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Helping you navigate through the second half of life with clarity, vision and purpose

Conscious Aging

© 2015 Brenda Dineen | Reprinting permission with credit to author

‘To live the life one has imagined:  that is the sum and purpose of the whole second half of life.‘-James Hollis, author of “Finding Meaning In The Second Half Of Life “

Graceful aging.  Healthy aging.  Growing younger. Audacious aging.  Anti-aging. ’60 is the new 40’. Aging backwards. (I just heard this one recently.) Conscious aging. Conscious eldering.

Are you feeling bombarded or bewildered by all the different messages you are getting about aging?  Are you confused or trying to sort out where you are at in your own life journey?

We are living in an age where we continually get messages about being youthful. We aren’t young anymore. We ask ourselves, “Is life all downhill from here?”

Also, we are now in a time when life expectancy is much longer. We have the technology and resources to have a healthier and longer life as we move into our elder years. Our generation has the privilege of not only living longer but having many more opportunities than our parents did.  We are the first generation who will be aging consciously.

We each experience the aging process individually.  Perhaps what we can all agree on is this:  We are all changing.  I met with a friend for lunch one day and she said,  “Take a good look at me now.  I will have a few more wrinkles in three years.”

Most people in the second half of life are noticing changes in their body and their health.  I am not as resilient as I was 10 or 20 years ago.  I don’t even like to stay out late at night. When I was in my 30s I could go stay up late at a Saturday night party and get up on Sunday and carry on with lots of energy.  Not any more.

This winter I had continual knee pain, followed by back pain.  I have gotten treatment from my chiropractor but I wasn’t able to exercise for a few months.  Now I find myself stiff and sore.  I’ve discovered that yoga classes are very helpful in keeping me flexible both in body and mind. One thing we all need is to keep moving. 

Aging is not just a physical process of changes in your body and your health. You are likely facing additional challenges:  family issues, decisions about retirement and changing perspectives in life.

What is hard for many people to be aware of are the gifts of aging. Our culture is sadly lacking in understanding these gifts.  But we hold wisdom from life experience.  Aging is a natural process, a journey into our elder years when we can savor the life experience we have had and share this with others.

If you feel bombarded by mixed messages about aging, this is something you can do:  Check in with yourself.

Ask yourself some questions:

  • What is true for me today?
  • What challenges am I working through?
  • What am I enjoying at this time?
  • What do I dream about for my future?  Am I looking forward to?
  • Do I have a deeper sense of purpose?

I talk to lots of people who are retired and they say they have many things ‘to keep them busy’.  It sounds like being busy is the ultimate goal for some. There is a big difference between filling time and living one’s precious elderhood with as much purpose and passion as possible.

There are many people leading the current wave of conscious aging and helping others find new purpose and inspiration in the second half of life. One of these people is Ron Pevny, author of a new book: ’Conscious Living Conscious Aging’. Many Baby Boomers are no longer satisfied with the idea that contribution in life ends when they retire.  Ron Pevny presents a new model for positive aging that focuses on the potential for growth, service, fulfillment and spiritual exploration.  He calls his work Conscious Eldering and he leads retreats and workshops in Canada and the U.S. I like the way he opens the possibilities for people from a variety of backgrounds to see they can make a difference in life for others and to see the elder years as a time of growth and deep fulfillment.  I recommend his book.

Ron is leading a one week retreat at Breitenbush Hot Springs in Oregon at the end of June. For further information check his website: www.centerforconsciouseldering.com.

There are so many possibilities for you to consider:

  • becoming more reflective
  • having creative pursuits
  • learning something new
  • writing your memoir
  • volunteering

How you age is a choice.  If you could see yourself in 15 or 20 years, what would you feel satisfied with? What dreams do you want to fulfill?  Most importantly, how do you want to be feeling?

The most important aspect of your own aging is your attitude.  Do you see new possibilities for growth and contribution on the horizon of your older years?  If so, you can have a very fulfilling life as you get older.

If you are needing support with any aspects of aging or life in the second half, please call me and we can talk about ways I can help you. I offer free phone consultations:  604-435-9400.

warm wishes

Brenda