Discover your MAP
to living younger longer
The Renaissance was a time of great exploration and discovery. The wise and successful explorer always relied on a map to know where he was, where he came from, and where he was going. Before your journey of youthful aging can begin, you too need a personal MAP to know where you are health-wise, and to provide directions to your goals. The Renascence personal MAP is made up of the informational coordinates required to triangulate your current state of health and vitality, identify possible risks along the journey, and clarify where you aspire to go and your preferences for getting there:
Prior to your Personal Evaluation Day at Renascence, you were asked to complete a detailed questionnaire. Your answers provided the medical history and key information needed to understand your personal aspirations and preferences. Laboratory tests were also performed prior to your visit. This information has been integrated with the testing and examination during your Personal Evaluation Day to construct your MAP.
As an Explorer, you will review the path you have taken thus far (medical history and lifestyle choices) and look for hints of potential hazards (aging-related decline and dysfunction) ahead. The astute explorer learns from past choices to avoid repeating them. This is an essential element of the Renascence principle for successful aging we call Dimostrazione. It encourages you, as an Explorer, to have courage and the willingness to learn from mistakes.
Take measure of your biologic age & health transformation
A notable rebirth occurred in the Sciences during the Renaissance period. It was a time of renewed commitment to test knowledge through experience, persistence, and a willingness to learn from mistakes. At Renascence we call this Dimostrazione. Anyone aspiring to age successfully will embrace this principle as a way of life.
Your personal MAP, previously described, will include some ‘measurements’ of you. As you progress along your transformational journey to youthful vitality, you will want to periodically repeat measures to mark and assess your progress.
It is our belief that most age-related disease and disability results from a decline in one or more of three areas: Ability, Balance, and Capacity. At Renascence we call them the ABCs of aging. A decline in any area will ultimately shorten your health expectancy, and possibly your life expectancy. What’s more, we believe that each one of us has the opportunity to slow or reverse the decline within these areas.
Think of a fountain as a reservoir. Now, imagine a fountain within you. When you were young we could stay out all night and be good to go the next morning. When exposed to infectious agents, they rarely put you out of commission for long or seriously. When you fell, you didn’t readily break a bone. You could handle things no matter how full your plate. The reservoirs within you were full and afforded you the capacity to weather storms without apparent damage.
As we age things change. We no longer have the same energy after a long night. Illnesses hit us harder and it takes longer to recover. We are more prone to injury and broken bones. It is more difficult to manage the stresses that come with a full plate. In short, our reservoirs are becoming depleted; they are running dry.
A loss of reserve capacity inevitably accompanies aging, without intentional and active intervention. In most instances, however, it is possible to not only slow the depletion of your capacities, but to actually significantly increase and restore reserve capacity to youthful levels.
To sustain your own
The Humanist within acknowledges the fact that, as humans, we are prone to fall off our chosen path from time to time. Therefore, we offer the six ‘REALMS’ of whole-person aging to sustain you on this journey.
Openness to possibilities necessitates a willingness to embrace ambiguity, paradox, and uncertainty. Indeed, this was the wellspring for much of the creativity witnessed during the Renaissance. This same openness is a prerequisite to successful aging. All the possibilities of life can only become actualized after we are open to them. A recent prospective study of elderly people supports this affirmation: Elderly people who see the process of aging in a positive light live approximately seven years longer than those who view getting old negatively.
Humanism resulted in a transformation of prevailing views of being human. It stressed development of the whole person – intellectually, physically, and spiritually. An appreciation of refining the five senses as a means to enliven experience also led to new observations of human behavior, personality, and of the natural world. Continual nurturing of the senses is a means to enliven and enhance the ultimate experience of aging.
Developing your potential also means understanding not just your potential for growth and success, but also your potential for failure – how your personality, behavior, and human nature can help or hinder your journey. Along the youthful-aging journey, you are likely to encounter adversaries to your continued personal growth and transformation over the remainder of your life. These adversaries are varied and risky. They include distractions from your chosen path and interruptions which can cause you to lose your way, wanting to cease traveling along your intended path and return to your former path because of a lack of emotional commitment, becoming imprisoned by thoughts of the past and worries about the future, questioning whether there is any meaning in the journey, and feeling that the burden of making the journey alone is too great. The wise traveler will realize that the location for each one of these hazards is to be found in the same place – within him. With awareness and preparation, it is possible to survive these hazards.
Of your own personal renaissance
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 every 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.