Monday, December 16, 2013

Time of the Long Night Moon

Downtown Ashland, Oregon in December snowstorm. Photo by Mark Arinsburg
Over a week ago, we had an unusual snowstorm that dropped 4-6 inches on the floor of the Rogue Valley. We are accustomed to snow in the mountains, but that amount of snow on the valley floor is rare. Temperatures fell to 4-6 degrees for several nights. Snowplows were unable to make a dent in the icy snow.

Even attempts to strew cinders on the dangerous surfaces did not succeed, with cinder loads sticking together, making them useless. Road conditions were quite dangerous for 5 or 6 days.

Schools were closed, and if they could people just stayed home.

Not a Christmas tree, but a festive jungle cactus
What in the world is up with her?
It was very beautiful though, as this photo of the downtown area shows. It was a good respite to stay at home for 5 days. Finally, there was a thaw, and everyone started to move around in the world again.

I've lived in the Ashland area since 1977, except for 4 years spent in Portland in the mid 80s. I never consciously intended to stay here that long. It just happened. I love it here. It is familiar. I have many longtime friends and connections. Yet I am feeling that it's time for a change.

I bought a house 2 1/2 years ago, a place I call the flower cottage. For years, I dreamed of having a house like this with a beautiful flower garden, and I have been enjoying living here. My younger daughter did a beautiful job painting the walls when I first moved in. It was such a loving gesture on her part. Still, it is feeling like time for  change.

Here we are at the end of year holidays. It will be full moon in two days, the "long night moon." I'm a Buddhist, and now that my kids are grown, I don't much celebrate Christmas. But it is the darkest time of the year, and that darkness calls out for some ornamentation to offset the long nights. So I found a few festive objects to decorate the jungle cactus in the kitchen, and that is my version of a Christmas tree this year.

I'm going to put my house on the market in January and I am planning to move to Baja. I want to be near the ocean. I want to be in a different culture. In letting go of the flower cottage and moving to Baja, I want to create a lifestyle that is simpler, slower and more affordable.

I have some friends in northern Baja. They are a large Mexican family who have grounded a meditation center in Ensenada for many years. I am hoping that they will help me find my way past the gringo ghettos. I have to learn Spanish. I keep telling myself it will not be that difficult, because I know French. But really, I have to get with it.

I wonder how I will dispose of the many beautiful objects I surround myself with. When this seems too impossible, I remind myself of all the beautiful clothing, chairs, tables, houses, pets, and lovers-- not necessarily in that order--that I have enjoyed and left along the way. Like the orange wing chair I had when I was 19 and lived in NYC, or the blue and white checked gingham pinafore I loved so much when I lived at Cherrymont in the Pennsylvania countryside. Or that thick beaver coat, which was so warm and stylish. I won't get into the lovers at the moment, though the beaver coat reminded me of them somehow.

Accumulating and dispersing. I've already started to take books off the shelves in order to donate them to the library. I will have to be careful not to try to dismantle things too fast. I want to keep the ceramic pomegranate from Italy and the bright blue butterfly. But many things will get passed along to be enjoyed afresh by others. This time of life is a time of letting go. It's good to practice letting go. I am looking around my house and thinking of who among my friends would enjoy certain objects and implements.

 I just read an article about hygge, which is pronounced  HYU-gah.  Hygge describes a way that people cultivate happiness in Denmark, which is considered one of the happiest countries in the world, despite the fact it is so cold and dark in winter. They seem to have a good thing going, so I thought you might like to tune into some of the ways the Danes cultivate their happiness.

Hope your holidays are full of happiness, warmth and love. May this coming year bring beauty, delight and richness of all kinds into your world.

Monday, December 2, 2013

New moon contemplations

Two small figures made of Herend China from Hungary circle a small Tibetan prayer wheel on the mantel





It has been so long since I've felt inclined to share here in any real way that I feel I should be opening the door with a big grin and yelling, "Honey, I'm home!"

