Tips on Keeping Mind and Body Young
By Jesse Anson Dawn
Jesse Anson Dawn (at age 60), 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: “What effect does music have on the aging process?”
The connection between music, “aging” and perception seems best explained via personal experience, for music and books have long been guideposts to my inner life, strongly influencing my energy-body evolution. It seems that music is most influential when it signals a spiritual rebellion against the “status quo” — an alternative to what the “ruling establishment” deems “should” be “normal.”
For me, “protest songs” were the first to penetrate, especially when I was a reluctantly drafted foot soldier in Vietnam—with one of my clearest memories there being when I first heard Bob Dylan wail about “masters of war” — or having “no direction home...” And then I remember us beating on helmets or ration cans with sticks, giving ourselves a little “rhythm therapy” to alleviate the stress of that atrocious war.
But when it comes to making a lasting effect on one’s perception, it’s the lyrics of music that deeply compel, followed by how the instruments effectively back the lyrics and put it all together.
DYNAMIC TENSION AND STEAM RELEASE
If we connect music with social movements, it’s “rebellion” music that seems most able to rally together and rejuvenate people, especially a reborn peace activist/Nam vet like me. And I remember deeply how the music of left-wing America (1967) stood me back up (and even got to me dancing) after crawling through the invasion of genocidal, force-fed war — an ordeal that made me anything but naïve about so-called “patriotic duty.”
When still a young man in my early twenties, I saw how the stress of combat had physically aged me ten years in one, bringing me to the crux of my post-Vietnam agenda: the sworn duty to regain a grip on my stolen, war-torn, spirit-mind-body; the sworn duty to get back to being youthfully human again, no matter what it took.
With sights set on music, writing and rejuvenation as both an art and a way of life, suddenly years of book and song-writing caused large blocks of time to whoosh by like ceaseless rivers of inspiration.
It seems appropriate that one of my original musical inspirations was the soulful Tina Turner, especially now that she’s become an icon of longevity — proof-positive that musicality can keep one brilliantly energetic even at 60 years “old.”
But my most lyrically inspiring mentor was Bob Marley, pioneer-king of the reggae thing, a man who indelibly connected me to going beyond the pop and hip-hoppy, sexy side of music, and onto a revolutionary focus on awakening our human rights. Further, reggae has connected millions of people to a “new living rhythm” that goes beyond shallow, pop-oriented ageism. And as a reggae singer-song-writer I can personally attest to this — reggae being a kind of music that even an over-60 “senior” (such as me) can still do on stage without feeling “too old” — not when there are many popular (yet gray-bearded) reggae stars (such as Burning Spear, Pablo Moses and Freddie McGregor ) — vets who continue to tour the world, decade after decade “livening up” large, enthusiastic and very diverse crowds.
Another reggae singer amazingly youthful and energetic for her age is my musical mate-partner (lovely Keanu), looking fabulous (for 50), especially when she joins me on stage, dancing and smiling like a cherubic angel.
But the youthfully positive, rhythm and nature-connected philosophy of reggae is best illustrated by its “ever livin” prophet, Bob Marley, channeling his “Jah-Jah spirit” when he evokes stirring lines such as these from his classic song Exodus:
“We’re going to walk down the roads of creation, we the generation trying to end tribulation!” Marley who was inspired to ask: “Can we free the people with music?”
Yes, to a certain extent I believe we can, via the creative goal to “end tribulation” amid a “new living rhythm” in our lives — a penetrating rhythm which may even apply to you, dear reader, and your feel for music — or even apply to “senior” singers like myself — me hooting my musical WHOO-WEEEE! as I cruise down the highway — doing this perhaps “bizarre” exercise because I know tension release is so effectively rejuvenating. And no, I don’t recommend singing at the office and working in the shower, but I do recommend singing whenever it feels comfortable to sing, realizing that both physical and spiritual exercises are surely needed for the vitality of the spirit-mind/body.
Hence we should stick to music and sing (or at least try to), regularly, AS LONG AS WE LIVE…
For the whole self-renewal story, Jesse Dawn’s (Pulitzer Prize nominated) 258-page book, Never “Old”, can be received free of charge by purchasing his new book, “The Rejuvenator’s Bible: Working Ways to Create Perpetual Youth Naturally” (237 pages) for the retail price of $15. To receive both books for the price of one, call World Changing Books at (800) 736-3922 and order with Visa or MC, or send a check pay-able to World Changing Books, POB 5491, Hilo, HI 96720. ($15 includes books, plus free 1st class postage) Or order by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org Also check www.angelfire.com/hi4/jessedawn
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