The Art and Science of Mindfulness with Dr. Ellen Langer

Living during COVID -19 is turning our familiar life and world on its head. It’s a scary and challenging time. It’s also a time that is reinforcing ageism rather than promoting intergenerational connectedness. Some of the “silver linings,” however, of this time are some resurgence of kindness and help provided to each other, like becoming more mindful about ourselves and others.

During this month’s call, we’ll be talking with Dr. Ellen Langer, who has devoted much of her adult life to issues such as mindlessness and mindfulness, decision-making, and possibilities as we age. As she has stated in a variety of her work, we’re a product of what we were told we were. When we’re uncertain, we stay mindful and open to alternatives. When we’re mindless, we’re not aware that we’re not there. So, part of the question becomes, what are ways to open ourselves to possibilities and shift from being trapped in mindlessness and open ourselves to new ways of thinking and perceiving ourselves and the world?

In this program, you’ll discover how to:

  • Become more mindful
  • Become comfortable with uncertainty (which is the rule rather than the exception)
  • See many of your problems as a function of mindlessness
  • Exert more control over your health and well-being using mindfulness

You will walk away with a renewed sense of competence, relaxation, and an ability to see possibilities you haven’t seen before.

All the details of our upcoming call are below:

Date: Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Time: 12:00 noon Eastern (9:00 am Pacific, 10 AM Mountain, 11 am Central, and 6 AM Hawaiian)

Topic: The Art and Science of Mindfulness

Speaker: Dr. Ellen Langer, Professor of Psychology, Harvard University and a prolific writer, speaker, and artist

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About Dr. Ellen Langer

Dr. Ellen Langer, Ph.D., is a social psychologist and the first female professor to gain tenure in the Psychology Department at Harvard University. She is the author of eleven books and more than two hundred research articles written for general and academic readers on mindfulness for over 35 years. Her best selling books include Mindfulness; The Power of Mindful LearningOn Becoming an Artist: Reinventing Yourself Through Mindful Creativity; and Counterclockwise: Mindful Health and the Power of Possibility. Her most recent book is The Art of Noticing which pairs one-liners culled from her research with her original paintings. She has also edited the Wiley Mindfulness Handbook, an anthology on mindfulness in which leading researchers integrate work derived from her western scientific theoretical base of mindfulness with research on eastern derived forms of meditation.

Dr. Langer has been described as the “mother of mindfulness” and has written extensively on the illusion of control, mindful aging, stress, decision-making, and health. Among other honors, she is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and three Distinguished Scientist Awards, the World Congress Award, the NYU Alumni Achievement Award, and the Staats award for Unifying Psychology. Most recently she received the Liberty Science Genius Award.

The citation for the APA distinguished contributions award reads, in part, “…her pioneering work revealed the profound effects of increasing mindful behavior…and offers new hope to millions whose problems were previously seen as unalterable and inevitable. Ellen Langer has demonstrated repeatedly how our limits are of our own making.”

Dr. Langer is a frequent speaker on mindfulness at academic, professional, and public events. She is also the founder of The Langer Mindfulness Institute and is a gallery exhibiting artist.

She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Listen to the replay here.

The Making of a Modern Elder with Chip Conley

At age 52, after selling the company he founded and ran as CEO for 24 years, rebel boutique hotelier Chip Conley was looking at an open horizon in midlife. Then he received a call from the young founders of Airbnb, asking him to help grow their disruptive start-up into a global hospitality giant. He had the industry experience, but Conley was lacking in the digital fluency of his 20-something colleagues. He didn’t write code, or have an Uber or Lyft app on his phone, was twice the age of the average Airbnb employee, and would be reporting to a CEO young enough to be his son. Conley quickly discovered that while he’d been hired as a teacher and mentor, he was also in many ways a student and intern. What emerged is the secret to thriving as a mid-life worker: learning to marry wisdom and experience with curiosity, a beginner’s mind, and a willingness to evolve, all hallmarks of the “Modern Elder.”

In a world that venerates the new, bright, and shiny, many of us are left feeling invisible, undervalued, and threatened by the “digital natives” nipping at our heels. But Conley argues that experience is on the brink of a comeback. Because at a time when power is shifting younger, companies are finally waking up to the value of the humility, emotional intelligence, and wisdom that come with age. And while digital skills might have only the shelf life of the latest fad or gadget, the human skills that mid-career workers possess–like good judgment, specialized knowledge, and the ability to collaborate and coach – never expire.

Conley ignites an urgent conversation about ageism in the workplace, calling on us to treat age as we would other type of diversity. In the process, Conley liberates the term “elder” from the stigma of “elderly,” and inspires us to embrace wisdom as a path to growing whole, not old. Whether you’ve been forced to make a mid-career change, are choosing to work past retirement age, or are struggling to keep up with the millennials rising up the ranks, Wisdom@Work will help you write your next chapter.

All the details of our upcoming call are below:

Date: Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Time: 12:00 noon Eastern (9:00 am Pacific, 10 AM Mountain, 11 am Central, and 6 AM Hawaiian)

Topic: The Making of a Modern Elder

Speaker: Chip Conley, author, speaker, and entrepreneur, and founder of the Modern Elder Academy

About Chip Conley

Chip Conley is a New York Times bestselling author and the hospitality maverick who helped Airbnb’s founders turn their fast-growing tech start-up into a global hospitality brand. In Wisdom@Work: The Making of a Modern Elder, he shares his unexpected journey at midlife – from CEO to intern – learning about technology as Airbnb’s Head of Global Hospitality and Strategy, while also mentoring CEO Brian Chesky. Chip is the founder of the Modern Elder Academy, where a new roadmap for midlife is offered at a beautiful oceanfront campus in Baja California Sur, Mexico. He serves on the board of Encore.org and the advisory board for the Stanford Center for Longevity.

