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To your health: ‘Joyful Living’

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  • “Joyful Living,” facing the challenges of aging and coming through with joy, will be presented by To Your Health of Western Mountains Senior College on Thursday, April 9, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., at the Bethel Congregational Church, 32 Church Street, Bethel. Living joyfully, music and laughter, and movement and dancing were all rated very high on evaluations done at last year’s programs and the speakers for “Joyful Living” will address all these topics.

    Speakers include Ellen Crocker, retired psychotherapist, Jewel Clark, professional musician, and Karen Swanson, yoga teacher. They will offer reflections on aging and how music and body movement can help us rise to the challenges.

    Crocker held a private practice in psychotherapy for many years. She was also the counseling service for a college and did training for a Boston corporation. For the last 12 years before she retired, Crocker worked for Swift River Health Care in Rumford. She said, “People need to look inside at what’s blocking their happiness, be conscious and resolve it in the best way they can. Then they need to look at what enhances happiness and what they can do to take charge of the “color of their old age lives.”

    Clark was born and raised experiencing the “joy” music can bring both as a listener or creator. Her mother performed as “Blue Eyed Celia,” and her father was internationally known as “Yodeling Slim.” Clark has continued the family tradition throughout her life, writing songs, performing music of various genres, and giving special attention to the art of “Yodeling,” which she describes as “laughter to music.” Clark will entertain with some singing including a song written by her mother entitled, “Yodel Your Troubles Away.” She will also teach some basics of yodeling, encouraging the audience to “laugh until your heart overflows.”

    Swanson has been a yoga teacher for 18 years. She said, “Ever since I can remember, I’ve found movement the quickest way to ‘reset’ my energy or mood. My current love is ballroom dancing, along with cross country skiing in the beautiful snow we’ve had this winter.” In her presentation, she will explore waking “our whole selves UP,” through a variety of movement exercises and play (with plenty of room to go at one’s own pace), inspired by the sounds of the big band era, swing, jazz, and a little rock and roll. She added, “I look forward to dancing with you, whether you dance in your chair, on your feet, or with a little help from a friend.”

    To Your Health is sponsored as a community service by Western Mountains Senior College with the collaboration of Bethel Family Health Center and MSAD 44 /Continuing Education. To Your Health will hold two special programs in the spring: “End of Life Care: Having the Conversation” on Thursday, April 30, and “Aging in Place,” on Thursday, May 21. Both programs will be held at the Bethel Congregational Church from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

    The public is invited and admission is free. For more information, contact Rosabelle Tifft at 824-2053.

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