Sometimes I learn by eliminating what I do not want. This has been the case recently. I joined the Ashland Chamber of Commerce a couple of months ago, with the encouragement of my business consultant. I am not placing any blame on him. His job is to help his clients move forward with their business. And he is very helpful in that regard. I have enjoyed working with him for the past few years. He has a lot of wonderful qualities. It's not about him. It's about me.

It found it instructive to attend Greeters meetings on Friday mornings at 8:15 and experience the manic and usually sincere energies of such a varied group of humans, all doing their best to make a good impression on each other and also make a living.

I am humbled by what I've experienced there. I feel for all of us, all of us human beings. And there were some magical and delightful moments, not only when the energetic gal in a red evening dress jumped up on the bar during the meeting she sponsored. That was dramatic enough but it was just as sweet to see how people engage each other with humor, props and stories. I was moved to see each of us present ourselves. Every one of us is uniquely marvelous. And it has been my long belief that we are often reduced to confining ourselves by the circumstances of our lives. Attending the Greeters meetings brought that up for me. 

Then I agreed to advertise in a wonderful paper here called Locals Guide. I like the fellow who runs it. I appreciate his philosophy and his qualities. He is a real sweetie. But the closer it came to my interview being featured in the paper (something I was paying for), the more uneasy I felt.

So I had to bail out. I felt very bad about leaving him in the lurch. I did leave him in the lurch and I am not a person who makes a habit of that. While all this was happening, it occurred to me at long last that my heart was really not in it,  really not into promoting my various talents and skills in this way anymore.

I have done it for a long time, and I am weary of it.  I began to think, "Maybe I should just drop it completely." It being the many unfinished creative projects and services I have been concocting for the past 5 years. The musical revue, the individual coaching work, the workshops.


The prayer flags in front of the Tashi Choling temple make a beautiful sound in the wind


I think my passion for shifting the paradigm on aging is a version of saving the world. Of course, it will be great when the paradigm on aging shifts to a more positive one. That's not what I am talking about though.  As you probably already know, thinking he or she can save the world has a certain fairly immense amount of egotism to it. But leaving that aside, the question of egotism, my heart was just not in  it anymore. I was burned out. I had lost the joy and inspiration, and was just slogging along as a responsible adult often does.

Too adult, too responsible. Fortunately, there are many other people who care about shifting the paradigm, so it is just fine if I shift my own attention. And I am.

I am re-imagining the ways I engage in Sage's Play in order to include my own growth and pleasure in the equation.  I am letting go into a new field of experience. And this includes a certain amount of change, loss, and uncertainty. I'm okay with that.

New moon is the time in the lunar cycle for new beginnings. New vistas. Am I retired? Have I dropped out? Stay tuned....





Saturday, November 16, 2013

Brief encounters

I enjoyed sharing some positive aging perspectives and a couple of the songs from A New Wrinkle today at the AARP's Vital Aging conference for southern Oregon. Several hundred people attended.

Just before I got ready to leave one of the workshops, I saw Jean Mountaingrove, whose 88th birthday party I participated in recently. She was wearing an Audacious Aging button from the kit I had given her as a birthday present. I commented on the button, and she asked, "Now where did we get that?" touching the button with her fingers. "I gave it to you," I told her.

We exchanged another pleasantry and I said goodbye. I walked outside, feeling a bit sad. Loss--there is a lot of it in aging.

As I walked to my car, I met a cheerful woman navigating with a walker. She thanked me for my performance. "The lectures are great, but what you did really got to the essence," she told me with a warm smile. "I loved the songs."

When I got home, I decided to take a walk. The sky was overcast but it was not really that cold out. I saw an older man coming toward me, walking on the opposite side of the street. He wore a baseball cap and kept his head down. When we were closer to each other, he raised his head. I saw that he had sunglasses on. With a big smile, he looked at me and asked, "Well do you think we are doing any good?" I was taken aback by his comment at first. "I sure hope so," I told him. And I do.


