Because we learn from each other, and from our mutual search to know who we are, Lou Dunn Diekemper talked to and surveyed hundreds of women to learn the secrets of aging wisely while dealing with daily finances, relationships, and health.
Women Who Take Care recognizes that growing older is another special time of life to be honored and enjoyed to the fullest, and offers hope, suggestions, and practical empowerment to women of every age.
"Lou Diekemper walks the top. She personifies wisdom, grace, and power. For those who wish a blueprint to accomplish optimal expression of aging wisely, they will find it in Women Who Take Care." C. Norman Shealy, M.D., Ph.D., Shealy Institute for Comprehensive Health Care
"I have known Lou Diekemper for over fifteen years as a gifted healer, a spiritual explorer, a wife and mother, a businesswoman, and a stalwart supporter of worthy causes. She is the embodiment of what she writes. Her work is authentic and highly recommended as a guiding light for those of us who are entering the autumn and winter of our lives." Jeffrey Mishlove, president, Intuition Network; host, Thinking Allowed, national public television series
Table of Contents
1 Are Elder Women Willing to See Themselves as Positive Embodiments of the Crone?
2 Aspects of the Crone Wisdom Through the Ages
3 A Matriarchal Lineage of Wise-Woman Crone
4 Past, Present, and Future of Elder Women
5 Lifestyles and Changing Roles of Elder Women
6 Personal Revelations
7 Defining the Questionnaire
8 Life Progression Is Seeing and Loving the Wrinkles
9 Three Destructive Words and Two Empowering Words: "At Your Age" and "Why Not?"
10 Creativity: A Magical Elixir
11 Dancing with Life
Appendix A: Questionnaire and Statistical Results
Appendix B: Questionnaire Results and Analysis: The Importance of Self-Esteem for Older Women
Celebrate yourself. If we are ever to do something for ourselves, we need to do it now! I think we agree that we value time and its passage more than ever as our years have taught us this truth. Explore and learn what you enjoy, and then give yourself a personal gift. I have learned how much I enjoy massages, bubble baths, candlelight, incense fragrances, sharing life experiences with those who are special to me, receiving the gifts of nature in the beauty of sunrises and sunsets, and learning to release areas of rigidity that I see as limiting. Perhaps you celebrate yourself by shopping, by being creative in the kitchen, or in following other ways in which you express creativity in your life.
Choose areas of service. Churches, service organizations, hospitals, charities, and community organizations always need YOU! Find where you can offer your best efforts and volunteer. By now we have learned that the greatest joy in life is service. Your life can be overflowing, not only with worthwhile service opportunities, but with the personal reward of knowing that you are helping to contribute to the well-being of others. What a wonderful way to make new friends, too! I don't know of any organization that does not need more volunteers. Giving back to our communities helps us balance the scales through giving to others as well as to ourselves....
Enroll in learning experiences for credit or personal achievement. There are often local learning opportunities available through colleges and universities, in continuing education as well as in vocational training. A wide range of courses is available for credit as well as non-credit. Some churches also offer courses of varied topics that may be of interest. AARP and various lifelong learning organizations offer regional as well as foreign learning opportunities. External programs as well as correspondence courses also offer possibilities, along with accreditation programs available for any area of interest. As a lifelong student, I find all such opportunities as challenges worth exploring....
Collect friends and relationships as the treasures they are. Our friendships and relationships are special gifts that require nurturing care. We know it is as important to honor long-standing relationships as it is to seek new friendships. Our relationships develop in strength as we give and receive what is needed for their growth and maintenance. Our inner awareness helps attune each of us to what we need. Everyone we meet has something of value to share, and skill can be developed in finding the value each offers.
Blue Dolphin Publishing, 1997
Also by Lou Dunn Diekemper, Ph.D.: