Ron recognized his calling as a wilderness rite of passage guide while on a personal vision quest in 1979. Ever since, through his guiding, life coaching and consulting, he has been assisting people in creating lives of purpose, passion and service. He has a passion and gift for helping individuals and organizations in transition tap the power of the natural world to catalyze vision and renewal. His gentle, accepting way of working with others and deep resonance with nature support the opening of hearts and minds. Ron brings to his work a wealth of experience, knowledge, processes and practices, but knows that ultimately it is the open heart that generates vision and healing.
In 2001, after developing a passion for doing oral history work with elders in his community of Durango, Colorado, Ron co-created the Choosing Conscious Elderhood retreats and vision quests. Seven years ago he created the Center for Conscious Eldering, through which he works with talented colleagues to offer Choosing Conscious Elderhood retreats and introductory conscious eldering workshops at retreat centers in inspiring natural settings across North America. He is also a Certified Sage-ing Leader with Sage-ing (R) International, a networker who supports collaborations between Conscious Aging organizations, a writer who contributes articles to The Sage-ing(R) Communicator and the Boomer Living Plus website, and author of of the book Conscious Living, Conscious Aging published by Beyond Words/Atria Books in 2014.
Due to his abilities as a networker, the Shift Network has asked Ron to identify and interview leaders in the Positive/Conscious Aging Movement for the annual “Transforming Aging” Summits. For the first three annual Summits, he has interviewed 55 leaders whose wisdom and work support an empowering vision of aging for today’s world. He has also taught two virtual conscious eldering courses for The Shift Network.
As participants in the Choosing Conscious Elderhood retreats began to ask for assistance in integrating their insights and experiences into their daily lives, Ron has focused his life coaching practice on Coaching for Conscious Living.
Ron did his Master’s work in Integral Counseling and Psychotherapy at the California Institute of Integral Studies, learning therapeutic and growth practices from around the world. In 1980 he was one of the first to be certified as a Wilderness Rite of Passage Guide, and played a key role in the founding of the worldwide Wilderness Guides Council. Throughout the 90s his rite of passage and coaching work was complemented by his service as a ” corporate creativity” trainer for Herrmann International and by consulting with the adult learning programs of numerous colleges and universities.
Ron and his colleagues at the Center for Conscious Eldering share a deep commitment to supporting the development of conscious elders in a world urgently in need of elder wisdom and gifts.
Anne Wennhold has for several years been Ron’s primary partner in offering Choosing Conscious Elderhood retreats.
She also offers Conscious Aging seminars and Mandala Drawing and Drum Making workshops in the New York City area, and facilitates several Shamanic Drum Circles, as well as and helping individuals access their creativity and inner guidance through guided journeys.
She facilitates “Transitions In Aging” discussion groups for seniors, and offers life coaching focused on conscious eldering. Anne may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 201-266-8473.
Susan S. Manning is a Professor Emerita, Graduate School of Social Work, University of Denver. Dr. Manning’s teaching and research interests included professional ethics, civic leadership and moral identity, and client empowerment in mental health systems. She published a book on the ethics of leadership (Ethical Leadership in Human Services: A Multi-Dimensional Approach) and has written and presented extensively on professional ethics, empowerment, and leadership. She has been inspired by the conscious aging movement since her retirement, and participated actively in conscious elder retreats and Sage-ing conferences. She values a strengths approach to life stage development and the power of our stories to help us move forward in our lives. Susan may be reached at Smanning44@aol.com
Larry Gray was a forester and wildlife biologist for many years. His work has taken him across Canada’s arctic. He is a professor in environmental studies at Yukon College in Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada.
While experiencing and teaching others about the wonders of the natural world, he felt compelled to turn his attention to the study of the human animal and the field of ecopsychology. Ecopsychology strives to integrate ecological principles and insights gleaned from the natural world with psychological wisdom into a unified field of study. Through his research, he found a profound new vision of growing older – conscious eldering – a vision grounded in our relationship with Nature.
Larry has developed a college course on conscious aging and offers workshops and Elder Wisdom Circles throughout the Yukon. He has given a TEDx talk on conscious eldering, which you can watch below. Larry may be reached at email@example.com