P.S. You might enjoy reading the Sage's Play monthly newsletter for November
Wishing you a happy and rejuvenating Thanksgiving time.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Upcoming events: AARP Vital Aging Conference




 
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Southern Oregon Vital Aging Conference
Smullin Center
2825 E. Barnett Rd., Medford, Oregon
Saturday, November 16, 2013

The conference starts at 9:30am. At 12:45, I will be presenting "You Look So Good for Your Age" --a mix of motivational pro-aging talk, stories and some songs from our musical revue A New Wrinkle. Hope you can join us!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Some Pro-Aging News for YOU

Since not all of you know about the monthly newsletter I produce, I wanted to share our just-published October newsletter with you.

I think you will find that it contains some interesting news about aging, from the standpoint of various people, including author-activist Ashton Applewhite and neurologist-author Oliver Sacks. Hope you will take a moment to click the link and check it out.

I invite you to subscribe to receive the monthly newsletter in order to stay informed of creative aging programs we are presenting. You can do so at our Sage's Play website home page. 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Autumn garden, crowdfunding notes and an honoring ceremony

Pink sedum, yellow and gold crysanthemums
 The front garden is ornamented with some lovely autumn flowers. It's such a pleasure to be with the garden as it changes throughout the year. Right now there's pink sedum, red penstemon, yellow and rust colored crysanthemums, tall pink hyssop, and the roses are uttering their last blooming breaths before getting quiet for the winter.

I've planted winter vegetable starts and I hope that they flourish. It makes such a difference to have some fresh, home grown greens in the fall and winter.

We are well into our IndieGoGo crowdfunding campaign. We have raised $600 from 12 donors so far. I've been emailing and posting the news about our project to various groups and communities, and I hope that some more folks join our tribe during the campaign. We want to raise $25,000, so we have a bit of a hike to get there from here. That is one of my understatements.

A couple of days ago I sent an email to Dr. Andrew Weil and one to author/neurologist Dr. Oliver Sacks, too. I figure, what the heck? Both of them are certainly pro-aging types. One never really knows who will become a fan or supporter. And if people have never heard about what you are doing, they never have a chance to take part. Communication. Connecting. Visibility. All important.

I've been making some new friends at the Chamber of Commerce meetings. That's  fun, and I'm sure it will continue in that vein. Chamber members are very supportive of each other. That's one of the great things about being part of the Chamber. And I am also enjoying visiting various business locations in the city. It's interesting and refreshing to experience the variety of businesses and nonprofits here and to get to know the people who are involved with them.

My hypnotherapy/ rapid eye practice has been rewarding. That's nothing new, really. I love doing this kind of work because people get positive results from it. I did some hypnotherapy sessions with a 91-year old woman who was experiencing severe chronic pain. She was quite open and she got the gist of the work right way. By the end of the session, she was pain free. It was really great to help her gain some tools to shift her awareness in order to reduce and manage her pain sensations. Hypnotherapy is wonderful for transforming many issues and difficulties. The unconscious mind does all the work, while the person just rests and relaxes.

New and exciting in my world! This weekend, I am leading an elder honoring ceremony for the 88th birthday of a woman well loved and respected in the local womens' community. I am pleased to have been invited to conduct the ceremony, share some songs from A New Wrinkle, and lead a conversation on aging, including some talk about ways to respond to ageism.

I  will be offering elder honoring ceremonies through Sage's Play and will be writing more about them in a future post.

On another note, it would sure be great if you or your friends would like to support our IndieGoGo campaign. You can listen to the cute song Laura Rich and I created and read all about our musical revue at this link here.

Doing this IndieGoGo campaign is a great learning experience, no matter how much we raise. Of course, the closer we can get to our fundraising goal, the better off our project will be. Your help is most welcome. If the spirit moves you, send us a tax-deductible donation. No donation is too small or too large.

Hope all is flowing well in your life. Sending a smile and wishing you a beautiful autumn season. Have the leaves started to fall where you live? Here, they have not, but by tomorrow who knows?


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Please Help Us Produce A New Wrinkle and Shift the Paradigm on Aging

Gaea Yudron

Visit our just-launched IndieGoGo campaign site here.

Laura Rich
Four years ago, I was fortunate to discover composer Laura Rich, a delightful woman with a great deal of soul, humor and musical talent. As it happened, Laura was enthusiastic about my idea to create a musical revue on aging. She wholeheartedly agreed that our society's notions about aging were obnoxious and unreal, and that they needed to change for the better.


