Making Choices

In her book, Another Country, Navigating Emotional Terrain of Our Elders, Mary Pipher talks about the 5 R’s. These are, in no particular order, Relaxation, Relationships, Results, Respect, and Realization.

She suggests that as we age we keep the 5 R’s in the forefront of our mind and as we choose to do things, we can ask ourselves if the choice fulfills one of the R’s. The 5 R’s feed into resilience and overtime help us be more resilient in the face of difficulties.

Although, in her book she uses the 5R’s within the context of being elderly and shares stories of amazing individuals living these characteristics…  it seems reasonable to me to incorporate the 5R’s at any age as part of a lifestyle.

As a stress buffer,  integrating activities that foster relaxation in daily life would add quality to life beyond measure. Be it meditation, reading, watching t.v., time with family, working on a project or a hobby.

It has been proven in different ways that from birth we are wired for connection. Building relationships with family and friends, having pets, volunteering, belonging to social groups are all ways to stay connected with others. Time spent daily connecting with others fills a deeper aspect of ourselves and leaves us less vulnerable to physical and emotional illnesses.

At the end of the day, we want to know that however we spent our time…it was worthwhile. For some a day of work fulfills that result, for others it may be lending a helpful hand, sharing a happy moment with someone, starting a project or finishing one.

Feeling respected  and being treated with respect are important to our core sense of self worth and self esteem. Defining self respect and cultivating relationships and a lifestyle that mirrors respect is an ongoing process and requires being reflective as well.

Realization is a lifelong journey and it leads to a sense of wholeness. Mary Pipher calls it “growing of a soul” and for me that phrase sits in a peaceful spot knowing that all of life is a journey and as we make sense of what happens in the chapters of our life story, we are able to integrate self realizations and don’t have to assume a position of stagnation at any time.







7 thoughts on “Making Choices

  1. I was grateful for this book before my father died. Somehow it helped me navigate in a very dark and unfamiliar time. Thank you, too, for visiting my blog.

    1. Thanks for your sharing your personal experience with the book. Finding solace in difficult times comes in so many different ways. I too am grateful for reading the stories in her book.
      I look forward to reading more of your blog posts.
      Have a blessed 2016.

  2. A powerful post. I have a positive view of aging primarily because my mind is more disciplined now.

    Shortly before he died my Grandfather told me that when he feels frightened he looks up at the night sky and realizes how small he is.

    I didn’t understand that at 20.

    But I do now.

    Thank you for a thought provoking post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s