March 13th at 10 AM PT/ 7 PM CET

Creative Ageing


In the wardrobe of my ancestors rest their lost dreams
Piles of neatly folded disappointments
And drawers full of bittersweet memories.
Stacked side by side are the silky black sorrows;
An ancient misery trove.

I am here today on the familiar small road
My feet moving me toward the rocky perch
I often stand on and announce my gratitudes
Send my love and blessings out
Into the wild, white waves moving toward the land
Their foam-froth hair trailing long behind.

I remind myself that the wardrobe is not mine.
It is not filled with my sorrows.
There are no sorrows here in the spacious immediacy of Now.
Or in the effervescent rainbows reflected in the mirrors of water.
Life opens its arms to me
Calling me into the rooms that are mine.

Dorothy Stern Kucha


Dorothy timestamps

0:00 Intro Heidi

0:01 Dorothy introduces herself: clinical social worker, interested in people. Counselor and therapist. Creative Conscious Ageing: never too soon to become creative and conscious about our life choices. Dorothy’s path into consciousness.

5: Learning Spanish, German. Heidi: women over 50 begin to recreate themselves today.

6; we look different in our so-called old age, starting with clothing – Heidi: starting with the post-modern movement, spirit of changing, step out of traditional roles#

9  D’s husband is a painter, songwriter and climate change activist. She admires people like Joan Baez. Women today have a call. Heidi quotes Barbara Marx Hubardt: From pro-creation to co-creation. Women in WOMEN MATTERS are co-creating.

12 Outlines what she wants to share: 1- Authenticit, 2. Radical acceptance 3. Resilience

Authenticity is the task while ageing. The acorn held sacred inside in us now can grow the oak tree. “Just do it”. The need of encouragement. We give ourselves the permission, and a push from someone. Younger generations: girls know that they go into a profession.

15 Different expectations then and now. Clear limits in her European household. When is it better to have a baby?

17: Authenticity: the “should” is gone! Commitments can be changed when it comes against the inner feeling. Able to say yes and also NO. Heidi: Who is deciding in the should?

21  Teaching children: “lazy” children, it is a cover for when we fear it or don’t want to do it. What does LAZY mean? Is purely judgemental. Heidi: perfectionist, is it lazy if you don’t want to do things, or is it childlike reaction and refusal.

25 Mary Oliver: Dorothy shares a poem “Wild Geese”. Dorothy transfers it to Heidi’s activities. “Why not ME?” D. shares how a friend became completely changed after retirement and flourished immensely. “I don’t want to be busy, but doing something which thrills me”

29  legacy of her family, damaged  by WWII. Unprocessed anger, grief and loss. D. caught the load of trauma. Parents were able to function. D refers to the WOMEN MATTERS conversation. Her parents went through their rubble outside, but inside broken hearted, the next generation needs to do the healing. Heidi: Our generation has to break the silence and do the healing.  Heidi started the “Growing up in Post War Germany”: an invitation to connect between our generation of the perpetrators/victim countries.

30: D: covered her heart, too. Still carrying the heritage. Dorothy sharing her morning practice, shares a poem she wrote one morning. Helped her to be consciously aware that ithey are THEIR sorrows, not hers.

39 D. follows Buddhist teaching of Tara Brach. “Radical acceptance”. She could free herself from the automatic shutdown, rage etc.  Heidi shares about the German rigidity. D: one generation cannot do the work alone. Even her son has picked up some of that. “Children jump down where their parents stopped”. Compassion and attention in awareness: “attenzione” (Huxly, Island). Learning to respond rather than react, from a frozen position RAIN: R= recognize, A= allow it, I= Investigate it, feeling what it is, N= nurturing, acknowledging and kindness to yourself, sit with yourself, opening your heart. Begins to transform it. Heidi: Not blame and shame is most difficult.

45: Bring me all back home (Bob Dylan). D shares an experience when she recognized how critical her father was. Transformed her response to a person who triggered that. D was able to thank her for allowing herself to become aware of that.

48 Women attacking her husband: bad way of feminine power. Friends can give each other the gift of telling them the critical things without criticizing. Heid shares her experience with Mark, who had a hard time with my German directness, cultural differences. Talking the truth instead of pretending. America: priority of being “nice”, not directness.

52 What it takes of resilience for change. Other people come in and offer support, compassionate sense for yourself. Maria Angelo: “Do the best you can until you know better. When you know better, do better!”

54 Viktorias experience of resilience.

55 Heidi doesn’t want to talk about her loss of Mark. Intention of the shows.


Most of us have a family and children to take care for, maybe even parents and other relatives who need our help. During the last decades many women are also active in building their work careers. They live in a continuous flow of pre-programmed time, of stress and overwhelm. They don’t have much time to think about the meaning of life. What gives their lives meaning is the obvious things they are engaging in.

When we are getting older we begin to see life differently. The children are grown, less responsibility there, maybe we finally find a work we really like to do and we go on our path of self realisation. We need to decide ourselves what gives meaning for our lives, what is igniting us and keeps us going. We are more oriented inside than outside, we enjoy life in a different way.

But at the same time we realise that our lives might end, more sooner than later. And we need to confront our changing body shapes and condition, the wrinkles on our face which betrays our illusion. How can we live the “third half” of our lives well? develop our creativity is a good answer.

Dorothy shares with us her way into her seventies and how she is handling her life creatively.


Dorothy takes part in our monthly series WOMEN MATTERS.

Find her Profile HERE


A conversation of WOMEN MATTERS where Dorothy has participated for the first time