Tag Archive: change

  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.


Fate, Fortune and Will


How to Grow Old the Right Way Up

Saturday 15th Feb 2014

Fate, Fortune and Will

Some people are fortunate enough to appear to have it all: health, a roof over their heads, enough food, warmth, clothing, love and security, opportunities for learning, work, creating, enjoying life. However, all too often, they are unfortunate enough not to recognize it.

If you are reading this, it means you, like me, have been spared from the distressing and even tragic consequences of the latest storms. Perhaps, like me, you are reflecting on your good fortune.

After having planned this week’s post, one of my dearest friends asked me, pretty much what the protagonist of one of my books always asks himself:

“Is our destiny determined by genes, birth, upbringing, past choices?

Or can we determine the course of our existence?”*

My answers, based on my personal experience and my observations of life and people, are:

  • 50%, Genes, birth, family, education and upbringing:
  • 50%, What we decide to make of our 50% lottery.

In my personal experience, we can change even our health, and overcome many other seemingly impossible challenges, quite dramatically. We can change, of course, the effects of education and upbringing. We can transform ourselves, our lives, our health and our level of happiness.

In my view, it is the power of our will what can take us all the way, from simple wish to the intention; from the intention, to the attention and focus necessary to work our wish into the desired result. Perhaps you will care to have a look at my nephew Juan Acosta’s project,  http://ThoughtsintoResults.com (By the way, Juan has grown up in USA, and I have had no influence whatsoever in his upbringing. However, obviously we are into similar missions!)

But, how do you train your will to will what you need to will in order to transform your life?

My suggestion for this week is to observe, and if necessary to change your attitude to your life and your circumstances. Essentially, I suggest that you strive to see your glass, not even half full but full to the brim with the unabashed and pretty permanent joy of being alive; of having learnt what you have learnt; of experiencing the love you experience for and from people, places, objects, whatever form love takes in your life.

Will, have Faith in yourself; work at it and/or open space for it. Remember:

“Never give up hope and good luck will find you”

(From the Michael Ende’s The Neverending Story)


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. 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.

*From “The Secret Life of a God”, part of “The Thermodynamics of Love Trilogy”, hopefully to be out and about this year. I won’t give up hope!