when we mean decondioned” and they will laugh and say “I didn’t even realize I was doing that.” Words carry weight so we bend our collective awareness when we point these things out in a non-strident manner. It is so in the weave of our cultural cloth that we don’t even realize we do it..and when we give those threads a firm but gentle tug it can create a ripple effect in changing perception.
Hello Dr Northrup
I met and spoke to you at ICDI in Vegas when I turned 50 it was my present to myself. I have always wanted to be younger then I actually am. It is like I am stuck in some other era!
This trip to see you was 8 years ago, I treasured our meeting due to always wanting to meet you in person.
The last 4 months had me in a whirlwind I lost my brother 4 years older to cancer , lost my job due to unfair reasonings while I was deep in a health crisis and very ill. Leaving me with low financial means. I have lost 35 lbs and 70lbs in total in the last 8 months 30 to go.
Please help me get out of this stuck feeling and give me a light I can see 🙂
I am allowing my age of 58 and not being in a happy place in my life bring me down.
Hope to meet up with you again one day, please check my blog out that I recently
designed. I review hayhouse books , why isn’t your books with The Book Nook 🙁
My blog: http://www.believe2believe.blogspt.com
Thank you so much for sharing this article. I believe that most of us underestimate the power of our own thoughts, which become our expectations. Similar to gender roles, aging is more of a social construct than a physiological one. Self-acceptance and happiness are choices, and we are in control of our minds and bodies, regardless of what cultural or societal expectations impose upon us. To prove that age is just a number, I thought I would share this article on the oldest yoga instructor alive, enjoy!
I like so many others loved your book on menopause and am so looking forward to your new book. Can’t wait to read it. I’m a very young 54, in menopause and was having some hot flashes. I started taking A-ma-ta and am so happy with it. Today I’m going to start an auto-ship on it. Thanks so much for what you do for all of us women!! You are AWESOME!!!
I really love this article and love the idea of thinking of ourselves as Goddesses. This article and your point of view really aligns with my recently published book. Flourish Beyond 50: Your Path to Vibrant Living. In fact I even included a quote or two if yours in the book. I connected with your message years ago when I was only about 30. Your appearance on Oprah in the early 90’s made impacted so positively and your books were a foundation for me in cultivating a vibrant life & flourishing. l look forward to reading your soon to be published book.
Love this! It supports everything I’ve been saying now for years. If you wish to know HOW youth is occurring in your physiology, you’ll find it in my book “It’s About Time”. Immortality is our innate nature…we simply need to believe in our own magnificence. Thank you Dr Christiana for being an example of this. X. Marg
Hi Marg– I love this. Have you read Anna, Grandmother of Jesus? I’m going to check out YOUR book too. Thanks Christiane
Thank you Goddess Chris for your wisdom over the years..I like Jeanette watched the Oprah show , you were her guest. From your appearance on Oprahs show you became my mentor….the first person to speak POSITIVELY about MENOPAUSE, and your book The Wisdom of Menopause became my bible..still is…I love the way you embrace life…and yes stay young by being a rebel…cant wait to read Goddesses never age…Yes Yes Yes!!!!
Goddesses Rock On!!
Jude– Your comment about being a rebel is spot on. All the research on healthy centenarians shows that they are rebels. ROCK ON!!!
working on balance is very important for me (born in 1940). Your goals so inspire me. Merelyn
I have been a marriage and family therapist for 3 decades. I now have closed that chapter and am moving more into energy work with and without body. My writing to you is because 5 years ago my husband or 20+ years was caught by our son watching pornography. The rest was life changing. He is addicted and has been our entire marriage. His “boy scout” attitude towards sex was a coverup and sexual addiction with sexual anorexia according to the specialist we hired. However I will tell you that this disease is as real as alcoholism (which I grew up with and stopped in my own life many years ago with help and meetings), and I am writing because his disease effected me greatly, yet it didn’t have a smell, his secrecy was solid, yet I knew something was very wrong with our intimacy and our marriage therapist in Calif, was good, yet had not a clue of what to look for. Sex addiction I now see is stealing the juiciness if you will of women and they don’t even know what is happening. Such a dark world pornography and the not knowing is effecting us so much I think!
