Practice what you teach
I used the Silva tools to set up my Silva business. Several of my graduates have become instructors. I teach every month in Charleston, and also travel to Baltimore, Maryland, to present classes. We’ve traveled through snow and rain to go teach classes.
We probably have more older people in our classes than most instructors. I think they see us and want to see if they can get what we have.
We organized one of the first Silva cruises with Victor Kovens, and have been on nine cruises since. We get to travel to wonderful locations all over the world, and we also get to present Silva workshops to people. We went to Alaska, the Caribbean several times, Canada, the Mediterranean.
We climbed the pyramids, rode on camels, did all sorts of things. If you have an ache or a pain, you just use a Silva technique to get rid of it and keep going.
One time I almost got – as they say – “camel-napped.” A couple of boys came and put me up on top of a camel and said, “For $20 we’ll take you for a ride.” I said, “I’ve already been for a ride, and the others are waiting for me.” I was kind of scared then, but I put my three fingers together and they finally thought, “This old lady is not going to give in to us, let’s take her back,” and they finally took me back.
People have given me many things to point out that I am older…but am still having fun.
I got one cute little gift that says, “Growing old is not for sissies.” It is hanging in my kitchen.
I’ve got one of my gifts on the front door. It is a Raggedy Ann doll holding a sign that says, “I am an old Raggedy Ann doll living in a Barbie Doll world.”
I’ve also gotten a lot of books about age, many from people who are fighting it off and seem to want to identify with me.
In one book, the author talks about working with various specialists who are supposed to be there to help older people. She was on a team to help older people keep active. The specialists were very hostile, she said. They didn’t want the old people to be active. They wanted them to go to nursing homes where they could make money off of them. Most of them die soon after they get there. If they keep them active, they live too long. They need to get them out of the way so the younger people can come along and take all the money.
I thought, That’s pretty much true. Most doctors, and everybody else, just kind of regale people past a certain age to the old age home. If the time ever comes where they try to do that to me, I may go teach yoga or something, or go teach Silva.
Young people worry about you. They don’t want you to take a trip anywhere. I can’t just sit there, I have to go visit. Two of my children live pretty far away, so I’m going to go see them from time to time. My daughter worries, but I told her, “Look, I stop a lot, I walk around, I use my Silva techniques to stay awake on the road so I don’t fall asleep, what have you got to worry about?” I think she is kind of understanding now.
My family used to tell me about the problems that older people have. I said, “Look, I’m going to live till I die. I am going to live life. But I am not going to live in fear, and I don’t want anybody to tell me about these things, because I don’t want to hear that stuff!”
Older people don’t have to just sit in nursing homes. They can get out and be active. Silva gave me my life back after I had the heart attack. I decided, I’ve got to keep going; I can’t just give up. And I haven’t.
Occasionally I get a little flutter in my chest. I go to my level and talk to my heart. I tell it “I don’t want that, just keep going along smoothly.” Of course I still go to my doctor regularly, and I do my hatha yoga exercises. It is important to use both dimensions. I don’t turn away from the things I need, whether they are in the physical dimension or at the alpha level.
I don’t live with my children. I still enjoy life. I enjoy having them all come to visit. I enjoy going to the beach with them. I enjoy going on cruises. I enjoy teaching Silva. There is always something to do.
Right now I still take care of a ten room house, and have friends and relatives come to visit every day. I go to visit my children because they don’t have time to come visit me. Just recently I helped my daughter move to Pennsylvania. I had to drive six hours, and then I helped her unload boxes. She said, “Well Mom, you did pretty good for an old lady.”
Most people worry about me driving. My grandson rode to the beach with me one time, and his mom had kind of scared him a little. He usually sleeps all the way in the car, but this time she told him, “You be sure and keep your grandma awake, because she might go to sleep.”
After we got there he said, “You know Grandma, you did pretty good. I can’t believe I stayed awake all this time for nothing!”
I can remember doing the same thing to my mother. When she was sixty I thought she was old. She was late coming in one time, and she said, “Don’t you ever worry about me; I don’t want anybody to worry about me.” Now I know how she felt.
You don’t have to give up your lifestyle. In Silva, we have a different way of looking at it.
Things that keep you healthy
I give workshops a lot of time on forgiveness and things that can keep you healthy and happy, not holding grudges against people, things like that.
Sometimes I give a breakfast workshop on the weekend. We all meet for breakfast and have a little workshop, and everybody enjoys it.
The quality of life is the key to this – not “old age” – to this mellow, golden age.
It is important that we go to our level every day and take care of ourselves.
It is important that we stay active. As they say, Use it or lose it. That goes for both your body and your mind.
Our relationships with other people are so important to our physical and mental health. That’s why we need to forgive people, to let go of resentment, to have peace within ourselves.
It is important to help others whenever we have the opportunity, and to seek out opportunities to help others. It gives us a purpose beyond ourselves; it gives us a reason to live, to be healthy, to be happy, to feel good about ourselves. As Jose Silva has said many times, it is the reason we were sent here.
Trying new things will help to keep you young. My friends tease me. They say that whenever anybody suggests that we try something new, I reply: “Oh, that sounds like fun. What is it?” I guess I’ve always had that spirit of adventure.
As long as there is something new to discover, as long as there is somebody I can help, as long as I am able to be of service, I will continue my journey.
(This is based on the workshop that Becky Hickman presented at the 1998 Silva Convention in Laredo.)