When we are born, we start out in Beige, the first level of development in Spiral Dynamics which is characterised by the need for safety and security, for food and shelter, for survival. This is the stage where the infant needs constant help with almost everything. Then we grow up, through other stages, hopefully, and then? When we face old age we fear to turn back into beige, to a situation where we need help for almost everything, again. We fear that this might happen to us and this could be one of the main reasons why we try to ignore our getting older as long as possible.
The fear is huge to, one day, not being able anymore to be auto sufficient, and to “lose our minds” with Alzheimer disease. It takes a leap of courage to consciously prepare for that time in which we won’t be able to live the same way as we were used to. Not only that, but we need to consciously work on keeping our physical and mental abilities alive as long as possible.
First of all, we need to explore ourselves, get to know our strengths and weaknesses and train our will. Thus we will do our physical exercises, eat healthier food and take our supplements, even when we are tempted to just relax and do nothing. iI is, maybe, even more important to find new meaning in our lives, which gives us the direction, even if we have to face unpleasant periods. If the body isn’t working like before, we still can do what it is able to do, even improve our mobility by constant training. And it is mandatory to train our mind for not giving in to despair, but instead enabling us to find something exciting.
Al contrary to our common ideas, we can learn new things, always. Epigenetics teaches us that the brain can create new pathways. But they need to be trained, constantly, to stay alive. When we are mentally active, also the body benefits. So in CONSCIOUS AGEING, the crucial advice of our guests is: don’t give in to the desire of rest – you can rest enough after death! – but keep staying active. Find meaningful tasks which challenge you enough to keep your mind functioning and even increasing its capacities of making new connections, getting new insights, seeing the bigger picture; in short, gaining WISDOM.
Not everyone will write their Phd in their 80ies, as our guest Loraine Laubscher did. But studying, learning new things and producing the seed to benefit those who come after us: everyone can set this goal and walk the path towards its fulfilment.