Tuesday, August 24, 2021

COLLAPSING CONSCIOUSLY in PANAMA - Pt 2

  by Gary Stamper, CPC, MSIP, DSPS

For Me, Living Only With What I Truly Cherish
Encourages the Vibrant Essence of Life



In part one of this blog, I addressed some of the ways climate change impacts have obviously come to the forefront of our lives, playing out in multiple ways in the present as opposed to "theoretical" warnings of things to come.

These impacts include life-threatening heatwaves, drought, uncontrollable historic fires, flooding, increasing freshwater scarcity, famines, population migration, and more, and this is just the beginning of what is going to get much worse as a result of self-reinforcing tipping points.

I also discussed the fact that we - as a species - are not only not doing anything to mitigate the coming consequences we have been warned about in no uncertain terms, we don't even seem to be alarmed and are blindly allowing the causes to continue unabated.

Apparently, concern about global warming mostly only awakens when it gets personal.

In this second part, I'm going to address my own journey around "avoiding the rush" (if you hurry, you might get in on that), and we're going to take a look at why we're so complacent about our potential self-imposed demise (it's largely because of cognitive dissonance) and how we, as individuals and communities, can approach our impending demise in the most conscious way possible.

The title of this two-part series, Collapsing Consciously in Panama, is taken from my own personal experience of downsizing and moving from the U.S. to a small Panamanian island in the Caribbean, and before that, the massive and comprehensive website  - Collapsing Into Consciousness - I created a few years ago that I eventually shut down due to a lack of interest.

Sound familiar? Yeah, I thought so.

My tagline for that website was "Collapse Now - Avoid the Rush," meaning there was much we could do to avoid the pain that's coming to us now by getting smaller, reducing our individual and global footprints so that we wouldn't have that far to fall when "the rush" started as it is now beginning to happen. 

After a year of investigation, I chose Panama's Bocas Del Toro as my "collapse" destination, keeping in mind my strengths and limitations and how I would fit them to that final destination. Bocas Del Toro is small and has a much lower cost of living than the U.S. I am easily able to be without a car (and insurance, gas, and repairs) for the first time in my adult life. A bike and walking are healthier. Rent's cheaper here than anywhere in the U.S. Health care is phenomenally less expensive: so much that I am easily able to pay for my own health costs and just carry catastrophic health insurance for under $100/month. A recent visit to the doctor was $1. There are some inconveniences here, but nothing I can't manage... and, there are cheaper places to live, but, OMG! the beaches!

And my ecological footprint has been greatly reduced.

Down Sizing

Over the past three and one-half years, I've moved from the 2300+ sq ft house I built on a ridge in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina, to a rented 1300 sq ft house in Asheville, to an older 750 sq ft Mobile home I lovingly remodeled (and loved!) in an over-55 mobile home park, to my sister's spare bedroom in Napa, CA, to Houston and a too-small second bedroom in my daughter's RV for three months, and finally to Bocas Del Toro into a 400 sq ft one-bedroom apartment a block from the beach. This is small enough, thank you!

Aside from the fact that I loved being able to spend time at my sister's and my daughter's places before I came here, I am perfectly content in my BDT apartment. I shipped some things from the U.S. to Bocas that I truly cherish - about 20 pieces of my art, some sentimental "knick-knacks," books I wanted to keep, some kitchen items and appliances (who knew you could cook pretty much anything in an air fryer!), my high-end desktop and dual screens, and some shoes and clothing. There is freedom in no longer having what George Carlin called "stuff."

I am content, even in knowing Bocas Del Toro will not be spared from the consequences of global warming in the long run, but hopefully, there won't be as far to fall.

What can you do?

As we saw in part one, we can clearly see that the powers-that-be are not going to change in time to make a difference. Nor do we have sufficient numbers or even the political will to make them change. We're too complacent or in denial (the first of the Five Stages of Grief - See more on that later) and it's just not going to happen in time.

