A birthday often prompts the question ‘How old are you?’


Ah, November. It’s the month when winter (usually) gets serious, delighting skiers and little kids. It’s the time to put the thick, groovy grab-the-road tires on my car and it’s when I celebrate my magical day! Nov. 18 is my birthday.

That day I’ll get to blow out some candles and grin from ear to ear while my family sings to me. Then I’ll read aloud their hilarious birthday cards while they laugh so hard they have to hold their tummies, and happy tears squeeze from the corners of their eyes. Yes, Nov. 18 is the magical day I was born 81 years ago.

Notice I didn’t say: “I will be 81,” or “I am 81.”

That’s because “I am” is a very powerful phrase and so is “I will be,” and I have no intention of using powerful words to reinforce the images we have of someone 81 years old.

I am ageless and timeless. Inside I’m 25 years old and I intend to remain 25 – possibly forever since that sounds like a really long time.

And that leads me to a conversation I had recently with a friend. She told me she was turning 49 in a few days and said it bothered her to tell her age because she notices people’s reactions. She said they seem to change how they see her and she can almost hear the “click-click-click” of their minds calculating which side of the hill she’s on.

I must tell you that she’s gorgeous and has a body with curves in all the right places. But I understand how she feels.

Many of us have similar feelings about our age because our society has been handicapped by the ideas and beliefs about aging we’ve inherited from previous generations. Most of us have the notion that aging means we’re deteriorating and there’s no way we can avoid it. We’ve piled up images of how it looks and feels to add years and what a person will look like at milestone ages.

Before I began my program for growing younger 13 years ago, I believed 70 was old. Heck, I believed 65 was old and to prove it to myself, I noticed my mind slipping when I was nearing my mid-60s. Alzheimer’s,I told myself, just like my mother. But then I had a wake-up call and the mind and spirit teachings I learned through the decades snapped into place and prompted a whole new, younger, happier life for me.

So – what do you do if someone asks your age and you don’t want to tell them? Just say, “I am ageless and timeless.” You can put a mysterious, Mona-Lisa smile on your face and leave them wondering.

Then when you’re alone, get into the habit of saying out loud, “It’s a good thing I’m young and healthy,” or “Thank God I’m young and healthy.” Write the one you prefer on index cards or sticky notes and put them where you’ll see them. Say it often enough, with a joyful thrill of emotion, and your subconscious mind will believe it – and then you’re on your way to a younger you. Birthdays will be fun times again!

Ellen Wood of Questa is an inspirational speaker and award-winning author of “Think and Grow Young: Powerful Steps to Create a Life of Joy.” Her new book is “Joy! Joy! Joy! 7 Mind Body Spirit Self-Help Practices to Relieve Stress and Anxiety, Reverse Memory Loss and Live Happy.” Ellen’s newest website is bookofjoyjoyjoy.com. Contact her at ellen@bookofjoyjoyjoy.com