Thursday, June 22, 2017

Ted Kloski's Portrait


This morning I woke up thinking about Jung and the messages of Ted’s Portrait. The painting dances with dreamlike colorful archetypes and symbols inspired by the alchemists and Carl Jung. It seems to be saying we need to burn out all of our impurities to experience the joy of the gifts from the Garden. It is saying, we are guided by the collective unconscious winding through our Soul burning and draining impurities and integrating colorful missing pieces. The missing pieces come from the unconscious going to the conscious on a crooked path to individualized and authenticity. The Self is realized while living in harmony and balance. I believe The Ted Painting is demonstrating that process. As impurities are draining out, the beauty of The Garden is able to enter the body of consciousness. The sadness symbolizes compassion and concern for a planet of suffering and destruction. The drops of blood are colored with the wisdom of the Scarab’s contribution of synchronicities and intuition.
 
I am not sure if this is what the artist intended to say through this Portrait. The beauty of visual art is that the observer finds what is needed from the unconscious. It may not be the same message of the artist, making it even more valuable. The artist is exposing his beliefs and it is received in a way that is meaningful to another demonstrating Oneness. I may not understand the symbols of Greek Mythology because I have never studied Mythology, but I can still be influenced by the message because the characters live in the collected unconscious as archetypes.
 
The following is what I believe today about the Spiritual journey to Self.  I believe it may differ somewhat from what the artist is saying.  It comes as a collection of my journeys through Jungian Psychology, Buddhism and Metaphysics:  
 
I believe rather than a burning of impurities, the journey to the Garden is an awakening process. We awaken to know we are One with everything because God is all there is( metaphysical). We are the Garden and already there.  I change the Jungian concept of good and evil being on a continuum circle to a circle of light and darkness.   I believe it is our delusional view of life coming from the story of the Serpent, the Apple and Adam and Eve that creates suffering. As the archetypical story goes, once Adam and Eve ate the apple they became subjects of judgment living in a dark delusional world of good and evil. We have been brainwashed by a culture that teaches separation through the concept of good and evil. When we awake to Truth we understand that what we have been looking for isn’t being good or better, we know we our true nature is Love. Our path is to live in the light of non-judging and connectedness.

Jung's work is beneficial  because I do believe in the collective unconscious as a means of tapping into the Truth on our journey to understanding  Self.  When we sleep at night, we go to a place where we can encounter all that is in the way, blocking us from Truth and the Garden. When we wake in the morning, we wake up to Ego and the head which is always spinning some kind of grand false story we learned about good and evil and separation. If I stay in semi-awakeness, then I can catch the messages of truth before head takes over. It is a state of consciousness that brings wisdom.  I can reach this same state of consciousness in meditation,by experiencing a painting, reading poetry, watching a meaningful play or movie, getting lost in the senses of nature. These are the times we can tap into Universal truth wide awake.
 
Let’s throw in the metaphysical concept, that you get what you believe and you create your own reality. If you believe in the lies of good and evil and separateness, it becomes your reality.  You see all things as good or evil including self; you live a life judging everything as either good or badl, pleasant or unpleasant. If you no longer judge and believe only in Oneness united in Love than that is what you begin to experience and create.  When you replace judgment with curiosity, the world of duality ends and you experience the peaceful state of equanimity.
 
Carl Jung and the alchemists are not wrong. We don’t have to move away from their teachings; we can build on them and use them as tools for awakening.  It is through self-awareness that we can master Self and awake to a new reality. We can begin to transform out of the traps of cultural domestication by replacing competition with compassion, doing with being.  We understand projection and replace it with self-awareness.  Judging others is replaced with recognizing the divinity in all.  Synchronicities become our divine guide posts. I think people who use the concept of synchronicity do not realize this is a Jungian term coined by him.  Jung helps us to understand the differences that come from processing information internally and externally eliminating the need to judge others or expect them to handle communication, conflict or meetings the same way we do. Jung gives us the understanding that Self needs the complete development of anima and animus in equal balance.  He honors the need for highly developed feminine and masculine traits in both women and men. Jung gives us tools for greater awareness with dream work, unveiling the deep secrets of the unconscious.  I believe Jung’s work and the alchemists who influenced him can lay a foundation for awakening.
 
When I reject the concept of good and evil, I can create a new reality. Instead of burning the  impurities of evil through analysis, I awake to the divine nature of myself and all people.  It is a process of awakening out of the dark nightmare of our culture. It does not happen quickly because there are many cultural traps hanging out waiting to trick us into believing the lies.The darkness of these cultural traps can be negotiated through the use of practices. Mindfulness provides us with many practices promoting compassion, non-judgment, self-awareness, and equanimity.
 
As we transform our belief in separateness and judgment through an understanding of our true nature, we move through life recognizing the true nature and the divinity in all. We begin to see all humans with more compassion with no need to label their behavior as good or evil. Our labeling is  based on our own biases and projections, hidden in the darkness of our subconscious. We navigate a circle of consciousness from illuminating brightness to deep darkness. We all live someplace in that circle and each of us have times of great light and great darkness.
 
I believe there is another key to living in the light and that is allowing our emotions to be our messengers. A difficult emotion is a warning sign letting us know where we are and what is happening.  Strong judgment of another is another cue to look within self to see what is being projected. When we can observe our emotions as a witness, we are already finding the way out of darkness. We actually are on a higher level of consciousness when we become the witness. When you know what is going on, you can use the practices and tools you have acquired to crawl out from under the false beliefs and fears. You regulate and learn from you emotions rather than act out. Even though we all fall into darkness from time to time, self awareness through an understanding of emotions  allows us to know where we are.
 
I believe when we have spent a lot of time in the light, we develop more compassion and passion to work toward a planet where all living creatures live in unity and Love. We can become agents of change working for global peace and justice for all.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Definition of Artist


June 12, 2017  Definition of Artist.

As I continue to ponder what is it I wish to do with this amazing life, I think of Meryl Streep who once told a reporter she would retire when she no longer has anything to say. She wishes to continue her participation in the world’s conversation. Nobody would doubt Meryl Streep is a great artist. When you Google “great artists” among the greats you will find a picture of Steve Jobs. I define an artists as someone who communicates the collected Truth. When we witness the work of an artist we experience their truth on all levels of our being, mind, body, spirit, Soul. Does that truth become part of the collected Truth? Can we define an artist as somebody who is expressing their truth in a conversation with the world?

This is an interesting time in World History. Is it another time of darkness? We think we are so smart and so advanced; and yet we are so asleep, so cruel, and so destructive. Manipulation of truth is all around us and our collected Soul knows it. It knows the lies of the factory farmer who believes animals do not feel pain as we do; “they are just animals.” What does inflicting extreme suffering to another sentient being do to the Soul? Pharmaceutical executives twist research results to sell products they say will relieve suffering; products that harm the mind, body and spirit. Do their products block the Soul from truly relieving suffering? Politicians lie and manipulate the thinking and beliefs of their constituents. Their voters believe the lies and then vote in darkness causing their own loss of wellbeing. I wonder if liars become so good at lying, Truth is no longer available to them. We seek more and more, drowning in materialism, driven by the need to impress others, never experiencing what we really need; love that comes from connection and belonging. In contrast, “backward” indigenous people live simple lives using what Mother Nature provides, knowing how to connect to other living beings rather than things. They love and belong to Soul as they  preserve the earth with the practice of seven generations. They bless and respect the animals; they know bliss as they dance with nature. The bliss and joy today we seek to find from a pill, having more things, or fame.

We are so smart and yet we only believe the lies of society and what we can see; denying the existence of a world seen by mystics; a world of connection and Oneness in love with all living things. Artists often speak their truth in symbols to stay safe in the dark; a darkness that only values rational thinking, a darkness that disconnects senses and emotions. Is it not the senses and feelings that connect us to the Soul?  Can we define suffering as the experience of being disconnected from collected Truth, Love, and the collected Soul?

