Conscious Aging Event
January 15, 2019Karen West, who is a founding member of The Transition Network, is also a Certified Sage-ing Leader for the nonprofit Sage-ing International (sage-ing.org). Karen began the event with a brief history of the movement. She emphasized the contributions of several thinkers in the movement and recommended books and other resources for further exploration.
Explaining that the short two-hour length of the workshop limited what she could cover, Karen nevertheless covered a lot of ground during the allotted time. Participants were invited to share how they thought about the last 30 years of life and the inevitable aging that takes place. Were they denialists, realists or enthusiasts? Were they clinging to age 49? Were they equating successful aging to what they could "still" do? Were they embracing the potential of this time of life to become who they truly are meant to be? Successful aging embraces the physical changes and values spiritual growth.
Karen led the group in doing individual "life reviews". To do this, participants chose a span of 7 years in their lives (usually the span of years they were currently in) and reflected on what were the significant moments, who were the people who guided and influenced them, and what were the positive developments that occurred within that span of years.
Another exercise involved meditating out loud with a silent partner on the question "As I age, how am I becoming more the person I think I am meant to be?". The silent partner asked the question of the speaking partner repeatedly, thereby inviting the speaking partner to deeply explore the answer to the question. By switching roles halfway through the exercise, each woman was afforded the gift of being heard and the gift of time to meditate.
Judging by participants' comments at the end of the workshop, the workshop was success, not only in opening people's vision of aging as a positive experience, but also in showing the value of exploring this critical subject.