According to the U.S. Administration on Aging, by 2030 there will be approximately 72 million people aged 65 years and older, more than twice the number in 2000. This will represent 19% of the population, up significantly from 12.4% of the population in the year 2000. In our youth obsessed culture, there is a lot of fear and anxiety about aging. Many people will face their later years as solo agers. Fears about aging or facing death and dying alone are painful for many.
Aging is indeed challenging and it requires our strongest inner core to come forward to help us survive — and thrive — during these life stages. However, it is also a time of great opportunity for spiritual, emotional and psychological growth. Over the past seven years, IONS has been developing Conscious Aging programs for hundreds of seniors to address these challenges and opportunities. We have found that seniors are yearning to engage in dialogue together on these issues. They are looking for guidance, connection, and community to help fortify themselves for their aging years. That is what the IONS Conscious Aging program is designed to provide.
Workshop Session Topics
One: Introduction to Conscious Aging
Four: Life Review
Five: Transformative Practices
Six: Death Makes Life Possible
Seven: Surrender – Letting Go
Eight: Creating a New Vision of Aging
The desired outcomes of the Conscious Aging workshop program are to:
• explore unexamined, self-limiting beliefs, stereotypes, and assumptions about aging and make better, more conscious choices about our worldviews on aging;
• develop self-compassion to cope more effectively with change, worry, and stresses associated with aging;
• discover and reflect on what has given heart and meaning to our lives and how that informs our intentions for our aging process;
• enhance connection and reduce isolation from others and the web of life by understanding our shared humanity in the aging process; and
• reduce fear and increase acceptance in the presence of death and dying for ourselves and for our loved ones.
Definition of IONS Conscious Aging
Examining our emotional, psychological and spiritual responses to the challenges and opportunities of aging so that we live with an open and accessible heart, regardless of the external circumstances we may encounter.