Moon Message :: 1.31.2016

Moon Message #5 :: Double Fare: Celebrating Age || Half Moon in Scorpio

I have been holding a surprise for long enough, now it’s doubled. Today’s review offers a twin view into a theory we need to talk more about, especially to ourselves, then with our significant others, and widely with our girlfriends. I hope this will support your discussions.

Composing a Further Life: The Age of Active Wisdom, 2011, Mary Catherine Bateson, Author
The Third Chapter, Passion, Risk, and Adventure in the 25 Years After 50, 2009, Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot, Author

Both authors, through careful academic research and storytelling, deliver the same very good news. Every single stage of life has elongated, from the first major signs of pubescent change through the years we reserve for making an Elder of ourselves. Over the past hundred years, our life spans, yours and mine, have stretched by a total of 30 years beyond our Ancestors of the early 1900s. The research of both authors is amplified by anecdotal true stories; they agree and so do their subjects, this wholly new phenomenon requires a psychic adjustment. In fact, Lawrence Lightfoot quotes Bateson on her figures. Let’s look at our own lives for the truth of this.

Maybe you have wondered why adolescence lasts longer, why 50 is merely the middle of our lives, and why many are living happy, healthy lives to 100 and beyond. A confluence of factors has developed this new reality―consciousness about healthy lifestyles, meditation, Nature connection, and integrative medicines. What would you add to this list?

Longevity may not be exactly new information to you if your parents are 95 or 100, as so many are, thankfully. Many have noted the great elongation of adolescence, some with despair. Change happened first to girl’s biological signs of early puberty; then, we’ve seen many late adolescents needing a gap year or two before First Flight actually takes; some of this youthful stretching coincides with the discovery that the adult brain does not completely mature until age 25. When adulthood finally arrives, around age 29 or 30 years, a fan of choices are present which link back to early years of exploring passions. If you are in the continuum between 30 and 100, you can make plans for your future, based on this news.

Since this is a paradigm shift of major significance, we can begin to actively plan our lives with longevity in mind. When I say, find your habits of extreme care, now you know why. This phenomenal evolution is happening to each one of us, right now. We all have long-life to celebrate; we can use our conscious minds and creativity to our advantage. We have the luxury to be the change we wish to see.

Life Spiral-with-labelsThis is metamorphosis from a hundred years ago when consciousness did not revolve so much around passions as traditions or inheritance. Adulthood seems to last forever; in fact, it’s at least 35 years long. In the middle, where we all wish to avoid a mid-life crises, I encourage a Passage that I have called Deepening because the choice seems to be either unconscious crisis or deliberate action. I write about the biology of maturity and I used what I observed in the overculture to design my Life Spiral. I detected there was significant personal fluctuation between the Deepening Womanhood stage and the Spiritual Elder stage of life.

I have not put an age on these Passages of maturity with any firmness, although I have noted that Navaho women marked and celebrated 52 as the year of maturity for women. At this middle place, you can be part of this cultural transformation if you take a deep look at your life, perhaps with a personal sabbatical that lasts a season or a year.

Mary Catherine Bateson is a life-long academic Anthropologist and daughter of Margaret Meade and Gregory Bateson. She validates all my own research. She calls life in Adulthood 2, an “improvisational art form calling for imagination and the willingness to learn.” In her storytelling, she takes great care to demonstrate how partnered people learn new things, often together, often in a new place, as part of their creative way to refashion their lives. I am inspired by the testimony of her true stories, told about possibilities that come with the “getting older” territory.

What Bateson calls Adulthood 2, Lawrence-Lightfoot calls our Third Chapter. The stories in The Third Chapter are told in a way that reveals what we might have once called extreme creativity. Women, especially, are portrayed as pulling threads of experience into a seemingly radical exploration of desire: What have you always wanted to do? What might you give your whole heart to that feels daring?

I embrace both authors’ message: Our conscious minds can set a new path for an exciting future beyond 60. We owe it to ourselves to examine passions, opportunities, and possibilities. What can you summon from your experiences that will offer you genuine excitement for all the years from the middle, Deepening Womanhood to and including Spiritual Elderhood? What advocacy, what service, what legacy is yours to create?

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