Life Dimensions
The Relationship Resource

Teaching the Dynamics of Healthy Relationships

October / November 2011
scenic fall
In This Issue
Relationship Tip
Quick Links

Upcoming Events

Please click on the title below for an informational flier.

An eight week class coming in



Call me for more information or go to the website of the

Institute for Life & Care.

  Book Review


From Age-ing

to Sage-ing

by Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, 1995.  

This is a book that changes the aging paradigm. It transforms aging from a cultural negative crisis to an opportunity for growth and to live our lives as elders triumphantly. The time to re-think that paradigm needs to happen before we reach the later years. Taking from the world's contemplative traditions, Rabbi Zalmon refers to the Biblical prescription of laboring in the fields for six years and dedicating the seventh as a sabbatical year unto the Lord. In those six years, there is activity and productivity, bringing forth fruits, and in the seventh year, there is a fallow time. For us as individuals, we have our productive years of building our careers and raising our families and then there is the well-earned rest when we can go inward and be reflective.


The Mature Mind: The Positive Power of the Aging Brain

(2005) by Gene D. Cohen,M.D.,


  The Mature Mind


I found this book fascinating and very valuable because it de-bunks many of the aging myths. Did you know that our brain has the capacity to "remodel" itself?

Certain genes are activated by experience as we age allowing our personalities to grow and change in surprising ways. It is in the latter stages of life, 60-80 that the brain's "information processing center" achieves its greatest density and reach. Our brains can

"recruit" areas of itself underused in earlier years to provide reserves of strength and agility for the effects of aging in other parts of the brain. He draws on a wealth of scientific research as well as case histories to reveal how the mind continues to grow and flourish into the second half of life. It made me appreciate my aging process.


    Autumn Season of Life: Aging


Fall harvest

For the unlearned, old age is winter; for the learned, it is the season of the harvest.

                                                          --Hasidic saying



Finally, my e-newsletter.  I did want to share some of my reflections appropriate to this beautiful season that is upon us.  Last fall, I had the privilege to take a 22 week class titled Spiritual Eldering.  Sister Macrina Scott of the  Catholic Biblical School fame was the instructor. She based much of the instruction from the book From Age-ing to Sage-ing: A Profound New Vision of Growing Older (See Book Review below).   As I am about to move (soon) to the sixth decade of my life, I am fascinated with the idea of being a positive older person and how to best go about achieving this goal.  I see myself more and more in the autumn season of life where I give back the fruits I have labored over.


When I was a young, I had wonderful models (mentors) of older persons in my life including my grandmother Lily, my Aunt Eva, older neighbors, and teachers many of whom were nuns. They certainly influenced how I wanted be when I "grew up." Growing up is not easy in a culture that values youth, speed, appearance and materialism.  Old, slow, well-seasoned and simpler don't exactly sell TV ads!  Finding meaning and value in the aging process seems essential if we are to grow old gracefully.  Whatever age we are now, now is the time to decide what we want our elder years to be.  What do I want to be when I grow up and older?




happy elderly fall couple 


We turn not older with years, but newer every day.

                                                    --Emily Dickinson 


Those who love deeply never grow old; they may die of old age, but they die young.

--Benjamin Franklin



We don't stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because we stop playing.

--George Bernard Shaw 


Nothing is inherently and invincibly young except spirit. And spirit can enter a human being perhaps better in the quiet of old age and dwell there more undisturbed than in the turmoil of adventure.


                                                      --George Santayana


Relationship Tip

cute elderly couple 

  • Whenever you have the presence of mind, ask yourself: Is this the loving thing to do?
  • I will worry later when I have some solid evidence that I need to worry, until then, I will postpone my worry until later. 
  • Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present. 
  • It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.

grandma and grandaughter



I didn't know if my granddaughter had learned her colors yet, so I decided to test her. I would point out something and ask what color it was. She would tell me and was always correct. It was fun for me, so I continued. At last, she headed for the door, saying, "Grandma, I think you should try to figure out some of these colors yourself!"


 grandpa and grand son


When my grandson asked his grandpa how old he was, he teasingly replied, "I'm not sure."  "Look in your underwear, Grandpa," he advised. "Mine says I'm 4 to 6."

  Upcoming Event
Heart and Soul Flier

Blueprint  for Success 

Blue Print for SuccessMary Ann Van Buskirk is a  keynote speaker and author and has been selected from a nationwide search to be featured in Blueprint for Success, a highly successful book series from Tennessee based Insight Publishing. The book features best-selling authors Stephen R. Covey (Seven Habits of Highly Effective People) and Ken Blanchard (One Minute Manager.) Van Buskirk, Blanchard and Covey, are joined by other well-known authors and speakers, each offering time-tested strategies for success in frank and intimate interviews.
Mary Ann Van Buskirk, M.A., M.Div. is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Colorado, a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, a Fellow in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors and co-founder of Positive Coaching with over twenty years of experience as a counselor, trainer and national speaker. People who have worked with her report vast improvements in their abilities to relate in healthier ways at home and at work. Success is a result of healthy relationships.

Workshops & Seminars

Mary Ann offers workshops on a variety of relationship topics. 
For more information visit:
or call

Happy Halloween and may you experience a harvest of blessings at Thanksgiving.  

 Harvest fall








Mary Ann Van Buskirk
Life Dimensions