Marcia Newman

Psychotherapist, Conscious Aging Consultant & Author

The Gift of Eldering

As I look back on this past year, I recognize and acknowledge all of you brave souls who continue to suit up and show up for the greater good. I appreciate your shining examples of perseverance and hard-earned wisdom. In particular, this writing is a tribute to the most undervalued and underutilized resource: conscious elders.

Ron Pevny, Director of the Center for Conscious Eldering knows the aging process seems to bring out either the best or the worst in people— magnifying and emphasizing the flaws and shadow elements of some of us; amplifying the wisdom, radiance and compassion in others. The question carried by those of us committed to becoming peaceful, fulfilled elders is, “how can my aging bring out the best in me?”

Holiday gathering at the beach
Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash

Eldering is a stage not an age. Consciousness means acute awareness. The essential starting point to the inner work of eldering is to know who we really are. Aware of our inner divinity, our authentic emotions, our creative visions, our additional strengths, losses and other challenges. Aware of this disempowering culture that surrounds us with messages that aging is dreadful and to be avoided, instead of embracing life at any age.

This holiday season is a chance to be a conscious elder in the room. Not a know-it-all. Nor a platform to provide a litany of our latest medical procedures. Choose to uplift the conversation with your caring, compassionate (and hopefully, mischievous) presence and voice. I salute you. We need the wisdom and gifts of older adults. It can be special nourishment for a world starved of meaning.

No matter what holiday you celebrate, I wish you a safe, happy holiday season and a peaceful and prosperous 2023!