The Art of Renewal: Creating Quality of Life in Retirement

This is excerpt from Joy Compass: How to Make Your Retirement the Treasure of Your Life. 

Renaissance means a renewal of life, vigor and interest. It is the rebirth and revival that you can experience at any moment in our lives. Psychological age is flexible because it is personal and subjective. How old you feel can change in a split second.

Have you ever seen someone who is upset and suddenly sees an adorable baby, or a small kitten? All of a sudden, their face changes, their eyes light up and their attention is focused on the pleasant sensations they are experiencing? Have you ever run into someone you had not seen in a while, and they looked younger and more radiant than the last time you saw them, because they fell in love or got the job that they wanted? Your psyche and your body have the ability to be transformed with joy and lightness.

You are the master of your inner world, and you can change your psychological state. Let us discuss some of the ways in which it can be done.

Being Inspired by Nature

Look closer at the tall, venerable pine trees, and you will see new growth. Nature knows how to renew itself. We observe the change of seasons, but do we absorb its lessons of renewal? Does nature inspire you to renew your life?

Being Inspired by Art

The Birth of Venus, Sandro Botticelli

Botticelli’s painting depicts goddess Venus emerging from the sea, at although she is depicted as a full grown woman, she is completely new to this world. It is remarkable how art can transmit the frequency of renewal. If you appreciate art, can you use it to remind yourself how new and fresh to the world we can be at any moment?

Learning from Your Body

Skin cells, stomach lining, liver cells, the skeleton, blood cells constantly renew themselves. Our bodies have an amazing capacity for change. Our brain repairs and reorganizes itself in our sleep. Do you think of your body as a machine, or are you aware that some of your body is newly created at every moment?

Learning From Children

Observe the natural wonder, spontaneity and curiosity of children. They jump out of bed in the morning because they cannot wait to start their day. They play and learn. They ask a million questions a day. They run around until they drop with exhaustion, and then they rest fully. They are not carrying around the burden of old traumas, disappointments and frustration, but who said that YOU need to carry it?

Learning from New Experiences

New experiences, new ideas, skills, knowledge, perceptions are available to you at any time. It is entirely your decision to open yourself up to renewal. You can either travel to another continent, or attend a local art gallery opening. You can read a long book or a short article. Resources and time are not limiting factors here. Rather, it is your willingness to open yourself up to new experiences that can renew your mind and body that matter. Are you up for that?


Are you aware of your internal dialog regarding aging? Do you approach aging from the place of acceptance or resistance? Do you see any age as rewarding, or do you reserve that for only specific periods of your life?

We have all been conditioned to think and behave in a certain way, either by consciously adopting thoughts and behaviors, or by unconsciously mimicking what we have observed in childhood. Have you been conditioned to behave in ways that are rigid, or can you be open and fluid? You have learned the aging process somewhere. Are you aware of what you have learned?

If you close your eyes and quiet your mind, in this meditative state, you will experience your awareness. It is ageless. It is the reference point for your experiences from childhood to adulthood, the unchanging awareness that allows you to connect your experiences from the first to the last day of your life, even as your thoughts, emotions and your body change every moment. Can you experience yourself as ageless?

Emotional Release

Releasing emotional burdens will lighten up your psychological age. This is a multi-faceted topic, and we will just start with the basics: changing your emotional state in the moment, and releasing past stresses and traumas.

Concentrating on the present moment, you can learn to change your emotional state. For example, if you are in a slump, by taking a walk in nature, smelling a flower, calling a good friend, taking a few deep breaths, focusing on something that makes you happy.

Releasing old negative emotions is essential, because they snowball through a simple mechanism: any new negative emotions or stresses will trigger a negative response based on past experiences, whereas positive emotions may be blocked by the shield of bad memories. This creates a cycle of tremendous burden on one’s psychological age. It drags you out of the present into your past.

Releasing deep seated emotional traumas can be accomplished through various modalities: breath work, yoga, meditation, psychoanalysis, and many others. There are simple techniques, such as being mindful and attentive to your body, and releasing deep-stored stresses by using your awareness. Meditation is especially invaluable in helping release the old traumas and stresses.


Setting your intention is an incredibly powerful act. It sets a direction that you, your thoughts, feelings and experiences will follow. If you expect to decline with age, it is going to become a self-fulfilling prophesy. If you intent to be active, ageless, vibrant and joyful, your psychological age will certainly reflect this. What is the intention you would like to set for yourself? You need to define the intention that feels right for you. Here are some examples:

“I am ageless.

My mind and my body are constantly renewed.

I am active.

I am creative.

I am joyful.

My energy level improves every day.”

What else would you like to add?

If you would like to know more about creating an astonishing quality of life in retirement, here is the link to the Joy Compass: How to Make Your Retirement the Treasure of Your Life



Remember that working with your emotional and psychological state does not stop when you escape the pressures of the job. Creating a sense of well being and a great quality of life should be a part of your retirement planning.



Julia Valentine is founder and CEO of Joy Compass, an essential retirement planning destination for people who want the second half of their life to be better than the first. contains resources on retirement planning, mentoring, a healthy lifestyle, motivation, quality of life and more. Julia Valentine is the author of Joy Compass: How to Make Your Retirement the Treasure of Your Life. 




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