Wanted to share. I left my husband 7 months ago not because of his addiction, more because he couldn’t process about his addiction. This had me run this time.
I still love him dearly. He is very sick because of this addiction that I believe is effecting our legislative process in Wash. DC more than scotch or whiskey or cocaine. Deep shame for so many just like those addictions, but the secrecy has the secret easier not to “be caught” and really our culture says “boys will be boys”. Oh my, I am so grateful I am healing and know what I know to help my feminine be freed from the codependency of this hidden disease. I bless my soon to be ex. What a terrible disease.
Thanks for reading. I appreciate Hay House very much and you in particular.
I enjoy you sharing your knowledge and wisdom dr Northrup. So agree about aging and our beliefs and behaviors that determine how we age. I am fit and take care of myself following you dr oz and others. Truth is near vision requiring glasses, knee cartilage thinning, gums receding and other bodily events still occur and we have to fight harder and harder to retain muscle and all of health. Aging bodies are inevitable in many areas but most diseases are preventable. Yeah! Prevent diseases by Good self care and we wouldn’t have a health care crisis and be a drug and surgery culture. That is my dream
Lisa– you are so right. What we don’t realize is how often we , quite literally, EXPECT things to start deteriorating. And we’re not even AWARE of that thought or belief. And yes– we each have a lifespan and a shelf life. I love how we’re all in agreement about staying FRESH until our expiration date!!!
I love everything you wrote about today. I am 63 & always try to think positive about my age. I am in great shape, lost weight on gluten, wheat free diet. I am from Texas, but I got a new lift besides my awesome husband, Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries, TV series out of Australia. It from 1926, awesome fun lady that lets nothing bring her down. I taped all the roaring 20’s music and dance all over the house. I always loved to dance(big on the 70’s disco scene) my husband has two left feet, but we are thinking about dancing lessons. But, Miss Fisher got me to buying classy clothes, not everyday stuff people seem to slouch in today. She is just totally uplifting, as you are to me! Thank you!
I love your attitude Debroah. I’m from Australia and I too love the Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries. When watching Miss Fisher I’m always slightly over-awed by how classy and elegant she is and I wistfully think wouldn’t it be great to have some her style. Well, your comments have inspired me! It’s time for me to get my act together and get back in the game! Btw, have you thought about sharing your post on Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries Facebook page, I’m sure she would be delighted to hear your story.
Light and Joy to you – Lisa
Deborah– I’m going to check out MIss Fisher Murder Mysteries!!! Sounds like a really good series!!! And we need LOTS of role models. TAke those dancing lessons. And have fun practicing. It’s SO FUN!!!
Thank You Christine for naming and speaking outloud how we can support ourselves as wimen to embrace our Goddess within and treat her well no matter our age. I appreciate you naming that we have subconscious beliefs due to our families and culture and YES we can change our belief systems, I am working with that one
HI Leslie– The way I figure it, we’re ALL IN THIS TOGETHER. I am envisioning a MOVEMENT here. A really fun, celebratory movement. THANK YOU!!!
Chris, I first met you on a chance encounter when I tuned into Oprah just as I was entering peri-menopause. How grateful I am to have had you as my sister all these years, guiding me with YOUR wisdom to grow and appreciate my own wisdom. In 2015 I will be entering the year where I celebrate 60 years as my current physical self. The Divine, once again, has provided exactly what I need when I need it. I eagerly await your new book and yes, I am excited about what lies ahead. Let’s have an AMAZING 2015!!!
HI jeanette– So cool that you met me on Oprah!! And now– here we are. Entering this whole new world of possibility together!!
Hi. Bravo to your redrafting in 2014; devoting time, energy, self-love and eagerness to embrace new paradigms created by you regarding aging. Thank you for reminding me of the beautiful Goddess I am and to let go of such untruths about the aging process that sooo many of us have bought into
I’m so pleased that your doing the work your doing-you inspire and lift the Human Spirit!
Thank you ever so much,
Love and peace, Sonja
Yay Sonja!! Love having you in this subculture of wellness with me. The more of us there are, the easier it gets!! thank you!!