Based on the Conscious Aging programs tested and developed by the Institute of Noetic Studies (IONS) over a four-year period, the focus of the program series is to invite shifts of consciousness that allow participants to confront the challenges and opportunities of aging.
By bringing unexamined cultural and personal beliefs into awareness, participants are able to cope more easily with the natural stresses of aging.
Creating a New Vision of Aging (Keynote talk)
The dominant story of aging in the west is one of loss, diminishment and decline. But research has proved that the quality of life we can expect as we age is largely determined by the vision and expectations we hold of aging.
Today, increasing numbers of older adults are changing the paradigm of aging by refusing to be relegated to the scrap heap by cultural assumptions of decline and ageism. Instead, they savor and live life on their terms while seeing their generation as a force that can change the tide of history.
Creating a new paradigm of aging is about reclaiming wisdom, eldership and our responsibility to future generations. But to do this, we need to come to terms with our own fears of aging and death.
“Very well done! I’m looking forward to aging now!”
The Unfinished Story (Interactive story-telling)
Once upon a time, in a land beyond time, a village unknowingly faces terrible disaster. Why? Because a great power is found which causes the villagers to become young and forget their wisdom and the stories of their hearts. The animals and the moon convene to share their own wisdom and to help the villagers recover what cannot truly ever be lost.
This fable has been presented on stage to large groups and to small intimate gatherings. Time permitting, it includes an interactive portion which draws on the participants’ own wisdom to ‘finish the story’. Great for the young and young at heart.
Wow, Marilyn, what a magical and inspiring story you told last night at the speakers event! Your mythical tale offered such a creative and compelling invitation for us to share the stories of our own hearts, so we can reclaim our deepest wisdom and help our collective story unfold in the healing and compassionate way we so dearly long for.“Thank you for your beautiful story, so beautifully told! You are a master of story-telling!” ~ Cate Laurier
“Your fable is beautiful – light but deep; simple yet sophisticated. Thank you!” ~ Michelle Johnson
“Very captivating and unique!”
“Wonderful story message. And loved the way you delivered it!”
About my own journey of aging:
My involvement with First Nations peoples taught me a great respect for traditional eldering from a very early age. But my initiatory journey into ‘Conscious Eldering’ came about as a result of deeply personal experiences that began just before my 60th birthday. First, I experienced a health crisis that left me in constant pain, limiting my ability to walk and threatening to put an end to my livelihood. I recovered after many months of physiotherapy. But I was then faced with the decline and death of my mother who had Alzheimers Disease, followed by the unexpected death of a second family member. Causing profound shifts in my awareness, these experiences led me to search for a new vision of aging. I hence begin my exploration of Conscious Eldering with Ron Pevny and IONS. I am certified by the Institute of Noetic Sciences as an IONS Conscious Aging Workshop Facilitator.