These are tough facts to face and it's going to get bad. Real bad. Will the human race survive? Maybe. It depends. This is clearly uncharted territory.

It is also an opportunity for growth. If you're someone who has been "doing your work", then you know what that means. When I teach the Spiral Dynamics values developmental model in my men's workshops, I emphasize how and why people change and it's not because they're happy. Happy people don't change. Why would they? People change because they have come up against a Cognitive Dissonance problem that their current level of development can't solve or answer for them. In short, cognitive dissonance can make people feel uneasy and uncomfortable, particularly if the disparity between their values, beliefs, and behaviors involves something that is central to their sense of self. read more here

The growth happens when we work through the cognitive dissonance - the pain - to reach a new and more complex level of understanding about the problem: A new awareness of the problem and a new way - and increased ability - of responding to it. In this case, the potential demise of the human race - the 6th Great Extinction - or a best-case scenario of billions of lives lost with pockets of humanity hopefully surviving. 

How does one find meaning in either of these potential scenarios that make what's happening a little more bearable?


I believe the answer lies in being in service to others. This is not a time to retreat or be alone on a mountain top like a monk. This is the time for spiritual warriors to ask, "How can I serve"?

One way I serve is to get my COVID vaccination. In this time and place, if I can play even a small role in alleviating someone else's suffering, even for a short time, I'm down.

I'm not concerned about being in Bocas Del Toro on the second floor of a 4-story apartment on land that is about 5 feet above sea level. There are no places to hide  - as we're seeing - as we pass the many tipping points that bring even more devastation and changes. There is only now or later. There is only mourning and grief, and eventually, acceptance.

It would be good if we are able to find our personal state of grace and acceptance, in order to help others. The 5th stage of the Kübler-Ross model of grieving is all about acceptance

Allow yourself to mourn and grieve this loss. Allow yourself to be angry. If you or someone you love are struggling as a result of the realization of this loss (and who isn't?), your emotions probably feel overwhelming and confusing.

Feeling this way is natural and even necessary. These emotions are forward steps in this momentous journey, even when it doesn’t feel like it at the moment, and if you’re having a particularly hard time with it, resources like counseling and support groups can help you cope. Better to do it now rather than later.

There is no right way to do this. We will never like this reality or make it okay, but eventually, we may accept it. Acceptance is more about how you acknowledge the losses you’re experiencing rather than "getting over it" - how you learn to live with those losses that just keep on coming, and how you readjust your life accordingly.

Last, if possible, savor any moments of joy. Allow yourself to laugh, to love, to cherish every good moment. Try to find meaning and purpose in your life and make it matter.

Because it does.

Love,

Gary


Recommended reading:

Friday, August 20, 2021

COLLAPSING CONSCIOUSLY IN PANAMA: AVOIDING THE RUSH

 by Gary Stamper, CPC, MSIP, DSPS


For Me, Living Only With What I Truly Cherish
Encourages the Vibrant Essence of Life



My friend Mike - a fabulously talented drummer that I had the honor of working with in the band S.O.U.P - lost his home to the monster Caldor fire east of Sacramento. He got a phone notice at 11pm on Monday the 16th to evacuate immediately and he escaped in his car with his two dogs and his laptop, and only the clothes he was wearing, leaving behind his drums, a recording studio, and everything else

I heard about it two days ago through the email band list that about 20 or so former band members stay in touch with each other after our 50-year reunion a couple of years ago. As I began writing this blog, I broke down with grief: Grief for my friend, grief for all I left behind coming to Panama, and grief for a world breaking down. 

Another member of the band has had to evacuate from his home in Pollock Pines, California,  which is also threatened by fire. He has no idea what he'll come home to.

A little over two years ago my sister, who lives in Napa at the north end of the SF Bay Area, spent almost two weeks with her car loaded with her most precious and important belongings, not knowing if the fires that threatened Napa at the time would turn and come over the hill toward her home. She was told to be prepared to move on a moment's notice.

