From Ageing Upwards to Living Upwards
I have changed the name of my Substack to Living Upwards! Why? Because what I write about here should not be kept from the younger population.
Ageing is never going to be sexy." Those were the words of a Danish publisher whom I met to discuss the possibility of publishing my book, "Ageing Upwards," in my native language. Nobody wants to be called old, she said, and few people pick up a book that identifies them as aged. She had a very valid point, and she is supported by research that says most of us feel younger than our actual age. Maybe we need to talk about living instead of ageing? After all, as I write in my book, ageing is just another word for living.
Does that make me an ageist to get rid of the word ageing? I have been thinking about this a lot lately.
Recently, the UK-based charity Centre for Ageing Better posted a video on LinkedIn where different people were asked when they believe old age starts. The message was that being old is a state of mind and something to avoid for as long as possible. Centre for Ageing Better tries to stop ageing, but isn't it a form of ageism to say that the mindset of an old person is bad? Why can´t the mindset of an old person be associated with something positive?
How do we get rid of ageism when it is inherently in the only words we have to talk about age? I don't know the answer. Challenging the negative narrative about growing older is the whole point of my book and this Substack, but people need to pick up the book or open the posts if they want to read my points. I still haven't decided if it is ageist of me to replace the word "ageing" with "living." However, there is another more important reason for the name change: I write for all ages.
I originally started this Substack when I was writing the book "Ageing Upwards," and the content mirrored that of the book; how to embrace our age with awareness, acceptance, compassion, and mental flexibility. But I teach mindfulness to all age groups in many different settings. There is not an age-related difference in what I teach. I just apply mindful skills and knowledge to the different challenges we face in life. What I write about here should not be kept from the younger population. As a matter of fact, the earlier we start to practice these mindful life-hacks, the more we can benefit from them throughout life. This is the main reason why I have renamed it to "Living Upwards."
So stick around (or join me if you haven't yet), if you would like to be part of a community of people who like to explore ways to thrive at any age. You can (still) expect written posts about how to cultivate and savor the joys of life and age and how to embrace the challenges. I will also give you some guided meditations from time to time to help you do this.
Oh, and I should also say that I have very exciting plans for this space in the years to come which involves my own way of living upwards as I age. I am not entirely sure what that entails yet, but it involves taking this Substack on the road to meet and interview people along the way about what "Living Upwards" means to them. It might also involve doing this from a converted electric minivan with my husband…….