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Dear friends,

I know you are eager to continue our second part of “Seniors and Depression,” but please bear with me. We’re going to postpone it until next week.

I know you will forgive me when I tell you about an amazing event that is coming up that I don’t want you to miss.

Maybe you’ll remember when we discussed the difficulty of sharing thoughts and finding balance in our lives in a previous visit?

We discussed how we enjoy being involved in the activities that we feel passionately about, and balancing that with some quiet time for ourselves? Well this all ties together with the event I want to tell you about.

We’ve previously talked about some of the past Retirement Renewal Forums that have been available to attend, and this May 24 event is a continuation of these forums. The forums are dedicated to those of us who are planning retirement or are retired.

I’d like to introduce you to the creator and coordinator of these Forums, Kal Edwards, M.A. Kal was very helpful to me in my trying to find that balance, when he gave me a call after reading my “Finding Balance” column. This is the advice he gave us: “One must be aware of retirement robbers. Rather than being stymied by what project to give up in your busy lives … think of these thoughts as renewal motivators for creating a plan for more personal time.”

Kal leads retreats and seminars on “Retirement Is the New Renewal,” so I tend to listen to him. He knows what he’s talking about. He also reminded me, “Our renewal years are all about giving ourselves permission to choose how and what we want to do.”

Strategies about finding that balance are part of Kal’s upcoming Retirement Renewal Forum, part of the Community Conversation Series at Collabria Care, formerly Napa Valley Hospice & Adult Day Services. It will be held in their Community Room, 414 S. Jefferson St., Napa, on Tuesday, May 24, from 6-7:30 p.m. The forum is free. Reserve a space early as you won’t want to miss this wonderful event. Information to follow.

Kal’s advisory team of local professionals has selected the topic “The Power of Meditation and Mindfulness!” The subject is often in today’s headlines, but what do these mental practices mean, and how can they be of value in today’s world?

Kal assures us that “attendees will learn meditation techniques that are practical and helpful and how mindfulness can improve mental and physical health as we age.”

The forum guest speaker will be James Keolker, Ph.D., a certified master meditation teacher by the Mindfulness Institute of San Francisco and a popular teacher of mindfulness practices at the Spirit Rock Meditation Center, the Ratna Ling Retreat Center and the Rianda House Senior Activity Center.

We’ve met James before when I shared with you how much I enjoyed his teachings at Rianda House, which I’ve urged you to attend.

I’ve enjoyed meditating for over 20 years, and James is the most outstanding teacher I’ve ever met. If the idea of meditation, especially as we enter our golden years, appeals to you at all, this is your chance to “sit” with one of the finest teachers.

As Kal says, “How do we find time to be more peaceful? How can we meditate to keep ourselves focused and renewed? This may provide some answers. The forums always inform, educate and inspire, and are not to be missed.”

I couldn’t agree more, and you will, too, after attending one of Kal’s Forums.

Call 258-9087, ext. 272, or email healthedcoordinator@collabriacare.org to reserve a place.

See you at the forum.

Be kind to yourself and others and we’ll make our world a little brighter. Next week, we’ll be back to “Seniors and Depression,” knowing that they don’t have to go hand in hand.

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Email Betty Rhodes at bettyrrhodes@sbcglobal.net.

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