So Laura and I began our collaboration. In the process we began to develop a friendship, too. That's been a beautiful bonus of working together.  Now we have nearly finished creating A New Wrinkle, our provocative, witty musical revue.

Carolyn Myers
A New Wrinkle has a mission--to shift the paradigm on aging, to raise awareness, instigate dialogue and propel social change. We would like to see the revue produced in communities across the country, focusing attention on aging much as The Vagina Monologues focused attention on womens' issues.

My longtime friend Carolyn Myers has been involved in theater for decades as an actor, writer and director. Carolyn is magnanimous by nature and has always been very supportive of my creative work. I would not have been able to proceed without her, because when I began I had so little understanding of how to develop material for theater. Her suggestions and observations, always given with such diplomacy, have been  essential to the project.

Gary A. Einhorn


Business consultant Gary Einhorn is part of the team, too. I have been working with Gary for several years. He is practical, intuitive, educated and literate, and from my standpoint as an artist and social entrepreneur, Gary's qualities and his ability to support the project as a work of art have been very valuable, especially at those times when it seemed difficult to proceed. He is a good friend.

Larry and Joy Marshall, partners in Marshall Fundraising and Event Production, have been very supportive as we move forward. Their interest in helping to produce A New Wrinkle has been and is very encouraging.  As I have probably said before in this blog, creating art can sometimes be a bit of a lonely occupation, and it's wonderful to meet friends and kindred spirits who are excited about what you are doing.

In fact, nothing ever gets accomplished in this world without the participation of many people, no matter in what its field of endeavor. Art, science, business, education, medicine, religion, all depend upon the gathering of many people. And it's the same with our project, the musical revue A New Wrinkle, which is like a ship we want to send out into the world to create positive change.

We hope that you are part of that change, that you are part of our tribe, our crew, part of the growing grassroots movement to shift the paradigm on aging from its current dismal state.

We've launched a 40-day fundraising program on IndieGoGo in order to raise money to produce and promote the revue. Laura and I wrote a song for the campaign! You can listen to us and see us singing it on our IndieGoGo site. And you can read our story there.

You can send us a contribution too--hey every bit adds up.  If all you can send is $5, we welcome that and your interest in our work to shift the paradigm on aging. Of course, no contribution is too big, either.

We welcome your contribution, no matter what size--you're changing the world you realize.

So check out our IndieGoGo site and please help us however you can. You can help us to spread the word via your email list, Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. We are all in this together. We spend one-third of our lives as older adults, and we will all feel a lot happier as the culture opens up to the blessings and delights of later life, and to the real value of older people.



Friday, September 20, 2013

The season changes


It's been over a month since I blogged here. Why? It's not that I had nothing to say. It is more that I felt inundated with media and not inclined to add to the flood.

Perhaps I will blog less often from now on. We will see.

The full moon last night was so bright. I woke before dawn and went out to gaze at its radiance and the bright display of the constellations. Even a moment or two of that kind of sky gazing fills me with considerable joy.

Tonight we're having a bit of rain. It grew dark early. I lit a candle on the mantle, something I often do in the autumn and winter months.

The squash and potatoes are harvested from the back garden, along with a rather disappointing collection of tomatoes, and I've planted cauliflower, mustard greens, chard and kale, along with some brussel sprouts, which I hope recover from whatever insect attacked them a week ago.

In a few days, we are launching a fundraising campaign on IndieGoGo in order to raise money to produce and promote our musical revue on aging, A New Wrinkle. I am sure that the adventure will be full of enjoyable surprises. I will let you know more about it when the launch occurs. Composer Laura Rich and I created a song to accompany the campaign, and it's a lot of fun. Take a listen when I send the link.

My life lately have been focused on developing the creative aging and wellness work I do through Sage's Play. I recently joined the Ashland Chamber of Commerce and have been enjoying meeting an entire cornucopia of members at Greeters meetings each Friday. It feels good to connect this way, meeting many new people, learning about their work, and getting to know them as human beings.

