I’m turning fifty in March and it made me think about what this means to me. There is a lot of negative association with getting older in the western world and to be honest, it’s not something I’m interested in. I feel more vibrant, more powerful, more joyful and freer at fifty than I have at any other age.
In my twenties, I thought I was superwoman and was so busy trying to prove myself in a corporate role while studying for an MBA with a young baby that I felt burn out by thirty. In my thirties, I had two babies under two and decided to set up a wellness spa at the ripe old age of 32 and spent the next ten years working 6 days a week in my business and raising two young children. While I loved my work, our team and our clients I was running on a near-empty tank most days and to be honest knew I wasn’t living my best life.
In my forties, I started to evaluate what I really wanted for myself and what kind of life I wanted to live. My children were getting older and I had more time to invest in myself and this lead me to put my wellness into centre stage. It’s also when I realised I wanted to take Aika out of the day spa I created her back in 2004 and bring her into the world to touch more hearts and souls than I could in my day spas. I wanted to inspire, educate and empower women to create moments of sacred connection through their skincare at home; and for spas to offer truly pure, organic and holistic treatments to their clients that elevated them from the daily grind.
Now that I am turning fifty despite all the uncertainly in the world, what I have learned is there is always uncertainty in the world! I have lived through a civil war as a child in Sri Lanka, sought refuge outside our home, moved to live in another continent and learn a new culture, experienced the turmoil of the gulf war, the war in Afghanistan, the multiple economic crises over the last 20 years, lived through the terrible twos and the terrible teens of my children (!), witnessed multiple bushfires, floods and storms and recently Covid-19 and now more war, natural disasters and uncertainty again this year.
It is easy to feel overwhelmed in times like this. So I’m choosing to do what I have direct control over by giving financially to organisations that are creating an impact. On a personal level, I’m taking the advice I’ve been dishing out to my children for many years when I told them to ‘surf those waves’. Knowing full well that while I may go under smacked over by a huge wave, if I hang on to that surfboard for dear life when I surface to get back up again, I can catch that next exhilarating wave. And when I don’t feel like surfing anymore I can swim back to the beach and lie on the sand under the sun and rest.
Turning fifty has made me think about all the things I have learned to be true over the last five decades and I’m excited about all the things I have yet to experience.
These are the 11 key things I have learned, coincidentally my numerology life path number is also 11.
- My self-worth is intrinsic. It is not tied to anything or anyone or any situation outside of myself. Self-worth is not net worth. It is my divine right and no one can take that away from me. It has taken me the good half of my forties learning to unlearn all the patterns laid down in childhood and lots of therapy and inner work to get to a place of acceptance. Loving and accepting myself is an inside job, no one else can do this for me, that’s why it’s called ‘self’ worth and ‘self’ love!
- I am a whole being and the sole custodian of my wellness. My physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and communal wellness is inter-connected and in synergy. Every morning I write in my journal how I am going to nourish each of these areas that day. It is my sacred responsibility and no one else’s to take good care myself so that I stay vibrant, energised and in a state of equilibrium and balance.
- My energy is my most valuable currency. I choose where, when, with whom and on what I gift my precious energy to. Building my day mindfully around my energy and how I want to spend it has been instrumental to my health and vitality. Having consistent daily rituals including meditation, physical self-care practices, nutritious food and hydration, rest, sleep and connecting with nature is essential to replenishing my energy.
- I choose to believe in the good in people. Everyone is doing the best they can with what they have at any given time. Being gentle and well-intentioned with others starts by embracing an attitude of being gentle and well-intentioned with myself. When I am feeling good I emanate this goodness out into the world.
- Good people are gifts. The older I get the circle of people I choose to spend time with has shrunk significantly but the ones that I keep in my inner circle are precious gems. I only invest my energy and time in relationships that are deep and nourishing in a mutually meaningful way. As Esther Perel says ‘the quality of your relationships determines the quality of your life’.
- A sense of wonder and magic is a beautiful thing. I’ve always been a dreamer and insanely curious. I still get excited over the simplest things like watching the sunrise and marvelling at how the sun rises no matter what is going on in our world. I am constantly amazed at how my tiny babies Aiden and Karma have grown and evolved over the last 20 years into young adults, it’s been miraculous to watch them! Miracles are real!
- Boundaries are boss. My life transformed when I learned how to create boundaries both internally for myself and externally with others. I had to get really clear on what my values in life are and communicate and live these through boundary setting. This has been one of the most difficult things I have learned to do and the most revolutionary to my sense of contentment in life.
- I’m here to live an extra-ordinary life in my values of joy and freedom. I am the sole definer of what an extra-ordinary life means to me. One of the definers of what makes my life extra-ordinary is that I am constantly learning and investing in educating myself. The second one is how I can I be of service to others. What can I learn that will increase my joy and freedom and what can I offer that will bring joy and freedom to others? These are the questions I keep asking myself daily.
- I don’t want a work-life balance. I want a fully integrated life where my work is in alignment with my values where I can live my purpose in a practical and meaningful way. When I was younger in a corporate role I was told to leave my personal stuff at the door when I came to work and vice versa when I got home! I refuse to do that as it makes me feel fragmented and I am a whole being. No matter where I go or what door I walk through I take my whole self through every time.
- Life is too short for crappy skincare. How I nourish and treat my body both internally and externally is a reflection of what value I place on myself and how I choose to love and honour myself. We literally feel and experience the world through our skin and I refuse to put anything on my skin and body that doesn’t serve my highest good. Skincare is Soulcare and this is why I created Aika because I wasn’t satisfied with what was out there in the market for me and for my clients when I ran my two-day spas in Melbourne. I wanted a better way and no one else was doing it so I created it.
- How I age is up to me. How I feel about ageing is up to me. The older I get the more I’m getting in touch with my wild side. So far in 2022 I’m relishing going bush and off-grid, camping is my new thing! I’m howling at the full moon naked, I’ve immersed myself in the esoteric teachings of Tantra, I’m doing a course in revolutionary self-love, another in restorative yoga teacher training, I’m studying Ayurveda Marma Therapy with Dr Vasant Lad, I’m swimming with dolphins and learning to scuba dive so I can do this over the great barrier reef later this year. Fifty is looking good!
I like to listen to a podcast every day and last year I listened to one of Oprah’s Supersoul Sessions podcasts with Rob Bell called ‘Is Your Best Day Behind you?’. He talks about meeting a 92-year-old woman Mary, who said ‘I’m 92 and I’m just getting started”! It was so inspirational as she raises a profound question about what it means to be growing and living your best life no matter what age you are. I honestly believe that regardless of our chronological age, it is how we choose to live our lives in the small daily ways that add up to the richness of our lives that we experience. So moving into my fifth decade of life I am going to live more wholeheartedly, more wildly, more nourishingly and more wholly than I have ever done before. I’m looking forward to having my best day yet.
To celebrate my birthday and International Women’s Day this coming week I’m so happy to offer you 15% off any Aika product from the 7th of March to the 9th of March at 11:59 pm. CODE: ERANTHI15