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The Aging of Aquarius (PDF)
Igniting Passion and Purpose as an Elder
Your career has wound down, the kids have moved, and your schedule is clear...for the next 30 years.
In your youth, you cared about people and planet earth, and you had grand visions of changing the world. At some point, those passions and that sense of purpose got buried under diapers and the 9-5. Still, that old you remains alive. Now, with the rest of your life ahead, you can be the change and make this next stage of your life the most powerful yet.
But where to start?
Helen Wilkes, a retired professor and activist, takes readers on an inspiring journey to find renewed purpose in retirement. Along the way she helps readers navigate the transition to a post-work identity by fanning the embers of lost passions and developing new interests.
Whether you are drawn to gardening clubs, to social justice issues, political campaigning, ethical investing, or creativity through the arts, The Aging of Aquarius offers inspiration, practical steps, and extra resources to help reignite your passion, your sense of purpose, and to effect real change in the world as an empowered elder.
Helen Wilkes, Ph.D. is an energized octogenarian who survived a lifetime of hardships ranging from fleeing Nazi Germany as a child to navigating personal and professional obstacles as an adult. She persevered and created a richly rewarding life. Retirement has been the icing on her cake, bringing inner transformation and freedom. Helen is author of the award-winning book Letters from the Lost. She lives in Vancouver, Canada.
"If you want to make your retirement or "elderhood" the best part of your life, read this book. Interspersing her own amazing story, octogenarian Helen Wilkes points the way to purpose, passion, and pleasure in later years. Wilkes has woven psychology, philosophy, and poetry into a page-turner you will not want to put down. I read it in one sitting."
Dr.Roslyn Kunin, C.M., O.B.C., Roslyn Kunin and Associates, Inc.
"In this inspiring work Helen Wilkes wastes no time raging against the dying of the light, showing instead that the light of mind and soul can shine ever more brightly even as our bodies grow old. The Aging of Aquarius is both an intimate personal account and a call to enlivenment and action for an entire generation."
Gabor Maté M.D., author, When The Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress
"Whether you are contemplating retirement or well-established in the business of living your senior years, this literary adventure will nudge you to laugh at yourself, challenge yourself, and discover both encouragement and inspiration."
Sally Thorne, RN, PhD, FAAN, FCAHS, Professor, School of Nursing andAssociate Dean, Faculty of Applied Science, University of British Columbia
"Wilkes' book stands out among a plethora of books onthis topic. It is beautifully written and avoids the usual clichés and sentimental guff about the wonders of — to use that dreadful phrase — the "Golden Years". It is not only a guide to living a good and purposeful life for elders, but for people of any age."
Roberta Rich, author, The Midwife of Venice, The Harem Midwife, and A Trial in Venice
Reading The Aging of Aquarius touched me deeply, speaking to both mind and heart. Helen Wilkes brings core concepts alive with deeply moving stories and examples from the life of a woman who clearly understands and embodies the challenges and life-enhancing opportunities of growing into the fullness of true elderhood. In reading her beautiful book, I felt like I was personally engaging with a shining model of the kind of elder I aspire to grow into."
Ron Pevny, Director, Center for Conscious Eldering (www.centerforconsciouseldering.com) and author, of Conscious Living, Conscious Aging
"Beautifully written and rich in information, this book is a must-read, especially for Elders who have the richness of decades of experience and new found freedom to explore their lives with hope, curiosity, and positive thinking, leading to "Igniting Passion and Purpose as an Elder". A most important book for the ages."
Ruth Neubauer, LCSW, Founder and Facilitator, The Wisdom of Elderhood (elderhoodwisdom.org)
"Don't wait until retirement to read this! Today is the day to walk the path of life-review with author Helen Wilkes. Let her simple prose draw you in. Through her personal stories, you'll learn the psychology, philosophy, and spirituality you need to confront your worries and find your purpose."
Rabbi Dr. Laura Duhan-Kaplan, Director of Inter-Religious Studies, Vancouver School of Theology
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