This book will completely transform your vision of what aging means!
Introduction by Audacious Aging editor Stephanie Marohn:
What does it mean to age audaciously? Patch Adams MD says the term is redundant, that aging by its very nature is audacious. Asha Clinton says that audacious aging comes from audacious living. Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi says the key is in turning age-ing into sage-ing. Christiane Northrup MD says that audacious aging is the new order of aging. Deepak Chopra MD says that aging in the new way means stepping out of ìthe hypnosis of social conditioning. Nikki Giovanni says, “Audaciousness comes in refusing to be silenced.”
These and the other 32 contributors to this thought-provoking anthology share their personal stories of aging and audaciousness, how their work contributes to their ability to be audacious in life, and their views of aging. You will likely be surprised by what they have to say.
The view of aging is undergoing a radical transformation in the Western world. With rising consciousness and extended life spans, after sixty is no longer the “go gently into the night” stage of life. With decades of quality life left to live, continued engagement is the order of the day. When the “tsunami” of the aging baby boomer population hits, the redefinition of aging that is already under way will be swept forward in that giant wave. Aging will never be the same again.
The contributors to Audacious Aging give us the science of aging (we program our cells to age, says biologist Bruce Lipton, for example), dispel the myths that have until now ruled how we age, and offer us the new paradigm of body, mind, and spirit health throughout life. Alternately personal and global, practical and transportive, the chapters in this anthology are on the forward edge of this amazing revolution: the transformation of elderhood.
As with all revolutions, the aging revolution involves changing the language. The very way we speak of aging is in the process of shifting. Here are some of the new terms that reflect the change in how we view aging: creative aging, sage-ing, spiritual eldering, aging as a path to spiritual awakening, lifelong learning, elder adventure, conscious aging, the third age, the second journey, mitigated aging, new elderhood, and positive elderhood.
As editor of this anthology, I want to share with you that the book has already changed my view of aging, and we haven’t even gone to press. Simply editing the work of the visionary contributors shifted my thinking and perspective. And it brought to light the subtle age-ism I was carrying within me. Opposed to all isms as I am and have long been, I was, however, unaware that I was harboring this one. Through working on the book, I discovered that I was carrying a highly negative view of aging, even though I have great respect for elders and elder wisdom.
Two years ago, when I turned 50, I began to get mail from AARP. I would toss the unopened membership invitations into the recycling as quickly as they arrived. There are so many things wrong with that simple ritual of denial and the beliefs it reflects (Audacious Aging explores such issues), but suffice it to say here that it was not an act of self-love and it undermined who I am, all that I know and have accomplished, and my very future. It revealed a belief in a future of limitation rather than expansion. I saw aging as a shrinking of options and a gradual loss of everything. What a dismal view! I was not alone in this view. It is the societal view of aging under which we currently operate.
How wonderful to discover that it is a delusional view! The contributors to Audacious Aging produced a sea change in me, as I’m sure it will for many who read it. The blinders created by our youth culture have been removed, and I am excited about the future—for me and for all of us. I am excited to be part of the revolution that is bringing elders back to the vital, rightful place of elders in our society, and I look forward to seeing what this transformation will bring about in our world.