Since my early twenties, I’ve shared with others a dream about living in community. Indeed, I have experienced community life several times. It makes sense to me, and I ultimately want to co-create a living community in which I can age with others who hold common values. One of those values is sharing gifts and talents with the larger society.
During the late 1990s, when the White Buffalo Singers were active, we practiced at a retirement home. Sometimes residents came to our sessions, and occasionally we held special singing events for everyone. Music is such a universal language! Eventually, organizers of the ‘Women and Aging’ Conference at a local university invited us to provide a music workshop for the conference. Participants considered it a success.
A few years ago I participated in Jean Houston’s Initiation of the Sage program, which I found valuable. Recently I enrolled in several online courses within the Elder Spirituality Project on the Spirituality and Practice website. One of them was with Joan Chittister; another with Angeles Arrien; and a third with Christina Baldwin. I have other Sounds True elder programs, but haven’t listened to all of them.
In late 2013 I learned about the Conscious Aging Program created by the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS), and I liked what they had created. As a result, I studied their curriculum and went through the process of becoming a Conscious Aging Facilitator Graduate. The program is holistic and relevant. It is something I intend to offer, because I think participants will find it quite valuable.
Conscious Aging sessions can be facilitated individually in 2 or 3-hour workshops or in other combinations of days or weekend retreats. During these sessions, participants have the opportunity to explore unexamined, self-limiting beliefs, stereotypes and assumptions about aging and make better, more conscious choices about their worldview on aging. They reflect on what has given heart and meaning to their lives and how that informs their intentions for the aging process.
Finally, each workshop focuses on listening to inner wisdom and guidance, integrating Talking Points and best practices, sharing in intimate conversation circles, and listening to the collective wisdom of the group. They build on a sense of community created within the group throughout their time together. I’ll post planned workshops, but please contact me, if you want something customized for a particular group.