This is not a trick question. Moreover, it is one that becomes increasingly important as we approach midlife or retirement, and at every other major life transition. Around age 45-ish, many people begin to sense a certain anxiety or dissatisfaction, an angst, a slump, insecurity. Feelings that often compound with retirement, even though they may be “successful” by many measures this funk is common; and can slide into depression. The good news is help is available.
In, Aging as a Spiritual Practice, Lewis Richmond characterizes midlife as a doorway to new consciousness; to which we can add retirement as another life phase. Both these major life transitions are “a time to get to know yourself in new ways,” he says. A time “to open yourself to gifts unavailable to youth, by forging a deeper connection to your inner life.” That is, to what is really important to you now in your changing, maturing, life.
Yet, instead of focusing on our “inner life” as we transition into life’s second half, too many of us look outside. Consciously or unconsciously we pursue things others say we ought to want. Or we model our self after others we believe have what we want and think would make us happier. So much so that we can lose sight of what it is that we really, deeply, truly want, but seldom recognize, or are afraid to acknowledge.
There is a lot of evidence showing that few people really know what they want. And more to the point, what we really, truly, deeply, want. And relatedly, what we don’t want any more! Our NEW FUTURES Transition Coaching and Counselling program aims to help people (a) “name and claim” what they really want in life’s second half; (b) recognize what is holding them back from that; and (c) to support them as they overcome those obstacles. Many of which are unconsciously seeded in childhood and/or adolescence, particularly when we come from a dysfunctional family of origin. All of which is compounded at times of major life changes like a broken relationship, the arrival of midlife and/or retirement, a health reversal, or recognition of the onset of our own elderhood.
Conscious Aging as a Spiritual Practice (CASP) is the foundation and focus of our NEW FUTURES programming because it is the antidote for angst that typically accompanies any major life change—especially unanticipated ones. Moreover, it is the foundation of renewed confidence and security in life’s transitions because it helps practitioners discover what is missing in their life. Then to consciously do more of what provides more of what they want, and to let go of the rest. Particularly, their unhelpful sense of obligation to continue doing what they used to do because it was once important. Worse is to do what others want. For instance, one 70-something workshop participant said she found her voice in one of our workshops; and as a result, learned to say no. As a single woman she was the go-to person in her church and community whenever there was a job to be done. Now that she was older, she no longer had the energy she once had; and more importantly, now had other interests more relevant to her.
When you think about it, we have acquired much of our sense of what is important from others. Our family of origin conditioned and shaped our life-launch; the mass media constantly tries to sell us stuff we don’t need; and social media pounds us with ideas others think are important. Our circle of friends, real and Facebook ones, and maybe our Twitter feed, are other significant influencers — just ask Donald Trump! While all these are important, they are subordinate to that still, small, voice whispering to your soul, “Is that really what you want, now?” For over 20 years we have helped people from all walks of life answer that question.
Our passion is to help people shed midlife anxiety and experience renewed confidence, security and purpose in their life’s second half. Our programs have helped them discover and embrace evolving priorities as they mature; and do more of what they really want to do in each new life phase. Two important things happen when people identify and renew their maturing priorities and values. First, they become empowered to pursue them by shifting attention away from outmoded values, goals, and activities that are no longer as important as they once were. Secondly, stress is reduced. Often because they no longer place as much value on what others say is important or want them to do.
We promote “Conscious Aging is Better aging,” based on Carl Jung’s wisdom that “Without consciousness things go less well.” Our passion is to help people discover and practice what we have learned about the art and spirit of aging wisely and well. We do this by using a wide swath of multi-disciplinary spiritual and secular resources combined with clinical and personal experience. Our retreats offer easy to use insights and ideas attendees constantly tell us are helpful. These are made real and useful through facilitated small group discussion; Through which we ensure all participants have the opportunity to talk about what is important to them, and learn from others who share their concerns. Private coaching and counselling is available for those wishing to delve deeper into personal issues that keep them feeling insecure.
We at NEW FUTURES are dedicated to helping people at midlife, in retirement, and beyond increase psycho-spiritual experience of their maturing life. That is, what they really want now that would enhance that. Our Life Review and Repair program helps them remove (life-long) obstacles to maturing meaning, satisfaction, happiness, and fulfillment in their second half of life. And help them to look in the mirror and love what they see. Contact us through this website for a free 30-minute no obligation introductory appointment to discuss how we might help you find what you really want now.