To gracefully retire.


This article is written for the benefit of anyone who has or is about to retire from work, and who may feel daunted and haunted by the empty years that lie ahead. Please don’t feel daunted and don’t feel haunted. You may find it difficult to believe but to be ‘written off’, as ‘passed it’ is one of the greatest joys of retirement. Suddenly all of the pressure of competition has gone. Just like us you definitely may not have been in the ‘golden handshake’ league but at least you now have time to think and to observe and to comment. Meanwhile the greater wisdom of your brain cells allows younger people to provide the muscle power when required. This is the whole point of the ageing process. Gracefully wisdom replaces the need to appear ‘Macho’ or irresistibly gorgeous.


The first thing that you may observe is that those people who wrote you off are still feverishly and frenziedly competing with each other. They will continue to compete until they also are written off. So for you the time to feel daunted and haunted has now passed. You are now as free as you will allow yourself to be!


Does that sound odd? As free as you will allow yourself to be! Think about it for a moment. After decades in the role of either employee or employer no one retires without the scars of conditioned thinking. This means that your first task is to de-condition the way that you think of and regard YOU. You will have to do it because no one would or could do it for you. As employees one of the biggest traps we all fall into is to be persuaded by employers that we are either indispensable, or easily replaceable. As a result, eagerly or apprehensively we have filled almost every waking thought with our indispensable or easily replaceable roles.


Maybe after many decades we have come to regard ourselves only as those roles. Anything else is sort of shamefacedly and irrelevantly tacked on. Thus the enthusiastic, talented amateur artist or poet who must fix cars or telephones for a livelihood thinks of self as a motor mechanic or telephone engineer who (rather quaintly) paints or writes poetry as a hobby.


When you retire you want to be free not to be needed. In a similar way a wife who is the mother of now adult and married children, may regard her freedom from family responsibilities in two ways, either, negatively as surplus to her family’s needs, or positively and gratefully for her hard-earned freedom after a job well done. After all, who wants to walk the same path yet again?


This newly found freedom may make you feel fear in the form of self-doubt, and this is quite natural. From the moment you were born to the moment you retire you have conformed and molded yourself to the demands, needs and wishes of others, first to your parents’ preferred image of you, then to your schoolteachers’ and then to your employers’. Then as a husband and father or wife and mother, again you remolded yourself to fit yet more required images. But now you are free to create your own preferred image of self. So now you must look closely at yourself to decide what must be changed. This isn’t a matter of your financial circumstances it is all to do with your attitude of mind. 


Obviously generous dollops of available money would relieve anxiety, but conversely the richest person in the world might also be the unhappiest. That rich person could scour the pleasure resorts of the world for ever-new sensations that would pall faster and faster even as they were experienced.

But what is this rich person actually doing? He or she is using the crystallized energy that money represents to continuously drain vital energy from other people. He or she attempts to fill his or her internal vacuum with energy provided by other people. But why does this vacuum exist in this person? The vacuum exists simply because he or she has never found his or her inner source of energy. Always it has been easier to write a cheque and then use the energy of other people. This is like the child who complains, “I’m bored, I’ve got nothing to do.”


Until we retire from a long life of work most of us have never been allowed to have ‘Nothing to do’. Often this means that we may retire haunted by the feeling that we are duty-bound to fill our new freedom with usefulness to others to justify our future existence as a retired person. This is part of the thought conditioning that you have to unload. It is not made easier by the thoughtless astonishment of younger working people when you politely reject their offer to fill your spare time with their odd jobs. The answer of course is to ask them if they would exchange their next twenty or thirty years to be in your retired position of freedom?


The important thing is to make a clean break with your past employment. There is something sad about the retired man who tries to cling to and still be part of the camaraderie shared by the currently employed workforce at his ex place of work. It is sad because when he clings to the past this man fails to live in the ‘now’. But all anyone has is ‘now’, the past has gone and the future only holds one certainty for any of us.


Often in a jocular manner the talk is that we have entered our second childhood, but in a way when we retire this is true. With retirement each of us faces a brand new future that has no connection with our past. No one still trapped in his or her competitive ‘now’ could help us to enjoy the freedom of our future years. In fact a large part of the enjoyment begins only after we unload the heavy mental shields and tools that in the past we needed to successfully compete.


Early in our first childhood we all learnt that to win any race we have to learn the basic ground-rules. Those basic rules ruthlessly demand that the runners ignore the hopes and dreams of success, of each other. In our second childhood we have to unlearn a great quantity of such accumulated obsolete garbage. Only then can we learn how to fill our lives and freedom with quality. An ongoing competition with its shabby, basic rules hasn’t and could never offer mankind a high quality of life, and yet we all are born into the competition until we retire from it. Only then have we time to take stock of what the competition did to us instead of did for us.


Retirement means that you are now the boss of you. It also means that you are once again a student of life, but also you become your own teacher. But what will you the student study and what will you the teacher teach? You will learn how to enjoy this moment called now. You will learn how to enjoy being “YOU”. You the teacher will continually remind you the student that there is only one “YOU” in the entire Creation!  This makes you yes 'you' unique.


