Brave Confessions From an Older Woman

Brave Confessions From an Older Woman – by Kim Salisbury

I am an older woman. I am an older woman. I am an older woman. I guess if I try to say it enough times it might stick. I had an interesting ah-ha moment recently. Someone had seen a picture of me in an intense pose and commented that they hoped that they looked like me when they are older. When I first read the comment I remember thinking, “What older woman?” “Who are they looking at?” Well, ME! I was the older woman. Yet it can’t be me. I feel the same as I did at 29 years of age. I missed the entire beautiful compliment from that person because of the sting of the label. But the fact is that I am an older woman.

I remember my parents at my age and thinking they are so old. And when I get very real and look deep into the mirror I can do nothing but realize that the outside is older than the inside. The face I see has lines and sags and age creeping in on it. Don’t get me wrong. I work hard to turn back the hands of time through nutrition and exercise, but the fact still remains I am aging.

In the society in which we live it is almost criminal to get old. With all the injections, surgeries, pills and powders, we are taught to fight aging as if it was a matter of life and death. We are taught that beauty is wrinkle-less, no expression, puffed up faces that have no movement or character. We are taught to do whatever it takes at all costs to look young. Now I’m not entirely against these things. I have tried some of them and researched others and ultimately I believe a woman has the right to do whatever she wants with her body and face without any judgement, shame or guilt. But the examples I see before me are tortured women that have become manic in the race against time. They have become obsessive about staying young to the point of looking plastic and feeling value less because of chronology.

I refuse to become that. I love a face that moves. I love a face that laughs and crinkles and turns up or down. I also love when I see an older woman that is aging gracefully walk into a room and light it up because of her smile, posture, grace and inner light. Yes, there are days when I peer into my face and struggle with the changes that are taking place, but I have to let go and surrender to the way things are supposed to be. The natural progression of life and the natural changes in the body. I have to surrender to other things changing as well. This is not giving in but instead accepting the fact that there are some things that no matter what are inevitable. Having an inner peace and love for yourself is true beauty to me. I hope that I can continue to embrace these beliefs and embrace myself no matter what age I turn, no matter what society insists and no matter what I see in the mirror.

 BECAUSE THIS IS ME – by Kim Salisbury

My forehead wrinkles. I have lines and creases going against the grain.
Do I no longer SMILE?

My thighs wobble and giggle each time I take a stride.
Do I no longer WALK or RUN?

My skin is sagging. I have ripples around my knees and lumps and bumps that I have never seen.
Do I no longer WEAR shorts?

I look awkward and stiff. I don’t know the latest moves.
Do I no longer DANCE?

My shoulders begin to round. My spine is not as straight.
Do I no longer STAND tall?

My ears are less precise. I ask “What?” a few too many times.
Do I no longer LISTEN?

My eyes have to strain. I adjust back and forth to be able to see.
Do I no longer SEEK?

I am fearful and anxious and filled with concern for what is to come.
Do I no longer LIVE?

I am broken and changed and bruised and beat.
Do I no longer LOVE?

NO!

I will continue to SMILE, WALK & RUN, WEAR short shorts, DANCE, STAND tall, LISTEN, SEEK, LIVE & LOvE.

Because this is ME!

No matter how much I am reminded of my mortality. I will continue to find JOY & PURPOSE & AUTHENTICITY & INDIVIDUALITY & LAUGHTER & PASSION & HUMILITY.

Because this is ME!

About Kim:

I remember seeing Kim for the first time as a freshman in high school years ago.  To me, she always had an angelic face and and a glowing smile that still is contagious.  Today, she inspires me with her bright, colorful photos of healthy food and amazing yoga poses.  I hope she inspires you as well.

Since being a teenager Kim Salisbury has always been drawn to all things physical. Moving her body in all different sports and activities has always brought her immense satisfaction. Kim understood from a young age the benefits of keeping active, connecting the mind and the body and the release that was brought on by physical activity. It was no surprise that she would choose a career that would carry out her passion and share her beliefs with others.  Kim believes in the power and science of yoga with the tools of breath work, meditation, asanas or poses, mantras, bandhas and more. Her philosophy with working with clients is not just about getting fit, losing a few pounds or inches or fitting into a smaller size, but more so working towards helping them find and live a healthy, centered and joyful way of life that is found on the mat. With an addition of a certification of Psychotherapeutic yoga, Kim is passionate about working with special populations, injuries and sickness, specifically focusing on stress, anxiety and depression. Yoga therapy for the wellness and strengthening of the brain and nervous system.

You can visit Kim at http://www.ksalisbury.com.

Kim Salisbury

Reflection through Exercise

Ten years ago, I was facing the worst part of an extremely difficult time in my life. Being married to my husband had deteriorated my health and well-being; and when both were at an all-time low, I finally decided to leave.
I started the divorce process, moved out of my home, and left everything, including my precious dogs behind. Thankfully, I had another place to go and stayed with family members. But I had no car and as I was nowhere near public transportation, getting to and from in the city for work was difficult. I had to plan for hours of commute time.
I spent much of this time walking. And it was during this time, I reflected. I discussed with myself the past, the present, and the future. It was helpful for1910061_114375034910_3921763_n me as it provided awareness of who I was and what I had become. It also helped me plan for the difficult days ahead.
A few friends reminded me to be careful about my mental health. They, too, had gone through extremely difficult divorces and unfortunately, developed an autoimmune disease. They believed it was due to the stress they endured. This is when I started practicing yoga. I started with 3 days a week after work and then turned it into 5 days. I went because I felt it was a necessity. It brought awareness of my balance whether physical or mental.
Once I left Northern California and returned home to Denver, I realized I had lost about 25 lbs. and was in better shape than I ever had been. I needed new clothes and my shoe size had gone down one full size. I was certainly happy with the change and it was important because it kept me going in a positive way.
In my next phase of life, as a divorcee, I focused on fitness. I had a personal trainer, I took Chi-running lessons and started to run 5Ks. A few years later, I did my first half-marathon. I also realized that during my running routines, I would think quite a bit and continued to reflex on the past, the present and the future. This reflection was “me time.”132222_482295774910_1604990_o
This last summer, I finally completed an item on my bucket list. My partner and I walked several routes of the Camino de Santiago in Spain. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I wondered how our entire eight hours of walking a day would be spent. Would we talk the entire time? Would I listen to my music? Would we meet others and talk to them? I didn’t know. Soon I would know, as the 3rd day of our walk, my iPhone got wet in a rainstorm and music was no longer an option. In addition, it was impossible to have a conversation as most of our hikes were up and down mountains, through muddy or rocky trails that required concentration on the placement of our feet. So, my time was spent focusing on the hiking and reflecting. I thought a lot and about everything. For example, how things in my past made impacts on my life today, and where I was years ago.18582606_10155327166944911_1457266115703116945_n
One of my biggest takeaways from the Camino was how reflection had worked for me throughout the last ten years.
Overall, by walking, hiking, practicing yoga and running – my awareness of me and how it shaped my present life and how it encourages my future has been priceless.