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42 Forever: The Ultimate Anti-Aging Tonic

I turned 42 this year. All year long, I've been sending birthday greetings to friends and colleagues who are also turning 42, sharing a message from a humorous novel I read nearly twenty years ago, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

In the book, the people of Earth ask a computer named Deep Thought for the answer to "Life, the Universe, and Everything." After seven million years, Deep Thought delivers its momentous conclusion: 42. So I've been telling lucky birthday folks, "This year, you are the answer to life, the universe, and everything!"

But there's a catch. In the novel, chaos ensues as humans realize they don't know the question to which "42" would make sense as a response.

How can we stay "42" forever? That is, how can we remain "the answer" to "Life, the Universe, and Everything?" The poet Rilke suggests we begin by living awhile in the question, and that by doing so, we may someday live along into the answer. It's what Gandhi taught: be the change you wish to see in the world. The more we can live from the love in our hearts instead of the fear in our minds, the more we remain "42." Living our light is the ultimate anti-aging tonic!

Exploring Inner Space

Of course, this is generally a little more challenging than simply clicking our heels together three times and repeating, "There's no place like home." For most of us, it'll require some radical mental reprogramming. I spent years shrinking from, rather than standing in, my truth, as I attempted to conform to the outerworld. When I dove deeply into 42, I realized I was out of this world – literally.

I'm an Aquarian, and here we are on the cusp of the Aquarian Age. Astrologically, Aquarius is ruled by Uranus, the planet of "uniqueness, intuition, innovation, rebellion, and rascalry," according to visionary activist astrologer Caroline W. Casey, author of Making the Gods Work for You. Uranus has an orbit of 84 years, so as a 42-year-old, I'm exactly halfway through my celestial cycle. If ever there was a time to begin a rich exploration of inner space, it's now.

Our collective mission, especially in a culture that frowns on creative rebellion, is to allow "imagination to lay the tracks for the reality train to follow" and to "believe nothing, entertain possibilities," says Casey.

It's time for a grand foray into the farther reaches of our immanent galaxy. With no known road visible before us, it often feels like stepping off a cliff into an abyss. Yet as Justine Toms, co-founder of New Dimensions radio, once observed, "You can't fall out of the universe."

Once we know that we are held in a loving presence, we can begin to re-story our lives. This means taking a fresh look at the story we've created about how the world is, and seeing how this story distorts our view of beauty and potential – our own beauty and potential.

Re-storying Our Lives

The story we tell ourselves ultimately becomes the story we share with the world. Are we leading ourselves and others down a path that feels comfortingly familiar, or choosing to boldly go where no one has gone before?

Fellow Trekkies will recognize Star Trek's modus operandi in the preceding sentence. Personally, I think the writers of the Star Trek: The Next Generation series were messengers who beamed down from a more advanced civilization to help us along.

In one riveting episode, Time Squared, the Enterprise receives information from six hours in the future about a catastrophe that will completely destroy the ship and all its occupants, save the Captain. When the actual moment arrives, a vortex opens beneath the ship, and Engineering frantically accelerates to warp nine just to keep the ship from being sucked into the chasm. Finally, the Captain takes the path that appears to suggest certain destruction, orders the ship into the chasm – and they're free.

We'll use all of our life energy trying to resist the unknown, because entering the void looks terrifying. Yet the instant we pry our mental fingers loose, free-fall feels like flying, because there's so much space around us.

In another episode, a teenage girl is destined to rule an entire world, which seems implausible – until we learn she's a shapeshifter, merely wearing that "form." A key dialogue from the show involves the girl's attempt to refuse her calling by saying to her guardian (who appears as a stern, elderly woman), "I am no more a leader than you are an old woman." To which her mentor replies, "But you are a leader. And I, am older than you can ever imagine."

We're all shapeshifters, altering others' reality the more we come home to ourselves, the more we become the change we wish to see in the world, the more we live our light. Whether your role is as an "intergalactic hitchhiker," or messenger in your own hometown, we need every voice, every gift, every vision, now.

I invite you to join me in stopping time. Whether you're long past 42 or years from reaching it chronologically, you can be the answer to life, the universe, and everything by living from the heart of your deepest truth. Align your head and your heart, live your highest intention, and you are what the world needs now.


As a "midwife for the soul" Amara Rose offers life purpose coaching, talks, CDs, e-courses, playshops, and an inspirational monthly newsletter, "What Shines." Please visit to learn more. Contact Amara at, or call: 1-800-862-0157 within the USA.

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