Published in Tone Magazine, June 2012 Issue
We enter “new turnings” regularly as we move through our lives. At each turning, we change how we feel about ourselves, our community and the future. Between 50 and 60, we arrive at one of these turnings, when life offers us one of our last opportunities to evaluate and to transform who we are.
There is a new urgency at this time, as we have, at best, another 20 to 30 years before we become either physically and/or mentally unable to live the quality of life that we want. Before it is too late, now is the time to excavate our lives, to see the journey taken so far, to give ending to what needs to be completed, as well as to originate what needs to begin, to access our deepest gifts and to reclaim what we have set aside, so that we may make the most of this third stage of life.
As we live busy lives, many of us do not take the time that is necessary to be present to this turning, or transition. We continue living, pushing forward and take life as it comes. We often just touch the surface of what is happening within us, not taking the time to go deeper, beneath the surface.
It is in these depths, however, that the gold lies. As we know, gold is hidden deep in the dark. By bringing the light of awareness to the darkness, we can then access the gold of our deepest wisdom, the wisdom that comes with age.
The act of excavating the wisdom of age flies in the face of a society that is obsessed with youth. We are told that as long as we stay ‘young at heart’, we will beat getting old. ‘Getting old’ is now interpreted to mean being dowdy, boring and discarded – nobody will need us if we are old.
Ironically, nothing could be further from the truth! In fact, to become an elder is to step further into our lives, into our Purpose on earth. As we fulfill our purpose, we not only feel more fulfilled personally but also enrich the lives of our families and our communities. When we grow into the role of elder, we continue to evolve, to deepen our rich fertile life including a depth of character where meaning is more important than wanting and having.
My work as a Life in Transition Coach is designed to support and challenge people to take on this transition to elder fully either in a one-on-one setting or in my program – New Life after 50: The Third Stage of Life (www.lifeintransition.ca). I believe it is our birthright and our responsibility to become elders. Engaging with the transformation of becoming Elder will yield our most beautiful gold, enabling us to live our best lives, for ourselves and for the world at large.
Thérèse Kelders, Life Transition Coach
Provides individual and in-depth programs on the third stage of life.