I gave a talk on Buddhism recently at the Rogue Valley Manor, a large residence for older adults here in southern Oregon. There was a great audience of 160 people. It was quite a good experience for me, and I know that many people there enjoyed it, because they told me so. The talk was part of a series called "Speaking of Faith" organized by Father Joel Maiorano, the chaplain at the manor. It's really the first time I gave a presentation on Buddhism, although I've been a Buddhist for nearly 40 years.

The Adventure of Aging, a series of monthly gatherings I lead at Skylark Assisted Living, have grown more and more warm and uplifting, often punctuated with marvelous humor, too. The gatherings include a variety of elements, including meditation, relaxation exercises, poetry, music, reminiscence and discussion of topics that have ranged from childhood memories to writing our own obituaries. It's been beautiful to see a community develop among those who attend. Skylark's population includes many with dementia, and the residents without dementia are in a minority. They appreciate the spiritual and human potential aspects of what we do in the monthly gathering I lead. Sometimes, folks with dementia attend as well and while they cannot participate in everything, they seem to enjoy the camaraderie and good feeling that is shared among everyone.

My individual sessions with older adults (and people of all ages), which I think of as medicine for the body and soul, have also been occupying my attention. I use hypnotherapy and rapid eye technology to help people move through a variety of issues, including pain, PTSD, phobias and addictions, among others. This work is very satisfying. I love helping people create positive results in their lives.

Of course, I spend time watching the bees and butterflies and hummingbirds in the garden and appreciating the graceful way the tendrils of the squash and cucumber plants make their way along fences or onto other plants. That will all be changing now with autumn here. Ah, it has been so delightful, this summer and now it is ending. Soon the leaves will turn golden or red and they will fall. And so it is.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Upcoming Events

Speaking of Faith Series

Tuesday, September 3rd, 4-pm, Rogue Valley Manor auditorium, 1200 Mira Mar Avenue, Medford
 I'll be talking about my Buddhist journey as part of the Speaking of Faith series organized by Father Joel, chaplain at the Manor.

Songs of the Inner Life

Wednesday, September 11th, 1pm, Ashland Senior Center, Homes Avenue, Ashland
I'm reading from my new book Songs of the Inner Life, talking about life review and signing books afterwards

The Healing Power of Memoir and Life Review

Monday,  September 16th, 7pm, Ashland Food Co-op classroom, Pioneer Street, Ashland
In this talk, I'll discuss the importance of life review as a spiritual task of later life, and explore how memoir, poetry and storytelling can be used as tools for life review.

Excerpts from A New Wrinkle

Wednesday, September 18th, 1pm, Ashland Senior Center, Homes Avenue, Ashland
I'll be sharing some songs and dialog from our life-affirming, paradigm-shifting musical revue on aging

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Artist's Life: August Garden and YouTube Videos as a Creative Medium

A Japanese cucumber takes to the fence
This year, the tomatoes are surprisingly spare in their production. I was looking forward especially to the Cherokee Purples, which are so delicious. Six or so tomatoes on my one Cherokee Purple plant--ah well.

Even the cherry tomatoes are a bit stingy, well that is except for the chaotic mass of cherry tomato plants that seeded themselves from last year. They are forming a little tomato jungle in a section of the garden, outside of tomato cages and supports.

I do have some nice squash plants adventuring up fences and along the ground--kabocha, zucchini and delicata from the look of them. 

It's time to get the autumn garden going and yesterday I planted some swiss chard, kale and arugula seeds in a big raised bed.

It's August already. The summer is flying on much too quickly. But so it is.  Fortunately, we still have a bit more of it to enjoy.

Speaking of enjoyment,  I find that I rather enjoy making YouTube video clips.

I know that public speaking is at the top of the list of fears for many people. I used to be in that camp, but not these days. I don't recall exactly when things changed in that regard. But they did. I love public speaking and performing in general. To me, it's a form of creative play and expression that is invigorating and delightful.

Hostas are blooming and it's time to clean up the beds, too
The sunflower next to the compost area  is tall and happy
The process of creating YouTube clips gives me an opportunity to practice performing, and gives me feedback on body language, gestures and what works or needs change or improvement.

