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Celebrating Birthdays With a Life-Cycle Celebrant®

By Elaine Voci, Ph.D.

In my profession as a Celebrant, I have the privilege of bringing people together and finding unique ways to inspire and sustain an authentic and mindful human community. The tools of my trade are creativity, personalized ceremonies, lyrical language, prose and poetry, respect for individuality, open-mindedness, and a commitment to weaving meaningfulness and purpose into events that align with my clients’ values.   When a client called, a year in advance, to talk about her 70thbirthday, and said she wanted to celebrate that special transition with her adult children and grandchildren, I was delighted.  We first spent time talking about her philosophy of life, and how she views her role as an elder in her family and in society. Based on her values and beliefs, we then chose some special ways to mark the occasion that felt congruent to her. Birthdays are actually interesting cultural events.  Some people see them as dreaded reminders of time passing and growing ol…

Four Ways to Bring Your Authentic Self to Work Every Day

by Elaine Voci, Life-Cycle Celebrant “This above all: to thine own self be true.” William Shakespeare
Life is an amazing adventure.  When you are being yourself, your best self, and doing work you love, time flies and events flow, but when you are trying to be someone different than your true self, and having to pretend at work, then time can slow to a snail’s pace and discomfort multiplies. To put it simply:  incongruence hurts. It’s up to us, not our circumstances, to decide how we want to live, think, feel and act.  It’s always been the case that life is what we make it, and that our attitude is the determining factor between living fully and happily, or living in a state of anxiety and unhappiness.  So, we must begin by acknowledging that we are in charge of how we become our authentic selves and how we will meet the challenges that will inevitably be a part of the process.  Knowing that t…

“Conscious Aging & Ceremonies for Seniors”

“Conscious Aging & Ceremonies for Seniors”
ByElaine Voci
By 2030, the US Administration on Aging predicts that there will be about 72 million people aged 65 and older which will represent 19% of the population.The senior years of life can be a time of great spiritual, emotional and psychological growth, a time to celebrate a life, to harvest the wisdom of our years of experiences and a time to share our legacy and our stories with others.Mixed messages from society about aging, how seniors are viewed and the value they bring can add confusion and challenges that lead to frustration.As a friend recently said to me “Approaching a ticket booth and being automatically given a senior ticket to an event can feel like being handed a card that says “No longer relevant.” In response to these societal attitudes and influences, a social movement referred to as Mindful Aging, or Conscious Aging, has emerged and it offers seniors support in being proactive about their own aging by:
1.Making a pers…