Don Ardell’s tips for aging well are from his book Aging Beyond Belief, 69 tips for REAL Wellness. REAL wellness stands for Reason, Exuberance And Liberty. Don says you can’t buy pills or treatments for REAL wellness−it’s a mindset and lifestyle you control. It’s never to early to let Reason, Exuberance and Liberty be your guide…these tips are for folks of any age. Enjoy.
A Discovery Process
Pace yourself in learning about wellness
Pace yourself in learning about wellness. Create a more supportive network to live this way. Create a wellness support network, over time. Don’t rush it. Pace yourself. Consider attending a workshop in your area, or a seminar or lecture dealing with aspects of better living that you ﬁnd appealing. Check out the program ﬁrst, since the word “wellness” is often misapplied. Sometimes, it’s used as a marketing gimmick with little understanding of the unique qualities of the concept. You would not want to inadvertently attend a program billed as a wellness event, only to be pitched to invest in a multi-level sales organization for vitamin-fortiﬁed seaweed, or something equally bizarre having no remote connection with a wellness lifestyle.
Here’s a speciﬁc suggestion: Check out the National Wellness Conference. It is a festival by and for wellness seekers and promoters held annually in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. It’s not entirely focused on aging, but everything about the wellness concept can be readily applied to AUI. I’m quite an enthusiast of the event myself—I have been attending the weeklong gatherings for over 25 years. Check out the NWI website at www.nationalwellness.org. You could also call (800) 243-8694 or send an E-mail. One way or another, ask to be placed on the mailing list for the free annual program sent worldwide in the spring.
An important part of creating a supportive culture is understanding your current support system. Take a close, conscious look at the norms, customs and rituals that shaped and guided your formative years. Think about how pervasive yet subtle these norms and customs and traditions were and how, little by little and bit-by-bit, you digested it all during the early years. Identify those traditions that today, after a lifetime, are more like obstacles than cherished values, and set yourself free from anything now seen as nonsense, dogma, clichés and platitudes. These are enemies of your capacity for reason leading to excellence. These are obstacles to more supportive networks that will make your best possible life much more attainable.
-from Aging Beyond Belief, by Don Ardell
Donald B. Ardell was a pioneer in the Wellness movement. He wrote High Level Wellness: An Alternative to Doctors, Drugs, and Disease, first published in 1976 by Rodale Press, with editions over the years by Bantam Books and Ten-Speed Press. Since then Don has written a dozen additional wellness books, including Die Healthy (with Grant Donovan), 14 Days to Wellness and most recently, Aging Beyond Belief.