In its own way, it's like growing a garden.

With the help of my friend Anne, I recently created three YouTube video clips.

One video clip introduces my new book Songs of the Inner Life and talks about the healing power of memoir and life review. Two of the clips focus on A New Wrinkle, our musical revue on aging.

In those clips, I share snippets from several of the songs, including The Silver Tsunami, Sex after 60 and Hip Hop Elder's Rant. The videos are available at the Sage's Play website and I invite you to take a look at them. They are not perfect, but they are a lot of fun.

Fortunately or unfortunately, I am not a perfectionist. I do enjoy refining and improving whatever it is I am working on though. So I expect that as I continue with my YouTube explorations, my offerings will be even more fun both for me and for the viewer.

Today, I am heading over to Skylark Assisted Living to conduct my monthly group, Adventures in Aging. I plan to lead a deep relaxation experience with some music in the background. And of course, we will talk together, too.

I joined the Ashland Chamber of Commerce recently! It's part of my effort to become more locally visible and to make new friends and supporters in the community.

I did a book reading and signing at the library in town recently. That was lovely. My friend Neville, who now lives in Hawaii, arrived for it and stayed for a few days with me.  One day, we drove up Shale City Road to the Grizzly Peak trail, where wild daisies, lupine and grasses made the hillsides very beautiful.

 Composer Laura Rich and I had a wonderful meeting with Ilana Rubenfeld, who created the Rubenfeld Synergy Method. Ilana was a conductor earlier in her life, and has considerable musical background and skill. We met with her to talk about A New Wrinkle. As we left, she gave us a copy of her book The Listening Hand. I just finished reading it. A wonderful book--what a marvelous career she has had helping others heal. While she may be retired from that work (after training many others to carry it on) she brings all that experience and humor to her current life. She is a really vivid, enjoyable presence.

I am happy that she likes us and our musical revue, and am looking forward to more contact with her as time goes on and we get closer to production of the revue.

Ciao for now, dear reader. Hope your summer is blessing you with joy, relaxation, insights.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Healing Power of Memoir and Life Review, Septuagenarian Vitality and more....

 I am a big fan of Dr. Bill Thomas's work to provide  liveable alternatives to what we currently call nursing homes. Dr. Thomas does this pioneering work through The Eden Alternative and The Green House Project. Are you aware of his work? If not, check it out. It's marvelous and needed.

His blog Changing Aging is a platform for sharing news about his very important work and the work of others, too.

I am very pleased that I have had two guest blogs published on Changing Aging recently. My first blog was about our musical revue A New Wrinkle. How glad I was when Changing Aging Editor Kavan Peterson emailed me to tell me that he had listened to the mp3s of songs from the revue, and had read some of the lyrics on our website as well and that he found the songs funny and wonderful. As I've said before, the artist's life can sometimes be a solitary endeavor, and it is very encouraging to receive positive response from one's audience.

This morning, I had another guest blog published at Changing Aging, on the healing power of memoir and life review. 

In it, I describe the value of life review to older adults and share some experience of my own life review over the past 17 years, which has resulted in my new book Songs of the Inner Life.

Life review is considered one of the important tasks of later life. It allows us to examine, let go, forgive, understand and integrate our life experience.

On another note, Mick Jagger turned 70 and 71-year old Paul McCartney gave a big concert in Seattle. Both of these music icons' ages resulted in New York Times articles. The articles are very different from one another.

Gail Collins took a friendly retrospective view of what rockers including Jagger said about aging when they were younger, and how they feel about it now that they have entered the territory of aging. Her opinion piece is warm and engaging. Enjoying your life has a positive effect on the aging process as Collins points out.  "... if you’re doing something you love to do, you can rise above it."

The article Septuagenarian Strut by Timothy Egan is another story entirely. Egan's reflections on Paul McCartney's recent concert were unsettling, a  flagrant display of the kind of disgust many people feel about aging and older adults. It's a rather sad read. Egan himself is in the demographic he writes about so scathingly.   Such repulsion and aversion to aging--it cannot be healthy. Here's one excerpt.

