The Blossoming of Women: A Workbook on Growing from Older to Elder
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Product ID : 9780974644905

The Blossoming of Women: A Workbook on Growing from Older to Elder

Price: $25.00


By Karen Roberts & Dana Jaffe
Paperback, 184 Pages
Release Date: 07/01/2023 

Opportunities to discover new purpose in our later years are abundant when we learn to meet challenges as gateways to growth. During a life crisis in her seventies, author Karen Roberts discovered that voices of encouragement were difficult to find among the popular paradigms of aging as decline, withdrawal, and disengagement.

To begin to understand our restlessness—a yearning for deeper awareness and connection in our later years—the Blossoming book opens with a provocative discussion of aging that examines the frameworks of gender, culture, and human development. By reframing a life crisis in one’s later years as a catalyst for insight and transformation, we can approach old age as a time of profound personal and interpersonal growth. Women, in particular, embark on this passage into elderhood with unique life experiences to guide them.

The journey begins once we identify that we have arrived at a pivotal crossroads. The Blossoming of Women invites you to embark on later life explorations with confidence and enjoy the process of self-discovery. Engaging questions follow each chapter to assist you on the path to a rewarding new life stage motivated by personal purpose.

The Blossoming of Women includes interviews with eight women who confronted daunting challenges, yet their perseverance and inner faith led them to pursue incredible late-life passions. Their stories, told with intimacy and grace, will open you to new possibilities. You will be encouraged to follow the lessons for living beyond loss and growing from crisis and transformation to a deeper self.


Karen Marie Roberts received an MS degree in human development after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1990. Her interests moved from alternative healing to gerontology and stages of aging. In graduate school, this became a concentration in creative longevity and phenomenology. Prior to this, Karen was a Director of Research for a French investment firm in New York City. She attended Wellesley College, UC Berkeley, and Fielding Graduate School.

Karen travels extensively and has witnessed firsthand the resiliency of older women in other cultures. They manage vineyards in Chile and sheep farms in New Zealand, regardless of age. They can farm on steep hillsides and smile at the same time. In other countries where the wisdom of elders prevails, she was privileged to experience the respect given to the spirituality of females in elderhood. She observed the rituals of passage from this life to the next, as elders, closer to the spiritual journey beyond, are given assistance with their daily loads.

When not traveling, Karen enjoys the companionship of her dog, Scout, and her horse, Farao, who help to keep her in the flow of nature. She believes nature is our teacher; it can be harsh, bringing sadness when we don’t accept that life is about to change. Then again, when others are in pain and suffer the indignities of physical aging, she can overlook her own pain in the ever-present source of beauty that nature offers. As a photographer, Karen always discovers something fascinating in the smallest of species: an insect with unlikely eyes or a tiny flower with an even smaller inner center.

She also relishes solitude. Times of prayer and gratitude give her grace, and she has had to quiet the urge to stay busy, to impress others with her usefulness, and accept that she cannot do as much. She is able to follow her inner voice by quieting the “should”.

When not walking her dog on the beach or grooming her horse, Karen enjoys life in Santa Ynez, California, with her life partner. She hopes to master her newfound game of Mahjong, which brings her together with others, making life richer and more joyful.

Dana Jaffe attended Bryn Mawr College and earned master’s degrees in urban planning from Harvard and history of art from Columbia. Her friendship with Karen developed into a special creative collaboration that led to the publication of Journeys: Healing Through Nature’s Wisdom and The Blossoming of Women. In both projects, Dana discovered a love for supporting self-expression and the writing process as an editor and co-author. She and her husband live in Santa Barbara, where they share the joys of beach walks, toy trains, and bedtime stories with their young son.


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