Flexibility is an important key to healthy aging. A recent 77 year old reader recently commented about growing older, “The first thing that comes to mind is that barriers began to weaken and crumble. I am willing to think in new directions, to be open to new ideas, to be less defensive about what I consider to be right or wrong.” In other words, he was flexible.
When I asked a psychiatrist friend recently what he noticed about his clients around issues of aging, he replied that flexibility seemed to be the key to aging well. … Read More
When I was in college I had a class with the eminent psychoanalyst Erik Erikson . He was the kind of inspirational teacher that changes a young person’s life, and his class on The Eight Stages of Man (first outlined in his classic text Childhood and Society) was legendary. He saw the course of a human life in distinct developmental stages (he coined the term “identity crisis” to signify the special life challenge of late adolescence). In his view, the eighth and last stage of a human life was the Integrity stage, when we look back on our life … Read More
The baby boomer generation has been criticized for making every stage of life—whether it be adolescence, college, child-rearing, and now their aging—into a self-referential adventure of transformation and improvement. From that point of view the notion of “Aging as a Spiritual Practice” could be seen as just the latest of these baby boomer projects: “We’re going to do aging differently and better than anyone!” Some commentators have concluded that the baby boomers were a coddled, spoiled generation. To them, the bumper sticker “Life is hard and then you die” is more how things actually are.
Needless to say, I see … Read More