Tips to Grow Younger

Laughing at gravity


Skin sliding south?

Yep, me too. That's okay - it's what gravity does. Inevitable, like death and taxes.

When I was younger, I got a facelift, but at 81, it doesn't make much sense. I'm happy with who I am, what I look like and, in other ways, I think I'm getting better than I used to be.

I'm a little more savvy, a little less uptight, sort of taking life as it comes. Sure, politics still makes me plumb crazy, but I'm not getting stressed to the max about trivial things as I sometimes did in the past before my daily practices became habits.

Here's an example: Some months ago, I had a three-hour drive to a speaking event in southern Colorado. All my props and books and CDs were safely packed in my car, and my daughter was driving, so I could get a little shuteye before going onstage. We had brought snacks, and I had a huge bath towel - no, it was more like a beach towel - to cover my clothes while munching on slices of apple, cheese wedges and crackers.

I didn't want anything that would mess up my elegant crocheted dress. I didn't even hug the dog before we left because he likes to put his toenails in the crochet holes and pull. But, no. If you're thinking I ruined my dress that day, uh uh. That's not it.

When we arrived at the venue, I stepped out of the car and looked down. My feet were still in my bedroom slippers! I immediately realized that my strappy shoes, the ones that go with my elegant crocheted dress, were still waiting by the door of my bedroom, instead of being in the trunk of my car. These bedroom slippers are not the kind that could pass for shoes. They're the fuzzy kind, the dirty, fuzzy kind that never see the inside of a washer. I'm fastidious about making sure everything is flawless for my gigs. This was a major slip-up.

I'm proud to tell you that all I said was, "Oh, dang."

And here's what I mean about how I've changed. Formerly I would have said, "OH, DAMN!", all caps, maybe 16 exclamation points. Perhaps I would even have stamped my fuzzy-slippered foot. Worst of all, I would have held onto that negative feeling, allowing myself to go down the rabbit hole of bleakness. That would have thrown off my pace during my talk. Believe me, audiences notice that kind of thing.

Instead, I did one of my quickie practices to center myself and ask for divine assistance. Then when I got inside, I took off my dirty slippers and my socks (those fuzzy slippers are too wide, so I wear them with socks) and I gave my talk in bare feet. Sort of bohemian-style. Even got a standing ovation. Yep, I think I'm getting better.

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." Contact Ellen at