"We are not victims of aging, sickness and death.
These are part of scenery, not the seer, who is immune to any form of change.This seer is the spirit, the expression of eternal being."
~ Deepak Chopra
Many people go into retirement or the aging process with little understanding of the amazing possibilities available to them, because of anxieties about money, health and community acceptance taking up most of consciousness as daily concerns, overtake.As we progress through the various stages of life, from childhood to maturity and on to aging there are new and different understandings and depths all of us share on this journey in the human experience. For instance,the experiences of our twenties and thirties when families and careers are being established differ greatly to those of our fifties and sixties. Having birthed and reared families, many of us have moved into more managerial roles. From this vantage point we can look back on our lives and begin to see the greater picture.
There is a time as we move into the aging process,where we can call on our past and begin the process of bringing in the “data” of our lives. This is a look back process and a recontextualizing of events and situations from an "Elder" perspective.Or being able to see things from being "a little above the battleground".
Underpinning this way of viewing the past is being able to harvest the necessary learned life experiences by letting go self-judgment and releasing any bitterness and resentment still felt in the looking back process. This is how experienced Wisdom becomes tangible.This does involve developing the inner resources to adapt to ageing instead of denying it; it is taking a step to ensure that the next phase of life is filled with self-discovery and deliberate choices.
Our life expectancy keeps increasing. A recent report from the Australian Institute of Actuaries suggested it was plausible that the life expectancy of young people living today could exceed 120 years. And not only are we living longer, we are living in better health. At age 65, females can now expect to live another 21.8 years, including 16.1 years without a severe or profound core activity limitation. For men, the figures are 18.7 years and 15.2 years. On average, we denizens of the 21st century, compared with our grandparents, have another 30 years, what I am calling it an extra life to lead. These demographic changes are well documented; much reported and should be widely recognised in public policy, employment practices and community values. Strangely, they are not. Right now in Australia and elsewhere we waste the human capital represented by our elders.
When we reach the peak of our careers and our kids have gone to greener pastures, we have decades of life before us for which our culture offers us little preparation and almost no challenging role models.
No one else can fill the vital role that Elders can play in our society and culture. The possibilities we are now offered through consciousness research, calls to us to step up and expand with this new evolutionary undertaking. We can now look at ageing as one of the most free and fulfilled times of our life and not swallow the cultural norm of thinking we must now go into decline.
So what is important to us from our present perspective? Is the view from this balcony not a pretty sight?
Aging seems to suffer from a very bad press. Most of our western societies and cultures give us very negative images of old age and therefore a lot of us enter this new phase of life with fear and trembling. The expectation then is to have less of everything and wonder just what our useful to be?
There are ideas that some have that aging is a kind of punishment, were as older people we are left out of the mainstream. As life around us seems to get faster and faster, we wonder if the only option is to drop out. However as the 60’s saying goes to drop out you have to drop in first! And it is the underpinning requirement of the conscious Elder to drop into appreciation of the offering given to us through the human experience of aging as a natural occurrence.
Many older people I have spoken to talk of an understanding that comes upon them where the past can be looked at from a vantage point where a release of memories is possible and so being able to “see” more clearly with a clarity unavailable to them in earlier years.
Older people can learn to talk about this process of living the Third Age with an internal knowing that shows their Wisdom.
Stepping up to being a mentor for others especially those who are younger, and pioneering this new movement of conscious aging,to show others the evolutionary possibilities of using the mind body, along with the new neuroplasticity science which is showing us many new possibilities of brain rewireing. We can recontexualize ourselves however we want!

Author's Bio: 

Margo Knox

Margo is a mentor to people retireing and entering the third age. She encourages her mentees to step up become a mentor themselves using the amazing life experiences they have. This process she calls life recontexualizing, through looking back, forgiveness and release, along with seeing clearly some of our cultural "norms" as being detremental to expanded consciousness, and therefore internal happiness