April 08, 2011

Aging Gracefully Through All The External Noise

This week's beauty is Medelise Reifsteck. Medelise is the sister-in-law of my sister-in-law Laura, and I have a hunch that Medelise and I share a similar creative/energetic thread that runs through both of us. Aside from being a mom, she runs The Garden of Wings Butterfly Pavilion in South Kingstown, RI. She is also a ski instructor at Burke mountain in Vermont where this year she was named the most requested instructor in the snow sports department. Medelise will also begin teaching surfing lessons with Peter Pan and Narragansett Juice at a local surf shop this summer.

But that's not all. Medelise recently participated in The Revelation Project which is a great new photography project intended to guide participants to a new vision of themselves through exploring concepts, and constructing self esteem. It is NOT about beauty, great skin, perfection, being skinny, or fixing us. The project is just nine weeks old and sounds amazing.  I am hoping to partake in it as well. Their website isn't all the way up but click on their blog for more info about the project if you are interested and be sure to catch their short film at the end of this post.

Here are Medelise's thoughts about mid-life:

I forget sometimes that I am almost 50; I started surfing when I was 42, created my dream job when I was 46, started working as a ski instructor when I was 47 and at now at 48 am just beginning to embrace who I truly am! It is not always total bliss but there is a tremendous feeling of satisfaction knowing that your authenticity can reign. The difficult part of aging isn't necessarily the loss of youth but realizing that if I had known what I know right now earlier that I would have had more time to enjoy the true beautiful person that I have always been but somehow couldn't see with all the external noise. I have struggled with a serious health condition in the last five years that robbed me of two precious years. It was a wake-up call for me....OK is not good enough. We all have the right to be happy and satisfied. We have a right to follow our heart on the path that will lead us there no matter how difficult that path may be.

There is a poem I carry in my wallet. I like to read it from time to time to remind myself of how much I have learned over the years:

Wisdom is sweeter than honey
brings more joy than wine
illumines more than the sun
is more precious than jewels.
She causes the ears to hear 
and the heart to comprehend
I love her like a mother
and she embraces me as her own child
I will follow in her footprints
 and she will not cast me away.

Thank you Medelise. I love the poem and your project photos and of course what you said about us all having a right to be happy and satisfied.

Below is a clip on The Revelation Project set to Alanis Morissette's "Thank You." Beautiful photos. I love the lyrics. xo Louise

The Revelation Project "THANK YOU" Video from monica Rodgers on Vimeo.