"Milling about Safeco Field in Seattle under a nearly full moon, I loathed my self-loathing. Demographically speaking, I’m smack dab in the middle of a generation that refuses to acknowledge age or get off the stage. Where is the off-ramp marked grace, dignity or class for the 76 million Americans born between 1946 and 1964?"

Readers sent over 200 comments on each of these articles--the comments make for fascinating reading.

That's the news today from southern Oregon, where wildfires are raging all around, making the air very, very smoky. Air quality is rated as unhealthy and we are urged not to go outside at all. We are all hoping for the fires to be contained and the air to clear soon.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Content in My Own Company

I'm happy to be a contributor to Dr. Carol Orsborn's digest Fierce with Age. Dr. Orsborn is someone I have been getting to know better as we share notes and strategies in the work we each do in the field of aging.

In her latest issue of Fierce with Age she focuses on the themes of loneliness, being alone and choosing solitude. She included an excerpt of my book Songs of the Inner Life, in which I reflect upon being solitary and content with that. Click the link above to read the excerpt and the other contributions. Her digests are always worthwhile reading.
I find that I am content in my own company. This must be what I need at this time in my life. My daughters are grown. I’ve been single for over a decade, and I’m sailing toward 70. I don’t know if I will live till the morning or until I’m 80. But I do know I am in the winter of my life. And that gives everything I experience and want an edge.” - See more at: http://fiercewithage.com/digest-of-boomer-wisdom-inspiration-spirituality-20/#sthash.OldJFoAa.dpuf


Loneliness can be a problem as we age. It's important for our well-being to cultivate some dear friends, engage in some meaningful activities in groups we enjoy and find ways to come out into the community to share and contribute.

What are your methods for staying connected? Are you content in your own company, or do you find that you are lonely more than content?

Issues like loneliness are something that I help clients with in my Retirement and Inspirement Coaching practice.  Sessions can be done in person or long distance via Skype. I use a variety of tools, which may include rapid eye therapy, hypnotherapy, EFT (tapping), CCT (energy work), meditation and creativity exercises.


I love this exhuberant image of Albert Einstein and I resonate with what he has to say about play.

Play is an antidote for depression and loneliness.

Play naturally uplifts the spirit, activates the endorphins to increase joy, galvanizes creativity, sparks flexibility and spontaneity and increases well-being.

Play is good for us at any age. What kind of play do you enjoy most in your life?

What kind of play would you like to bring into your life?

P.S. 

