Marcia Newman

Psychotherapist, Conscious Aging Consultant & Author

Aging Is Another Word for Being Alive

I’ve just concluded teaching a 10-week graduate course on healthy aging at Antioch University-Santa Barbara. Some of you know, I made the weekly hike to their beautiful Santa Barbara campus. It was a joy AND a professional stretch to teach what I love–principles of conscious living and healthy aging!

Kids playing ball in meadow

My awesome students (therapists-in-training) ranged in ages from their 20’s to late 60’s. It was a unique multi-cultural and inter-generational experience. We covered a diverse terrain of aging concepts and controversies including; What should we call older adults? Why do our bodies grow old? Should people have the choice to end their lives? Is retirement obsolete?

  1. Aging is a gradual, lifelong process we all experience, starting at birth. Aging is not a disease. However, our society is infected with an anti-aging mindset that treats it like a disease.
  2. We’ve been taught that aging is synonymous with decline. We’ve learned to equate aging with heavy losses (which can happen). Yet, with a mature life being well lived, we have the opportunity to strengthen our muscles of appreciation for all we do have. Conscious aging encourages us to share our gifts as wise elders.
  3. Children are wonderful teachers. They help us to remember how to play, open our hearts and learn how to share our toys more. The dilemma being that children and elders are increasingly becoming isolated from one another. We must pursue more creative, meaningful and fun ways to connect all generations. More than ever, we need inter-generational interactions!

We don't stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.

Are you making gains with performing outrageous acts of silliness?   Dispensing kilos of kindness? How are you doing in your process of living and giving?

Live and Play well,