Integral Ageing

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Integral Ageing 2017-01-07T00:06:17+00:00

Here is a survey about YOUR future when you get older: How do you see the second half of life?

Please go to


Hear our presentation at the INTEGRAL EUROPEAN CONFERENCE in Hungary,

May 6th, 2016

We were pleased and grateful to witness a lively interest in the topic.

You are invited to join the discussion by filling in the survey above and by joining our Facebook Group

Hear our pre-conference talk about what we will be talking about on May 6th, 2016 in Siofok/Hungary.

Are you an AGEIST and don’t even notice it?


It’s not a long time ago that I first noticed that I am behaving as an Ageist. I didn’t even know what that meant, actually I had never heard about it before.

But then, yes, Ashton Applewhite made it very clear to me, that AGEISTS are not only the others but we older people, too. I am not excluded.

So what is AGEISM? It is discrimination of people because of their age. Ageism expresses itself when youz need to be 55 to enter into a retirement community, or when you need to be under 30 to be considered for a certain job, when you tell to a child that it is too young and too stupid to understand or do certain things or when you negate your grandpa to take care for himself instead of being constantly monitored by the relatives.

Ageism is a problem, like Sexism and Racism.


Ashton Applewhite giving her presentation at the UN

We don’t recognize it so clearly as we, ourselves, have bought into the story our societies have told us for a long time: young people are good, old people a burden (and many variations of that)

Ashton Applewhite will be our first guest in the upcoming series CONSCIOUS AGEING. She lately gave a talk at the UN. Watch it here Ashton’s contribution begins at 28:18.

It is amazing how AGEISM pervades our lives. You will be shocked when you begin to think about it and observe yourself and others. It happened this way to a woman in her 30ies who we have invited to join us in the series next March. Miriam Van Groen

We are looking forward to hearing all these amazing people give their contribution for creating a better life – not only for older people but for all people of all ages.


I am enjoying Aging – what a surprise!

elderly couple bent on cane

Elderly Couple Bent on Cane

Most people believe that getting older is horrible and that we will be afflicted by all sorts of things, illnesses, missing abilities and so on. I believed that for sure and I remember the day when my first husband turned 40 – which was a catastrophic day for him. Not yet for me, as I was 12 years younger. He believed that he was now going downhill and everything would change for the worse.

Well, in a certain way it did. He worked ever harder to establish himself as an architect – and I was ever more frustrated until I finally left him to go to Italy and study opera singing to fulfill my dream of becoming a good singer.

I did discover my authentic voice, I did concerts and taught others how to use their voice, I found an Italian partner with whom I bought my country house, now called Paradiso Integrale. But life was still unfulfilling, full of work and not much success – measured with the high expectations I had for me as a trained perfectionist.


Life turned better after 40 when I entered the self-discovery path. Psychotherapy, NLP, music therapy, my training in counseling, transpersonal Psychology and many more tools which slowly allowed me to see clearer who I was and where I was about to go. The real breakthrough – although gradually – came with my study of Integral Theory. NOW I really began to understand what before seemed to make no sense to me – and what was bothering me a lot. Twenty rich years of gaining knowledge which I never expected to exist and of experience which I allowed myself to have.

Life is an amazing journey. 

Heidi and Mark in the audience of the 2nd European Integral Conference in Hungary 2016

Heidi and Mark in the audience of the 2nd European Integral Conference in Hungary 2016

I realized how packed I was with false beliefs like: in my age, I will never find THE ONE -but after my coaches training in  CALLING-IN-THE-ONE with Katherine Woodward Thomas I met Mark and we are a happy couple in “a relationship beyond our wildest dreams”

( Find the amazing book by Katherine Woodward Thomas here: Calling in the ONE on Amazon)

Life gets better and better, the older I get. And this is not only my personal experience. I came across the same statement by other people and I want to share with you this article by  entitled Aging Strong, The Opportunity of a Lifetime 

He says: “I am enjoying aging – what a surprise”  . And you can do it, too!

Staying young – no, thank you! by Heidi Hornlein

Today the most important thing in life seems to “stay young”. But if you ask me if staying young  would be my ideal, I can only say: no, thank you!

