From Role to Soul – Connie Zweig
Achieving the financial security to retire is a big milestone. But you’re not done. There’s inner work to be done to move into this next phase of life. Retired psychotherapist and bestselling author Connie Zweig joins our retirement podcast to discuss her new book The Inner Work of Age: Shifting from Role to Soul – and her insights on how reflection and contemplation can be valuable practices in your transition.
- How retirement can be a catalyst for an inner journey to reimagine life
- What the words retire and yoga have in common
- The obstacles often encountered on this inner journey – and what Shadow Work is
- How an Identity Crisis following retirement is different from a Mid-life Crisis
- Why letting go is important – and challenging
- Her own journey in retiring as a therapist – and what it’s taught her
- What she’s learned from grandparenting
- What an Elder is – and how one becomes one
- How people can come to view retirement as a spiritual journey
- The main message of her new book The Inner Work of Age: Shifting from Role to Soul
Connie joins us from California.
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Connie Zweig, Ph.D., is a retired therapist, co-author of Meeting the Shadow and Romancing the Shadow, author of Meeting the Shadow of Spirituality and a novel, A Moth to the Flame: The Life of Sufi Poet Rumi. Her new book, The Inner Work of Age: Shifting from Role to Soul, extends shadow-work into late life and teaches aging as a spiritual practice. Connie has been doing contemplative practices for 50 years. She is a wife and grandmother and was initiated as an Elder by Sage-ing International in 2017. After investing in all these roles, she is practicing the shift from role to soul.
On Letting Go
“My framework in the book is that the shift from senior to Elder in late life is a rite of passage. And we don’t have rites of passage for elders in our culture, right? It just doesn’t exist. So there are three stages of every rite of passage – and the first stage is letting go. And that might mean letting go of outworn roles or attitudes, letting go of outworn beliefs, or self-images or relationships that don’t work – or jobs, or finances, or goals of some kind. And so letting go at every stage of life is hard because as humans, we bond, and we get attached. And with our egos to try to control everything. But to become an Elder, we actually need to let go of the Ego’s agenda and step into a different speed limit, a different pace of life, a different sense of flow. I call it from Obligation to Flow – and we need to let go of the past. A lot of people are clinging to the past, feel regret about the past, and need to give and receive forgiveness about the past. So there’s a chapter about how to do the emotional work to help us let go of the past so that we can live fully in the present because many people don’t know how to do that. They don’t really know how to be here and enjoy it fully.”
On Becoming an Elder
“I think this is very individual, but what I explore in the book is that everyone becomes a senior with a Medicare birthday, but becoming an elder is not an age. It’s a stage. It requires intention and what I call inner work so that there’s a certain level of self-knowledge and awareness and ways of relating and a desire to give to the common good. Some people are Activists Elders, and some are Creative Elders and some are Spiritual Elders. So we can transmit the knowledge of our lives in many different ways, but there is this impulse of generosity to give back.”
On a Life Review
“There are lots of tools in the book. The last person I spoke with before you today said, she’s having to really chew it and digest it. It’s not a quick read. It calls you to stop and contemplate your life. So you learn how to do a life review. You learn how to do emotional repair. You learn how to do spiritual unfinished business, and you contemplate life completion. What is a complete life, a fulfilled life for you? And what can you do about that now? What steps do you need to take to actually move toward that now? So, I know that the book is really rich. I’m getting a lot of feedback, and it’s an invitation to the reader to use this time.”
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The views and opinions expressed by guests on The Retirement Wisdom Podcast are those of the guests and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of the host or Retirement Wisdom, LLC. The Retirement Wisdom Podcast covers the non-financial aspects of retirement planning. From time to time we invite guests who discuss other aspects of retirement planning, solely for educational purposes. Listeners are advised to consult qualified financial, medical and/or mental health professionals on those matters.