Your quarterly inspiration - February 2019
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A New Beginning
Qualities of Sages in Service
News and Farewells
Book Review
A New Beginning... 
The indefatigable Judith Helburn has edited the SI Communicator since its inception 15 years ago and now, with 80 years of life experience and lots else to do, is ready to hand it off to someone else. I’m new to Sage-ing International (SI), and was so relieved to find my heart’s tribe at the Sage-ing International conference in Chaska, Minnesota this past October, I raised my hand to help in any way I could. I’m sharing duties with Judith for this February issue, and I ask you to please help me going forward by sending me your suggestions and contributions any time. I’ll need and appreciate your support as I attempt to extend Judith’s legacy. –Theresa Reid, PhD

And a “See you around!”
As I leave the position of Editor of the SI Communicator, I do not plan to fade into the woodwork. I will continue to be a contributor, especially in the area of book reviews, as more and more books are published covering aspects of Sage-ing/Conscious Aging. We are being acknowledged--perhaps a step towards lessening ageism. I have no doubt that our new Editor will have exciting ideas on how to make the Communicator richer, more interesting and more attractive. As you can see, it is already happening. I'm stepping back, but not disappearing. -- Judith Helburn
Qualities of Sages in Service
The mission of Sage-ing International is to transform the current paradigm of aging to “sage-ing” through learning, community building, and service. With a confidence born from harvesting life experience, and with a humility that sees service as the natural result of continued inner growth, sages find ways to serve every day. Sages in service demonstrate a special set of qualities:

  • Deep Listening
  • Compassion
  • Joyfulness
  • Peacefulness
  • Open Communication
  • Lifelong Learning
  • Inclusiveness
  • Integrity
  • Reverence for Life
  • Respect

What do these qualities look like in practice? How do they transform our lives, the lives of others around us, and the culture at large? Regular meditation on these questions keeps the qualities present in our minds.

Beginning with the May 2019 issue of The Communicator , we’ll publish reflections on these qualities that have been penned by Sage-ing International leaders . SI members will be invited to comment on these reflections, which will be published on the SI website and Facebook page as well as here. Our hope is that regular attention to these qualities will strengthen them even further in our daily lives and actions. 
News and Farewells
Meet the 2018 Class of Certified Sage-ing Leaders
Certified Sage-ing Leaders (CSLs) are individuals who have completed a year long experiential educational program based on Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi’s book, From Age-ing to Sage-ing: A Revolutionary Approach to Growing Older. We are pleased and honored to welcome 15 new CSLs to the Sage-ing Community. You’ll see these new leaders in workshops and conferences in the coming years.
Back row from Left to Right:
Elizabeth Bell and Patrick Bell (Carmichael CA), Bob Coulson (Paducah KY), Terry Seufert (Tomball TX), Janet Piggins (Richmond CA), Trish Black (Sister Bay WI), Kayleen Dowell (Placitas NM), Kathleen Jensen (Brighton CO), J. Sue Henry (Forest Hills MD), Gayle Dee (Albany OR)
Front row from Left to Right:
Linda Cronk (Roscommon MI), Connie Zweig (Topanga CA), Jeanne Marsh (Faculty), Julia Riley (Faculty)
Marilyn Durocher (Placerville CA), Brian McCaffrey (St.Paul, MN), Kate Raymond (Davis CA)
A loving farewell to friends, and a meditation on grief
Bob Atchley
Just as SI gained new leaders and members throughout the year, we also lost a beloved leader in the last months of 2018. Gerontologist, teacher, author, and musician Bob Atchley was instrumental in guiding Sage-ing International for many years, including through some tough pivotal moments. Bob was an Honored Sage, and will be dearly missed. The SI website is graced with remembrances from longtime friends .

A friend and sometimes co-teacher with Bob Atchley, Ram Dass continues his teaching as he ages, writing this about grief in his new book, with Mirabai Bush, Walking Each Other Home .
“Grief is the internal part of loss, our emotional response when someone we are deeply connected to leaves or dies or when a dream in life or anything we’ve invested in is lost.

