The 'Ageing with Purpose'
I continue to offer Life Transitions coaching, relating to any transition, but recently, inspired by my own age and journey, I created this new programme, designed for those perceiving themselves as moving towards, or having already crossed, a specific 'edge' that life presents all of us with - ageing/getting old
In a sense we are all ageing, from the day we are born. However, I am thinking of potential clients for this programme as anyone who thinks of themself as ageing in the more conventional sense, often triggered by a significant birthday. 45? 50? 60? 70?
Have you had these, or similar, thoughts?
1) "I'm getting old" or "I am old"
2) "My future is likely to be shorter than my past - I really am going to die one day"
For me, this happened on my 70th birthday. Until then I had just been getting on with my life
Of course, I had always known that I would die one day, but I realised that I had been like William Saroyan, who said he knew that “Everybody has got to die, but I have always believed an exception would be made in my case”
I got it. No exception for him - or me - or you. At this point you may react as a friend did - feeling threatened and alarmed by that statement, refusing to engage with it
Yet, if you are willing to be motivated by it, you can have an 'old age' that many people find to be the happiest and most fulfilling years of their life
Maybe you have already had a third thought?
3) "I really need to give some serious thought about what I want to do with the rest of my life"
In which case, you are already thinking about 'Ageing with Purpose'
By 'on purpose' I do not mean discovering a ‘preordained’ ‘life purpose’
I mean ageing/getting older intentionally
You may have been living on default, on autopilot.
It's the opposite of that. The opposite of 'business as usual'
It's recognising what you can't control and what you can
It's discovering your way to respond to some of the inevitable challenges, learn from them,
grow from them
It's about knowing that you do not have to be, and do not intend to be, limited by the many negative stereotypes about ageing that exist in our culture - and which it is almost impossible not to have been influenced by. We are impacted by both external and internal ageism
It's giving deep and serious thought to how you want to live the rest of your life - who you want to be and what you want to do. It requires you to know and honour what matters to you – what you most value and really care about, what you feel passionate about. How you want to use all the skills and experiences and wisdom you have accumulated in your life so far. What you want to take forward and what you want to leave behind.
It may include learning about, and engaging with, what it means to be an 'Elder' rather than just an 'older' - as it did for me.g7 It can include more rest, more fun, more creativity, more balance, more contribution, more time for family, more time for you, more adventure - and less stress
When we are ageing on purpose we have clarity and direction. We feel inspired and motivated and that gives us the energy that people sometimes feel they are losing as they age
It also often includes a desire to contribute more, to make more of a positive difference
to our 'broken' world
We cannot 'choose' whether or not to age
We can choose to 'Age with Purpose', in the sense of ageing intentionally by:
- identifying a clear sense of direction
- approaching the process of aging with mindfulness, self-awareness, curiosity and positive expectations
- making conscious decisions and choices about how we want to live our life as we age, informed by, and aligned with, values, interests and passions
- planning, and then taking steps to create, a future which is meaningful, fulfilling, enriching and joyful
The structure of this 3 month journey has three stages, outlined below
This relates to the activities and reflective exercises used both within, and between, the sessions. All clients engage with these
The heart of the journey, the most important and powerful part, is the 12 x 1-1, 50 minute,
coaching sessions, which are unique to the client. These sessions will be a 'dance' - sometimes led by the client, sometimes by me
There will be powerful themes and approaches which run thoughout all the coaching.
These facilitate transformation and lead to greater self-empowerment, confidence and self love
They include working with inner dialogue/self-talk, emotional regulation and behavioural control Awareness and Mindfulness are foundational but do not necessarily require a 'hard core'
In recent years there has been much excitement about "rewiring the brain" in order to change, to 'unwire' limiting, unhelpful, disempowering, even destructive, beliefs and habits
The Buddha got excited about all that over 2,000 years ago!! As a 'secular' Buddhist, seeing Buddhism as a science of the mind rather than as a religion, I have been incorporating these themes and practices in my work with clients for almost 30 years
Prior to the first coaching session, and between sessions, there are creative and reflective activities and exercises, to be done by the client. The results are sent to the coach in advance and the sessions will often include a review of these results and discussion of any insights or learnings that they have led to
It is the content, and sequence, of these exercises that provide the structure of the programme
All clients receive basically the same activities/exercises
However, there will be some tailoring to reflect that certain aspects of the ageing journey may be different for men and women
You Explore - taking a deep dive to learn all you can from your life so far in order to create a full and rich picture of who you are – what makes you tick and what is truly unique about you. This helps you to understand yourself better and helps me to be best possible coach that I can be for that 'unique being'
What resources do you already have?
What strengths, skills and achievements?
What are your core values and what motivates you?
You meet your most Empowered & Fulfilled Future Self
You learn to easily recognise the voice of your Internal Saboteur and create
ways to silence and replace any beliefs that hold you back and undermine you
From Day 1 you also keep adding to an Ideas Bank, a 'treasure chest', of possibilities that interest and call to you - thoughts, words, pictures, even objects
You Dream - reflecting upon, and journaling, about all aspects of a day, or week, in your Ideal Life
You also unpack the Ideas Bank and we look at all the contents, one by one, in order to identify the main themes and to create for each one (there may be only one), a Spectrum of possible actions which would contribute to creating your Vision of a fulfilling, meaningful and joyful future
This Vision will be a specific and accurate reflection of what you really want and, at this stage, will not be limited by considerations of what you do and don't believe is possible
How do you want to feel? Who do you want to be? How you want to be spending your time - in any specific area of your life (eg work or retirement) or many/all of them?
You Discover - you have already created a specific and accurate description of your Vision. You now do the same for your Current Reality. You then compare your Current Reality with your Vision. This leads to a 'structural tension' that has a powerful tendency to generate whatever is needed to create a viable plan to bridge the gaps and make the vision your new reality
How is this is 'Ageing with Purpose' journey different from ongoing, 1-1 coaching?
1) This is the first time I have offered a pre-defined 'programme' in terms of the number of sessions. This creates more focus and momentum. It also requires a serious commitment from the client
How do I work with you?
Choosing to initiate transformational change in our life may require courage, a willingness to step outside of our 'business as usual' comfort zone (we can become 'comfortable' even with dull, unrewarding, even stressful, situations)
When people identify what 'on purpose' means for them, it often includes a desire to contribute more, to make more of a positive difference in the world, because of the compassion they feel for all the suffering in our increasingly 'broken' world. This may also require courage. A fear that opening their heart more will cause pain and overwhelm. However, research shows that a compassionate heart, and compassionate action, lead to improved happiness & relationships; reduced anxiety, stress & depression; a stronger immune system & a longer life
I provide consistent, unwavering, unconditional, non-judgemental, loving support which honours the courage of those who are willing to
- accept that a willingness to explore perceived risks is often necessary to grow and thrive
- challenge their Inner Saboteur, replacing its limiting & unloving messages with ones that bring empowerment & peace of mind
- experiment & take action as part of the journey - learning by doing - a step at a time
“Lynda combines warmth and humour with a tough, challenging focus on priorities which has moved me forward dramatically. This, plus her clarity and empathy, make her a transformational coach”
“She is fiercely wise and direct, yet also hugely caring, supportive, kind and gentle with it”
Click here to request a 60 minute discovery call