Two major areas have influenced my specific approach to coaching older adults. These are the methods and principles of the life coaching profession paired with an emerging new model, or “paradigm”, of what the experience of aging can be in our society.
Today, as people grow older, we are turning our focus to the quality of life’s later stages, and we are rejecting both falsely idyllic and negative stereotypes of retirement and aging. Retirement has often been pictured in our culture as one long glorious vacation or alternatively, as the beginning of a gradual physical and mental decline in which we become increasingly irrelevant to others and a burden to society. A new paradigm is evolving in which retirement can be viewed as “renewal”. It is a time in which we have greater freedom and time to pursue our own purposes, a time to review our lives so far and create a new vision of what our lives can be now that we have earned a little wisdom and are no longer bound to a daily job. We are evaluating our traditional negative view of aging, and we find it lacking. We look back at how the Elder was valued in earlier societies, how their wisdom and experience was treasured for its contribution to the younger generations and the future of the tribe. And we are asking, Why not Now, why not in our current society?
The new vision of aging is not about decline and marginalization, it is about growth, engagement and contribution. With longer healthier lives, it is the time to harvest your experience, listen to your spirit, and design the life of your choice.
“When we embrace aging as something to look forward to instead of something to fear, we can discover our real possibilities for becoming who we always wanted to be … and create a new vision of aging for society ” (– Disrupt Aging, Jo Ann Jenkins, CEO AARP)
Life Coaching is about creating dreams, transforming dreams into goals, and taking action toward those goals. It is also about reviewing one’s past goals, evaluating our choices, learning to trust ourselves, and valuing our lives in the present. The new aging paradigm is about continuing to dream and take action, and reach even greater fulfillment as we grow older. I’d love to hear from you about your dreams, questions and visions of your future.