Millions of climate refugees are already leaving, many being forced from their homes, seeking food and water, fleeing from war or devastating weather, flooding, drought, famine... and fires.

Just eleven days ago, the U.N. released its latest report on climate change, a "Code Red" warning stating that it's "too late to undo the damage we've done to our planet," a "blistering report that says some parts of climate change, such as warming oceans and rising sea levels, are "irreversible for centuries to millennia." It provides the strongest case yet for human-caused global warming, saying it's "unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean and land." Source

For the past 15 years I've been warning people to "Collapse Now, Avoid the Rush," and now it's too late. This is "the rush" and what we're seeing now are just the beginning of the consequences of our lack of action. Ultimately, the planet will be fine... We, on the other hand, are questionable.

Still doubt? Unfortunately, there's plenty of that going around, but it doesn't alter the fact that we're in deep shit, here.

At its core, the climate crisis is a product of bipartisan corruption and greed. Politicians bankrolled by oil and gas interests ignored scientists’ warnings and financed a fossil fuel economy knowing full well that it would destroy the ecosystem that supports all life on the planet.

Republicans were more explicit about their corruption, actively denying the scientific facts and resurrecting their own version of a Flat Earth Society that reassured voters that nothing has to change and everything will be fine. Democrats settled on a different, but similarly pernicious, form of climate denialism: They acknowledged the science and issued progressive sounding press releases about the environment, and they continue supporting fossil fuel development.

A day after the U.N. report was released, A new Morning Consult poll finds that the number of Americans who are "very concerned" about climate change has not increased significantly in recent months.

"The steps are clear: To reach net-zero emissions by 2050, fossil fuel use must be curtailed as promptly as possible, though removing carbon from the atmosphere will likely be necessary to mitigate the emissions that remain. A collective sense of urgency is key."

An 'unconcerned' public - you and me - is tantamount to giving the oligarchs permission to keep on doing what they've been doing and pretty much seals our fate, and we all get what we deserve.


One of the hardest facts to grasp about climate change is this: No matter what we do now, it's almost certain to get worse in the future.

• Why it matters: The time lag effect of climate change means that actions taken to reduce carbon emissions will only begin to noticeably bend the curve decades from now.

• That gives us the power to avert the worst-case scenario for warming, but we have to come to grips with a future that will feel as if it gets worse by the year.


The Ugly Truth

We're not going to do that, are we...?

The fires are going to get worse. The water is going to get deeper. The temperatures are going to get hotter. Oceans will shut down. Famines will increase along with biblical-style pestilence. Eco-systems will collapse. Greed and corruption will continue. Russia, China, and the U.S. aren't going to change. It's not just them... It's us.


And we're not going to do anything about it.


(Next: Now what?)





Thursday, August 12, 2021

Emotional Intelligence & Relationship

Before conscious, or integral, relationship can manifest in your life, there are certain conditions, or structure/stages, that have to be in place. Some of those personal structures are cognitive (empathy, and the ability to take multiple perspectives), spiritual (trans-personal, awareness that there's a bigger picture), moral (universal human ethics), compassion (transcended ego) , and emotional intelligence.

Emotional Intelligence is a form of intelligence relating to the emotional side of life, such as the ability to recognize and manage one's own and others' emotions, to motivate oneself and restrain impulses, and to handle interpersonal relationships effectively.

I think there's good reason to think one's "EQ" is more important than "IQ." From Daniel Goleman:

"Emotionally intelligent have the ability to marshal their emotional impulses (or, at least, more so than those who are not emotionally intelligent); they have the self-awareness to know what they are feeling, and are able to think about and express those things; they have empathy for the feelings of others and insight into how others think; they can do things like delay gratification; they are optimistic and generally positive; they understand easily the dynamics of a given group, and, most important, where they fit inside that group."

 

Take an Emotional Intelligence test here.

Thursday, July 29, 2021

UPDATE 8/1/21: Miracle or Scam: A New Beginning for the GOP?

 by Gary Stamper CPC, MSIP, DSPS
 


UPDATE: 8/1/21

Scroll to the bottom after reading


So, Rene Descartes walks into a bar and orders a drink.