We are so advanced and yet we suffer and we do not know why we suffer. So we look for the answers in the rational, outside of Self.  We eat the poison created by lies and manipulation. We chase our tails until we get sick and die. What happens to the poisoned soul when it dies? I know not all people have peaceful deaths of a bright light. I have been with people who die in fear, anger and torment; there is no peace.  

I too have suffered chasing my tail trying to find love, belonging, acceptance and fame. In silence I stop chasing my tail and have glimpses of what the mystics know and experience. In silence I find my truth. What do I wish to discuss with the world? How can I be an artist sharing my message of truth? I believe we are all artist with a truth to share; a truth that is part of the collected Truth. How can we see it, feel it, hear it, touch it, taste it and share the message of Truth? There are many ways to communicate our truth to the world. We can share as a great actor like Meryl Streep, or a journalist, musician, teacher, chef, painter, poet, orator, writer, dancer, or faithful activist warrior standing up for all sentient beings and Earth herself.

What is my unique way of conversing in the world’s conversation? What do I wish to say?  Do you wish to be a part of the world conversation? What do you wish to say?

Monday, November 28, 2016

Rings of Wisdom Week One


 

“Nothing is holier; nothing is more exemplary than a beautiful strong tree. When a tree is cut down and reveals its naked death wound to the sun, one can read its whole history in the luminous inscribed disk of its trunk; in the rings of its years, its scars, all the struggle, all the suffering, all the sickness, all the happiness and prosperity stand truly written, the narrow years and the luxurious years, the attacks withstood, the storms endured. And every young farm boy, knows that the hardest and noblest wood has the narrowest rings, that high on the mountains and in continuing danger the most indestructible, the strongest, the ideal trees grow.” Hermann Hesse

When I reflect on the path of the Elder Warrior, the metaphor of rings in a tree comes to mind. A tree goes through various kinds of growth. Each year, a tree adds new layers of wood to its trunk. If you count the rings of a tree, it will tell you how long the tree has been living. The shape and the width of the rings can differ from year to year. Wide rings indicate a time of intense growth. A tree that is happy getting lots of sunshine and rain will show rings that are broad and evenly spaced. Narrow rings indicate less favorable conditions for growth, unusually cold weather, insect damage, lack of nutrients, drought.

The narrow rings produce much stronger wood than the broader rings and are essential to a tree’s overall strength. When a tree puts down a narrow ring, because it was a year of drought, it also deepens its roots. By reading the rings of a tree, you can see the scars from a forest fire, hurricane, and other severe weather conditions. When a tree is injured, it weeps and bleeds sap to begin the healing process. In the years that follow, the tree focuses on growth in the wounded area to repair the damages. An old tree will have hidden scars under the layers. Anyone who splits wood will tell you it is these wounded areas of the tree that are the strongest and most difficult to split and will burn better than the unscarred areas.

Adult warriors are like a beautiful, strong tree. We all have had some years of sunshine and growth and some years of challenges and suffering. We have scars deep within our mind and body.  We reflect on the lessons of our life and in silence we find wisdom. Erik Erikson says, “Wisdom comes from life experience, well digested. It’s not what comes from reading great books. When it comes to understanding life, experiential learning is the only worthwhile kind: everything else is hearsay.” At the end of each chapter I will share in Rings of Wisdom how the lessons have worked in my life.

