Judith Martin, a registered clinical counsellor in Duncan, is facilitating a course for seniors which she is calling “Conscious Aging.”
The course, costing $80 and comprising four weekly classes of two hours each on Tuesday afternoons, begins on March 28 and will be presented in the Island Savings Centre.
Martin maintains that although we have challenges in our later years, we also have opportunities to create and lead fulfilling and purposeful lives. In the past, she says, society has tended to focus on the losses we suffer as we age, a perspective that emphasizes neediness and suggests that seniors no longer have a relevant role to play in society.
On the other hand, Conscious Aging asserts that the third stage of life is every bit as important as the first two stages and has its own special characteristics.
The Conscious Aging movement started in the early 1990s when a number of people expressed interest in exploring what it means to grow older with awareness.
It is a continuation of personal development.
Martin says, “The course I am offering will focus on aspects of creating meaning and purpose, rethinking our values, as well as taking a backward look at our lives and exploring how we can free ourselves from the pull of past grievances which might be tying up some of our energy and releasing the baggage of past resentments and hurts.”
According to Martin another component of the course is a focus on self-compassion. She maintains that it is important to be patient with ourselves when we find we are not able to do the things we were once able to do.
Another important feature of the course will be the interaction with other seniors.
Questions like “What does aging mean to me?” “How can I deal with my fears about aging?” “How can I find fulfillment and dignity as I age?” “What is the purpose of my life now?” often arise in our quiet moments but are not often addressed in public.
Martin says that the concept and practice of aging consciously resonate with her on a personal level. During her 50 years as an educator and registered clinical counsellor she has enjoyed developing and facilitating workshops which are personally meaningful. She suggested an alternative title for the course could be “Beyond the Bucket List.”
Check on Facebook.com/seniorsconsciousaging to learn more.