Jose Parappully, Director of Sumedha Centre, was invited to facilitate a three–day workshop on “Midlife Dynamics & Soulful Aging” at the CRI national secretariat, New Delhi on 3-5 March 2015.
The objective of the programme was to help participants understand the psychological dynamics operating during the midlife transition and use the understanding to continue their psychospritual journey in the second half of their lives listening and responding to the invitations of the their “soul” – their authentic self, rather than confirming to social expectations and thus find meaning and satisfaction on the spiritual path
Course content included “Awakening to Midlife,” “Midlife Dynamics” and “Midlife Transformative Processes.” Topics covered included: Loss of Meaning and Purpose, Emotional Awareness of Mortality, Reassessment of Life Priorities, Reconciling of the Dream, Disillusionment, Loss, and (Re) Awakening of Sexuality an Intimacy.
Transformative Processes Midlifers are called to engage in included: Integrating the Animus and the Anima, Integrating the Shadow, Integrating Sexuality, Intimacy and Celibacy, and responding to God’s Second Call.
Participants were also provided “Helps” to cope with the turmoil, confusion and disenchantment that are part of the midlife transition.
There were 15 religious sisters and one Capuchin priest who participated.
Feedback from participants indicated that they had greatly benefited from the workshop. “Very, very good” was a common expression. Some mentioned that this three day workshop had helped them to deepen their religious commitment and spiritual journey more than the usual mandated spiritual retreats.
The process of input, introspection and interaction that the facilitator employed was found to be very effective.
Gains from the workshop included: greater self-awareness, greater understanding and acceptance of the midlife dynamics that participants had been experiencing and felt confused about, and a greater desire to make their psycho-spiritual journey in the second half of life more meaningfully and joyfully.
A common desire expressed by participants was that all religious at Midlife should participate in a workshop such as this one.
“Midlife Dynamics and Soulful Aging” is a core module of the 9-week Sumedha Sadhana offered three times a year at Sumdha Centre.
The dates of the Sumedha Sadhana programme this year: March 15-May 16; June 1 – August 2; and October 2 – December 3.