Whatever your age, my advice is to grab your own copy of Karen Sands’ THE AGELESS WAY & read it. Read it all the way through, making notations in the brilliantly generous margins. Read through a 2nd time, doing the exercises at the end of each chapter. Then let it steep & work its magic.
Okay, I’ve only gotten through Step One – just finished it the other day, in itself a special experience, since the tag end is an afterword by H.R. “Rick” Moody, the guiding light of the Positive Aging movement. The words I’d struggled to find to describe Karen’s book were right there, in his last sentence – “What Karen Sands has done by interweaving Herstory & history with mythology & modern-day story, trend-spotting, resources, and each chapter’s clarifying questions… is to shine a light on what we need so profoundly to understand & see.”
Amen, brother! And reading Rick’s words, my own much broader description hit me – THE AGELESS WAY is 1/3 manifesto;, 1/3 Karen storytelling through moments & myth, the ins & outs & ’round abouts of aging upward; 1/3 provides the ways & means to become more grounded in our now, whatever age that might be, and live forward fully. Turns out the book is about one of my own favorite taglines ~ full-throttle living, at every age.
Writing this review puts me in mind of my mother. Mom was a gifted writer, but if the topic was especially close to her heart, she invariably found herself stumped at finding words to match her thoughts, feelings – she could write about the days leading up to my wedding, but never the actual day. Too close. That’s how I feel about THE AGELESS WAY ~ its effect goes so deep, so real, it’s hard to capture the words to describe my experience.
Will do the best I can, which is to share a few impressions that hit me as I read through:
This is an important book to read as a young adult because it puts clarity around aging upward. Young people with the privilege of choosing a career path do so based on – let’s be honest – scant knowledge about themselves, their area of interest, of what life holds in store. Their pick is based on hopeful guessing. They are 100% future focused.
A 21-year old can look at his 43-year old mother & think, “Without an endless horizon of to-be-discovered, what’s left for Mom?” To youth, it’s all about tomorrow. But by the time we hit 40, it’s beginning to dawn on the savvy among us that new, enriching layers have built up within us, the fertile silt of years that rushed by, leaving traces behind to nurture our growth. Knowledge perception insights that aren’t future directed, but here & now rooted. What is THIS moment holding? What am I doing NOW? That is an awareness & perception that isn’t possible any earlier.
A young person reaches for a career that reflects his or her interests and goals. As we grow older, we gain experience, learn life lessons, discover the difference between likes & passion, realize that what we can do might not be what we want to. The six-figure business woman might realize the she’s reached her corner office goal, but the return on her sacrifice is not what she expected. Does she stay put or follow her heart?
Let’s look at that exec. It could be that she is dissatisfied with what she’s achieved, feels that it doesn’t provide the rewards she expected or that they come at too high a price. OR it could be that she’s achieved the goal she she set out for herself years before. She’s achieved it & learned all that made that accomplishment possible. Maybe it’s not that she is dissatisfied with her achievement, but that she is ready for a new goal, rooted in the person she became in order to reach the earlier one.
I came away from my first reading of THE AGELESS WAY with a new-found appreciation of how we evolve through the work we do pursuing a semblance of our original goals ~AND~ that in so doing we come to develop skill sets to take us – if we dare – in new directions.
Thinking about the publication date of THE AGELESS WAY – last year – gives me goosebumps. For sixteen years, we have been hit with one emotional & economic disruption after another.
Twenty years ago, losing a job was a badge of shame to most Americans – now, it is practically a rite of passage. There aren’t many jobs out there that provide the work satisfaction & generous income that had been our norm for most of our careers, but there is plenty of opportunity for people to go in new directions, to take risks & pursue dreams.
While I can only speak for myself – and this is before I’ve tackled any of the exercises she includes – this much is already clear to me ~ ~ reading THE AGELESS WAY has helped me see what is possible. Not just because of what Karen shares, but because of her unique way of presenting core information.
Every part of THE AGELESS WAY supports an easy delivery of its message – that we are born to be Ageless. Easy-to-read print with generous margins & lots of empty pages for jotting down notes comments insights. The integration of manifesto & background & workbook. The progression of chapters. The use of quotes & sidebars showcasing bits & pieces. Opening with foreword by 40-something Sandra Yancey -and- ending with an afterword by 70+ Rick Moody, both mega thought influencers in their fields.
Most of all, am blown away by how Karen delivers her message ~ through a full mental massage. Going back to Rick Moody’s description, Karen interweaves “Herstory & history with mythology & modern-day story, trend-spotting, resources, and each chapter’s clarifying questions… ” Each of those touches a different area of the brain, sparks different synapses to light up & illuminate once dark corners of understanding. Through the information she presents & the way she presents it, Karen leaves us literally lit up from within. Astonishing.
Like Mom writing about my wedding day, it is almost impossible to describe all that is in my mind & heart about reading THE AGELESS WAY. The bottom line is that it is a remarkably wise insightful empowering book by a woman I described in my Amazon review as eerily Forrest Gump-like, on the forefront of so many moments issues movements wrapped around facing down & ridding ourselves of self-destructive ageism.
This is just the beginning of my Ageless adventure. Now, it’s time to roll up my sleeves, get myself a new journal & work my way through the exercises at each chapter’s end. Look forward to hearing about my adventures!
Until then, get cracking & get yourself a copy of THE AGELESS WAY! Pick up a copy to share with a friend. Get a circle of your friends together to experience it together. And share your comments HERE.
Karen wants her book to start a grand discussion – let’s make it so!