I will begin this week by telling you I have many rings; some are narrow and strong and some a broad and balanced. I have had years of sunshine and growth, and times of struggles and challenges. Today I can see how the wounds from childhood made me a more compassionate and caring psychotherapist. I believe I became a psychotherapist as a way to gain an understanding of self and my dysfunctional family. The wounds from adulthood have lead me to Mindfulness training where I gain insight and awareness setting me free to let go and move beyond judgment and fear. These are scars I have transformed as I see myself as a wounded healer

My wish for each of you is find the wounded areas of your life as your strength. It is through self-awareness we light up the scars dissolving the blind spots; we grow empathy for self and others and allow the fire within to burn long and strong. Together lets become warriors difficult to split or break as we find new ways to think about ageing and we become busy making the world a better place for every living creature. We begin this journey learning practices and tools for growing self-awareness and a deeper understanding of who we are, what we believe, and how we wish to live in a way that is guided by awakening to the Spirit.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Introduction


After the first few weeks of not going to the office, I started feeling restless and very alone. At the time I believed I was ready for these big changes; no more dealings with health insurance companies, no more “treatment plans” and no more biting my tongue about pharmaceuticals and diagnoses. After many hours alone with only my dogs and cats, I noticed a bubbling up coming from within. “Am I growing old? Did I just retire?” When I looked in the mirror at unguarded moments, I realized there were some changes in my face and in my body. “Is this the way I am going to look when I am an old person and does it matter?  Is it really all downhill from here?” Facing these realities seemed more like an uphill steep climb.

Our culture tells us how we are supposed to act at a certain age. “You are not a spring chicken anymore, dress appropriately.”  “You are going to march on Washington when you could be enjoying retirement? Are you nuts?” “You can’t make any big changes in your life; it is time for you to settle.” I hear things like this all around me and sometimes I even see people my age posting on Facebook quotes and discriminating pictures fulfilling ageist myths. They not only buy into these beliefs, but they are also promoting them and repeating them. As a therapist, I know the power of the mind to create what it believes. This kind of thinking is harmful to your health and longevity. These cultural biases are especially influential when they are out of our awareness. They sneak into the subconscious mind unchallenged and we know the subconscious mind doesn’t think about what is true; it does what it is told. So goes the belief that aging includes arthritis, knee and hip replacements, failing memory, no passion, and no joy. If this thinking is not challenged that is exactly what you get as the number on your driver’s license goes up another year. Unchallenged your life will reflect the beliefs of the culture. And suddenly you are getting a knee replacement, your memory is failing and you lost your passion for living.

Yes, I was once one of those idealistic very alive college students marching for peace in the world. But like the rest of my generation, I sold out. I too became a typical productive, compliant member of society. As Paulo Coelho describes, I was domesticated.  I married a banker, had four children, and went to graduate school to be a psychotherapist. I was a stay home Mom and then for many years worked for a large medical center doing out-patient psychotherapy. I was on the Church Parish Council and taught Confirmation class. I trusted that my priest and physician knew what was best for my mind, body and spirit. I didn’t question them nor did I find my own truth. We were not encouraged by our culture to know and understand what’s best for our mind, body or spirit. We are encouraged to just do as they say. And sadly most of what they say is driven by profit, greed and/or the need to keep us in control.

I don’t remember exactly when I realized the games institutions play. I think it was a gradual process of increasing awareness and working for a large medical center that required jumping through corporate hoops replacing concern for what is best for clients. I also started what was called a centering prayer which is much like mindfulness meditation. I believe it is through silence we grow in awareness and begin to remember our true nature. It is in silence we can hear our own wisdom and truth.

Ending my career as a psychotherapist created a new silence giving me the space to figure out what is true for me and how I wanted to live the rest of my life or at least the next ten years. Since I no longer buy into being domesticated I started a journey into a confrontation of cultural beliefs about ageing. As I did research on ageing I found several researchers supporting a new way of thinking about ageing. There is fascinating research on Centenarians and how they live their lives. Dr. Mario Martinez describes Centenarians in his book, Lessons from Healthy Centenarians: “They’re all rebels! They don’t go to doctors because their doctors are dead; they’re future-oriented (‘My garden is beautiful right now but wait till you see it in three years!’); They have healthy boundaries (‘No, I can’t meet you on Saturday morning; that’s when I have my sailing lesson’); they have a positive outlook on life and focus on what’s great. If you have to have a marker, take this one: Middle age starts at 90".

