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  • Hi kids.

  • I'm 71.

  • My husband is 76.

  • My parents are in their late 90s.

  • And Olivia, the dog, is 16.

  • So let's talk about aging.

  • Let me tell you how I feel when I see my wrinkles in the mirror,

  • and I realize that some parts of me have dropped

  • and I can't find them down there.

  • Mary Oliver says in one of her poems,

  • Tell me, what is it that you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

  • Me, I intend to live passionately.

  • When do we start aging?

  • Society decides when we are old, usually around 65, when we get Medicare.

  • But we really start aging at birth. We're aging right now,

  • and we all experience it differently.

  • We all feel younger than our real age, because the spirit never ages.

  • I am still 17.

  • Sophia Loren. Look at her.

  • She says that everything you see she owes to spaghetti.

  • I tried it and gained 10 pounds in the wrong places.

  • But attitude, aging is also attitude and health.

  • But my real mentor in this journey of aging is Olga Murray.

  • This California girl at 60

  • started working in Nepal to save young girls from domestic bondage.

  • At 88, she has saved 12,000 girls,

  • and she has changed the culture in the country.

  • Now, it is illegal for fathers to sell their daughters into servitude.

  • She has also founded orphanages and nutritional clinics.

  • She's always happy and eternally young.

  • What have I lost in the last decades?

  • People, of course,

  • places and the boundless energy of my youth.

  • And I'm beginning to lose independence, and that scares me.

  • Ram Dass says that dependency hurts.

  • But if you accept it, there is less suffering.

  • After a very bad stroke, his ageless soul

  • watches the changes in the body with tenderness,

  • and he's grateful to the people who helped him.

  • What have I gained?

  • Freedom. I don't have to prove anything anymore.

  • I'm not stuck in the idea of who I was,

  • who I want to be or what other people expect me to be.

  • I don't have to please men anymore,

  • only animals.

  • I keep telling my superego to back off,

  • and let me enjoy what I still have.

  • My body may be falling apart, but my brain is not yet.

  • I love my brain.

  • I feel lighter.

  • I don't carry grudges, ambition, vanity,

  • none of the deadly sins that are not even worth the trouble.

  • It's great to let go. I should have started sooner.

  • And I also feel softer,

  • because I'm not scared of being vulnerable.

  • I don't see it as weakness anymore.

  • And I've gained spirituality.

  • I'm aware that before, death was in the neighborhood.

  • Now, it's next door,

  • or in my house.

  • I try to live mindfully and be present in the moment.

  • By the way, the Dalai Lama is someone who has aged beautifully,

  • but who wants to be vegetarian and celibate?

  • Meditation helps.

  • Ommm. Ommm. There it is.

  • And it's good to start early.

  • You know for a vain female like myself,

  • it's very hard to age in this culture.

  • Inside, I feel, I feel good.

  • I feel charming, seductive, sexy.

  • Nobody else sees that.

  • I'm invisible.

  • I want to be the center of attention. I hate to be invisible.

  • This is Grace Dammann.

  • She has been in a wheelchair for six years, after a terrible car accident.

  • She says that

  • there is nothing more sensual than a hot shower,

  • that every drop of water is a blessing to the senses.

  • She doesn't see herself as disabled.

  • In her mind, she's still surfing in the ocean.

  • Ethel Seiderman, a feisty, beloved activist

  • in the place where I live in California.

  • She wears red patent shoes,

  • and her mantra is that one scarf is nice but two is better.

  • She has been a widow for nine years

  • but she's not looking for another mate.

  • She says that there is only a limited number of ways you can screw,

  • well, she says it in another way, and she has tried them all.

  • I, on the other hand, I still have erotic fantasies with Antonio Banderas,

  • and my poor husband has to put up with it.

  • So how can I stay passionate?

  • I cannot will myself to be passionate at 71.

  • I have been training for some time,

  • and when I feel flat and bored, I fake it.

  • Attitude. Attitude.

  • How do I train? I train by saying yes to whatever comes my way,

  • drama, comedy, tragedy,

  • love, death, losses.

  • Yes to life.

  • And I train by trying to stay in love.

  • It doesn't always work, but you cannot blame me for trying.

  • And, on a final note,

  • retirement in Spanish is jubilación.

  • Jubilation. Celebration.

  • We have paid our dues. We have contributed to society.

  • Now it's our time, and it's a great time.

  • Unless you are ill or very poor, you have choices.

  • I have chosen to stay passionate, engaged with an open heart

  • I am working on it everyday.

  • Want to join me?

  • Thank you.

  • First of all,

  • I never like to presume to speak for the TED community,

  • but I would like to tell you that I have a feeling we can all agree that

  • you are still charming, seductive and sexy. Yes?

  • Aww, thank you.

  • Hands down.

  • No, it's makeup.

  • Now, would it be awkward if I asked you a follow-up question about your erotic fantasies?

  • Oh go ahead! About what?

  • About your erotic fantasies? -With Antonio Banderas.-I was just wondering if you have anything

  • Well, one of them is that

  • One of them is that I place a naked Antonio Banderas on a Mexican tortilla.

  • I slather him with guacamole and salsa,

  • I roll him up, and I eat him.

Hi kids.

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【TED】Isabel Allende: How to live passionately—no matter your age (Isabel Allende: How to live passionately—no matter your age)

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