Thursday, May 26, 2011

The True Potential of Elderhood


Why Some Men and Women Choose Elderhood Initiation

I looked forward to turning 50 for many years. Some of my friends thought that was a little strange, but something deep inside told me that I would just begin the greater part of my service for this planet in my 50’s.

Months after my 50th birthday, we created New Dream Foundation and over the past few years we have been growing in our awareness of New Dream’s true purpose and mission—awakening through the Sacred Feminine. This mission that I share with New Dream is one of three primary missions I will fulfill during the remainder of my life.

In a world that sees the role of growing older as becoming a retired senior with nothing to do but play cards and golf, because what you know is no longer relevant—the true potential of elderhood has become lost.

If we choose it, elderhood is our time to thrive. It is a time to be of greater service because we have the experience, and hopefully the wisdom, to do so. If we have been doing our spiritual work, we are more awakened and better able to lovingly hold space for the development of ourselves and others.

I do not believe society has imposed upon us a view of elderhood as being insignificant. We have allowed ourselves to become marginalized and forgotten. And we are the ones that can rise up to spread the wings of our full potential.

As I now understand the process of elderhood, I have observed three significant moments in the evolution of the self as an elder:

1. Acknowledging the gift of your accomplishments. Before moving on to greater service, it can be helpful to pause and reflect upon the lessons you have acquired throughout your years and the difference you have made in the lives of others. Acknowledging what you have done reminds you about how much you have to give and how much you have received, simply by being of service in the ways that are natural for you.

2. Letting go of the past and recognizing who you truly are. You are more than the sum of your actions, past and present. While it is good to acknowledge your accomplishments, it is also wonderful to make sure that there are no regrets from your past lingering in your subconscious that could self-sabotage your service as an elder. Regrets and resentments hold us in a limited state of self-awareness. Opening to elderhood consciously is an opportunity to let go of the pain from the past and surrender to the true loving and limitless nature of yourself as a Divine being.

3. Committing to the greatest expression of your life. Everything you have done has been preparing you for what you are here to do next. It doesn’t stop simply because you are receiving a pension, does it? You can feel it deep inside your bones. You came here to leave your legacy, so what is it that longs to be completed before you cross over? Each moment of life is getting you ready for your final breath here on earth, when you fully release into the love of the Divine. How would you like to prepare for that moment? What purpose or missions want to be fulfilled through you, so that you can leave satisfied and completely ready to transition?

If we are truly going to evolve our consciousness as a species, our evolution needs to exceed beyond retirement age. Each moment is a precious moment for our personal evolution and that of humanity’s.

Some of us choose to stimulate our conscious evolution through rites of passage ceremonies that help us shed our limited beliefs and open to the full recognition of who we are as Divine beings. It is simply too easy to get stuck in the same old patterns and routines, with the same conscious awareness we had the day before.

Rites of passage help us focus and attend to what is truly important. We willingly and actively become the agents of our own evolution by honoring the longing within to take more significant action in inspiring our self-awareness.

At SpiritQuest, we offer three types of elder recognition rites of passage ceremonies for women and men that long to inspire their journey:

1. Elderhood Acknowledgement for Women and Men. This is a simple ceremony dedicated to honoring your achievements. With this recognition ceremony you prepare by making your sacred staff, being prepared to share your talents and accomplishments with ceremonial attendees, and offering your vow of service as an elder of a community. Many choose to request a naming ceremony in conjunction with being recognized as a dedicated elder. This ceremony requires a minimum of one-month preparation.

2. Elderhood Quest for Women and Men. This recognition involves a traditional quest for your life mission, under the guidance of Reverend Misa at SpiritQuest, and monthly preparations with Elder, Reverend Ariann Thomas. You will be invited to make your elder staff and an optional personal medicine wheel. You also will be invited to make a commitment of service to your spiritual community and/or the SpiritQuest community, and be recognized by this same community. This rite of passage requires about one year in preparation.

3. Sacred Path of the Feminine Elderhood Quest. This recognition involves an apprenticeship and traditional quest for your life missions, under the guidance of Reverend Misa at SpiritQuest, and twice-monthly preparations with Elder, Ariann Thomas. You will be invited to make your elder staff and an optional personal medicine wheel. You will also be invited to make a commitment of service to your spiritual community and/or the SpiritQuest community, and recognized by this same community.

What makes this recognition unique is: 1) the depth of your relationship and commitment to the Sacred Feminine, 2) your commitment to the Path of the Sacred Feminine as a part of your spiritual practice and 3) your desire to become part of a Circle of Elders that support and sustain the practices within this path, and support each other in the fulfillment of their missions. This rite of passage requires about one year in preparation.

You can learn more information about these elderhood rites of passage ceremonies by visiting: http://www.newdreamfoundation.com/quest-ceremonies.htm

This year at quest, there will be men and women committing to inspire their own awakening through elderhood rites of passage ceremonies. Many of us will proudly witness their commitments to themselves and their communities, knowing how blessed and fortunate we are to have elders that are willing to live the full expression of their consciousness and love.

Preparations for next year’s rites of passage begin this August, as soon as we return home from SpiritQuest. If you think an elderhood rite of passage could inspire you in your journey, you are welcome to attend this year’s SpiritQuest to support and witness the elders that will be making their elderhood vows. For many, witnessing is part of one’s own preparation.

To those of you that have done your rites of passage into elderhood, you have my deepest respect and gratitude. Thank you for your commitment to live and serve from the fullest expression of your being.