So if Middle age starts at 90, I have a lot of years left to make a difference. Make a difference doing what? It turns out there are many Baby Boomers asking the same question. In the process of answering questions for myself I have become inspired to share my findings. I have a dream to teach a new way of ageing and together with others challenge the beliefs and institutions trying to keep us settled, tamed and compliant.

Let’s be rebels and warriors. Let’s make getting older, getting freer and more powerful. We can make going over the hill the push that helps us go faster down the hill to a life of passion and activism. Let’s harvest our experience and knowledge for the welfare of our planet and her animals, plants and people. All are in great need for our compassion, love and wisdom. Join me as elder warriors making a difference and finding our way to more Love, Joy, and Passion.

©2016 Judith A. Rogers, L.C.S.W.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Signing up for Life

Father Gregory Boyle embodies what it means to create a world that works for everyone. As a Jesuit priest, his ministry had led him to the creation of Homeboy Industries which is rated the most successful gang intervention in the world. In a TED talk, he shares the secret of his success, “creating a culture of compassion and kinship.” He says, “It shouldn’t surprise us that God’s own dream come true for us-that we be one—just happens to be our own deepest longing for ourselves.” As Elder Warriors joining in Oneness to shine a light on the world, we can make a difference while sustaining our needs for purpose, to belong, and to know we matter. We too can be a star following our own fearless path into the darkness of a world needing much help. I have listed below what I believe an Elder warrior does to remain strong.


Spends time in Silence

Many wisdom traditions teach the importance of silence. Buddhist Mindfulness Meditation is the one I prefer; but there are many others, centering prayer, contemplation and shaman practices of silencing the mind in healing ceremonies. Focusing on our body sensations and emotions rather than our chattering mind is basic to all healing. In silence we can move from the analytical thinking of our head into the whole embodied experience, creating a state of awareness. Through awareness you can tap into the knowledge and wisdom, you carry in your body and soul.  The gift of a silent mind helps us find our way through life with purpose. The rational mind often lies because of its distorted perceptions; the body never lies. When you know how to listen in silence, you bring more awareness to situations. You can see your way as the star shines on what matters. You reclaim your true nature, freedom, peace and joy.


Grows in Compassion

As Elder Warrior’s compassion may be the greatest gift coming from times of silence and the wisdom accumulated. We find ways to support and defend the suffering of others. We practice self-compassion honoring our wish to be happy. We care deeply about the plight of others. We suffer with them but are not depleted when we come from our resilient heart. When we have a sensitive heart, we know what is needed to make changes in the world to end suffering. We replace fear with courage to stand up and protest against the darkness, and we make the personal choices to support a kinder gentler world.


Replaces Dogma with a flexible, curious mind:

The Elder warriors know there are no “right” answers. Zen masters used koan to teach their students’ how to leave thinking with their analytical mind. Here is an example from the tradition called the Gateless Gate:

A man is hanging by his teeth from a tree on a cliff. Someone asks him a question. If he doesn’t answer, he falls and dies. If he does answer, he falls and dies. What should he do?

By seeing how things we believe to true may also be false, we force the thinking brain to give up control and we no longer obsessively hold on to the “right way” or “how things have always been done.” A state of open-mindedness gives us the ability to listen and actually hear others. 

 
Continues to play and learn

There is an ancient Sioux story about Creator giving all the animals unique survival gifts—size, fur, extraordinary abilities to smell, hear, or see far away strong teeth. Creator gave humans the capacity to play all of their life. It is our unusually prolonged neoteny, a Greek word meaning to stretch. Neoteny is the playful behavior of young mammals to learn basic survival skills. Non-human mammals discontinue play once they are adults as they have learned the necessary survival skills. Play is an important elder tool. Scientists believe fast learning takes place with play. Week one in a Short Lesson in Neuroscience we covered Panksepp’s seven primary emotional circuits and the Play Circuit’s powerful potential to heal past emotional pain. Play gives our brain the capacity to absorb new information and form new ideas no matter how long we live. Stretching to learn new ways to play will enhance our warrior skills.

