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I am just a few weeks from my fiftieth birthday, and whilst mulling over what that means for me, I typed ’50 years old’ into a stock photo website to see what came up. Well, it was an interesting collection of photos of grey and white-haired men and women, and several of doctors holding clipboards with a stethoscope around their necks. There were a few of people in obvious pain too. One image even had the words “you made the big 50”. Wow!

Is that what fifty means in our society? Having grey or white hair? Being in pain? Spending more time having medical examinations?

Perhaps that is the majority view, and I am the first to admit that I tend to think differently to the masses, but here is my take on reaching “the big 50”.

Without a shadow of doubt, I am fitter and healthier then I was ten years ago, and probably more so than twenty years ago. My living proof of this was last summer when I re-laid a patio which I originally laid in 2007. Back then it was a painful task, taking ages and causing me immense back pain. Since then I have being doing yoga two or three times a week, have begun running and am probably a bit slimmer. Needless to say, the memory of the agony I suffered last time caused me to keep putting off the terrible job of re-laying the paving. But the reality was a joy! I found I could move around easily close to the ground, laying the slabs neatly and didn’t suffer any discomfort at all. The whole thing was done in a matter of hours.

It was a great wake-up call for me. I realised that flexibility is perhaps the one thing that keeps us looking and feeling young. I commonly have 30 and 40 something year olds in the clinic complaining of an ache or pain and saying “well, I suppose it’s to be expected when we get older”. I just don’t buy that! But if that’s what you believe, then sure enough, that’s what will happen.

I have had a long love affair with natural and alternative health. Homeopathy changed my life when I was thirty-three and I love working with homeopathic remedies, treating people both on a constitutional level and using remedies to detox the body. I also love nutrition and all things related to improving gut health. But the biggest thing for me has been the regular use and discovery of Emotional Freedom Technique. The realisation of some of the ingrained beliefs that I have carried around since early childhood, and being able to look at these from an adult perspective has been massive. I have chucked out plenty of core beliefs which really did not serve me and replaced them with others which are more appropriate for my life now (things such as “I am healthy and flexible and can become more so” for example).

People are sometimes surprised when I say I don’t visit the doctor, but it’s true. I have drawers full of homeopathic medicine which I believe is more effective and far safer than anything I can get on prescription. I haven’t even taken a painkiller since 16th February 2002 (I remember the date because it was the day after an operation). And this might sound odd, but if I have a pain, I use EFT tapping to find the under-lying cause of it and to alleviate it.

So what of the next ten (or fifty) years? Well this year I will qualify as a yoga teacher and run EFT practitioner training courses and more retreats. There are yoga postures that I find challenging and I am working on these to improve my flexibility even more and help them to become easier. The next few months are looking rather busy but I will find time to get outside and connect with the natural world, my breath and my higher self. And I will continue digging up deeply ingrained core beliefs and throwing out the ones I no longer need.

And of course there will be some birthday celebrations with friends, family and my beloved husband!

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