Wellness Counselor Provides Practical Advice for Baby Boomers to Stay Vibrant in this Modern World
Wellness Counselor Provides Practical Advice to Stay Vibrant in this Modern World
By Aukje Kapteyn
Babyboomers.com Staff

72-year-old author Aukje Kapteyn has released her inspiring new guidebook “Grounded Grandmothers

The book “Grounded Grandmothers” is written for the generation of people who experience the limitations related to aging, health, and the simple need to spend more time reflecting and processing our fast-paced world.  We straddle wanting to be fully alive, while not being able to ignore our own mortality.

We need time, simple time, for letting things sink in, to clear a clutter of memories and old ways of doing things, to have a new clarity, for a new kind of problem.  This takes, work, contemplation and engaging authentically with others.  This is not nothing. It may look like nothing, but our internal lives are vibrantly busy.  This speaks to the power of our presence which may feel like less than being busy doing and accomplishing.  It takes an adjustment to realize that our contribution to another’s health, inspiration or well-being has great value without us even knowing exactly what we did.  Someone may just feel good being around us and that is important.

In my book “Grounded Grandmothers,” I address a lot of these paradoxes, mainly by finding that common ground that enhances our lives: joy, gratitude, and authentic interaction.  Tools and exercises help us be present to the here and now and give us time to linger with stubborn obsessive thoughts, while taking us just a bit deeper.

Being a grounded grandmother is not about sturdy shoes and predictable behaviour.  In fact, the opposite might very well be true.  Being grounded means connection with the earth (where shoes can get in the way) and when we practice being grounded through breath and to a deeper sense of self, we have the proclivity to surprise ourselves.

On the way to being grounded, we tap our inner wisdom and perhaps also the wisdom of the ages.  This is hard to access when we are anxious and fearful.  We can reduce anxiety by doing simple breathing and grounding exercises described in the book and by following writing exercises that give voice to our concerns.  The simplicity of these movements and tools are deceptive because we expect them to be complex.  It isn’t easy however to be honest with ourselves, to accept the reality of who we are and of what our life looks like.  The tools that are offered make it easier by starting in a place of acceptance and self-love and building on that.

It really is about movement: keeping our bodies moving, in whatever way suits us.  It may just be a walk, or stretching, or some of the Bioenergetic movements I describe.  It is also movement of our emotions.  We can get stuck in a certain way of feeling backed up by a certain narrative we believe in, then take up pen and paper and start writing.  Each chapter in my book has a section called “Moving Something”.  However, we choose to move, there is change involved, sometimes subtle, sometimes more noticeable.  When we least feel like moving, it is time to move.

As we process our complaints, worries, disappointments, we arrive at a different place.  Just like when we allow our grief to take hold of us and temporarily take us down, we find gratitude and joy where we least expect it.

The focus of my book is not about using effort to be positive, charming, and sweet despite the pain we may feel, but instead lets our ability to be real take us to a profounder self that has the potential for great creativity.  We are far more imaginative than we think and have great capacity for joy, however we can’t pretend life isn’t what it is.  This is the paradox of gaining wisdom that comes with aging:  to be real, accept our reality and allow the expression of sadness, anxiety, and disappointment, and at the same time discover something more akin to joy.  This process cultivates our authentic acceptance of self and then it is easier to do this with others and with life.  Then others also have the capacity to surprise us, because we have freed ourselves from the template of old wounds and expected re-injury.

“Grounded Grandmothers” also contains several different processing tools, that may or may not involve physical movement, and these tools require only that we write what is on our plate in the here and now.  Nothing is stagnant, emotions have an expiry time.  What keeps them around contributing to predictable reactions that others may be used to seeing in us, are beliefs, judgments, unresolved conflicts, and a lack of forgiveness for self.  When we tackle these, in an ever so gentle loving way, we have a fresh outlook.

There is nothing more youthful than knowing you can still surprise yourself.

About the Author:

Aukje Kapteyn is a mother of three and grandmother of seven children and her oldest child just turned 50.  Her career led her to work as counsellor in private practice, at her retreat center, and for 32 years with remote Indigenous communities.  Her passion is to be a part of empowering others to seek their own path and to take charge of their lives, no matter what the obstacles.  A proponent of whole health, she fosters all aspects of our being to be congruent with our most powerful self. “Grounded Grandmothers” is her first book.

Post a Comment