The Community for Conscious Aging
During this challenging time of virus-imposed social distancing and physical isolation, we share some ideas that can keep you socially connected
SOME STEPS WE HAVE TAKEN TO HELP OUT RIGHT NOW WITH CONNECTION:
1. Join CCA on Facebook
CCA members can share information, get to know each other, and provide mutual support by joining our online Facebook (FB) group created just for us. It’s called Community for Conscious Aging Houston. This is a closed group and completely separate from anyone’s personal FB page. You will be able to post information, ask questions, and dialogue about age-related issues and stresses. This is not a replacement for our website but an additional way to communicate, especially now that our social options are limited because of Covid-19 restrictions. You must already be on Facebook to join us.
If you don’t have a Facebook page, here is the link to get you started: CLICK HERE!
2. Coffee & Conversation Zoom Meetings Online
Coffee & Conversation has moved from a monthly face-to-face to a weekly Zoom meeting online. Access for these meetings is limited to 20 participants. You will be added to our waiting list if the meeting is full and notified when a seat becomes available. To join us click here and email JudyWilbratte@gmail.com.
3. Healing Circles go to ZOOM
If you are interested in the Men’s or Women’s Healing Circles at The Jung Center, they are now using Zoom Video Conferencing to connect. Zoom offers a free application to download, which allows both the audio and visual so that participants can see and hear one another. For more information on how to use Zoom, click HERE. Contact: Edward.HealingCircles@gmail.com or Becky.HealingCircles@gmail.com
4. Adapting to the New Normal
“Who Moved the Cheese?” a lab rat might ask if someone changed the location of his food in a maze he knows by heart. Join Jim Conlan in online discussion groups about the “new normal,” that universal part of aging we must learn to embrace—everything from adapting to retirement to losing loved ones and friends to having health concerns and mobility/sensory impairments to feeling forced to move in order to accommodate where we are in this second half of life.
And now there is the new reality of the coronavirus. These groups are a place to explore change together, share what responses have worked or haven’t worked in the past, and discuss approaches that will be helpful in the future as we navigate new challenges when there are unexpected twists and turns on life’s journey.
5. Online Book Study at The Jung Center
Houston-based authors who teach at The Jung Center have recently released significant books. Meeting weekly and hosted by Mark Ryan, online discussions are usually in four-week sessions. Whenever possible, in the final meeting, there is an interview with the author. Books are by Alejandro Chaoul, Ginger Clarkson, Thomas Cole, Sean Fitzpatrick, Jeffrey Kripal, and Mark Ryan.
The first book, session already begun but open to join, is Thomas Cole’s Old Man Country: My Search for Meaning Among the Elders (Oxford University Press, 2020). An internationally renowned authority on the sociology of aging, Tom is McGovern Chair and Director of the McGovern Center for Humanities and Ethics at the University of Texas Health Science Center. A departure from his academic writing, Old Man Country is a highly personal reflection on life in its late stages, based on interviews with a dozen notable elders as distinct from one another as Ram Dass and Paul Volcker, and including Houstonians Red Duke, Denton Cooley, and Sam Karff.
6. Stress, Resilience, & Recovery
Websites We Recommend
The Jung Center continues to offer classes and talks online, topics ranging from meditation to managing emotions during a pandemic to how introverts and extroverts energize. We were energized by Oprah’s interview with The Jung Center's Fall Benefit speaker Anthony Ray Hinton, confined to a 5' x 7' cell for 30 years for a crime he did not commit.
Houston’s Brene Brown is leading conversations to unlock our humanity with love and courage in this time of stress and change.
New York psychologist Esther Perel presents a YouTube series on Love, Loss, and Loneliness Under Lockdown. You can watch all sessions at any time, and there are extra resources included on grief and stress management.
CCA member Stan Merrill offers a ten-minute guided meditation to help relax and calm. Stressful situations trigger the body’s fight or flight response releasing adrenaline into the blood stream. When we are able to breathe long, slow, and deep while focusing our attention on the present moment, our disposition will change.
Here is a site to help with the practice of gratefulness, a practice which is said to help with more positive emotions, better sleep, and stronger immune systems.
7. Catching up in the Age of Technology
While it is mandated to physically isolate, we urge you to not socially isolate. FaceTime and Zoom and other video apps are wonderful tools for connection that allow you to see whom you’re talking to. (We also recommend simply calling one another on the phone.) But connecting via computer or phone is worth the time to learn.
These social media and video conferencing apps—Facebook, FaceTime (Apple), Zoom, Skype, WhatsApp—are free and can be downloaded from the Apple App Store and/or Google Play. And you can always go to YouTube instructional videos online to help set up and use any apps. Here are some sites to learn how to get started.
8. Want to Hear from You
We want your suggestions and feedback. Your input helps us shape CCA’s mission and outreach. What ideas do you have to support CCA’s goal of creating a supportive community—especially important in this day and time? Many of you have some type of expertise that you might share with our membership. If you have some suggestions to help CCA members, or if you would be interested in facilitating a small online class/discussion group, let us know.