Growing An Elder Community with David Goff, Ph.D. and Alexandra Hart

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Community is humanity’s natural social habitat. Now more than ever we suffer from the loss of connection and belonging that community provides. Sitting in circle with a community of elders provides an enormous opportunity to explore, out loud, the process of aging. Many participants express a surprising freedom to truly become themselves as they age. Dr. David Goff and Alexandra Hart discuss their experience of facilitating a local “elder salon” and encourage others to start one in their community. Goff and Hart touch on the differences between growing old and becoming an elder, and offer ways to make the process more meaningful and to empower and help an aging populace discover some positive opportunities that come with age. (hosted by Justine Willis Toms)


Alexandra Hart and David “Lucky” Goff, Ph.D. are the co-hosts of the radio series Growing An Elder Culture. Since 2010, they have been conveners of Transition Sebastopol, Elders Salon in Sebastopol, California. Goff has served as adjunct faculty at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, where he employed large group processes to promote community and personal development. He maintains a psychotherapy practice specializing in psycho-spiritual development. In 2003 David had a brain aneurysm. As a result of his stroke, and the onset of a rare brain syndrome, he nearly died and ended up permanently disabled. This experience had a transformational effect on David, which made him “Lucky,” and led him to see how radically connected all things are. This broader awareness now informs his approach toward what it means to be human.

He is the author of:

Alexandra Jacopetti Hart is an elder in the true sense of the word. She has a national and international reputation as a preeminent fiber artist, tapestry weaver, and designer. Her work in this area is collected and shown by museums. She is co-founder of the clothing pattern company, Folkwear Patterns, and the author of Native Funk & Flash: An Emerging Folk Art (Trafford 2013), which is now in its third printing. It showcases the embroidered, rainbow style of dress that was adopted in the 1960s and continues to influence today’s fashion. Her large scale tapestries hang in many homes and corporate settings. Her macramé playground was a subject of a National Endowment for the Arts funded movie “The Saga of Macramé Park” a film by Ben Van Meter. She has been involved in many community-building activities as facilitator and participant, including women’s groups, mixed gender councils, and a cohousing development.

Hart and Goff are co-authors of:

To learn more about the work of Alexandra Hart and David “Lucky” Goff go to

Topics Explored in This Dialogue

  • What is the difference between elder and elderly
  • How is the elder community changing the cultural landscape
  • What is the greatest gift you can give yourself and others
  • What is Angeles Arrien’s Four Fold Way
  • What happens when elders share ideas together
  • What part do religion and spirituality play in the Elder experience
  • How is aging like a “ripening process”
  • Is teaching as important as exemplifying
  • What effect does the notion of death have on older people
  • What are the hallmarks of aging
  • What contributes to the development of an elder community
  • Should there be an initiation into “elderhood”

Host: Justine Willis Toms      Interview Date: 2/19/2015       Program Number: 3533

Music Playlist

From Album: Wave Hands Like Clouds
Artist: Buedi Seibert
A2004 Real Music #4050

Music Break 1: Track 04 Building Chi
Music Break 2: Track 04 Building Chi (reprise)
Music Break 3: Track 02 Life Breath