By Jim Selman | Bio It seems to me that there are three fundamental relationships that we all share as human beings: 1) our relationship with ourselves and other people, 2) our relationship with our circumstances, and 3) our relationship with time. When we are inflexible or stuck in habitual ways of being in any of these areas, we become trapped in a condition from which we cannot extract ourselves: we are caught in a
By Kevin Brown | BioThis week I have been having discussions with several of my friends and business associates concerning the apparent absence of choice as we are nearing retirement. It seems that for some people, there appears to be no choice but to remain with their current employer in a job they no longer find satisfaction in due to an anticipated financial loss associated with pension and health benefits. For many, this realization has them feeling like they have no choice in the matter. I have also noticed a similar view held by folks in the second half of their career, who are in their mid to late forties. They already have a sense of this apparent lack of choice, working in jobs they do not find satisfying and holding the view that they have few, if any, real options. They have mortgages to pay, a family to provide for, and the risk of changing jobs in this economic downturn just reinforces their apparent absence of choice. Do our actions, as a result of this deeply held belief, impact how we will experience aging as we enter our fifties, sixties, and beyond? Might this perceived absence of choice, if not confronted, place limits on our experience of aging? What can we do now, regardless of our age, to lay the groundwork for a future full of choice? Could we create for ourselves an experience of aging in which there are endless possibilities, with freedom and fulfillment a natural by-product? At the Eldering Institute, we hold the vision of living life as a possibility. Choice and possibility appear to me to go hand in hand. When we consciously choose how we relate to our circumstances, we allow for what is possible to come into our view. Even when life throws us a curve ball, we can choose to play the game and hit the ball as pitched or wait until the game of life occurs the way we would like it to occur. One response places us actively in the game of life: the other has us on the sidelines waiting for just the right conditions to arrive. We cannot change the circumstances of our lives. But could it be that we have choice about how we relate to everything in our lives? Take the employee who believes he cannot change jobs so late in his or her career and is experiencing a loss of power, freedom and possibility. They may feel trapped if the financial loss of leaving without another job to go to is a compelling reason to remain with the current employer. What if they simply accepted that they need an income and are, at the moment, choosing to remain with their current employer. Choosing gives them space to create a new possibility for themselves—perhaps a new game for themselves at work in which power, freedom, and fulfillment are present or perhaps new relationships to their career and money. What might be possible in your future if you were to play with the idea that you are always at choice in all areas of your life each and every day? © 2009 Kevin Brown. All rights reserved.
By Shae Hadden
A friend shared corporate poet David Whyte’s recent article "A Fire Inside: Thoughts on the Creativity of Winter" with me. David uses a brilliant metaphor to explore the trauma of loss prevalent in the global economic crisis. He speaks of a a fire burning inside a home on a winter’s day as being like an "internal, alchemical, almost catalytic core of identity-making and decision-making….the
By Jim Selman | Bio
Of all the complaints and fears we hear that are associated with aging, the number one is boredom. After a lifetime of activity and accomplishment, it is incredible how many of us move into “elderland” only to discover that we’re unsatisfied and bored. How can this be? Granted that we might not be as spry as we once were and some of our libidos are lackluster, but goodness gracious, do we really expect our circumstances to make
I can’t remember all the words but I remember hearing a ditty once that began, “My father in his house of logs said the world is going to the dogs”. Today is Father’s Day, and while I am a professional and practical optimist (no point in being a pessimist), I am embarrassed to say that I am starting to think like this jingle. The point to the verse is, of course, that as we get older we can easily become trapped in a kind of negativity—comparing current events with the ‘good
In the 1970s, I belonged to The World Future Society. I even toyed with the idea of becoming a ‘futurist’. I vaguely recall that there was a magazine on the subject and various intellectuals were trying to get prediction raised to the status of a science. According to Wired magazine, the Society still exists and there are people who call themselves professional futurists, but the numbers are shrinking and their status seems to be less than in the past—primarily because the future
By Shae Hadden | Bio
It’s so easy to get ‘comfortable’ with the circumstances of our lives—even when they are uncomfortable or when we can see that they may very likely lead to discomfort. It’s almost natural, sometimes even expected, that we complain about what’s ‘not right’ or ‘not perfect’ in our lives. But complaining (to ourselves or others) doesn’t change anything and we’re left ‘adapting’ ourselves to living with whatever is contributing to our discomfort.
By Shae Hadden | BioEvery day this past week, I’ve been exploring the question of “What can I do?” It’s been an interesting inquiry, with the answers varying each day, sometimes each hour, based on the state of my physical body. =&0=&
I am always a little disoriented between the seasons when I travel to Argentina or Brazil. When it is autumn in Canada, it is spring in Buenos Aires. It is a beautiful and refreshing time of year. I am thinking about the clichéd parallel between the seasons and the phases of our lives—this being the autumn of my life. Yet as I travel, I can see how fluid and changeable the seasons can be depending upon where you are standing. This is an apt metaphor for living every moment creatively—consciously