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Posts Tagged ‘Becoming an elder’

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In our Conscious Aging workshops we talked about becoming an elder and what that really means to us.  Being a conscious elder is different than just being old. We discovered that life is a process that leads us on a journey of awakening to ‘self’…who we truly are and what is our truth and passion. We have the opportunity as we age to become an elder who can finally feel a sense of freedom, joy, creativity.
Each of us is a seed of consciousness that grows and blooms.  Life presents us with lots of challenges.  It is how we respond to our challenges that creates healing and love in our lives.  When we discover how to let go of anger, regrets and grief, our hearts open and are full of love and gratitude.   When we ‘go with all your heart’ as Confucius says…an elder can be a powerful being, a loving being and one who brings comfort to those who are afraid of living fully.  Confucius also said if you are committed to being a Sage, you will become a Sage.  If you are committed to being worthy, you will be worthy.  So if you are committed to growing older consciously with awareness, with an open heart and accessible heart, you will be a conscious elder, a conscious being.
I think the greatest gift and elder can reveal to younger people is that they do not have to wait till they are an elder to experience awakening to truly loving yourself.  Indeed, this should happen when we are very young.  It is in our uniqueness that our beauty is revealed.  We can feel unity with others and share in community but not lose who we are.  We simply share what gifts we have with others and love is the biggest and grandest gift you have to offer!
Cathy Carmody wrote a poem about her process of becoming an elder~ a process of letting go or as she calls it ‘leaving behind’…and becoming something new.

 

Becoming an Elder

Leaving behind my journey of struggling and racing through
the white water of many rivers, I become the river,
creating my own unique way.

Leaving behind my self-imposed role as a tree upon
which others have leaned, I now become the wind,
with the freedom to blow whenever and wherever I choose.

Leaving behind the boxes I’ve created in my life, crammed with
roles, responsibilities, rules and fears,
I become the wild and unpredictable space
within which flowers sprout and grow.

Leaving behind the years of yearning for others
to see me as somebody,
I soften into becoming my future,
with permission from SELF to
continually unfold as I choose, without concern
for how others may see me.

Leaving behind years of telling and teaching,
I become instead a mirror
into which others can peer and
view reflections of themselves to consider.

Leaving behind the urge to provide answers for others,
I become – in the silence of this forest retreat
– the question.

Leaving behind the rigor of my intellect,
I become a single candle in the
darkness, offering myself as a beacon for others
to create their own path.

I become an elder.

This poem was written at a ‘Choosing Conscious Elderhood Retreat’ at the Sea to Sky Retreat Centre, British Columbia, Canada in August 2012. This retreat was offered by The Centre for Conscious Eldering.

Cathy Carmody died in 2017; her website www.cathycomody.com, continues to be a source of inspiration.  She gave permission for others to share her poem as long as she is credited as author.

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