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Self-care for the older adult must Sembody the experiences that lead inward to the expansive storehouse of wisdom gathered through the years of each person's journey. Care for the self demands that all aspects of our lives be seen as integrated: physical, emotional, social, spiritual, intellectual, and occupational. Self-care
must be holistic, especially for the againg population. We often see fragmented programs that minimize what is possible for us as we grow older. Spirit-filled living results when we are attuned to the life within and release that energy in every aspect of ourselves. Older students have taught me these truths by sharing their written stories and speaking their truths.
Sharing stories has a profound healing effect. Our personal stories ground us in the reality of our lives. Joseph Campbell in his work on myth invited people to see how the patterns in their personal stories related to the patterns in the great mythological stories across cultures. Jean Houston (1982) wires about the power of story in the fellowing manner; "Many of the so-called larger-than-life people differ from the rest of us chiefly in this one respect: not that they are actually larger or greater or more brilliant, but rather that they are profoundly present to the continuum of their lives.... Thus some die at seventy with an experiential age of seventeen while others are closer to a hundred and seventy, so intimate are they with the happenings of their lives" (p. [8.sub.7]). Rachel Remen, a physician who works with cancer patients, shares insights about the healing that happens as people come together telling their stories and listening to the stories of others. About healing in support groups, whe wires, "The reality is that healing happens between people. The wound in me evokes the healer in you, and the wound in you evokes the healer in me, and then the two healers collaborate" (Moyers, 1993).
In his book, Reversing Heart Disease, Dean Ornish (1990) writes that his goal is "healing your heart: physically, emotionally and spiritually.... We can learn how to open our hearts on emotional and spiritual levels as well as anatomical ones." His pioneering research contributes to a deeper understanding of the integration of mind, body, and spirit. Though group work with heart patients, he discovered the healing that was experienced on many levels when participants felt safe to tell their own stories, share their …