Girl With open windo showing spring flowering trees

Spring of Life – full of dreams

Looking into the past

When I look back to my young years, 16, 20 (when I married first time) (when life seemed to be romantic love with lots of obstacles), 27 (when my father died and I finally completed my MA), 32 when I left my marriage to go to Italy to study Italian opera, 40, when I felt the physical need of procreation (which fortunately didn’t happen) – and on and on. Life was a constant struggle, a constant research of something which is missing and which I should get or work for.

Now, more than 20 years later, I feel a freedom and calmness which I never experienced before. Also happiness – yes, that’ts right. And that is not only my personal story!

In the contrary to what people normally think about Ageing: the older we get, the happier we become! Think back to your own young years: were you happy then? Really? Or more often than not confused, insecure, inexperienced, full of phantasies and disappointment when they didn’t work out. And scientific studies show that increasing in years is equal to increasing in contentment and happiness.

Staying young is the solution?


Do we really need to be able to do things like this?

So why do we still feel the need to pretend to stay young? Why do we try to be slim like when we were 20 and wear stuff which doesn’t really suit us, only because young people wear it? Why do we use tons of makeup to hide the maturing skin? Because “staying young” seems to be a request of a society who measures everything through the lense of productiveness and speed – the speed of young people.

Are they really more productive than the older ones? I doubt it. Look back into younger years of your life: you still had to learn many things which today you execute quickly and with ease, while then you spent hours to figure things out and get familiar with them. Speed, yes. Older people need to follow their own rhythm, which often is slower than that of younger people. But this is not bad at all: we see more, perceive more, reflect more, when we give things the right time. This is also true for younger people who often tend to skip these moments of wisdom and jump blindly into Doing.

My choice: being as old as I am


Me and Mark having lunch above the Amalfi Coast – HAPPY

I don’t want to end up saying that being young is “not good”, it has many good and desirable things, but the same is valid for older age. We have gained so much and so many new opportunities open up in every life period. That’s why Ageing is nothing we should fear, but embrace as the time of harvesting our life experience and of creating something new and amazing for ourselves and for others.

“Staying young” might be, in a certain sense, a metaphor for getting older. But personally, I wouldn’t want to go back in my life and start it from scratch, having to pass again through all the crab and all the difficulties which had been along the way. I am glad to be as old as I am. So if Faust offered me to re-do my life, to be young again, I would say: No, Thank you!

MARK’S BLOGPOST on Ageing and Ageism

A peculiarly American insult, to tell someone that they’re history means that their “time” is over, make way for the new blood, take your pension and go play golf. Join a knitting circle!

At Orange, once you are no longer productive, either as a producer or as a consumer (on your reduced income) you become a non-entity economically. Television ads are no longer trying to get YOU to buy anything.

But today that “history” phase of life can last over 30 years, perhaps longer than your “productive” years from 30 to 65 or so. A whole new demographic is emerging that at least can and will vote. So they can’t be ignored completely. And they will not be content with the victim labels of a marginalized group “granted” recognition, however well meaning, by post modern caregivers and charitable organizations.

Like all “de-marginalized” groups, these ”elders” will eventually self organize and form a huge and varied interest group who will not be content with “retirement ghettos” where silence reigns and grandchildren are allowed only for short visits.

And when they do, watch out! Huge changes for all of society will ensue. Obviously who will take “care” of them? And there aren’t enough younger people gainfully employed to endlessly fill the pension plan treasuries for all these old folks. And these 60 to 90+ people want to live independently or in self governing group situations without the usual patronizing guidance of the state.

No longer will they be the “throw-away” people that their own parents and grandparents were. Competent, healthy, and having “out-lived” the values of earlier periods of their lives, when family, career, acquisition and fleeting prestige ruled, they can re-emerge as respected elders, as wise companions, as role models, even as trusted leaders who know how to navigate unprecedented change.

Come join us as we investigate the unexplored possibilities of these new decades of life, as well as the inevitable end of it, that we can design in feedback with our children and grandchildren.

Mark Davenport

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