Choosing Conscious Elderhood
Our signature program is offered in a weeklong format at retreat centers set amid stunning natural beauty. Choosing Conscious Elderhood is structured to reflect the three-stage process that defines any significant life transition and is embodied in all rites of passage and renewal.
The Severance stage is an acknowledgment that an identity that no longer brings aliveness must die so that a new, more expansive self may be born. Old baggage must be shed so that the new life as an elder that calls may be embraced. The first stage of this retreat focuses on review of the past, identification of what has served us well and will serve us moving forward, and healing and letting go of that which will not serve us as the elders we seek to become.
This stage is followed by 24-hour period of solitude with optional fasting, a time often called Liminal Time, or the Neutral Zone. After careful preparation, you will leave the group for an “in-between time” when you are alone with earth and sky, open to vision, insight, guidance and spiritual connection.
The retreat culminates in the stage of Reincorporation, which focuses on the integration of new vision and insight into your journey to and through elderhood.
Within this framework, Choosing Conscious Elderhood weaves together a powerful set of practices—including the Council process, Four-Directions teachings, reflective practices alone and with the group, drumming to shift consciousness, life review work, legacy work, goal-setting and intentionality, courting of synchronicity, a sunrise-to-sunset period of solitude in nature, and ceremony. All of these practices help you identify and clear out old beliefs, attitudes, behaviors and identifications that do not serve you as you transition into a new life chapter, and open you to new clarity about your unique potential, calling and path in the elder third of your life.
When you come to us seeking support in consciously preparing for elderhood, these retreats provide inspiration, strong community, skilled guidance, valuable practices and processes, and the heart-opening power of nature to support you on your path. Additionally, if you are at the point of feeling ready to affirm and confirm your status as an elder, Choosing Conscious Elderhood can serve as your rite of passage, empowered by the witnessing and support of a group of people who share your commitment to conscious elderhood.
The Choosing Conscious Elderhood retreat is designed to serve people of varying physical abilities. It does not require a great deal of physical fitness, although the ability to walk on uneven ground for short distances is necessary due to the fact that much of our activity happens outdoors. During periods of solitude, you can have a sense of being alone even if you are not able to go far from the retreat center. Our participants have ranged in age from 45 to 90.
We offer several open-enrollment Choosing Conscious Elderhood retreats each year, as well as presenting this program for members of sponsoring organizations.