The Renaissance period is perhaps most remembered as an enlightened era for the arts. Works of art became viewed as existing for their own sake, as objects of ideal beauty or learning. A fusion of art and science resulted in art forms reaching new heights. It was a result of the confluence of new approaches to living and a sense of connectedness with Nature. In this regard, the Renaissance provides enlightenment into important life principles for successful aging.
Think of yourself, then, as a living work of art. For that is what you are. Living and aging is like putting paint on a canvas. It can be a cacophony (of dysfunction, and disease) or a masterpiece of optimal ability, balance and capacity. Imagine the remainder of your life journey as a blank canvas. Along the way, you will attempt to cover the canvas with as much paint as possible, i.e., no moment, no matter how small, shall be wasted or overlooked. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if, at the end of your physical life, you could look back at your canvas of life and be able to say, “Look, I filled the canvas with paint.” That would be very good. Living every moment is a reward in itself. It would be equally possible to realize you covered every square inch of the canvas with paint, but remark “I covered my canvas with paint, but it is a mess!” While filled with paint, it might a chaotic mess.
At Renascence, we believe you could approach your canvas of life as does the artist, who first learns to use the tools of the trade and then practices, practices, practices. The artist visualizes the finished product. As you approach your own canvas of life, it is well worth learning to use the ‘tools’ of healthy aging, and develop the skill, so that at the end of life you could look back and proclaim, “I covered every part of the canvas with paint, and look – it’s a masterpiece!”
Creating the rest of your life can result in a masterpiece. Every moment you are creating yourself; with every breath, every thought and action. To become a work of art several elements must meld together harmoniously. The various components, when approached with vision, creativity, passion, and practice are transformational. This awareness of the connectedness of all things and all phenomena was best expressed in the masterpieces of the Renaissance period. Your personal renaissance is an inner transformation of your ideal qualities that underlie your outward appearance.
Aging well is about ‘painting’ your own canvas of personal transformation. You are not here simply to find yourself. You are here to create all that you have the potential to become. Anything less would be a waste. It is about developing strength, grace and poise – and achieving balance.