09 Feb
February 9, 2013



Next week marks my 3,652 day as an assisted living resident – my ten-year anniversary as a member of America’s Institutional Aging Community.

Statistically, only 1 in 25,000 residents over 55 survives that long. And when you  factor into this equation my Young-Onset Parkinson’s, Congestive Heart Failure and two Pulmonary Embolisms, the odds become astronomical. (My first order of business upon waking every morning  is to acknowledge, with gratitude and astonishment,  that I actually woke up!)

Yet, here I am, after 63 years, still inhaling and exhaling. Still setting my quality-of-life indicator at its highest setting — indicating that despite ravaging tremors, excruciating pain and a failing heart that often makes me fight for each breath, I not only refuse to lay down and die — I  still squeeze what joy and inspiration I can from these ten-trillion cells called Martin Bayne.

And how do I continue to put one foot in front of the other in this often-disappointing and painful journey I call my life? In a word: purpose.

Purpose is the magic elixir that trumps pain, transcends any notion of limitation and opens our minds and hearts to possibility.

It is also the single most accurate predictor of joy and fulfillment in an aging population.

Which brings me to the reason I wrote this post — to share my anniversary with you in a format of “incremental victories.”   To openly share the ten-faceted jewel of knowledge and wisdom I’ve been given in exchange for all the pain and tremors.  Guard it well.


1. With stillness, we lay the foundation. 

When the mind settles, we become clear.


2. With courage, we move forward-despite our fear.

An authentic warrior recognizes fear as an ally.


3. With forgiveness, we discover true freedom.

One-hundred-years from now, what difference will it make?


4. With insight, we accept the change of life’s seasons.

We come, we go.  Can you remember the face you had before you were born?


5. With gratitude, we honor our elders.

Who determines who is “young” and who is “old?” Why, you, of course.


6. With tenderness, we turn the stream of compassion within.

She who has herself as playmate, coach and advisor, is a fortunate woman.


7. With faith, we learn surrender.

Give your heart away completely. It will always find its way home, bearing gifts.


8. With mindfulness, we do just this thing, now.

Life in the past and future — the cruelest prison of all.


9. With generosity, we make ourselves available to serve.

When duality drops away, who is serving and who is being served?


10. With purpose, we acknowledge our mission.

Purpose is our map; determination the vehicle.


Copyright 2013 Martin Bayne

15 replies
  1. Deb says:

    Martin, your wisdom brings me to tears.

  2. Irm says:

    Dear Martin, Your 10 is the most beautiful.
    The 10 keeps me going on.

    Irm The Netherlands

  3. Virginia Corrine Stutesman says:

    Great thoughts! Thank you for sharing!

  4. Leiah Bowden says:

    Martin, this is beautiful. The second line of each of the ten facets adds even more dimension and tenderness.

  5. Peg McCullough says:

    Stated with Amazing Grace.

  6. Paula Pescatello says:

    Thank you

  7. Billie Robinson says:

    And with saving grace, you continue to be a marvelous hero for those who endure.

  8. John Robinson says:

    Martin: What a beautiful article and what wisdom! Life only matters insofar as we have purpose and community, and it’s community that gives us purpose. Only when you matter as much or more than I matter do we each have a place and a purpose in living. And that can be anywhere – but without it, we are nowhere. Caring for something beyond the self is what gives the self life. I am so moved by your essential and direct insight. You write with authenticity and authority because you know these truths firsthand. I wish there were something I could do for you.

  9. Carol Bradley Bursack says:

    This is a wonderful essay, Martin.
    After surgery sent my dad into severe dementia, I spent ten years doing what I could to help him feel that he had a purpose. Without that, I know he wouldn’t have lived as long.
    Considering your purpose, you should continue to live many more decades.

  10. Emma Lewis says:

    Beautiful, thank you Martin

  11. Shannon says:

    What a gift. Thank you.

  12. Billie Robinson says:

    Each day I awaken with “This is the day that the LORD has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24 The sparkle of life never dulls when you know the Creator of Sparkle.

  13. Elizabeth says:

    Inspiring writing and wisdom, Martin! I am encouraged by it, because I have been feeling sorry for myself, lately, because of the pain and accidents I have been dealing with. I will be praying for you, Martin. I’m a writer, but have allowed life’s trials to detour me from it. Your courage to fulfill your purpose in life through such trial means a lot to me. I see it as a message from God, through you, to me! Thank so much for sharing it. I am praying for you, Martin.
    Thanks So Much!


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Martin goes on to share “the ten-faceted jewel of knowledge and wisdom I’ve been given in exchange for all the pain and tremors”, which  you won’t want to miss.  The second facet, for those of us brave enough to look with Martin past denial into the possibility of a meaningful life that leaves nothing out:  “With courage, we move forward-despite our fear.”  To read the rest of Martin’s blog, click here. […]

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