Living a Life as Deep and Meaningful as it is Long.
The past few years have shown a marked plateau and even decline in longevity in the U.S. such that we’re quickly falling behind the developed world. Even so, I have confidence our long-term longevity will continue to rise like the rest of the world. We may have gotten the quantity (length of life) right, but now it’s time to give more attention to the quality (depth of life).
I appreciate this quote (sent to me by MEA alum Douglas Tsoi) from the book “Romancing the Shadow: A Guide to Soul Work for a Vital, Authentic Life” by Connie Zweig and Steven Wolf:
“Many people awaken in adulthood to a growing desire for greater self-awareness and authenticity and for a deeper intimacy with others, both of which can be achieved with shadow-work. We suggest that this awakening desire is part of a natural developmental process that occurs in adults, which has been charted in the transpersonal and spiritual literature. Unlike the transition from adolescence to adulthood, which occurs biologically and therefore automatically, the transition to greater consciousness must be chosen and then enacted intentionally. This change involves, first of all, a shift in focus from the exterior world to the interior one.”
This eloquently speaks to why midlife wisdom schools are essential coming at the threshold of adulthood to elderhood, a time gerontologists are starting to call “middlescence.” Adulthood might last forty years (from age 18 to 58) and elderhood could be almost as long if - like my parents - you’re pushing into your mid-80s.
These aren’t meant to be purely “golden years,” but instead could be “emboldened years.” The definition of “emboldened” is “to give someone the courage or confidence to do something or to behave in a certain way.” These are the years when we’re being given the license to move from conventional to intentional as we’re no longer trying to satisfy others like we used to as we get more comfortable in our own skin (just as it starts to sag).
We feel even more emboldened to do so when we’re part of a community that’s doing the same. Anyone who’s been to MEA knows what I’m talking about. C’mon down to Baja for Sabbatical Sessions as we’ve had a few spaces open up in March and April.