By Chuck Lee
Death comes to all of us. We It can take the death of someone dear to us to help us fully grasp this reality. This realization can teach us much about living. And, when we are confronted with the fact that our own death is given a timeline, as I have been, we are then faced with an emotional reaction that requires thought and an inner strength that comes and goes until we reach a point of acceptance and understanding that Life is about Living –fully “Living.”
For the past nine years I have participated in eight retreats on Conscious Eldering, focused on “Aging with Intensity and Passion” under the leadership of Ron Pevny. What has come from that is a list of ten Intentions and Resolutions that reflect my vision for my elder years.
For me it has been critically important to my well being that I live my elderhood with these intentions as my guideposts. And I have been fortunate to have the support of another person who shares this desire to be on a journey of growth throughout her elder years.
For nearly five years I have met monthly with one of the other participants in a weekend conscious eldering retreat held at Mission San Luis Rey near San Diego. We have lunch and discuss how our lives, with our joys and struggles, has been unfolding. During the COVID pandemic we talked on the phone. Our primary focus is how we are doing with our intentions in our day-to-day living and how our intentions have given us purposeful lives. My concentration on this goal, supported by my “Intention Partner”, has given me the basis for being able to face this point in my life, with my health challenges, with a plan for Living.
For me my list of intentions has been reviewed and revised many times. The following is what I call my blueprint for life.
ON THIS JOURNEY THROUGH LIFE I INTEND TO:
- Be positive in my thoughts and actions
- Be generous in giving to those in need
- Listen to those who need to be heard
- Practice kindness on a daily basis (doing a good deed each day)
- Focus on protection of the environment
- Continue on my spiritual path with meditation
- Improve my connection with family and friends
- Enjoy the humor of life by laughing a lot
- Find joy in the life I lead
- Talk with strangers
These are daily efforts in thoughts and actions. When I focus on these I have found satisfaction and pleasure. I look for the joy in events and interactions. I find humor in much of life. I choose for my attitude to be positive. When I hit a bad patch, I recognize it is time to meditate and move myself back to calmness and positive energy.
I acknowledge that I am not always successful in following this blueprint, but it is my chosen path and it is working for me. I do not focus on my impending death but on how I am Living today!