Lucia recently gave a presentation on Visioning® Retirement at a retirement community in Daly City, California, called Peninsula del Rey. The next day she conducted a Visioning® Retirement workshop. Some of those attending were individuals living in the retirement community where the events were held, located near San Francisco. Others were visitors from the general public who had seen ads and announcements for the event and decided to explore their retirement options. Here are Lucia's comments about Visioning® Retirement. NOTE: All images from the workshop.
In my many years of conducting workshops and lectures, my groups have been comprised of about twenty to thirty percent seniors on average. Occasionally, as much as half of the group has been seniors. This makes perfect sense. Retirement years lend themselves to self- reflection, hobbies, activities like art and writing (especially memoirs family history scrapbooks) and things you want to do in the years you have left on the planet. Long before the movie, The Bucket List, I created a journal exercise called: What Do You Want To Be When
You Grow Up? It appears in my first book The Creative Journal: The Art of Finding Yourself. It was intended for all ages, but I found that seniors really warmed up to this activity. Here's the journal prompt.
What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?
1) Make a list of what you wanted to be when you were a kid, no matter how wild or crazy the wish was. Write it down with your non-dominant hand. Did you want to be an astronaut, a movie star, teacher, lawyer, athlete, singer, scientist?
2) Check the list over to see if you actually did any or all of the things you listed, even if it was done as a hobby. Make a list of the things you actually did using your dominant hand. (For example, I wanted to be a ballerina when I was a kid. Instead, as an adult I took expressive dance classes at age 39 as a result of doing this journal exercise. And I continued studying
dance and movement therapy for many years after that.
3) The last step is to make a list of all the things you want to experience during the rest of your life. Write the list with your non-dominant hand in order to access your true heart's desire via your right brain.
4) This list will yield a focus phrase for a "Visioning® Retirement" collage, which is the next step. You could use the whole list from step #3 as your focus phrase. In other words, illustrate your "bucket list" with magazine photos and words.
I have observed that many seniors in my groups have not thought much about what they wanted to do in their retirement years. They hadn't really pictured what retirement would look like. They just knew they wouldn't be working at their old jobs. When I introduced Visioning® in my workshops in the early 90s, I heard seniors sharing their collages and saying, "This is about what I want now that I am about to retire." "This is what retirement looks like for me." "These are the things I'd still like to experience in my life." In other words, they were creating a visual version of what we now call a "bucket list." Some common themes in Visioning® Retirement collages have been: health and vitality, travel and vacations, hobbies (new or continued), time
with family and friends, gardening, scaling down and moving into a retirement community, field trips with groups, outings to museums, spending time in nature, etc.
So why not illustrate your "bucket list" and make it come to life. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. Call it a second childhood, if you will, in the best sense of the term. Retirement can definitely be time for your Inner Child to shine and lighten up your life. Go for the fun!!! Happy Visioning®!