Tips on Keeping Mind and Body Young
By Jesse Anson Dawn
Jesse Anson Dawn (at age 61), author of the national award-winning book,
Never “Old,” plus The Rejuvenator’s Bible, speaks out about a most stirring
subject: how to counteract the unwanted effects of “aging.”
Presently answering the question: “How is travel rejuvenating?”
When the specter of so-called “mid-life” raises its often unwanted head, many find themselves asking questions such as: “Have I kept in touch with true essence of my being?
Indeed, if there is one truly amazing thing about physical creation, it’s the fact that each one of us reveals features that make us at least a little bit different from anyone else on the planet. But just think for a few seconds how miraculous that is, the amazingly complex scheme of making so many billions of bodies, with every one having at least some clear mark of physical and mental uniqueness. And can you imagine all the faces Creation had to go through before it got to yours?
But WHY this endless phenomenon of individuality? Is the unending uniqueness of people just “accidental” or does it reveal an important secret of life? And if originality can be a truly positive, beneficial thing, are there healthy, self-renewing ways to duly honor and empower that quality?
I’ve found that one of the best ways to empower one’s uniqueness is by traveling, because what better way is there to objectively see ourselves than by temporarily letting go of our present routine? What better way is there to see our true essence then by re-positioning to a larger view of life?
But of course there are various ways to travel; with a mate or close companion, with a tour or business group, with members of your family, or simply by yourself. And although all of these ways can be beneficial, I believe that the most refreshingly therapeutic journey is the solo jaunt-but let me explain why.
It seems that this need for occasional solitude must be why there’s an ancient
belief that “if one is never solitary, then one is never religious...” But
regardless of where or how we do it, surely we’ve all felt the upliftment of
taking some time off for a pleasant solo trip, a personal “time-out” enabling
some focus on whatever we choose, pausing for a stop when we want to pause, and
going on when it feels right.
While on my frequent solo jaunts on a airliner, one thing I like to do is gaze out the window at the perfect clouds and imagine that I’m some kind of high-soaring spirit cruising above the wondrous earth, happily soaking up a god’s-eye view of the mirror of eternity which is the open sky.
And then I’ll probably move from cloud-gazing back to a good book — up there where you can imagine for a few rare hours that everything negative is behind you, and only the treasure of a pleasant journey is ahead. And it is for these same reasons that I recommend making sure that you maximize the enjoyment of jet travel by reserving a window seat, not only for the great (daytime) view of seeing skyscapes, mountains, countryside and cities from overhead, but also because no one has to crawl over you to go to the restroom. Plus it’s much easier to catch a little nap when you can lean your pillowed head against the side of the plane and drift off into dreamland undisturbed.
I suppose the gist of what I’m saying here is that to make traveling truly
enjoyable and self-renewing, one should TRY TO MAKE THE JOURNEY HALF THE FUN OF
THE TRIP. Yes, “Why travel if not like a child?” said Jack Kerouac, and in
self-actualizing terms I get his point, because even if you’ve done it hundreds
of times, flying in an airplane is, in essence, awe-inspiring.
Up there where it’s a good idea to take an extra pillow along (to lean my shoulder or elbow on) and mustn’t forget to bring a little pack with a bottle of purified water (because plane rides can be dehydrating). And another thing to take are some vitamin C tablets, taken before and perhaps during a long flight, because the cold, dry air in a jet can make your throat a little sore, and vitamin C remains a truly reliable defense against colds and sore throats.
The Real Aim of the Journey
“The aim is not to be perfect but to be whole,” writes Kathleen Brehony in her delightful Awakening to Midlife book. And to be whole (which is to say “holy,” a word derived from the word “whole”) one surely needs occasional exercise of those (step-outside-myself-to-see-what-I’m-in) adventures.
But travel in general is something getting more and more appealing to us “senior” folks, for current trends show that over half the passports issued are for people over 50, with the fastest growing segment of travelers being the over-70 group.
And why not, I say, for at 61 it seems I’m finally getting my act together,
especially as a regularly performing singer. This “senior” reggae singer-fanatic
who is finally ready to take my band on the road — my “rasta-rockin” group (“The
Kine”), a multi-racial outfit that was just voted to be “Best Band” of this
island via a 2005 readers’ poll held by the 2nd largest newspaper here, the
Hawaii Island Journal. Whoop-te-do! — my music is finally getting a healthy dose
of what I call recognition.
But dread of dreads, is it finally time for me to “slow down,” now that I’m over 60? Or is it like Jim-my Buffet says, “the older I get, the faster my brain is movin’ and groovin and ready to travel...”
For the whole self-renewal story, both of Jesse’s amazingly helpful books, Never
“Old” (258 pages), and The Rejuvenator’s Bible (233 pages) are available for
just $15 for the pair. Simply call toll-free (800) 736-3922 and order with
credit card, or send a check payable to World Changing Books, 489 Oceanview Dr.,
Hilo, HI 96720. $15 covers books plus priority postage. Also, please see
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