Post-Workshop Reflection from Filmmaker and Entrepreneur Stacy Peralta.

August 19, 2023

Post-Workshop Reflection from Filmmaker and Entrepreneur Stacy Peralta.

May 29, 2023

I have just returned home from one of the most spectacular weeks of my life. I was given the incredible opportunity to be the guest teacher at the Modern Elder Academy (MEA) in Baja, Mexico, a place nothing short of exceptional, where people come to learn to navigate the difficult transitions that midlife presents us with.

Every week, people of all ages and from a wide variety of careers gather together in an immersive experience to dive into curriculum designed to help better understand ourselves as we face transitions: career changes, divorce, an empty nest, grief, and loss. The difficulties, the uncertainties, the fear and the messiness we encounter when making transitions can be overwhelming and difficult, and gathering the proper tools and the understanding of how to make a healthy transition is what MEA has designed their curriculum around.

The campus itself rests on the beautiful Pacific Ocean and is a sublime cross between a school and a world class resort. It has fantastic communal eating areas, a beautiful yoga studio, a library, massage options and surfing lessons, and it boasts the most majestic and romantic landscaping you can imagine. A myriad of palm trees, Agaves, Yuccas and rare indigenous trees and flowers populate the grounds. The three incredible pools kept us cool, the open kitchens with drinks and food kept us filled and our classes were held in well-appointed rooms that feel more like large living rooms than conventional classrooms. Every area in this protected compound takes your breath away. It exudes romance, comfort and safety.

I liken MEA to a paradisiacal human estuary. In nature, an estuary is a partially enclosed body of water where fresh and saltwater mix to create a nutrient rich environment. The calm, shallow, protected waters provide a safe haven for small fish, shellfish and migrating birds who need safe places to rest and replenish during long journeys. Estuaries are safe havens for the preparation of young creatures to eventually enter the formidable ocean. MEA is essentially a human estuary. It’s a place where people facing challenges and uncertainties can come together and be nourished in a supportive environment, allowing them the space and freedom to open up, gain strength and knowledge and be more prepared to transition into the next chapter life has to offer them.

I was the week’s guest teacher but I also participated as a student and immersed myself fully into the cohort. The entire program is designed to make vulnerability accessible and safe for everyone and though you don’t have to accept the challenge to be open and become vulnerable, if you dare to (and everyone did), then you may have one of the most meaningful experiences of your life, which I had.

The relationships I developed and now share with my fellow students I will hold and cherish forever. I laughed and cried more during this week than I have in a decade. The deep and personal conversations over the long communal tables at breakfast, lunch and dinner were worth the price of admission alone. The staff asked me if I would be interested in coming back. I told them I would come back at any time, and in any capacity, including groundskeeper.

From his early start as a kid on a skateboard in Charlie’s Angels in the 1970’s, Stacy Peralta went on to become a professional skateboarder and surfer and a well-known film director and entrepreneur. He will be teaching again at MEA Baja in 2024.

Go deeper with a workshop, in person or online.

No items found.

Awaken Your Soul to Reimagine Success with Shelley Paxton

February 26, 2024
 to 
March 2, 2024
Baja, Mexico

Love's Journey: Transforming Our Relationships with Dené Logan

March 4, 2024
 to 
March 9, 2024
Baja, Mexico

Learning to Love Midlife with Chip Conley

Mar 12, 2024
 to 
Mar 17, 2024
Baja, Mexico
Mar 12, 2024
 to 
Mar 17, 2024
Baja, Mexico

Learning to Love Midlife with Chip Conley

March 12, 2024
 to 
March 17, 2024
Baja, Mexico
Mar 12, 2024
 to 
Mar 17, 2024
Baja, Mexico