The brain state of play usually involves intense focus with a mind-body activity. Tibetan monks create sand mandalas sometimes taking days to complete with exquisite detail and beauty. When the mandala is completed, it is erased as a lesson in impermanence. In the tradition of the Pueblo tribe, the medicine man created sand paintings as part of healing ceremonies. Creating a focused non-rational brain state and holding it for a length of time is the intention of sand paintings. Playing golf, swimming, bowling, tennis or enjoying a live music performance can create the same mind-body healing.  Laughter is playfulness. Having a sense of humor lightens the load in stressful situations. Until I can find the bright sight of something, I may find humor helpful. ''I can't imagine a wise old person who can't laugh,'' said  Eric Erikson. ''The world is full of ridiculous dichotomies.'' So many times I find laughing at some of the physical changes brought on by age beats complaining about them. Ladies, you know what can happen when laughing sneezing or coughing too hard.


Guided by Evolving Passion and Purpose

Spiritual teacher, Andrew Cohen asks his audiences the following question: “How would you live your life if you learned that the future evolution of the human race rested on your shoulders alone?” If you knew all of your future actions were creating an example for future elders to follow as a guide, would your behavior change? For me, his question was an eye-opening wake-up call. Contemplating this idea of future humanity depending on me and my tribe fills me with passion and purpose. I always think of Margaret Mead’s quote: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”


It takes courage to stand up to cultural expectations and perceived personal limitations. When we can stand up and release all attachments to what others think, let go of competition, we remember we are here on Earth to live the highest and greatest life possible. We are Elder warriors in service to the growth and evolution of everyone and the planet. There are many possibilities for the world today has many needs. 

Monday, April 18, 2016

Strategies for Conscious Ageing



“In just the same way, the Warrior of the Light knows that everything around him— his victories, his defeats, his enthusiasm, and his despondency— form part of his Good Fight. And he will know which strategy to use when he needs it. A Warrior does not try to be coherent; he has learned to live with his contradictions.”--Coelho, Paulo

Ageing brings loss and there are strategies to use to help us as we travel and live with our contradictions. The culture has its idea of ageing and we have a different one. When we become vulnerable to the anti-ageing stereotypes in our culture, we can lose self-confidence, and fear death. We may give away our warrior power to guilt and body shame. We can lose our curiosity and creativity causing procrastination and isolation. In this session, we are going to explore strategies that will empower and give you coping tools to defy the cultural expectations on ageing. We will learn the warrior skill of embracing life changes as challenges and possibilities. One of the most powerful strategies is the practice of Self-compassion. It reduces stress, depression, perfectionism, body shame and fear of failure. Another power practice is developing a gratitude habit. As you will see the research shows how gratitude changes our brain chemistry and brings more goodness into our lives.

We face death in this session. Death used to take place in a cold and sterile hospital with few choices. Our boomer generation is a generation that wants choices about how and where we wish to die. We will explore issues of death and dying. By facing our own death, we learn how to help somebody we love face death. This is a time in life when we experience loss, learning how to grieve is an important strategy. Knowing how to help others grieve will be something you will want to learn.  Today dying is more than a medical event. It can be a time for unfinished mind-body and spiritual healing. They say the way we die is similar to how we have lived and how we have responded to suffering, our primary relationships, and our relationship to self. As a member of a Hospice team, I have witnessed several very loving, and magical deaths. When we are helping a loved one to die, we face our death. When we listen to their fears, we face our own. When we have learned to let go of life losses, we learn how to let go at the hour of death.  When we can talk about death in a new way, we view our morality with greater consciousness and thus live each day more awake.

There are several exercises in this week’s lesson, be sure to try as many as you can. My intention is to create experiences that help you embody this information.

