On Being an Elder

Allan

It seems to have gone on forever. The people that know me call me Elder, Uncle, Father, Wise Man, Old Pot, Moondog and a host of other salutations.
Others might see me as a man in his 60s doing strange things that don’t necessarily fit their perspective of what a man of this age “should” be doing or saying.

How do I see myself?

“I am my word. I am a fearless storyteller sharing his stories. I have lived an extraordinary life (and continue to do so). It is a good day to die!”

Every day of my life I wake up to a new dawn with a sense of gratitude. Being alive and having the ability to meet the day and it’s challenges with a feeling of adventure and intention without the attachment to an expectation of ‘how the day should turn out’, is a gift of freedom I give to myself.

Every moment is an opportunity for me to consider the Kindness Factor. I see the Kindness Factor as a state of awareness whereby if I really care about another, I need to feel kindness towards myself.
How might this show up?
An example: I arrive home from work after a long, challenging and tiring day. My partner catches me as I walk into our home and starts telling me about an experience of hers. My mind is spinning and I am not centred and able to give full attention to her story. Being polite is not kind to me or to her as I am not present to what is being said. The kindness Factor kicks in, and I say, “I really want to hear what went on for you but I need a little time to gather myself. After a short walk I am all yours.”

This could go another way…. her experience might be quite traumatic and she has been waiting a while for me to come home. Realising the urgency and importance of talking sooner rather than later I say, “Okay, I am wiped out and am willing to listen for a few minutes NOW before going for a walk, then we can have a bigger conversation on my return.”
This is the Kindness Factor kicking in again by allowing the release of enough pressure to create a holding situation while I deal with my weariness.

Where does god appear in my life?

I have no image of what or who god might be. It is good enough for me to know that I am ruled by the need to live a life of dignity (towards self and other), have a desire to connect and belong to my heart community, and to have a sense of purpose and what my contribution might be.

The organisation of religion holds no attraction to me whatsoever. For me spirituality is very personal. I commune with that which is greater than me every day, through nature, caring for my wellbeing, a sense of gratitude, and seeing the beauty and greatness in others and reflecting it back to them.

The possibility of magic exists in every moment!

By Allan Rudner

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