Tag Archive: Awareness

  1. Growing Old is Obligatory; Growing Up is Optional.*

Sunday 5th April 2015

Berta-The Barber of Seville 1984

This morning I woke up old and I realized, my obligation had to be fulfilled like everyone else’s.

The image I saw in the mirror brought to mind the photo you see: my 30-year-old self, singing the role of Bertha, a mid-60s maid, from Rossini’s Opera, The Barber of Seville.

At the time, I was quite convinced I would never reach such a ripe age. I dreaded both, reaching it and not.

Today, as I scanned the prune-like face in the mirror, I felt, as I often do, so happy and triumphant that I have made it this far!

I dare say I have also kept growing up.

I have grown in wisdom, therefore, in self-acceptance and self-love.

Death doesn’t frighten me as it used to. Neither wrinkles do.

Berta’s aria finishes with the lines:

“E vecchietta disperata

mi convien così crepar.”

And old, desperate

It’s more convenient that I kick the bucket.

First I thought of writing that, Non mi convien cosi crepar,

But then, as I am learning Italian, I checked in the dictionary and crepare also means: to splitting one’s sides laughing. You only need to add “dalle rise”.

Therefore, I will crepar dalle rise, and continue to laugh into any age, genes, fate and my own efforts, take me.

Happy growing old and up!

* I wish the quote was mine. I translated it from Spanish, and I guess it comes from my cheerful 82-year-old brother-in-law, Luis Carlos, who spends a lot of his time sourcing interesting, wise and funny quotes and stories from the Internet.

** For the old or young, but curious, go to my Music Matters… to Me, for some links to Berta’s aria, none sung by me as in those days in Colombia (1983 and 1984), live performances weren’t recorded. You will also find a trip to memory lane from my days with the Colombian National Opera Company.


How to Grow Old the Right Way Up

Saturday 18th January 2014

3. Mind… the Gaps in your Awareness

Many people are aware about the condition of their minds and bodies. Sadly, many of us pay more attention to the state of our car, our furniture or our house than to ourselves. We tend to numb our senses and subject ourselves to excess or deprivation in ways that in my view, if we were in our right ‘mind’ we would never consider.

If at all times we were aware, ‘Mindful’ of our real needs (I’ll talk about the mind and emotions in another post):

Would we eat or drink in excess?

Would we put inside our bodies harmful substances, food and drink that are not good for us, or smoke?

Of course, the question is, unless the cause is genetic – and I’ll come back to that at some stage- would we suffer from indigestion, obesity, diabetes, and perhaps allergies, which in my view might be caused by saturation of the body with a particular food or substance?

Would we deprive our lungs from that most essential fuel, Air? We tend to breathe so carelessly, that most of the time our lungs are 3/4 full with poisonous Carbon Dioxide. As with food, we tend to take in more than we can expel! Have a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypercapnia

Would we deprive our bodies of movement if we realized in our bones that a sedentary life can kill us? Everybody knows that it leads to heart disease, arthritis, with the consequent body parts replacement if they are replaceable, and that it is also one of the biggest contributory factors in depression, lack of energy, poor sleep, obesity, etc, etc.

I suggest for this week, that you treat your body as you would treat your car:

Check the alignment = Posture

Check the quality of the fuel and oil you put in it = Air, food and drink.

Keep turning the engine on to make sure the battery keeps charged.

You could also chose to go to a mindfulness class near you.

I have personally attended Hugh Poulton’s  www.yogaunlimited.co.uk Ashtanga Yoga and Mindfulness classes and I just think he is very excellent.


1. I am not a health practitioner of any description. The tips I will be giving are directly related to my personal experience and my experiences with family and friends who seem to have benefited from those tips. Please if in doubt, always consult a qualified practitioner.
2. With their permission I will be mentioning in these pages the names and expertise of many people who have contributed to my current state of health. See also the Links page. Whenever possible  and relevant, I will be leading you to their websites or giving you a direct contact if you ask me. Nobody is or will be paying me or rewarding me in any way for doing so. I will be doing it because they are wonderful practitioners, to whom I owe much and to whom I am very happy to direct people to, for the benefit of all. I don’t and won’t recommend anyone whose help and expertise I haven’t experienced and benefited from directly.