STAMINA is a wellness program for living with an open heart right through to the end of our days.

CONVERSATION CREATES CONSCIOUSNESS
AND CONSCIOUSNESS LEADS TO CHOICE
“The main thing is this — when you get up in the morning you must take your heart in your two hands.
You must do this every morning.”
— (Grace Paley, Just As I Thought)

IS WEIGHT TRAINING OR ACTIVE EXERCISE INVOLVED?  

No this is not an exercise class--no heavy lifting.  However, because concrete physical experience is an essential part of memory, simple activities drawn from the movement arts are included in the workshops and conversation groups.

 

Why call it strength training?

Physical strength training involves pushing our growing edges to gain stamina and maintain an ability to move safely and confidently as our bodies age and change. It’s the same with building resilience of the soul in cognitive, emotional, relational and spiritual realms.  Life is full of surprises that can knock us off balance.  Countless important “muscles” can help us stay springy on our feet.  Here are a few examples: sense of humor muscles, meeting new people muscles, asking for help muscles and self acceptance muscles.  Make your own list.

 

What does it mean to age mindfully?

As we grow older, aging can seem more like a marathon than a stroll in the park.  Just at a time when slowing down seems attractive, rapid change requires more and more of our attention.  

We have to learn new skills, manage all kinds of new information and muster our resources. There’s no crystal ball telling us how our late lives will turn out, but even as energy shifts, we can focus on what is important and choose ways to live creatively and constructively.  

By aiding us to “slowly build up the stamina to ‘be mortal’ the Stamina Programs offer us a chance to greatly enlarge/expand our humanity.
— Workshop Participant, July 2015 (atulgawande.com/book/being-mortal/)

A good definition of mindfulness is learning to focus and observe ourselves with compassionate self awareness. The practice can improve both physical and mental health; and we become more able to meet our life events with a response instead of simply reacting. 

How can Strength Training for Aging Mindfully be an act of service?

People of every age need stamina. Some describe the 50 - 100-year olds of this era as “the silver tsunami.” We have a unique opportunity.  The choices that people of this generation make will greatly impact younger generations. We can give them courage for their own challenges by the way we live.  As elders we can use our experience and time to help build a community that serves others. We can choose what legacy we will leave.  

 

Each moment of our lives
falls like a seed
upon the seedbed we have become.
Let each seed enrich our ground
ready to receive what life presents
ready to grow moment by moment.
— CVR