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Director's Message

Spirituality March 2010

   ~ We are not human beings on a spiritual journey. We are spiritual beings on a                                                                  human journey. ~    Stephen R. Covey

 

 

The Princeton Senior Resource Center--as most non-religious organizations that try to be inclusive of the diversity of this community--does not usually address spiritual issues.  But I think we are missing a critical aspect of holistic healthy aging (along with physical, mental and emotional health) if we ignore the spiritual dimension.

 

Before I lose readers who have had a bad experience with organized religion, let me say that spirituality includes our core values and beliefs, where we find meaning, and what gives us quality of life.  “Spirituality is about our existence, relationships with ourselves, others and the universe. It is something we experience and requires abstract thinking and will. Spiritual development provides us with insight and understanding of ourselves and others…the function that integrates all other aspects of personhood…and is often seen as a search for meaning in life.  Spirituality extends beyond the physical, material and self to a state called transcendence.” I submit that one’s later years are fertile ground for deepening spirituality.

 

Each of us needs to find ways to nurture the spirit within us, just as we feed our bodies and our minds with exercise, nutrition and cognitive stimulation.  In fact it is often the spirit that perseveres when the mind and body have failed, and the spirit that lingers in the memories of those who remain. In this vein, it is important for us to acknowledge the spirit inside a person with dementia or diminished abilities.

 

Spiritual awareness grows with experience and wisdom.  Without some of the challenges of life, we do not reach deep within or far outside of ourselves to find meaning or comfort.  We may find a greater need to have an active spiritual life when we get older as we find ways to cope with the loss of spouse, family, friends, physical and mental abilities, or the activities that gave our lives a sense of purpose and identity.  We encounter more things we cannot explain, the wonders and mysteries of life, from the intense feeling of love for a baby to the first bud of spring.  We are more likely to have had a transcendent experience, and to be shifting our focus from material things to satisfaction with life.

 

As we age, we find ourselves thinking more about questions like “what comes after death?” or “what is quality of life?” that cause us to re-examine the values and beliefs we have known for a lifetime. One might ask “where can I find meaning and purpose with the limitations I now have?” or “where do I find the reserve to go on through this grief or deal with this illness?”  I think these questions compel us to connect with our spirituality.  It may also be true that as we age, we find more time for inner reflection and spiritual practice: meditation, contemplation, reflection, solitary walks….  Some find themselves turning more to spiritual sources for strength and guidance, especially when the sources they relied on earlier in life are not available.  Others find people to share the exploration with, or readings that have particular meaning.  We can find new opportunities to share our wisdom and be mentors and respected elders to those who are just starting out.  Expressing our spirit by helping others is one way to attain personal satisfaction, comfort, and peace. Each of us wants to identify a legacy, the mark on the world that will live on after we are gone. 

 

How can we get more comfortable with this vital spiritual side of ourselves, so that we find the personal answers that will give comfort and certainty in troubled times, so that we can release the depression, anxiety and fear that are so pervasive today?  Can we begin to challenge the culture that denies aging and admonishes us not to talk about politics or religion with family and friends?  I believe it is critical to nurture our spirits, continuing to seek deeper understanding, throughout the lifespan.

 

Susan W. Hoskins, LCSW

Institute for Spirituality and Aging website cas.umkc.edu/casww/sa/spirituality.htm  (quoting Twycross 1988 and Thibault 1991)

 

 

Previous Messages

October 2017: HomeFriends Celebrates 30 Years!

September 2017: Annual Report

July/August 2017: Preferred Caregivers: Daughters

June 2017: Cues & Clues

May 2017: Recharging

April 2017: GrandPals Celebrate 20 Years!

March 2017: Multi-generational Households

February 2017: No One Ages Well Alone

January 2017: Help at Home

December 2016: Gratitude

November 2016: Family Caregiving

October 2016: Annual Report

September 2016: Corporate Healthcare

July/ August 2016: Strategic Planning

June 2016: Is Your Home Age- Friendly?

May 2016 Part 2 : We Need Your Help

May 2016 Part 1: Going Solo

April 2016: Volunteering

March 2016: Partners In Caring

February 2016: PSRC's Strategic Plan

January 2016: Hope

December 2015: Gratitude

November 2015: Helicopter Children

October 2015: Is Princeton An Age Friendly Community?

