I had the distinct honor and pleasure to attend the Sage-ing Conference this fall in Colorado. I was amazed how long many of these Elders have promoted Conscious Aging and I only discovered this through the Reb Zalman book we started last spring. Now I have John Robinson, Connie Goldman, Jerome Kerner, Lynn Isner, Rick Moody, Carol Osborne, Joanne Macy and many others to inspire me.
The Conference sessions were widely varied and interesting. I was excited to learn of the Elder Activists, Center for Conscious Aging, Conscious Aging Alliance, Legacy of Wisdom, Aging in Community, Elders Standing and so much more. The presenters were inspiring and encouraging. The attendees were open, friendly and equally inspiring.
One of the best things I came away with is a renewed sense of being ok with myself and the freedom to do what I want now. Why would I care what others think at this time… Grow out the gray, go back to college, go for those hikes, move, become an artist, or Not! Follow the heart now! This is clearly a spiritual approach to aging that has so much joy and acceptance within it. It encourages activism large and small, looking at what we can do to give back and connect with the earth, youth and life. Gray Power!
It was so refreshing to see so many in their 70s and 80s that were so vibrant and alive. The warmth and love that I felt there was amazing. It is refreshing to openly talk about death and Awakening the Sage Within by facing our life and death squarely and with love. There were lots of deep listening exercises, I felt heard and actually heard myself in that context. I learned to appreciate how precious my childhood was, despite the pains that can be universal. I was raised in nature, and Nature was featured as an important connection for all of us.
There are so many stereotypes about aging and we have changed in our interests and abilities. What are we looking forward to? There was learning, community, service and spirituality woven throughout. Very inclusive.