We may feel lost, alone, sad, empty, abandoned, out of touch with our hearts, without a way to comfort ourselves. Grief can manifest physically as aches and pains or cognitively as an inability to concentrate. It can close our hearts to others, challenging our relationships. Grief affects everyone, the dying person, the caregiver, family, friends, and lovers. It can arise before death, a response in anticipation of the loss to come or to all the losses in the course of an illness--loss of health, social roles, the ability to speak or move around. Grief is not an event but a process. It is as individual as each of us and as unique as the person we’ve lost. Read More

Mary Oliver
Another recent loss to the SI community was the great poet, Mary Oliver . Jerome Kerner wrote about losing her, “She has been an important part of Sage-ing workshops, helping define the Journey with her poetry.” Read more.

Mary Oliver's own fine poem, "When Death Comes," contains these beautiful lines:

When it’s over, I want to say all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.
When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.
I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.

The best source of information about SI educational and social events is the SI Bulletin , published monthly, and the SI website , magnificently maintained by Mary Anne Ingenthron, Former Co-Chair of SI’s Coordinating Circle.
Book Reviews 

So many books, so little time! Has a book related to conscious aging rocked your world recently? If so, please enquire about writing a brief book review—no more than 500 words—for us to publish, so we can share your insights with readers.
Carol Orsborn, PhD, maintains the website, “Fierce with Age.” Her recent blog post, “The Happy Ghost,” is a good fit for this issue of The Communicator . Spurred by the death of Carol’s good friend, Bob Atchley, the post is a reflection on aging with grace by embracing change.

If you’d like to see a reflection—written by you or someone else—published in The Communicator , please let me know.

“The Happy Ghost”

There was a happy ghost wandering through the hallways of my little cottage on the river yesterday. She paused at a hand-made pot, remembering when her son had gifted her with it years ago. There was the bookshelf full of books she had loved. She passed her hand over the colorful antique knit throw on the sofa—what a find that had been. The happy ghost chuckled over the secret the draped throw so artfully kept: a corner of the couch nibbled to a nub by one of the dogs when he was just a pup. As she meandered, she sighed in wonderment at what she had made of her life: nothing fancy–no mansion, no fame. But at the same time, so much more than she’d ever dared hope for: the sense of having fulfilled what she had come here to do.

Then, turning the corner, the happy ghost stubbed her toe and remembered that she was still here, embodied: felt her life come throbbing back into her from the sole up. And could not help but ask the question:  Walking around my house weeping for joy as if I had already passed…Is this normal?
Aging websites, blogs, and organizations are exploding. How to choose what to use? The SI website has a superbly curated list of conscious aging focused organizations, blogs, books, articles, talks, movies, music, and merch. Whatever you need, conscious-aging-wise, you’ll find here .
A list of the organization's leaders  and of  Certified Sage-ing Leaders  can be found on the Sage-ing International website. For this issue of The Communicator , Theresa Reid and Judith Helburn were co-Editors-in-Chief, Anna Wisehart was the designer and techie, and Jerome Kerner and Mary Anne Ingenthron provided editorial guidance.
Until we meet again, our blessing for you:

May you be happy, healthy, and whole.
May you have love, warmth, and affection.
May you be protected from harm and free from fear.
May you be alive, engaged, and joyful.
May you experience inner peace and ease.
Sage-ing International
Coordinating Circle
Marilyn Loy Every,
Jerome Kerner,
Georgeanna Tryban,
Nancy Grey-Hemstock,
Bob Coulson
Don Adams
Elizabeth Bell
Gary Carlson
Gayle Dee
Mary Anne Ingenthron
Brian McCaffrey
Cindy Siemers
Rains Cohen
Sage-ing International
Program Leaders
Rosemary Cox,
     Education Coordinator
Jeanne Marsh,
   Certification Coordinator
Alan Rider,
   Tech-Webinar Coordinator
Karen Clementi ,
Administrative Coordinator
Anna Wisehart,
  Website Assistant
Theresa Reid,
Penny Clark,
Editor, The BULLETIN

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