While reading the book my Sage Sister Group chose to guide our discussion, I realized I had done what the author recommends when I wrote my memoir, A Long Awakening to Grace.
After reading my memoir, my Sage Sisters proclaimed almost in unison, “Linda, this is what you’ve done.”
Sue, Cindi, Jasmine, & Cathy
From Aging to Saging: A Revolutionary Approach to Growing Older is full of insight about the process of consciously and deliberately becoming a sage – growing in wisdom versus merely growing old.
- So, what does Rabbi Schachter-Shalomi recommend and
- What did I do:
- Keep growing consciously and deliberately, becoming sages capable of guiding others with your hard-earned wisdom.
- Growing is what has always given my life meaning and purpose. Throughout my life I have sought wisdom teachers and opportunities to grow.
- Do a “Life Review.” Assemble the puzzle pieces of your life so that larger patterns that connect emerge, converting our rich experience into wisdom. This is vital to the on-going transformative process of growing wise.
- My life review involved writing a memoir. When the larger connecting patterns emerged, my perspective transformed from seeing myself as a victim to seeing myself as a heroine.
- Do the inner work of synthesizing wisdom from your long life of experience until the meaning of your life becomes clear. Become a sage … process and grow beyond fear, despair, confusion, and resentment to become healthier and more radiant.
- Writing a memoir requires a great deal of inner reflection in order to understand and portray honestly the motivations underlying your own and others actions. I began reflecting even before writing, but once I began writing, it took eight more years to process and grow beyond my pain and for my life to make sense.
- Heal your relationships.
- I put to rest resentments I held about hurt experienced in my relationships. My heart opened to deeper expressions of love for my daughter, my only living family member, transforming our relationship. I feel lighter and, on my better days, my friends experience me as radiant.
- Harvest from within a quiet appreciation for the way your so-called mistakes, failures, stumbles, and ill-conceived actions unwittingly led to unexpected successes & to wisdom beyond any price tag. Take delight in your inner riches. Find a sense of “enoughness” from within.
- During a solitary retreat in search of my life’s universal message, the hard-earned wisdom gained from my life was revealed to me. I emerged from that weekend as a sage. The shame I carried about the mis-matched choices I made early in my life and the pain that resulted dissolved in the light of the hard-earned wisdom I gained that could be useful to others. I may always struggle with a sense of “enoughness,” but being aware of this tendency helps me find my way beyond it. I think it is important for all of us to give ourselves grace during this process of transformation.
There are many ways to do the inner work of a Life Review. I chose writing a memoir because writing works for me. Engaging your creativity to reflect upon your life in a way that works for you is what is important.
Some of the ways that work for others include
- photo albums
- journaling or keeping a prayer journal
- mind-body connection
If you are young, you can begin now to record your life. I started journaling when I was very young and that proved quite useful in doing my life review through memoir.
One of the perks of aging is having time to reflect. You have the luxury of devoting intervals during your days for introspection and wisdom gathering. I encourage you to take the plunge. I think you will find it eminently rewarding.
Please share your thoughts on how you might engage your creativity in doing a “Life Review.”