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Dec 31, 2018

In Japan, the concept of Ikigai means our purpose in life, or our reason for living. This idea is very interesting to observe across the world, especially in the few blue zones, where people live the longest. On the isolated island of Ojima, many centenarians report their Ikigai as supporting those in their small communities. In fact, Elise emphasizes that one thing that the blue zones have in common is strong community bonding and involvement - especially across generations.  Cate explains that ethos is not just what connect us to ourselves, it is what connects us to each other, and having everyday access to these connections gives us purpose in our lives. Mixed-generational households are very common outside of western society, and they provide support, enrichment, and educational interaction between friends and family of different ages. These kind of communities promise life-long, wholesome interaction and resilience against the guaranteed struggles of a lifetime. Other interesting factors in these communities is the tendency for regular social interaction and long walks, and lack of prescription medications from doctors. There is plenty we can learn from these blue zone communities and their lifestyle habits that we can hopefully incorporate into our own live to experience healthier aging. Tune into this podcast episode to discover these ideas for yourself!

What you’ll get out of tuning in:

  • What factors contribute to healthy aging
  • Why we should appreciate mixed-generation communities
  • What Ikigai can teach you about aging gracefully


Links Mentioned in Episode:

Show Highlights:

  • 4:05 - Ikigai  is a concept that comes from Japanese culture, and it is your individual purpose for living. The island of Ojima is one blue zone where people report their ikigai as supporting their community and those included.
  • 8:50 - Most of the few documented blue zones in the world are very isolated, apart from the community of Loma Linda, California. This particular blue zone is a profound example of a supportive, tight-knit community that has formed in non-isolation, showing us that it could be possible for all of western society.
  • 21:40 - In Ikaria, Greece, another blue zone, there are no doctors to put aging people on prescription medication like we do in western society. Yet, the island of Ikaria has the best change of survivorship of middle age, even without these prescriptions.
  • 28:00 - In western society, there are lots of people that start getting into Ayurveda and yoga in their mid 50s and later. More people are getting interested in expanding their social networks to include people with healthier states of mind.
  • 30:40- Mixed generational communities are a big factor that we are missing in western culture. When generations aged 0 to 80 are living under the same roof, there is a lot of educational information that can be shared and incredible growth and fulfillment can be found.


Favorite Quotes:

  • “Purpose is never something that is happening alone.” - Cate Stillman
  • “We don’t need more isolation.” - Elise Marie Collins
  • “Isolating against what’s not working is a really powerful strategy to leverage what is working.”- Cate Stillman
  • “We want to look to role models in our community.”  - Cate Stillman


Guest BIO:

A visionary yoga teacher for over twenty years as well as an inspirational content creator, Elise uses the tools of Ayurveda and scientific research to uplift the planet by shifting old paradigms that have kept humans stuck. Guided by her teachings, her students are empowered to embrace their authentic selves as well as their true life’s mission. Elise is committed to helping people all over the world move out of darkness and into light and has touched thousands through her yoga instruction and publications. Elise has authored three books on healthy living. Her latest, Super Ager, inspires readers to optimize their well-being for longevity in the 21st century and beyond. She is currently enrolled in the Master of Gerontology program at University of Southern California. Check out her website and facebook page