Seeing the inspirational film THE VISITOR last night, which will receive several Oscar noms including Best Actor for Richard Jenkins, brought to mind-- yet again -- the journey of aging. I find that because our society is so based and invested in youth, especially Madison Avenue and Hollywood, it’s difficult to approach ‘ripeness’ with grace. [‘Ripeness’ is the positive way of saying ‘growing older.’] There’s not much support. But, as Debbie Reynolds who played Molly Brown in THE UNSINKABLE MOLLY BROWN sang, I ain’t down yet!
Thanks to new scientific research and progressive Baby Boomers who continue to set an example, we are defying our older gens sentiment of ageing. What has assisted tremendously in my journey recently have been these authors and their writings:
Dr. Don Kilhefner – Los Angeles based psychologist who writes articles for national publications that are geared toward the gay community
All of these authors above have changed my perspective and I’ve learned to switch my negative thoughts into delightfully positive ones!
Thoughts create how we feel.
When I lived in New York in the early 80s, I was taught this philosophy by a wise therapist, Miller Minor. He introduced me to a cognitive therapy called Rational Emotive Therapy [RET], which Dr. Albert Ellis conceived in the 1950s. Most cognitive/behavioral theories today are spin offs of RET, like the theory that Dr. Phil is anchored in or Dr. Wayne Dyer. When I was a kid my grandfather gave me a book, The Power of Positive Thinking by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, so my positive attitude was established at an early age – thank heaven. My bible for most of my adult life has been Dr. David Burns’ The Feeling Good Handbook.
In my early twenties, I read several books including The Magic of Believing by Claude Bristol, which made an impact on my life, as it did with Phyllis Diller. When I interviewed her several years ago, she confided that this book “was responsible for my success.”It’s so wonderful to know that we can control our thoughts. However, as with anything in life, it takes time, effort, and patience -- but it works. With aging comes wisdom, experience, maturity, centeredness, and a comfort in one’s own skin. With my renewed outlook, I actually look forward to ripening more….