Book Description

The Blossoming of Women
A Workbook on Growing from Older to Elder

By Karen Roberts with Dana Jaffe

book cover

Opportunities to discover a new purpose in our later years are abundant when we learn to meet challenges as gateways to growth. During a life crisis in her seventies, author Karen Roberts discovered voices of encouragement were difficult to find among the popular paradigms of aging as decline, withdrawal, and disengagement. But becoming older can encompass much more when we redefine our sense of self as something larger than before and put on the cloak of elderhood.

The Blossoming of Women invites you to embark on life explorations with confidence and enjoy the process of self-discovery, learning to release judgments of others and yourself and following the inspirations that are revealed. Engaging questions follow each chapter to assist you on the path to a rewarding new life stage motivated by personal purpose. “Being” may ultimately replace “doing” for women of wisdom who inspire others simply by example, with joy in their eyes.

To begin to understand what some describe as a restlessness—a yearning for deeper awareness and connection in our later years—the book opens with a provocative discussion of aging that examines the frameworks of gender, culture, and human development. Longstanding theories are reviewed to consider how we define the life course and the assumptions we confront as we age. By reframing a life crisis in one’s later years as a catalyst for insight and transformation, we can approach old age as a time of profound personal and interpersonal growth. Women, in particular, embark on this passage into elderhood with unique life experiences to guide them.

The process of turning toward the often-difficult emotions and sense of overwhelm that define identity changes can be demoralizing. The journey begins once we identify that we have arrived at a pivotal crossroads. To support this process, practices for transformation from the philosophical to the spiritual are explored, with guidance from the ancient mystics, Ram Dass, Carl Jung, Father Thomas Keating, and Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, along with the author’s own thoughtful reflections.

The Blossoming of Women also includes interviews with eight women who each confronted daunting challenges, at times falling into despair. Yet their perseverance and inner faith led them to pursue incredible late-life passions. Their stories, told with intimacy and grace, will open you to new possibilities. You will be encouraged to follow the lessons for living beyond loss and growing from crisis and transformation to a deeper self.