To listen to the replay, click here.

Aging in Community: New (and Old) Ways of Living Well Together with Raines Cohen

The stereotypical modern ideal of independent solo living and aging is really a new modern experiment that doesn’t work well for many people. We can achieve greater independence through interdependence, if we’re willing to engage with neighbors or housemates to take care of one another. That’s what aging in community is all about.

There are lots of structures and ways that help people preserve their privacy while they share, such as setting clear limits and building relationships over time. Having a deeper shared purpose or value can support deeper relationships and caring, more than just housemates or places to live. You can get more of what you want or need in a community living arrangement by starting with a clear list of your own priorities, but instead of treating it as a list of demands, use it as a guide to your listening, and then prioritize.

All the details of our upcoming call are below:

Date: Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Time: 12:00 noon Eastern (9:00 am Pacific, 10 AM Mountain, 11 am Central, and 7 AM Hawaiian)

Topic: Aging in Community: New (and Old) Ways of Living Well Together

Speaker: Raines Cohen, community organizer and CoHousing Coach

About Raines Cohen

Raines Cohen, CSA, CLIPP, is a community organizer pioneering the field of Aging in Community. As a Cohousing Coach, he works to help people find and co-create sustainable communities, cohousing neighborhoods, EcoVillages and all forms of cooperative shared living that blend privacy and community. He has visited over 125 North American cohousing neighborhoods and lived in two, and serves as a Global Ecovillage Network (GEN) Ambassador. As a Certified Senior Advisor (CSA), he loves to connect life planners and folks serving elders with new options for their clients. As a Certified Living in Place Professional (CLIPP), he looks for ways to help folks feel safer and more secure in their existing homes, as they age and evolve to incorporate new neighbors and housemates.

He wrote the Aging in Community chapter in the book Audacious Aging, was a founding member of Elders Action Network (EAN), and serves on the boards of Sage-ing International and Gray Panthers of the Berkeley/East Bay Area. He lives with his wife Betsy Morris at Berkeley (California) Cohousing.

Listen to the replay here.

Women Rowing North with Mary Pipher

Women growing older contend with ageism, misogyny, and loss. Yet as Mary Pipher shows, most older women are deeply happy and filled with gratitude for the gifts of life. Their struggles help them grow into the authentic, empathetic, and wise people they have always wanted to be.

In Women Rowing North, Pipher offers a timely examination of the cultural and developmental issues women face as they age. Drawing on her own experience as daughter, sister, mother, grandmother, caregiver, clinical psychologist, and cultural anthropologist, she explores ways women can cultivate resilient responses to the challenges they face. “If we can keep our wits about us, think clearly, and manage our emotions skillfully,” Pipher writes, “we will experience a joyous time of our lives. If we have planned carefully and packed properly, if we have good maps and guides, the journey can be transcendent.”

All the details of our upcoming call are below:

Date: Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Time: 12:00 noon Eastern (9:00 am Pacific, 10 AM Mountain, 11 am Central, and 7 AM Hawaiian)

Topic: Women Rowing North

Speaker: Mary Pipher, Ph.D., speaker and author

About Mary Pipher

Mary Pipher graduated in Cultural Anthropology from the University of California at Berkeley in 1969 and received her Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska in Clinical Psychology in 1977. She has worked most of her life as a therapist, and she has taught at the University of Nebraska and Nebraska Wesleyan University. She was a Rockefeller Scholar in Residence at Bellagio and has received two American Psychological Association Presidential Citations, one of which she returned to protest psychologists’ involvement in enhanced interrogations at Guantanamo. She is the author of ten books including Reviving Ophelia and her latest, Women Rowing North. Four of her books have been New York Times bestsellers. She is a contributing writer for the New York Times.

To join the call: Please register at https://www.revolutionizeretirement.com/interviews/ 

Navigating Your Second Career: Finding Passion, Purpose and a Paycheck 50+ with Lynda Smith

Modern life affords us many options to traditional retirement that can provide a financial reward, intellectual stimulation, flexibility and freedom, emotional fulfillment, and overall well being during your mature years. How do you plan and pursue various alternatives to traditional retirement – including coaching, volunteer work, starting a second career, starting your own business, travel, learning new skills, and enjoying family and friends?

In this program, you’ll discover:

  • How longevity and technology are changing the landscape
  • What tools to use to unlock and navigate your unique journey
  • How money and meaning are both currencies
  • Tools to help you discover our passion and purpose

All the details of our upcoming call are below:

Date: Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Time: 12:00 noon Eastern (9:00 am Pacific, 10 AM Mountain, 11 am Central, and 7 AM Hawaiian)

Topic: Navigating Your Second Career: Finding Passion, Purpose and a Paycheck 50+

Speaker: Lynda Smith, a Wisdom Preserver & Connection Specialist who lives and works in South Africa

About Lynda Smith

South African Social entrepreneur, Lynda Smith, is at the forefront of a social movement to plan the extended work lives of 50-plus workers in both quality and duration – to benefit both individual and national development – and is regarded as a thought leader and advocate for the 50-plus generation. To this end, Lynda’s 50-Plus Skills provides a forum for soon-to-be-retired or retired individuals to plan their future lives, upskill, engage with like-minded individuals or contribute in terms of voluntary mentoring programs or hands-on involvement in the social sector. Lynda’s empathy, passion, socially conscious outlook, and wealth of experience in both education and business provide the perfect foundation for an organization that helps clear the mists of uncertainty around the question commonly asked by retirees, ‘What now?’

For the replay, click here.