We might be active, we might feel young… but does that mean we have life figured out? Especially life after 50?! Not necessarily. But that’s where Robert Atkinson, professor of human development and director of Life Story Commons at the University of Southern Maine, comes in. A passionate photographer, he has found a way to beautifully and artistically illustrate the question… and maybe some answers… for BoomerCafé.
This is a good time to review our lives, to put everything into perspective, and to look ahead to what is still to come. This time of life is meant for findingdeeper meaning in life… in life after 50. It is the time to mine the wisdom we’ve accumulated over our years. The time to remember who we are so we can gain the most out of the great adventures that still lie ahead.
The many rites of passage that define the first 50 years of life provide but a text for the commentary we are yet to add to our lives. As more of us experience life after 50 now than at any other time in history, we have more frontiers to conquer, greater initiations through which to pass, and deeper transformations to experience. Philosopher Carl Jung said that the task of the second half of life is a conscious rediscovery of our original sense of wholeness. This is the boon that can be ours.
Life after 50 is the greatest adventure of all. It is where we determine how we will approach the greatest transition in life. It is where we are reminded in somany ways that we are a central part of the sacred mystery all around us. This is where Mystic Journey: Getting to the Heart of Your Soul’s Story comes in.
The world’s sacred traditions provide all the guideposts we need for this journey of soul-making. Once we consciously set out on this path, we become committed to fulfilling our own deepest potential while also to helping others do thesame for themselves. This is how our boon becomes a benefit for all.
Soul-making helps us to remember who we are, where we came from, what we already know, and that at our depths we are all connected.
To tell more of this story, to assist you in getting to the heart of your own soul’s story, I have chosen a daunting task: to pull out a few key quotes from the book and, to give these words even more impact, to try to match them with photographic images I captured on a recent stay in Arizona.
Robert Atkinson is professor of human development and director of Life Story Commons at the University of Southern Maine. He is author of “Mystic Journey: Getting to the Heart of Your Soul’s Story.”