When he finishes his drink, the bartender asks him if he

would like another. Descartes replies, “No, I think not,”

and disappears in a puff of logic.


As I was pondering the recent astonishing turn-around of a group of Republicans who suddenly came out in favor of everyone getting vaccinated, I couldn't help but think of this old joke. I think these republicans all had the same instantaneous epiphany at the same time, suddenly and without warning, but it wasn't the realization that they had been wrong. 

Altruism? A sudden unexpected tug of compassion or empathy? Guilty consciences?  Wokeness?

In the words of Descartes, "I think not."

No, I think it was the realization that their unvaccinated constituents in Red States were dying at alarming rates from the new Delta Variant, and when they thought about how they would justify their position to their remaining constituents who had lost family and loved-ones to the new virus come election time, they realized they couldn't.

Adding to their gross miscalculation was the reality that their vaccinated blue neighbors' infection rates were at almost zero, and the anti-vaxxer deserters decided - in a amazing display of attempting to save their own asses - that they did not want die at that particular time on that particular political hill.

Was there an apology about their previous positions? Did they admit they were wrong or that they "changed" their minds? Not a chance. They came out and acted like that had always been their position.

This a desperate act of pure political cowardice delivered matter-of-factly, with little or no emotion, and yet I welcome it. I just have to call it out for what it is.

Don't get me wrong. Coming out in favor of getting the vaccine is better for almost everyone than not doing it and will ultimately save many lives (it's not so good for the hard-core right-wing cultists who haven't "changed" their minds), and those of us who actually care about our friends and neighbors should celebrate it as such.

You have to admit it's apparently already producing results. The Senate voted Wednesday to advance a bipartisan infrastructure plan, a critical step toward Democrats passing their sweeping economic agenda with17 Republicans and all 50 Democrats voting yes. While voting to advance the bill is not passing the bill, even advancing it is something that likely would not have happened without the support of the Republicans who changed their minds about the jab.

Is this good news? it depends on your perspective. From my perspective,  it would certainly appear that way to Post-Progressives, although much more remains to be done. To those in charge of the middle-of-the-road corporate Dems, like Biden, most definitely, even though questions remain about their motives and end-game. For hard-core right-wing extremists, white nationalists, and Trump, not likely on the possibility of passing an infrastructure bill as it increases Biden's re-election chance should he decide to run again.

But for Republicans like the ones who did the turn-around on the vaccines, it will depend on whether their usual voters believe their bullshit or not.


UPDATE 8/1/21: 

Amidst all the hoopla (myself included) about GOP Senate members suddenly doing a 180º turnaround and urging their anti-vax constituents to get vaccinated (while a good thing) seems to indicate a softening of their hearts. A wise Facebook friend points out that "When the shit threatens to kill the majority of your support base, you try everything in your power to save them."

But why would anyone believe this "compassionate change of heart" is anything but a desperate attempt to keep a base? They've already proven by their past actions that they have no problem throwing their base under the wheels.

Equally abhorrent is what has become obvious around their sudden support of Biden's flagship campaign promise Infrastructure Plan. What is not being talked about in the mainstream media - or the corporate Dems - is that the sudden GOP support is a result of the administration's capitulation. In addition to cutting funding for the previously sweeping bill by 75%, federal spending on roads, bridges. and expanded broadband access will be paid for with unused Covid-19 aid funds - any chance we might need those? - and unspent jobless aid, among other sources.

Meanwhile, the GOP is quietly gloating as the modified bill benefits their constituents without cooperating on anything that threatens the party’s core constituencies.

What is it with Democratic non-existent negotiation and giving away the farm??

While Biden managed to at least win his bipartisan merit badge without betraying the Democratic base by bargaining away Social Security, the $550 billion infrastructure agreement is seriously deficient in many respects. 

