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Miriam van Groen 2017-03-25T14:11:30+00:00

 We are all ageist – what to do about it? with Miriam Van Groen

The broadcast streamed live on January 27th 2017


We are all ageist – what to do about it? with Miriam Van Groen

Conscious Ageing

Conscious Ageing

Miriam Van Groen is one of our younger guests in this series which is about Age, Aging and consciousness. When we invited her to think about the concept of “AGEISM” she was shocked about the extent of its presence, mainly unnoticed and unacknowledged in every day’s life, but nonetheless present in its often very destructive power.
We don’t want to install a set of rules for political correctness towards age and older people, but we want to invite you to become conscious of how much we judge people, not only by race and sex, but also by age,

Find specific moments of the conversation here:

00:00 Introductions and mechanics

04:38 When do we become aware of ageing and ageism.  Where to start?

06:15 Personal memories, of her grandmother, “sharing” ages, “young” integralists at 40

09:50 Do young people today reach some “wisdom” earlier than we did?
11:24 Were those “compliments” ageist? Annoying!

12:15 Ageing awareness comes early. (about 27?)

13:00 Comparing our progress with others declines.

14:35 “Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, age doesn’t matter.” Twain

15.00 The long term ageing study by Harvard

17:38 Changing feelings with age about people of other ages!

19:13 How did you, Miriam, find out about your Ageism? Knowing yourself.

21:45 Circling, what is it?

24:50 Circling considerations re: ageing, what we grow up with, resistance to change

29:40  Checking makes the difference between projection and imagination!

30:30 Questions from viewers, then she asks about us in the context of Circling.

32:18 Mark and Heidi confess painful personal experiences of Ageism.

36:00 “The Happiness Project” which included centenarians to talk to.

38:00 importance of purpose, of something meaningful to do. What to do?

40:00 The need to self-author after earlier life roles are completed.  How to age!
42:16 Miriam poses to us a “circling” question.  Finish this question to Miriam, “As a 35 year old, I imagine you are…”  And we reply…

45:00 Heidi asks if in Circling one shares the impact of response. Increasing connection

47:55 With whom does Circling best work? Those who have done personal work, SDi

49:55 Importance of being non-judgemental in Circling, if not generally.

51:28 Mark asks about the burn-out mentioned in the introduction. Miriam explains…

54:33 The recovering Perfectionist and what she learned

57:28 Burnout has no age limits, neither higher nor lower.

58:48 Comments from watchers, final words, thank you’s, invitations to the after-show chat, good-byes, how to reach Miriam.

We invited Miriam into our series “Conscious Ageing” in order to include better the perspective of younger people who are not yet necessarily interested in topics around older age. But Ageism is present in all ages and it is wonderful when younger people get conscious about that long before they would be subject to the social expectations which older people meet.

Here what Miriam wrote about her topic which can be described as: 

We are all ageist. Fortunately, we can practice being more inclusive.

The world around us is changing fast: its structures (information and social media, technology and science, environmental stress, changing demography) and cultures, and peoples’ behaviors and (limiting) beliefs about what meaning a certain age carries. Like gender and race, age is an attribute that can be gauged by looking at someone. This means it is especially likely to be a factor in our assessment of them, linking their imagined age to certain traits we associate with it.

As a person who is still considered to be relatively young (well, depending on who you ask ;-)), I have had a blind spot for looking at the world through the lense of age. Once I started noticing more, I realised all age groups are biased towards each other. Some assumptions we have about each other are helpful, while others: probably not so much. Any ‘ism’ means having a fixed, limited view of reality. That could hamper our connections and our (accelerating) evolution. The unpredictability of developments in our complex (and complicated) societies, means we will all need to be as open as possible to be able to respond to and influence those developments in a helpful way.

The starting point for recovering from our ageism is to accept we have it. From there we can begin to imagine ourselves as having different ages, for instance by moving our bodies in different ways. We can connect with people of different age groups and be curious about their experience of age, also on the intersection of gender and race. We can step into the role of our age (a child is learning and discovering, a young person is doing and making, a middle aged person is leading, an old person dispensing wisdom), while holding it lightly: a younger person can have wisdom, an older person can be flexible, 60 is the new 50, etc.

During this call I will share my own journey and some exercises to help us have more empathy and freedom when it comes to our own and others’ age.

Click on the links below to find links to relevant publications

Working with the body in training and coaching  by Mark Walsh

free e-book via http://embodiedfacilitator.com/ebook/

The Art of Circling – by Bryan Bayer

Find this book on their website (Click here):

Harvard’s Project Implicit: find out to what extent you are subconsciously biased around age and other topics (click here)

 An excerpt of Khalil Gibran – chapter ‘On Children’ from ‘The Prophet

Khali Gibran

About Miriam Van Groen

Miriam van Groen was a university teacher for 7 years after studying International Development. As a teacher she included as much Integral Theory as she could in her lectures and workshops. After burning out, she now gives Circling workshops (a fast-growing we-practice or ‘relational meditation’) and 1-on-1 sessions that help people discover and inhabit more of themselves with gentleness, while deepening their connections to others and the world. She loves exploring the body as a source of wisdom and catalyst for change.

Miriam joined us in the After Show Chat.

We entered in a meta-perspective on the topic and on the show and went into new territory as well

Find specific moments of the conversation here:

1:00 About the after show chats

1:47 about the show from Mark’s perspective

3:00 Hosting as a co-creation (Heidi) – the conception of our shows

4.20 example of the choir – work and info doesn’t need to be boring

5:25 About our dog Lucky

6:10 Miriam – post event hang over. Inner dialog and making fun of all that.

7:15 Soap opera: talking about our experience as an inspiration for others

7:50 With 75 you are supposed to have figured all out!

25:50 Respect for the roles – preferences for roles. Enneagram. Western societies have preference for 3

9:10 perfectionism and talking about ennegram types, 4 and 2 – also as a characteristic of women’s sacrifice.

11:02 Miriam was serious until 27 – as an enneatype 1 – surrendering instead of control

13:35 Miriam talks about Mark Walsh Time, commitment community = 3 things you need for change

14:25 Community creating via Internet

15:00 Miriam: curiosity and wanting to learn

15:40 Heidi’s epiphany with 27

18:15 Mark as a catalysator for change for Heidi

19:30 Miriam: after the burnout she couldn’t go back to the same job. Changes needed to happen.Projects and view into the future.

23:30 About workshops, conferences and gatherings in Netherlands, Hungary and Vienna

An invitation to join us in the live conversations and practice with us to be in public.

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