September 2015: Annual Report

July & August 2015: Family and Community

June 2015: A Gift that Keeps Giving

May 2015: Is 60 the New 40

April 2015: Spring

March 2015: On Being Mortal

February 2015: Mentoring

January 2015: Winter Blues

December 2014 - Leaving A Legacy

October 2014 An Age Friendly Future

September 2014 Annual Report

July - August 2014

June 2014 - Romance After 50

May 2014 - Your Virtual Estate

April 2014 - Memory and Forgetting

March 2014 - Aging in Community

Observational Stay

February 2014 - Family Caregiving

January 2014: Attitudes about Aging

December 2013 - Giving

November 2013 - Healthcare Marketplace

October 2013 - Annual Report 2013

September 2013 - Total Brain Health® Fair

July - August 2013 My cat, My Father and Me

June 2013 - Age Friendly Communities

May 2013 - Navigating a Changing HealthCare Landscape

April 2013 - Becoming Visible

March 2013 - Navigating Life’s Transitions

February 2013 - Partners in Caring Princeton

January 2013 - Men as Caregivers

December 2012 - The Safety Net

November 2012 - Going Solo

October 2012 - Documenting Your History

September 2012 - A Journey of Transformation

July - August 2012 - Gratitude & Moving

June 2012 - Diversity

May 2012- Aging in America

APRIL 2012 - TEN YEARS

March 2012 - Patient-centered Care

February 2012 - Can you Spare an Hour?

January 2012 - Challenges & Opportunities

December - Are you Prepared for Emergencies?

November - We need YOU!

October - Chocolate for Memory

September- Looking Back and Looking Forward

July - August 2011; Ageism

June 2011 - Accessibility

May 2011 - Paper retention

Knit Wits, April 2011

Lessons and Legacies, March 2011

Independent Living February 2011

Home Safety January 2011

Witness to my Life December 2010

Elections, benefits and open enrollment November 2010

Retire in 3D!

Strategic Planning September 2010

Am I Old? July 2010

Memory Clutter June 2010

Aging In America May 2010

Volunteering April 2010

Spirituality March 2010

Estate Planning February 2010

Encore Careers January 2010

Hiring Home Care December 2009

Annual Giving by Sharon Naeole November 2009

Flu Pandemic 2009 October 2009

Healthy Memory, Healthy Mind September 2009

A Personal Perspective on Caregiving July/August 2009

TRANSPORTATION May 2009

Wei Ji: Crisis, Danger and Opportunity April 2009

Write your own obituary March 2009

Hobbies February 2009

Hope and Vision in Challenging Times
January 2009

Medicare Changes 2008: Take A Look! December 2008

Scams, Frauds and Rip-offs November 2008

Engaged Retirement: Beyond Financial Planning October 2008

September 2008 Caregiver Dilemmas

Finding Rhythm and Purpose July/August 2008

Spring Cleaning II June 2008

V + OA = ER (Volunteering + Older Americans=Engaged Retirement)May 2008

Spring Cleaning April 2008

Have You Had the Talk Yet? March 2008

Get Moving with FitRhythms™! February 2008

My Condolences January 2008

Advocacy December 2007

What Are Social Services? November 2007

Sensitive Topics October 2007

Plan for the Future September 2007

The Up-side of Aging Summer 2007

Volunteering June 2007

Strategic Plan May 2007

National Conference on Aging: Let's ReThink Aging April 2007

Brain Health March 2007

Resiliency February 2007

Transportation January 2007

Season of Giving December 2006

Medicare Part D November 2006

April Hill McElroy October 2006

Civic Engagement September 2006

Change June 2006

White House Conference on Aging May 2006

Hearing Loss April 2006

GrandPals March 2006

Lets Talk February 2006

Eldertopia January 2006

Hoarding December 2005

Annual Report: November 2005

Are You Prepared? October 2005

Planning Ahead October 2005

Watch Your Language September 2005

Medicare Part D Summer 2005

Sue Tillett June 2005

The End of the Journey May 2005

Clutter March 2005

New Dietary Guidelines February 2005

Transitions January 2005

Funding December 2004

Caregiving November 2004

Civic Engagement with GrandPals October 2004

A New Look September 2004

Safe Driving Summer 2004

Food Safety June 2004

Communication June 2004

The Challenge of Giving Care May 2004

Seniors On The Move April 2004

Depression March 2004

McGreevey February 2004

Medications January 2004

Random Acts of Kindness December 2003

Civic Engagement November 2003

Reverse Mortgages Oct 2003

Emergency Preparedness, Jan 2003


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