Aging

“When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.”

Helen Keller

Aging, A Spiritual Journey

When you retire, you have to rewrite your script. You must try to formulate an interpretation of this life transition called retirement. The way you seek and express meaning and purpose from life, transforms each minute you are alive. Over your lifetime the cause and effect of your experiences have either brought you closer or further away from being fully present in the moment. As a result, this is the crossroad where you may wonder, what now brings meaning and purpose to my life?

Now that my job no longer defines me, what does? In our work-oriented society, it is easy to think about retirement as the end of your value. We become so wrapped up in our work identities that the prospect of losing that identity is scary. The reality is, you are not alone. Many of us lose ourselves in our work. It becomes the driving force of how we identify ourselves thus impacting how we see ourselves. Life confronts the character we and culture have built into this moment. But, what lies ahead does not have to be defined by what is now behind you. Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.

Meaning and Purpose…

Meaning, purpose, and connectedness. Spirituality is the essential piece of the aging process. Religious or not, spirituality is a driving force in our lives. It brings an interconnectedness to who we are, and the world around us. For anyone seeking the meaning of life after retirement, all you really have to do is look inward.

“You do not need to know precisely what is happening, or exactly where it is all going. What you need is to recognize the possibilities and challenges offered by the present moment, and to embrace them with courage, faith and hope.”

Thomas Merton

Connectedness…

Spirituality encompasses the abstract nature of the connection and integration of all things. Meaning comes from a sense of connectedness and contribution. Connectedness to the moment, to self, to others, and to nature. The connections you make towards the world outside yourself, are important. But, perhaps the most important one is the one you make with yourself.

Being present in the moment is what helps us connect to ourselves. The more we allow our heart and soul to guide us without thought, the closer we can get to who we truly are. When you find yourself doubting life, or feel like you have lost your compass, calm your mind, rid yourself of as many distractions as possible, and once you feel relaxed ask yourself, what brings you meaning and purpose. Write each thought down without questioning it, and what you will find is a list of possibilities. Possibilities, or simply put, your purpose in life.

Do not hesitant about pursuing your life purpose. Stop worrying that it sounds like a self-serving or selfish quest. Because, true purpose is about recognizing your own gifts and using them to contribute to the world. Gifts such as playing beautiful music for others to enjoy, helping friends solve problems, or simply bringing more joy into the lives of those around you. No matter what you choose, your life purpose is your contribution.

“You know all those things you always wanted to go do? Now is the time to go do them!”