Note: The Editorial Assistants at elephant journal all belong to a mentoring group, where we learn, laugh and work together. The members of Dana and Edith’s Ele-prentice Group did a five minute writing exercise, creating a letter from our 85-year-old selves to our present selves. We all loved what poured from our hearts as we wrote and shared that we agreed to combine this into one collaborative effort. Below is this compilation.
You are worthy of so much—never forget that.
It’s me, or should I say, it’s you, at 85 years old…the one you grow into. Hard to imagine, yes? All that yoga and meditation is paying off. Stick with it! All these past years of your life have been fabulous. Well, you know, full of ups and downs. But you smiled and laughed a lot and didn’t feel sorry for yourself. At least not for your past. Do not regret what you have put yourself through to get here. Relax, it’s all going to be okay and work out. There will be many more bumps in the path, but you will be able to handle them. The waves will keep coming, but you can keep on surfing.
Had you not treated yourself poorly, you wouldn’t truly know how wonderful it feels to love yourself.
Keeping a jar of crooked nails to straighten did come in handy. Just not how you imagined. You mostly used them for hammering in your new attic floor. And that’s where everything really started to change. The day you installed that floor. I am not going to spoil that surprise for you, but I will tell you to get busy. Go get the wood out of that dumpster today and start pullin’ those nails, darlin’. It’s going to be the best spring break you’ll ever remember. Take all the help you are offered and then solicit a little bit more. Pack that attic full of friends with hammers. Build the floor and see how much 500 extra square feet will change your life forever.
I want you to know you can be proud of who you are. I know I am. There were some rough years—okay, a decade or more of real challenge—but you not only survived, it you became an amazing person as a result. When you think of your future, find balance between your mother and father’s words: Follow your passions, hold on to what you love with everything you have, so long as those things are helping you, not hurting you in the long run. Trust your instincts and your abilities.
Be at peace. This next year will fix itself for you. You’ll find the path again, the path of least resistance, and it will lead you to where you need to travel in life. Work hard, worry less, and just stop and enjoy more.
Don’t worry. You are going to live longer than your dad and grandfather did.
You did what you know is right to do. You followed your source, spirit, soul, and inner god. You put in what heals, not what harms. You spoke your truth. You lived your truth. You practiced asana. You meditated. You have become a wise one, a wizard, a shaman, a healer, a seer, a warrior.
I know you are feeling pretty discouraged now about the yoga class you are teaching. Don’t give up. It hasn’t found its feet yet. There is a niche for this class. It will be life changing for people down the road. Teach to small classes. Even just one student. It matters. Keep going. You are on the right track. Remember not to lose sight of the clarity you’ve discovered. Those blue eyes are seeing the world as they have before: with stability, with confidence, and most importantly, with independence.
You are always waiting. Always holding back. Waiting for things to be just right: To be the perfect weight…to have the perfect apartment…to have the perfect class/sequence or playlist to show up. Waiting for the day when you have your shit together. The thing is, there will never be that perfect time. It is in the every day moments. The “right now” moments. The ones we let get past us. Or maybe you let it get past you because you are holding back. What are you waiting for? Stay young at heart, do not settle. Stop and smell the roses more often. Be present, really be with the people and things that you love. This is it. Start showing up now!
Love yourself, love yourself, love yourself. Do not be so harsh and critical of who you are and what yet needs to be done. Create more, laugh more, love as much as you possibly can. Keep your heart filled. Stay true to yourself. Stay compassionate.
It will all be alright.
Be still. All will be well. The blessings have continued to flow through your life, and it has been beautiful, rich, good. Love will always surround you. You will find that which you didn’t know you needed, be your true self, and accomplish your life’s work. You will laugh in great happiness. You will cry deep, wet tears of love and letting go. You will have no regrets, and be thankful for each morning sunrise that you see. Your movements will flow gracefully out of you, as you move with fluidity through the world.
Thank you so much for flipping the switch. Making the choice to not feel sorry for yourself was the best advise you’ve ever taken. You’re on the right track. Don’t second-guess yourself, at all, ever! On your marks, get set, go!
And stick with your writing. Let your words flow from you. Write everyday. I know you struggle with this. Everyone does. But the momentum of showing up each day will carry you through any dead weight times. And it will pay off.
Your life will be full of adventure and love, there will be many people coming out of the woodwork soon to remind you of how deeply you inspired them to be healthy and self aware. You are deeply loved by many, including me, so keep your head up and be free.
Start when ready.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Collaborative Authors: Todd Otten, Lauryn De Grado, Kim Haas, Emily Bartran, Jessica Sandhu, Sarah Qureshi, Ashleigh Hitchcock and Marcee Murray King. Our Fearless Mentors are Dana Gornall and Edith Lazenby.
Editorial Assistants: Marcee Murray King, Dana Gornall and Edith Lazenby/Editor: Bryonie Wise
Photo: Nin Ja Uekitten/Pixoto