Discussion question:

1.     Share your daily practice as it stands today. Did you add anything new this week to your practice?

2.     What losses of ageing are you facing right now?

3.     Did you learn anything new about yourself this week?

4.     Discuss what it was like to face death and write your obituary.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Studies on Healthy Centenarians



This is the data from Dr. Barzilai, the director of the Institute for Aging Research at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and is based on longitudinal study of 500 healthy elders.

At age 70 his centenarian data:

    37 percent were overweight

    8 percent were obese

    37 percent were smokers (for an average of 31 years)

    44 percent reported only moderate exercise

    20 percent never exercised at all

Despite this at the age of 100 the people in this study had 60 percent lower rates of heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure. Depression and other psychiatric illnesses are almost nonexistent.

There are many studies done on Centenarians that involve asking them to try to explain why they have lived so long. When reviewing these interviews, there are patterns and themes that come up in every study.

It is interesting when doing a review of the literature on Centenarians; I found it doesn’t seem to matter where they live or what their particular culture, when it comes to their beliefs and the behaviors they seem to have intuitively established the same beliefs and behaviors that foster longevity.

    Staying mentally active and always learning something new.

    Keeping a positive attitude.

    Friends and family important part of their daily life.

    Being social with a strong social network.

    Faith/spirituality is important.

    Healthy oppositional to the tribal rules that don’t fit their beliefs. (Breaking unnecessary rules)

    Don’t like to be around old people whose conversations revolve around aches and pain, or doctor visits.

    Don’t like to go to the doctor and most have not gone in years. They say their doctors died a long time ago.

    Live in moderation.

    Keep moving naturally, remaining active doing things they enjoy.

    Have a strong sense of purpose.

    Have routines that shed their stress like kicking back with something they savor, taking a nap, prayer or mediation.

    Eat less meat.

    The Mediterranean diet was most popular among centenarians of various locations and cultures.

    Drink alcohol in moderation.

A few more interesting statistics:

    Eight of every nine Centenarians are women.

    19 percent use cell phones.

    12 percent use the Internet.

    3 percent have participated in online dating.

Some findings from Harvard psychologist Ellen Langer’s book, Counterclockwise:

    Women who think they look younger after having their hair colored show a decrease in blood pressure and are rated more youthful in photos even when the pictures do not show their hair.

    Being married to someone younger tends to lengthen your life

    Being married to someone older tends to shorten your life.

    Prematurely bald men see themselves as older and, therefore, age faster.

Mario Martinez in his book Body Codes has interesting findings from his Centenarian Study

·       “Without expanded consciousness to match our lifespan, we are dying longer instead of living longer.”

·       Most Centenarians view themselves to be much younger than their age.

·       Most Centenarians enjoy and seek out novelty and wisdom when facing challenges.

·       They defied cultural norms that do not make sense to them their entire life.

·       When you meet healthy centenarians, you realize they don’t fit the stereotype of their age.

·       “Resilience, perseverance, creativity, and flexibility are all attributes I have found in every healthy centenarian I have studied, in cultures spanning five continents.”

·       They continue to plan for the future. When asked about his garden a man who was 106 told the interviewer “wait until you see next year’s garden. It is going to be bigger and much better.”

·       They do not hold grudges. They have an outlook that enabled them to forgive easily and often used an attitude of gratitude replacing anger. “I am so grateful that my guardian angels were with me that day or things could have been a lot worse.”

·       Martinez found that Centenarians made “joyful choices” rather than forced abstinence.

·       Centenarians followed the middle way having no compulsive behaviors; but knew how to savory pleasure. One man reported that he never smoked during the day, but he did have “a good cigar every night before bedtime.”

·       They experience the depth of emotional and physical pain with acceptance.

·       They continue to be curious and interested in learning new things.

·       They have the belief that it is never too late to engage in passion. Many singles are dating and seeking a new partner. Some marry again in their 100’s.