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Welcome to Art of Retirement : Consider what shape your life will take

To stay curious--stay open

To stay curious–stay open

First off, the word retirement should be stricken from our vocabulary because it suggests an outmoded concept for living well!  Instead, we need to be looking at re-engagement, reconnecting, and redesign as more accurate concepts.  We need to be asking “What is my life experience telling me about the life I have yet to live?”

Even if we know these things, it can be hard to access our own history!  Our life story is all about us–we hang it on our walls, have it in our photo albums and reveal it in our party chatter. But the really useful stuff, the memories, beliefs, talents and vision may be hiding in plain sight.

  • Whether you’re still working or in search of good work, you can expand your thinking beyond its current scope to include work that matters most to you.   This search for meaningful “work” or occupation is a lifelong task for most, made more urgent by the awareness of time and for many, the perceived and real limitations of self, transferable skills and access to useful information.

  • Limitations from within are the most cunning for often we can’t see the incremental steps we are taking to slow down, not keep up, leave things for other people to do, not walk that extra step. In this way we may be enacting our parents’ view of aging.  While this process is happening, the outside world is seeing us and assumes we are frail before our time. “May I carry your bags to the car?” a helpful shopkeeper asks. “Would you like my seat,” a thoughtful rider asks. At times, of course, these are welcome gestures, but are we infirming ourselves by internalizing the projections of others?  We need to be watchers at our own gates.

  • The way we think about our options in later life may subtly be influenced by our own parents’ view of aging and retirement. Our culture reinforces that too in kind ways and in discriminatory ways as well.  We get asked if we want our bags carried to the car. We are offered seats at the sight of grey hair. Assumptions are made by others…and ourselves.

  • We are creatures of habit and our thinking follows familiar paths. But to live fully and in touch with our deepest needs, we have to jump from familiar thinking to the less familiar but fertile terrain of our yet-to-be. This involves opening the doors to new knowledge about ourselves, to the  rediscovering of forgotten interests and skills, to seeing paths not fully pursued and projects and ideas left at the wayside.

Living well means being alert to the new, the unexpected, and that which is yet-to-announce itself!

Art of Retirement opens your memory and imagination to discover the  “works” you are yet to do in life.

Whatever the shape of those works, whether they involve essential travel, study, conversations, writing, forgiving, interviewing, healing or founding, AR provides frameworks for guiding you and others through a satisfying life design process.

AR offers seminars, presentations, retreats, online and private consultations, as well as assistance on special projects that may include:

•  Writing autobiography
•  Audio and visual recordings
•  Designing commemorative rituals
•  Organizing family retreats
•  Creating books and art pieces
•  Designing journeys of remembrance that may involve local, national and international itineraries

AR works with a team of specialists who have expertise in ethnography, legacy work, web design, film-making, editing, art installations, and special
events planning.

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