I’m in love. Don’t worry, it’s likely just an infatuation with a 78-year-old man named James Hollis Ph.D. I first encountered his work a month or two ago and since then I’ve read articles and listened to every podcast and YouTube lecture from him I could find. Who is he and why am I infatuated? On the surface Hollis is a practicing Jungian analyst and depth psychologist, author of over 15 books, a public speaker, and the former executive director of the Jung Society of Washington D.C. What I find particularly attractive are the thoughts and ideas that he routinely illuminates—a big part of which is the examination of our lives as we mature and enter the second half of life. And in spite of the many distractions we all face, I can’t help but be captivated by the goldmine of introspection he offers for those of us who are drawn to greater self-discovery and awareness, along with other insights about the innermost workings of our psyche. [Read more…]
The Shadow Side to Positive Aging
On a clear day the sun always casts a shadow. In fact, the brighter the light, the more vivid the corresponding silhouette. That is why any complete discussion about positive aging requires the acknowledgment that a dark side exists. And while I am certainly not a professional who understands all the implications, I do think it is important to explore how it may affect us as we age. That’s because no matter how optimistic we remain about aging, none of us knows for sure what our complete future holds. And, like with all shadow work, it’s SMART to accept its existence as well as how it can potentially affect our lives if we want to experience the days to come as an authentic and whole individual.
Carl Jung And The Art Of Aging Well
The late afternoon has always been my favorite time of day. So this weekend when I found a quote by Carl Jung, the Swiss psychiatrist and founder of Analytical Psychology, it grabbed my attention. He said, “The afternoon of life is just as full of meaning as the morning; only, its meaning and purpose are different….”. Intrigued I continued to read how Jung believed that the approximate time between ages 56 and 83 offer each of us the opportunity to make the process of aging a positive and life-enhancing experience. Regardless of whether we find ourselves only approaching that “afternoon” of life, or deep within it, the SMART perspective is to learn and stay conscious about what we can do to live an ongoing life of quality and purpose. [Read more…]
Halloween—A Fun Way to Meet Your Shadow Side
Where I live Halloween is a big deal for both children and adults. Not only does Halloween mark the biggest candy holiday of the year, according to the Christian Science Monitor, this year Americans will spend close to $80 per person to celebrate. Favorite costumes for adults are witches, vampires and pirates. Children prefer princesses, Batman and Spiderman. Yet it doesn’t stop there. Pets (mostly dogs) will go as pumpkins, devils and sandwiches. What we usually ignore is that all these costumes and masks are an opportunity for different parts of our personality to come-out-of-the-closet if only for the night. So maybe it is SMART to take the time to look more closely at those energies within us, and perhaps learn to channel them to help create a more happy and fulfilled life. [Read more…]