Still, the president's campaign promise was that his deal-making prowess would enable the passage of bipartisan immigration, gun control, and health-care reforms - not a "mere" surface transportation bill. If the impending $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill does not pass, which is highly likely, then the bipartisan deal’s failure to prioritize progressive green investment will be gone, perhaps relegated to what continues to look like a very short set of future history books.

The infrastructure bill has not yet passed the Senate, let alone the House as DINO Dems Manchin and Sinema have both said they won't support it, and house progressives have said they won't support cuts to the plan. McConnell and 16 of his Republican colleagues only voted to “open debate” on the bill Wednesday. 


Stay tuned.




______________________________________________________________________

Gary Stamper CPC, MSIP, DSPP
www.garystamper.com


Sunday, July 25, 2021

To Vax or Not To Vax, That is The Question, and Delays in Bocas Del Toro Pfizer Vaccinations

by Gary Stamper, CPC, MSIP, DSPS


With all of the virus misinformation (I'm being kind) from all quarters, and the extreme politicization and rampant conspiracy theories, I have been reluctant to get vaccinated.

I'm well aware that in the United States, a long list of diseases have been nearly eradicated by vaccines: diphtheria, polio, bacterial influenza, measles, mumps, rubella, smallpox, and tetanus, among others. I'm definitely not an anti-vaxxer.

But...

I'm also aware that pharmacological companies are notoriously well known for corruption and greed, lying, knowingly harming people, placing profits above people, and that they bribe (okay, so bribing is legal thanks to Big Pharma lobbying... it's still bribery through campaign donations). A quick internet search will give you an idea of just how rampant the problem is, and it's by no means limited to the pharmacological Industry.

So, my acceptance of something like the Covid vaccines is situational. It depends. Too many people - on both sides of this issue are sheep and blindly take their cue from their chosen leaders on both sides of this issue without discernment, but rather based on what they want to hear. Both sides, but not everyone.

Very early on in the pandemic, I started researching ways to boost my immune system. As much as possible, I've eaten a primarily organic diet for almost 20 years and have not had a cold or flu for ten years or more. I realized early on how important diet was to our health. I tried to stick to specific foods for specific results. At 76, I'm still not on any prescription meds, and when I see new doctors they are amazed because apparently, that's very rare for men "of my age."

What I call my "COVID-19 Immunity Building Protocol" (read about it here) seems to have served me well and kept me safe as I 
have successfully navigated a 5-day cross-country road trip, a temporary move to Texas (sometimes known as the Covid Capital of the U.S.), and an international flight and relocation move to Panama during the height of the pandemic with absolutely no repercussions - that I'm aware of - from the virus.

I'll be the first to admit that, with all of the above, I have a certain amount of what I'm thinking of as "invulnerability syndrome" (my superpower?).


It apparently comes from growing up in the Boomer generation, and it was said that boomers thought they would never die. (disclaimer: Strictly speaking, I'm not a boomer, I was born just before WWII ended. Culturally, I'm definitely a boomer). Many of us know differently now, but ingrained cultural customs, habits, and beliefs die hard.

I imagine I may carry natural immunity, as many do. Not everyone gets sick. Not yet, anyway, but with new variants like Delta, it's possible that immunity to one variant does not guarantee immunity to the next variant, and in a world where warming guarantees new variants and viruses (possibly contributed to by intentional "gain of function" experimentation where Murphy's Law reigns), this, and more, as I've written before, is far from over.


To Vax or Not to Vax

My vaccination quandary was solved this week by two new developments, but there are others as well.

The first was a reversal by a lot of Republicans that formerly held anti-vax views, including red-state governors, GOP members of Congress, and even (gasp!) Fox News' official new stance encouraging everyone to get vaccinated. Not all right-wing adherents agree, but one of the reasons the new position is taking hold is that the unvaccinated are now the primary source of new Delta variant infections mostly occurring in red states, the second reason my quandary has cleared.

In other words, their former position is now killing their constituents. 

