The Elder's Journey: Four Shields of Eldering for Women

Sunday, October 1, 2017 to Saturday, October 7, 2017
Location: 
Big Pine . CA, Baker Creek and surrounding area
Tuition: 
Sliding Scale of $650-1050.

 

“We are the seeds of the tenacious plant, and it is our ripeness and our fullness of heart that we are given to the wind and scattered.”
Khalil Gibran 
Throughout the ages elder women have enjoyed sitting in circle weaving the rich tapestries of their stories, stories which continued to warm and inspire people across time and culture. These gatherings were often called The Grandmother’s Circle. To be called “Grandmother” is a term of respect and love as an Elder woman. It does not depend on literally having children or grandchildren, but rather it denotes a life fully lived, with all that is learned through ones’ successes and failures, and the wisdom that is earned along the way.

What about us, now, in our time? As women in all stages of becoming elders, there is a growing passion and a commitment to tell our own stories and to create a new myth to help us to grow into the most positive women elders possible. We have children, or we are childless, we are single or we are partnered, working or retired, healthy or feeling the struggles of the body. Whatever stage of eldering we find ourselves navigating it is imperative that we find our way, with humor, grace and dignity.

Elderhood is a cyclical experience that can be a ripening of our strengths rather than the dulling of our minds through an unlived life. From the words of social activist Maggie Kuhn, “Old age is not a disease. It is a strength in survivorship, triumph over all kinds of vicissitudes and disappointments, trials and illness.” This speaks to aging as an extraordinary achievement. It is an opportunity to re-awaken the imagination towards new possibilities and a renewed spirit inspired by the wisdom of living we have acquired.

As women ripen into the various stages of eldering, we must re-map the landscape to make room for the emerging new perspectives of what it means to be an elder. Through honoring endings, making meaning and giving our gifts, we move into the transformation of elderhood and into a renewed vitality, creativity, and vision. This program is an invitation to open to what is needed to welcome the elders we are becoming.

Program Overview: During our time together we will explore ways to deepen into a more conscious approach to how we live our lives as elder women in the world today. We will recall our personal stories, life experiences and collected knowledge and discover ways to transform them into our wisdom and our medicine. We will explore an ancient means of looking into the mirror of nature (the Four Shields) that will reflect and support the wisdom of the elders as a natural point for introspection and meaning. These teachings and the earth itself will help to bring what is needed to your own particular stage of this rich new frontier.
Our days will be filled with a morning circle that will include teachings and a check-in. In the afternoon an assignment will be suggested and there will be time alone on the land. There will be late afternoon and after dinner story councils for listening and reflection.
A day medicine walk to a special location with optional fasting and a 24 hour time of silence will take place on one of the days.