If you are in Oregon's Rogue Valley, join me as I read from my new book Songs of the Inner Life at the Ashland Library on Monday August 5th at 6:30pm.
Childhood is finished, adolescence long gone, early adulthood and middle age, vanished. Yet even into my late forties, I held onto the hope that by some special magic provided to myself alone I would escape aging, not to mention dying, that somehow, I would be borne along on the beneficent stream of time, nicely preserved at a pleasant age, say 30 or so, hair all shiny black, body slender, with the smooth skin of relative youth. What a struggle it was, surrendering that fantasy. It took years of releasing, mourning and grieving. I ‘m not saying it’s completely done yet.  But much of it has lifted off.
I find that I am content in my own company. This must be what I need at this time in my life. My daughters are grown. I’ve been single for over a decade, and I’m sailing toward 70. I don’t know if I will live till the morning or until I’m 80. But I do know I am in the winter of my life. And that gives everything I experience  and want an edge.
The Universe continues to be generous, there is no doubt about it.  I have found it worthwhile to have a sense of humor about its abundance. Once in awhile, I have the urge to go up to the top of the nearby mountain and just shout “J’accepte! J’accepte already!” as loud as I can, in the hope that the Universe will reconsider my case, and speaking to itself as I’m sure it does, might say, “I think she has learned her cosmic lesson, don’t you?” and lighten up on the red hot lava flow it kindly sends me from time to time in its infinitely wise way. However, I suspect that I am still not finished being smelted in this particular crucible. J’accepte, j’accepte, smiling. J’accepte in whatever mood or circumstance. I am learning acceptance. So far, I have discovered that it is not pushing away.  It is not giving up. It is just allowing things to be as they are.
How ironic it is. That’s what I think when I remember this time. Wanting to expand out into more spacious experience, then shrinking up in fear at the enormous power of it. How safe it seems to stay with what is familiar, rather than taking the leap into the unknown. I wanted the big mythic knowledge, and I wanted to hang onto my little self. That was my struggle. I grappled with it as I lived my ordinary hours and days, sweeping the clearing in front of the cabin, making dinner, walking out on the mesa with the wind making waves in the tall grass, looking at the stars, having affairs, studying healing, swimming, writing poetry, working at the general store in Bolinas, that sweet refuge of a village, one of the most beautiful places I’ve had the pleasure to inhabit.…
Nor can I report that I have finished the work of letting go of the little self. I wish I could say that. Then again, if I were done, would I be bragging about it? No, I would be way past bragging about my accomplishments, spiritual or otherwise.  I think that when that time comes, it will be a blessed relief. Or maybe by then the idea of blessed relief will be in the past, too.
For more on Songs of the Inner Life, click HERE
- See more at: http://fiercewithage.com/contributors/guest-blog-by-gaea-yudron/#sthash.6Xi8Zsda.dpuf
Childhood is finished, adolescence long gone, early adulthood and middle age, vanished. Yet even into my late forties, I held onto the hope that by some special magic provided to myself alone I would escape aging, not to mention dying, that somehow, I would be borne along on the beneficent stream of time, nicely preserved at a pleasant age, say 30 or so, hair all shiny black, body slender, with the smooth skin of relative youth. What a struggle it was, surrendering that fantasy. It took years of releasing, mourning and grieving. I ‘m not saying it’s completely done yet.  But much of it has lifted off.
I find that I am content in my own company. This must be what I need at this time in my life. My daughters are grown. I’ve been single for over a decade, and I’m sailing toward 70. I don’t know if I will live till the morning or until I’m 80. But I do know I am in the winter of my life. And that gives everything I experience  and want an edge.
The Universe continues to be generous, there is no doubt about it.  I have found it worthwhile to have a sense of humor about its abundance. Once in awhile, I have the urge to go up to the top of the nearby mountain and just shout “J’accepte! J’accepte already!” as loud as I can, in the hope that the Universe will reconsider my case, and speaking to itself as I’m sure it does, might say, “I think she has learned her cosmic lesson, don’t you?” and lighten up on the red hot lava flow it kindly sends me from time to time in its infinitely wise way. However, I suspect that I am still not finished being smelted in this particular crucible. J’accepte, j’accepte, smiling. J’accepte in whatever mood or circumstance. I am learning acceptance. So far, I have discovered that it is not pushing away.  It is not giving up. It is just allowing things to be as they are.
How ironic it is. That’s what I think when I remember this time. Wanting to expand out into more spacious experience, then shrinking up in fear at the enormous power of it. How safe it seems to stay with what is familiar, rather than taking the leap into the unknown. I wanted the big mythic knowledge, and I wanted to hang onto my little self. That was my struggle. I grappled with it as I lived my ordinary hours and days, sweeping the clearing in front of the cabin, making dinner, walking out on the mesa with the wind making waves in the tall grass, looking at the stars, having affairs, studying healing, swimming, writing poetry, working at the general store in Bolinas, that sweet refuge of a village, one of the most beautiful places I’ve had the pleasure to inhabit.…
Nor can I report that I have finished the work of letting go of the little self. I wish I could say that. Then again, if I were done, would I be bragging about it? No, I would be way past bragging about my accomplishments, spiritual or otherwise.  I think that when that time comes, it will be a blessed relief. Or maybe by then the idea of blessed relief will be in the past, too.
For more on Songs of the Inner Life, click HERE
- See more at: http://fiercewithage.com/contributors/guest-blog-by-gaea-yudron/#sthash.6Xi8Zsda.dpuf

Guest Blog by Gaea Yudron

Guest Blog by Gaea Yudron

Guest Blog by Gaea Yudron