The Inner Work of Age: Shifting from Role to Soul (Paperback)
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A guide to working through the inner obstacles of late life and embracing the spiritual gifts of aging
• 2022 Coalition of Visionary Resources Gold Award
• 2022 Nautilus Gold Award
• Award Winner in the Health: Aging/50+ category of the 2021 Best Book Awards sponsored by American Book Fest
• Award Winner in Non-Fiction: Aging and Gerontology category of the 2021 Best Indie Book Award
• Offers shadow-work and many diverse spiritual practices to help you break through denial to awareness, move from self-rejection to self-acceptance, repair the past to be fully present, and allow mortality to be a teacher
• Reveals how to use inner work to uncover and explore the unconscious denial and resistance that erupts around key thresholds of later life
• Includes personal interviews with prominent Elders, including Ken Wilber, Krishna Das, Fr. Thomas Keating, Anna Douglas, James Hollis, Rabbi Rami Shapiro, Ashton Applewhite, Roshi Wendy Nakao, Roger Walsh, and Stanislav Grof
With extended longevity comes the opportunity for extended personal growth and spiritual development. You now have the chance to become an Elder, to leave behind past roles, shift from work in the outer world to inner work with the soul, and become authentically who you are. This book is a guide to help get past the inner obstacles and embrace the hidden spiritual gifts of age.
Offering a radical reimagining of age for all generations, psychotherapist and bestselling author Connie Zweig reveals how to use inner work to uncover and explore the unconscious denial and resistance that erupts around key thresholds of later life, attune to your soul’s longing, and emerge renewed as an Elder filled with vitality and purpose. She explores the obstacles encountered in the transition to wise Elder and offers psychological shadow-work and diverse spiritual practices to help you break through denial to awareness, move from self-rejection to self-acceptance, repair the past to be fully present, reclaim your creativity, and allow mortality to be a teacher. Sharing contemplative practices for selfreflection, she also reveals how to discover ways to share your talents and wisdom to become a force for change in the lives of others.
Woven throughout with wisdom from prominent Elders, including Ken Wilber, Krishna Das, Father Thomas Keating, Anna Douglas, James Hollis, Rabbi Rami Shapiro, Ashton Applewhite, Roshi Wendy Egyoku Nakao, Roger Walsh, and Stanislav Grof, this book offers tools and guidance to help you let go of past roles, expand your identity, deepen self-knowledge, and move through these life passages to a new stage of awareness, choosing to be fully real, transparent, and free to embrace a fulfilling late life.
About the Author
Connie Zweig, Ph.D., is a retired psychotherapist, former executive editor at Jeremy P. Tarcher Publishing, former columnist for Esquire magazine, and contributor to the LA Times. Known as the Shadow Expert, she is the coauthor of Meeting the Shadow and Romancing the Shadow and author of Meeting the Shadow of Spirituality and a novel, A Moth to the Flame: The Life of the Sufi Poet Rumi. She lives in California.
Harry R. Moody, Ph.D. is the former VP and Director of Academic Affairs for AARP.
“As Connie Zweig points out in her deep and comprehensive book, it isn’t easy to age well when a human life is seen as a problem to be solved. In this time of rapid change, we need more of an inner experience. This valuable book will help you sort out what is important in life from what is a distraction. Getting old is a challenge, but it can be a joy.”
— Thomas Moore, New York Times bestselling author of Care of the Soul
“The Inner Work of Age is an inspiring roadmap to uncover our motivations for what we do with our precious long lives. Even after many years of teaching positive aging and activism, this book has me questioning and exploring my inner self to consider my future choices.”
— Lynne Iser, president of Elders Action Network
“We need stories of possibility. This is a rare book distilled from Connie’s deep and broad experience studying the leap from adulthood to elderhood. When I read it, I knew I was in the presence of a wise guide.”
— Richard Leider, author of The Power of Purpose
“Connie Zweig expands on my invitation to ‘refirement.’ The Inner Work of Age offers us a veritable resource book on healthy aging and refiring of the soul that honors the rite of passage that eldership is and that our society neglects to its peril. I highly recommended her diligent and insightful contributions!”
— Matthew Fox, author of The Hidden Spirituality of Men and Julian of Norwich
“This is a profound book. Take your time with it. You will find a broad range of ideas, interviews, and spiritual practices pointing to the inner work that we need to undertake for ourselves, our families, our communities, and our planet. Choose from among the vast array of insights and practices that Connie makes available to you and get to work.”
— Thomas R. Cole, Ph.D., author of The Journey of Life and Old Man Country
"Instead of simply slipping into old age without an appreciation for the process, Zweig encourages her readers to mine their lives for all the gold and silver that’s there. This is a book to take your time with, to savor the feelings and memories evoked and to dive into the wisdom you’re bound to find within yourself. You’ll learn not to just grow old, but to let yourself become an elder filled with vitality and purpose." Krysta
— Krysta Gibson, New Spirit Journal
"Dr. Zweig reminds the reader that 'as each of us chooses not to merely grow old but to grow whole, to intentionally step across the threshold to become and Elder, we discover that aging can be a spiritual path.” There is a lot of 'stuff' that comes up as one ages and reaches certain milestones that are too often associated with redundancy, where one feels relegated to the corner of the room, no longer viable, when one’s 'doing' slows down and as such, one might be termed a liability to society and instead of an honored and revered member. This inner work, this move to self-awareness will greatly benefit the reader in particular - and one’s community as well. Do the inner work necessary to transition to the role of elder–you’ve earned that crown. Wear it with pride."
— Anne Greco, Musing Mystical