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How To Tap Into Your "Inner Elder" For Guidance + Why It's So Healing

Deborah Hanekamp
Written by Deborah Hanekamp
Deborah Hanekamp, also known as Mama Medicine, has been called “fashion’s favorite healer” by Vogue Magazine. She facilitates Medicine Readings out of her Space in Soho, New York.
Mama Medicine On How To Tap Into Your Inner Elder For Guidance

Illustration by Valeriya Simantovskaya / Stocksy

Nature, in her unfailing exquisiteness, shows us the power of maturity. She has grown through so much to be able to bear her fruits and share the gifts of her completion with the world. Courage is to follow nature's example, despite the fact that to grow older in our society too often means to be disregarded and unseen.

Taking a more spiritual approach to aging.

Studies show that we are living longer and longer. If this is true, then what can we do now in our younger years to live a long life free of regret? 

There is something deep inside of us, our own hidden understanding, that drives us to the realization that we gain so much through maturation; the feeling of fulfillment, the power of forgiveness, the medicine of generosity, and wisdom. 

Through embracing the fact that even in this very moment, we are one day closer to old age, one minute closer to death, one breath closer to a wrinkle, we learn to appreciate what we have while we have it. We learn to love our bodies rather than judge them and connect with our community and families while we still can. We remember always: This, too, shall pass.   

Is it possible that a lot of the suffering we see could stem from massive immaturity? If this is the case, then maybe if we embrace our ever-aging selves, we will radiate the energy of confidence and become a part of valuing wisdom in our society.

Having a mature presence means breaking the bonds of reactivity and stepping into the grace of receptivity. 

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The value of the inner elder.

In the age of information overwhelm, let's call upon our inner elder. The parts of us that have learned how to take things slowly. Who knows learning, like healing, takes time. Who is patient with the understanding that what we once perceived as fact can eventually be disproved. Who has the courage to ask: why all this focus on intellect and shunning of intuition? Why are we trained to trust only the facts we are told? Why don't we ask more questions?

The Ancient One within pauses to digest and discern before coming to conclusions or making decisions and moves through life with a trust in inner knowing. They have been through so much yet choose to remain open.

Practices to connect to the wisdom of the elder.

I believe that we all have this wisdom within us—we just need to practice connecting with it. These two routines can help you do so, starting today:

1. This week, do one kind thing for an elder.

Even if it's a simple hello as you pass them on the street. Acknowledge them; make them feel seen. 

2. Journal on the following prompt:

"Regardless of the age of our physical bodies, how can we apply maturity to how we think and move in the world?" Give yourself five to 10 minutes to free-write on this question. 

When you are finished writing, take some time to slow down. Go for a walk or lie on the floor with your legs up the wall and simply reflect on what has come through for you. By taking our time with the revelations we have we are able to truly assimilate and integrate our ideas into who we are. 

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