Dr. Maria Zayas – https://www.brenau.edu
Dr. Maria Zayas has been a licensed psychologist for almost thirty years. She earned her doctorate in psychology at Columbia University in New York City, and has received advanced training in a number of holistic health modalities over the years. In addition to being a practicing psychologist, Dr. Zayas is a faculty member of the Psychology Department at Brenau University in Gainesville, Georgia, where she teaches in the undergraduate and graduate psychology programs and conducts research to enhance scientific knowledge and practical application in the areas of integrative health and well-being. She is also a certified yoga teacher and a HeartMath trainer, mentor, and clinical practitioner. Her clinical practice focuses on supporting people as they move through life transitions by helping them understand and update personal patterns to empower a new level of awareness, choice and authentic self-expression.
As the number of individuals who live long and productive lives increases, it becomes critical to navigate the elder years with conscious intention, both for personal well-being and satisfaction, as well as for the sake of bringing the collective wisdom of the that generation into a world that sorely needs support from wise elders. Following in the tradition of indigenous cultures, who revere and employ the gifts of their elders, the positive aging movement has focused on moving through social and psychological processes of self-discovery and transformation to clear habitual patterns of thought and action that sabotage our full creative expression in the world, whether mental, emotional, physical or spiritual. Consciously exploring those patterns and the countless issues we have faced over a lifetime releases a wealth of energy that can then be used for living in joy and productive expression, making it possible to release obstacles to self-realization and move into a new creative space. Nowhere is that more important than in our role as caregiver, an opportunity which provides us with a vehicle for reviewing our lives and significant relationships from a standpoint of care and compassion. By engaging in the possibilities of this rite of passage, we can transform an experience of surviving into an experience of thriving.