 

As welcome as this turn-around in vaccine philosophy is, let's not forget that it's not out of their goodness of heart, but rather, knowing that it will be difficult to win elections as they're being blamed for the death of their constituents. How strong is this as a motivator? Alabama Governor Kay Ivy, who emphasized ten days ago on a visit to Birmingham that there's no need for an incentive plan to increase vaccination rates in Alabama, is now blaming the unvaccinated for the stunning increase in cases.

As Fox News hosts and anchors, GOP members of Congress, and other right-wing pundits were decrying the loss of freedom with vaccinations (they did the same thing with seatbelts, remember?), many were secretly being vaccinated, and even now refuse to disclose whether they've been vaccinated. It's not that they're saying "I haven't been vaccinated," it's that they have refused to answer when asked "have you been vaccinated?"

If the people who have spoken the loudest to discourage others to get vaccinated secretly got vaccinated (that's called hypocrisy), it's almost reason enough alone to get vaccinated. Right-wing anti-vaxxers, are you listening? Thinking?

Last, It's obvious that the vaccines are working. The case rate statistics prove it. New cases, even in Blue states where vaccination rates are higher, are increasing, but at a much lower rate than Red states where vax rates are significantly lower. And almost all of the new cases in both Blue and Red states are limited to the unvaccinated. 


Getting Vaccinated in Bocas Del Toro

I'll take my chances with the vaccine. We can now see that getting vaccinated are much better odds than going naked, or unvaccinated .


The upcoming Bocas Del Toro Pfizer vaccinations have been postponed, with no exact date set yet. Hopefully, it will be here in late August.

This is due to recent storms, as some of the buildings in Almirante and Changuinola that were going to be used as vaccination centers are currently flooded.

Over 5,000 homes and 26,000 people were affected by ongoing storms and flooding in Bocas Del Toro. Isla Colon and Bocas town where I live has largely been spared from flooding... so far.

I intend to get my first shot at that time. I'm also doing it to protect others, a benefit that has been revealed in the U.S. over the last few months in the face of the new Delta Variant.

It's not that the Pfizer vaccine prevents one from getting the virus. it doesn't. It apparently lessens the severity of the virus with some people experiencing lighter symptoms , and some no symptoms at all, and that lightens the death toll and helps ease the strain on healthcare and the economy although people who have been vaccinated can still be infectious and still spread the virus.

I still contend that we're an impatient species that requires everything "on-demand." and that includes completely opening up everything right now. We need to get over that. Mask up, distance, and be careful until we get this under control. so we can pay more attention to the other threats facing us. 

We are on the Hero's Journey, and we are on it together.


The hero's journey is a common narrative archetype, or story template, that involves a hero who goes on an adventure, learns a lesson, wins a victory with that newfound knowledge, and then returns home transformed.

It is imperative that we return transformed from the journey lest it be for naught, because of what we face as we "come home" to life after the pandemic. and the next hero's journey. 

The Pandemic (including the Delta Variant) is probably the most important issue facing us at the moment. Unless we get it under control - and soon - there will be no economic recovery, no next hero's journey. We must have as much economic stability as possible to prepare for the other issues that threaten us, each an existential threat by themselves, nevermind that they're all swoopping down on us at the same time.

We cannot do it divided, and it can't happen if we care selfishly more for ourselves than each other.

We must do this together.

Sunday, July 04, 2021

What Is an Integral Life Coach?

 by Gary Stamper

An Integral Life Coach uses Integral Theory - an emergent school of philosophy and more - that "seeks to integrate all of human wisdom into a new, emergent worldview that is able to accommodate the gifts of all previous worldviews."



The first time Newsweek wrote about life coaches, they defined the profession this way: “Part consultant, part motivational speaker, part therapist and part rent-a-friend, coaches work with managers, entrepreneurs and just plain folks, helping them define and achieve their goals – career, personal or, most often, both.

