Monday, August 5, 2013

Sharon Snir inspired by Juliet Batten's Spirited Ageing

 Little Book of Miracles' author Sharon Snir is, like Juliet Batten, both a writer and a psychotherapist - as well as being a wise and wonderful woman. We thought she would be the perfect reader/reviewer for Juliet's beautiful new book, Spirited Ageing. And so she is! Details of how to find the book follow Sharon's review.

Juliet Batten, wise author of Spirited Ageing
Spirited Ageing: Cultivating the Art of Renewal could not have arrived on my desk at a better time. My husband and I had just began the process of letting go of twenty-three years of "stuff" that we had accumulated in our family home through raising our five children. It was time to sell - but how do we do it?
         There were tears as I leafed through old letters and cards. We have over 200 albums of photos. What do we do with them?
          In the middle of all that, Juliet Batten’s wise and wonderful book arrived and I confess that instead of starting at the beginning I hungrily opened to the Contents, discovered "Part Two, Chapter Three: Possessions", and began voraciously to read every single word.
         Juliet took me by the hand and step by step helped me to disentangle my own identity from my possessions. “Identity becomes embedded in objects,” she writes. After years of living in the same home, collecting "treasures" from numerous trips and storing loved one's' gifts, it is so tempting to look around and say moving is all too hard. Where would I put all my things?

         Spirited Ageing is imbued with ideas that give one the courage and commitment to shed the past and open up to a present that is fresh and brimming full of potential. The process of releasing our attachment to things, according to Juliet, is “akin to spiritual practice".
        Spirited Aging arrived just as I am about to bid farewell to my fifties. “Preparing for ageing is as important as childbirth,” says Juliet, “yet most people enter into it without a clear intention."
         In many ways this book found me rather than me finding it - and rather than being amazed at its perfect timing I simply feel a warm sense of gratitude. Perhaps that’s part of ageing too? Spirited Ageing also arrived on the eve of the birth of my first grandchild.  I still have to re-read those words to believe I am truly a grandmother. But in "Chapter Four: Identity",  Juliet explores the freedom we can feel as we age, the struggles experienced in retirement, the cost of holding on and the gains of letting go.
         Although this is an easy book to read, that in no way does that diminish its great wisdom, understanding and insight. Embedded in almost every chapter are valuable and well-crafted exercises. I know. I did them. From practising a beautiful yoga pose called tadasana, to mindfulness, charting your passions and offering times to pause and reflect, Spirited Ageing brings a deeper understanding and appreciation of ourselves.
Sharon Snir, our reviewer
      The book is divided into four parts each containing three chapters. It is full of warm anecdotes, delightful stories, and delicious memorable quotes. We are adeptly guided to see ageing from a genuinely loving and spiritual perspective. We are expertly lead towards ageing as an act of spiritual growth. We are even skilfully steered towards exploring three well-known fears: dementia, pain and isolation. Having a mother with Alzheimer’s Disease for twenty years, I found every word Juliet Batten wrote on this topic steeped in compassion, kindness and, once again, wisdom. We are lovingly supported in ways we can relate to our aged parents, friends and, of course, to ourselves through soul awareness.
      I am very grateful to have read this book. It is one of those few possessions that will come with me wherever I choose to live. Indeed, I might just buy a couple more because it will make a wonderful gift for a friend or two!

You can purchase Spirited Ageing via this exclusive LINK. (The cost is about A$30, plus postage.) It should also be available via Amazon or Book Depository (links upper right). You can find out more about Juliet Batten via her own website LINK.  You can also visit the website of Sharon Snir, where you will find details of her books, meditations etc, and other supportive material - whatever your age or stage!    
You are also very welcome to join our book club conversation. Use the comments box (very easy to use "Anonymous" if you don't have a google email account. When using captcha - to avoid spammers - note there are always two "words" with a space between).  
We would love to hear from you.

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