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Life Ages Us

Paul Dunion Author Interview

My Days With Emma is beautifully written and addresses a subject that is rarely discussed. Why did you want to write about the process of aging and being mentored into elderhood?

I wanted to write about the process of aging because I was aging, and I knew I was a long way from making peace with it. Writing enabled me to explore where I am with my relationship with aging and what aging may be asking of me. Being mentored into elderhood made a great deal of sense to me. I have been closely mentored since I was 29 and it became apparent to me that Emma was more than capable of offering me the kind of guidance that worked so well in the past.

I appreciated the candid nature with which you shared your views and emotions around aging. What was the hardest thing for you to write about?

I think the most difficult thing for me to write about was unconditional self-love. I had devotionally lived into conditional self-love, committed to getting up each morning prepared to demonstrate that I was good enough. The readiness to prove my worth over and over again was losing its appeal and I wasn’t sure what would take its place. I deeply appreciate James Hollis collaborating with me to unpack what unconditional self-love might look like.

What were some ideas about aging that were important for you to share in this book?

The first idea is that we don’t do the aging, life ages us. Also, that aging isn’t simply about a list of physical and cognitive losses and it’s not too late to be mentored into a more mature experience of aging. Especially important was that accumulating years might suggest that we have a greater capacity to serve and to remain curious about how we might optimize such a service.

What do you hope is one thing readers take away from your book?

My hope is that readers will be able to make some small measure of peace with aging, allowing the losses to open them to the simplicity of being where there’s no need to prove anything. When proving drops away we can experience gratitude for the generous moment, where a deeper sense of presence begins to define who we are.

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It’s simply not true! Your aging does not mandate rounds of golf and martinis, while staying out of the way of progress. Loss does not have to be the most salient aspect of aging. If you allow the years to be instructive, valuable insight can be passed on. As you are not so preoccupied with achieving worldly pursuits, your inner world becomes more accessible. What you have learned and what you can teach become unequivocal.

This text offers a touching and edifying portrayal of the author being mentored into elderhood. He is introduced to elderhood with its appropriate trials and ordeals. The Power of Being becomes a new way to see himself and life, releasing him from the need to prove something.

My Days with Emma – A Soulful Path to Elderhood offers readers a blueprint for being a valued resource while aging. Find out how your maturity can be a worthy way to serve in the winter of your life, yielding a rich legacy.
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