October 01, 2010

Aging Gracefully with Filmmaking

This week’s beauty is Laurie Schur who is the creator of the documentary The Beauty of Aging. Laurie is also a Clinical Social Worker, is happily married, and is a mother and grandmother. She is 65 years old.

Laurie has this to share about growing older:

“Over the years I have noticed - for myself and as a therapist, I have added a spiritual dimension to my life and work. I focus less on exploring the problem and more on the solution and a broader perspective on how to deal with what I now call challenges instead of problems.

My decision to create The Beauty of Aging was out of a desire to explore a differently creative aspect of myself than the creative skills used as a therapist. Because my mother died before her 64th birthday and she was an unhappy person, I was drawn to explore aging in my film and to find women who could show the way to a better and happier old age, despite their challenges. While I've been a seeker of truth, wisdom, healing and knowledge all my life, I think as I've aged I am better able to integrate what I learn and have a stronger intention to “do the practice”.

I strongly believe that one size does not fit all - that lessening the judgment of myself and others is an important part of the journey and I am more willing to do that now then when I was younger and was more fixed in judgment - at least I catch it now and work to release it.

I think that whatever makes someone happy and doesn't hurt others is okay - e.g. - some want gray hair - others color their hair - some feel good about wrinkles - others feel the need to "fix" them. While it would be great if we could all feel great about ourselves, both internally and externally, I don't think I can judge how people deal with such issues - especially given the influence of families and culture on such things. And - I work to release the hold of the external pressures and to remember that beauty really is - for me - not what someone looks like (though, of course, we are all attracted to different standards of beauty) - but that energy, spirit, vitality, attitude, interest in life etc. are the true things that create beauty - like the women in my film The Beauty of Aging exude.”