"Integral Life Coaches are more holistic, complete, similar to the difference in looking at physicians trained only in western medicine and Integrative Physicians who are trained in multiple modalities such as Chinese herbs, acupuncture, and food as medicine"
 
An Integral Life Coach uses Integral Theory – an emergent school of philosophy and more - that "seeks to integrate all of human wisdom into a new, emergent worldview that is able to accommodate the gifts of all previous worldviews, including those which have been historically at odds: science and religion, Eastern and Western schools of thought, and pre-modern, modern and post-modern worldviews*."

Integrally-informed Life Coaches believe the more people that consciously acknowledge and work with all parts of themselves will become truly inspired, healthy, fun, and balanced, to change the world - and themselves - for the better! Integral Life Coaches are more holistic, complete, similar to the difference in looking at physicians only trained in western medicine and Integrative Physicians who are trained in multiple modalities such as Chinese herbs, acupuncture, and food as medicine, just to name a few.


In addition to Integral Theory, I also use cutting-edge Developmental models like Spiral Dynamics to ensure that I'm able to meet every client exactly where they're coming from, culturally and developmentally.


For a powerful, multi-media presentation on integral theory, click here.


__________________________________________________________________________

Gary Stamper is a Certified Professional Coach and the founder and creator of Old Dogs New Tricks, a website that supports men in being compassionate badasses after they retire. He is also the author of Awakening The New Masculine: The Path of the Integral Warrior, a book about evolutionary consciousness and men's spirituality.


Saturday, July 03, 2021

Are you “Partially” Retired? It May Not Be Enough.

 by Gary Stamper

Although retirement is definitely a life event, like turning 21, marriage, or children, it’s not really an event, it’s a significant process.



if you’re like most of us, that process begins with an influencer or a set of influences that start the process. There may be many influences that may kick off the process, some of which may include pre-retirement financial planning, the actual date of one’s retirement, or the question of “what do I do now?”

The influencer can happen at any time and it comes in the form of cognitive awareness of retirement on both individual and relational planes, which hopefully inspires action. On both planes, there are internal and external dialogues, self-reflections, and meaning-makings that needs to be resolved before deciding on a course of action, with every person’s situation and experiences coloring the sense-making that needs to be done.

And while the meaning-making is different for everyone, the process remains pretty much the same. What can be said about the process is that retirement is a psychosocial process of identity transition and search for meaning, i.e., the creation of a new identity, which is triggered by the retirement process.

Self-Awareness and Adaptability


Using the criteria described above, we’ll look at two of the most important cognitive aspects of that meaning-making and we’re taking a very brief look at each from the very different but typical perspectives of (1) career-minded individuals who have held the same employment either with one company, or the same type of job with two or more companies, and (2), more entrepreneurial-minded individuals who have experienced many different types of jobs and employers and perhaps even been an entrepreneur or self-employed at several different careers and fields.

It only makes sense that those who have had the latter, i.e., multiple careers, will have likely developed more adaptability than the former, simply because they have had to adapt, which in turn allows increased self-awareness to rise as it’s needed. That’s basically a learned skill, especially as opposed to an assembly line worker who has perhaps spent the majority of their career doing the same thing over and over. That’s not to say one path is better or worse than the other, they are just different, and, in most cases, each allows its own results and consequences.

So what do you think? What else might be at play here? What about CEO’s of various sized corporations or owners of small businesses and entrepreneurs? How might that affect self-awareness and adaptability and why is it Important?


Traditional retirement planning has typically been all about financial planning with no attention whatsoever ever given to the psycho-social aspects of retirement. The assumption has always been as long as one has enough money, the rest will fall into place.

What we’re now seeing is that partial solutions to life changes just aren’t adequate or sufficient. That's where a Life Coach comes into play.


________________________________________________________

Gary Stamper is a Certified Professional Coach and the founder and creator of Old Dogs New Tricks, a website that supports men in being compassionate badasses after they retire. He is also the author of Awakening The New Masculine: The Path of the Integral Warrior, a book about evolutionary consciousness and men's spirituality.