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Embracing Life and Aging: A Transformative Awakening

Updated: Mar 3

Here we are, my husband Edouard and myself--coming back from a december swim in the Bassin d'Arcachon. I'm 62 and he's 66.

We are aging. We are all getting older, every minute, everyday. The question is, how do we see ourselves in the process of growing old? Positively? or Negatively? Not sure? Well that, my friends, is apparently the key to living a healthy lifespan. How do we get our heads around getting old?

In a world that often paints midlife and aging as stages fraught with crisis and decline, it's time to shift our perspective. What if we viewed these phases not as a looming threat but as opportunities for transformative awakening?

For our first curated retreat in 2024 at Tinhela610 we welcome Marie de Hennezel, renowned French psychologist and author. Marie offers a deeply insightful approach to aging that emphasizes the importance of embracing life's transitions with grace and resilience. Through her extensive work, she has explored themes of acceptance, finding meaning in adversity, and cultivating a sense of inner peace.

Marie's approach encourages individuals to confront the existential questions that arise with age, such as the search for purpose and the fear of mortality, with honesty and compassion. By embracing vulnerability and embracing the full spectrum of human emotions, Marie de Hennezel teaches us to find beauty and richness in the later stages of life, transforming the aging process into a journey of profound self-discovery and spiritual growth.

To continue on the this subject, Becca Levy, a leading expert in the field of psychology and aging, has dedicated her career to understanding the impact of age stereotypes on health outcomes. Her research has consistently shown that the way we perceive aging has a profound effect on our physical and mental well-being. When individuals internalize negative stereotypes about aging, they tend to experience poorer health outcomes and shorter lifespans. Conversely, those who hold positive attitudes towards aging tend to live longer, healthier lives. Her research found that those who had a positive viewpoint gained 8 years in lifespan...more than if someone stops smoking or starts exercising at 50!

Like Marie de Hennezel, Levy's work highlights the power of mindset in shaping our experiences of aging. By embracing a more positive outlook on aging, we can unlock new possibilities for self-discovery and personal fulfillment.

Chip Conley, the founder of the Modern Elder Academy, offers a practical framework for navigating the journey of midlife and beyond. Conley coined the term "modern elder" to describe individuals who bring a unique blend of wisdom and experience to the table. In his view, aging is not a process of obsolescence but of becoming increasingly valuable contributors to society.

By combining the insights of these three pioneers, we can reframe our understanding of midlife and aging. Rather than fearing the passage of time, we can see it as an invitation to embark on a journey of self-discovery and personal growth. As modern elders, we have the opportunity to embrace our full potential and make a positive impact on the world around us.

It's time to shift the narrative from one of crisis to one of transformation. Let's embrace midlife and aging as a journey of awakening, where each passing year brings new opportunities for growth, fulfillment, and connection. Together, we can redefine what it means to age with grace and dignity, inspiring future generations to follow in our footsteps. Please join us at THE ADVENTURE OF GROWING OLD retreat with Marie de Hennezel, 5 to 10 May 2024.

Dates 5 - 10 May 2024


  • Flexitarian Cuisine, brunch, snacks and 3 course dinner with delicious house wine of the Douro or Tràs-os-Montes regions

  • 2 daily sessions with Marie de Hennezel

  • Morning movement class of Chi -Gong Baton of Longevity

  • Evening meditation class

  • Delight in the wilderness of T610

  • Swimming in the river

  • Hammocks for relaxing inner journeys by the source or the rocky ledges of the river

Marie de Hennezel will also share from her book on VIVRE AVEC L'INVISIBLE.


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