Earlier this week I realized I’ve been in a funk for a while. I’ve been so busy with the busyness of my retirement vocation that I lost sight of my reason(s) for being busy—which is to both nurture my own well-being through my own practice of conscious aging, and to share my experience of doing so with all who want it. What I came to realize is that in my busyness I had disengaged from my own spiritual nurture and overall well-being, which left me feeling hollow, with little to share.
On reflection, I discovered it was not simple busyness that was causing my malaise; I had been busy at the wrong things. Specifically, I had been overly focused on marketing three upcoming workshops. For me to get beyond my malaise I realized I needed to become more engaged with more of the “right” things for me. Or more accurately, “righter” things. Activities that nurture my soul and release my spirit to be happy again in my 76th year. I needed regular self-care and nurture again. To do that, I needed to set aside something else to do it.
On my journey to date,
I’ve learned my well-being means doing a mix of (right) things in six interrelated
areas of my life, in reasonable balance.
One that results in my being comfortable, healthy, and happy, which
are all aspects of contentment. I’ve also learned that when I lose that balance,
either by over or under-doing something, or neglecting some area of my
well-being all together, I experience a general malaise, a soul-sickness. One
that, like a ringing telephone, doesn’t end until I answer my innate call to
psycho-spiritual, psycho-emotional, balance and wholeness. As was the case
Our daily well-being is not static. It is evolving and maturing, growing and moving, from one interesting thing to another as life unfolds one day at a time. Attending to our well-being, or denying it, reflects our everyday spirituality in action. When we attend to its call to life, we are basically practicing conscious aging as a spiritual practice. When we are oblivious to it, for any length of time, we experience the malaise I was above. This is not something to be taken lightly. For denying our well-being can, and sometimes does, lead to anxiety and depression, which the World Health Organization says will be the leading cause of death world-wide this year.
This article is an example of the fruits of my personal conscious aging practice. Recognizing my malaise was the result of my being “busy at the wrong things,” I started writing this post to clarify my mind, which is a “righter” activity for me. I feel better for doing so, because sharing my story with others is more fun than promoting workshops. Marketing is necessary of course, because it leads to people attending our events where my wife and I get to do what we really want—share our learnings and experience. But it isn’t nearly as soul-satisfying.
Our workshops and retreats are intended to encourage participants to begin and/or progress on their own Path to Contentment. But DIY (do it yourself) spiritual nurture has serious limitations. This because a lot of psycho-spiritual malaise results from spending too much time alone. Oh, we may be with others a lot, including our social media “friends”, and/or we may participate in pseudo-communities, like churches and community living. But these typically permit precious little opportunity to talk about things that really matter to us as we age: Like a genuine desire, if not need, to talk about our own experience of, questions about, and fears of, growing older. And/or our own quest for maturing psycho-spiritual growth into increasing wholeness as we grow to our horizon.
This is why NEW FUTURES offers two formats where people can talk openly about their aging psycho-emotional and spiritual needs. Our small group workshops and retreats offer the benefit of hearing others talk about things that touch on their own situation. When one’s issues are too deep or complex and/or personal to share with strangers, we offer one to one coaching and spiritual companionship with individuals and couples.
Check out other blog posts on this website for more insight into my practice of Everyday Spiritualty in imperfect action. Better still, check out the three events here that we are offering on March 23 and May 11; where you will find people like you talking about issues like yours. Or contact me via firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions, or a free no obligation introductory conversation about your needs now. And above all, learn to take better care of your aging self. You are precious. Perhaps more than you can believe.
As always, we invite your feedback about this article, or anything else on this website.