When you drive your automobile you will teach yourself to regard a red traffic light as a welcome break instead of as a barrier between you and your destination. In a similar way to irritably drive your car nose to tail at high speeds places far more wear on your brakes, clutch, and nerves than it does on the driver’s of the car in front. We have mentioned these bad habits of drivers because they are symptomatic of our conditioned, competitive lifestyle. That lifestyle requires that our thoughts be always focused in the future, never in the now. In this way the journey becomes a barrier because our thoughts are already ahead of us at our intended destination. When we reach that destination our thoughts are already focused on future destinations. Unfortunately for most of us we have had to fit into what is generally accepted as the norm. But it would be pointless to try to merge that accepted norm with your newly found freedom.

At the bus stop retired you has time ‘Now’ to enjoy a beautiful sunset, that is, if you can only de-condition your thoughts that have always been entirely focused on the future arrival of the bus.

Enjoy now wherever you are. To enjoy now doesn’t cost you a penny. Take time to enjoy all of the things that busy, busy you never had time to notice in the past. To compete, you had to de-sensitize yourself to be able to focus only on what was currently relevant. So now you have the time to become more sensitive and more aware. Many people retire with a fixed almost rigid picture of self in retirement. After many years of hard work to have a successful career, when they retire they want to relax and to enjoy the fruits of their success. It is natural to want time and freedom to enjoy those hard-earned rewards so long as the pictured enjoyment stays flexible. Inflexibility = “I’m too set in my ways to change after all these years.”


In a way we could suggest that far from being ‘written off’ retirement means that you have moved up a grade in the University of Life. Most of your life has now been lived and it was a process of learning lessons that were then currently relevant to you. When you retire you don’t cease to learn, but the lessons are different and require a wider and wiser outlook. This is an outlook that you probably took decades to gain. For example, during the years of retirement we learn to accept the loss due to age or illness of beloved old friends and of beloved relations.


We may grieve for them and feel a great sense of loss now that they have gone. But if we are wise our thinking will be flexible enough to allow us to be very curious to know where our loved ones have gone and what are they doing now? If we are inflexible we will call such curiosity, morbidity. Then like everyone else that we know, we will avoid the subject that we fear might mar our picture of our future few years of enjoyment.


Astonishingly the teachers of established religions always encourage avoidance of detailed discussion about this taboo subject. As a result even as a regular churchgoer you still may not have a clue about not how but why you exist or about your ultimate destination after your body is just a memory. You avoid thoughts of your own death and think the worst when others die.


But suppose that you knew for certain that one day you would move to another country, or even to another planet? Obviously you would try to learn as much as you could beforehand about what you would have to face whenever and after that time arrives. The same surely must apply to that one certainty that we all eventually face physical death. The knowledge is readily available from many different sources; as is the method for you to personally check that knowledge. From a positive point of view this gained and tested knowledge may well enhance rather than mar your mind picture of your future enjoyed years of retirement. At the very least you would be self-equipped with tested knowledge rather than with the bland and blurred reassurances of others.


Retirement is a time for constructive individual reflection. It is precious time to be treasured and never wasted. So many received hurts and disappointments that maybe spoilt your past must not be allowed by you to spoil your future. Maybe you received those hurts from others or those others received hurts from you. No matter which it is now time to forgive others or yourself and to forget. It is time now for you to unload all useless, corrosive baggage.


Only then will you be free of the past and free to live fully in your, ‘now’. Each of us has had to cope with life from moment to moment at our then current level of understanding during those moments. To gain maturity of thought and of values requires long years of hard-earned experience, of wrong choices and mistakes made and regretted, but hopefully also learnt from. This means that at the time of those mistakes and wrong choices you hadn’t gained the level of mature understanding that you enjoy now. If you had gained today’s level then probably those mistakes would not have been made. In truth you are now a different person. If you are honest with yourself you will admit that what applies to you must also in fairness apply to all of those hurt or hurtful people in your past.

For this reason regret and guilt, or bitterness and resentment, about those in your past are emotions that were only valid at your ‘then’ level of understanding. Those obsolete and inappropriate emotions will continue to corrode your ‘now’ and your future until you consciously acknowledge that what you felt then you have no right, no wish, and no intention to feel now. This is the real meaning of second childhood. You start afresh with honesty and compassion. The world is crammed full of the ‘walking wounded’. Yet we all have the means to heal our emotional scar tissue. Only you can forgive self. Only you can forgive others. Forgiveness is not a transaction, “You forgive me and I will forgive you.” That would be all too easy. No, genuine forgiveness of self and of others is dumped squarely into your lap regardless of those others.


You were born as an individual who probably like us all got merged into a crowd scene to be led by the nose by yet more individuals. Retirement means that at last you have escaped from the crowd scene and can revert to what you were born to be, a courageous and clear thinker who now has time to seek the true meaning and purpose of your own existence.


Please believe a couple of retired pensioners who also are seekers named David and Yvonne Brittain. Far from boring, academic, or morbid, the results of your search you will find will be a


“mind-blowing enhancement to your graceful retirement”


Love and Laughter from David and Yvonne Brittain.








Note: David and Yvonne continuously drew down and anchored the light in France for 15 years from July 1991 until October 2006 when they returned to their homeland England where they continue to do their spiritual work from a small seaside resort in Essex. Donations great or small would be gratefully received and would enable us to continue to spread the knowledge of the Ascension Process.