Monthly Archives: August 2009

Recommended Reading: The Third Chapter

The Third Chapter

I just finished reading The Third Chapter: Passion, Risk, and Adventure in the 25 years After 50 by Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot (sociologist and Harvard professor).

The subtitle really says it all. In the book, she writes about using the years after 50 for learning in 3 domains: body, voice, and soul – “the kind of learning you can only do in your full maturity.” I think it will resonate with many of my yoga colleagues and students.

We’ve exchanged a lot of stories about what we want to do next – how we want our lives to change – and the changes we’ve already made.

“…seeking new ways of learning and living that cut against the grain of traditional definitions of achievement, success and mastery that are typically reinforced in our society.”

She also writes about “3 assumptive positions”

  1. educative necessity = help people see “how they got to be who they are”
  2. everything is incremental
  3. be “immensely creative” in launching and sustaining any project

The 2nd seems useful to remember in our yoga teaching – both for ourselves and for our students. And the 3rd describes the stories so many of us have shared about how we are reinventing our lives.

There are a lot of stories in the book – based on interviews with people making those profound changes in their lives. My one quibble with the book is that I’m not sure how applicable it is to the population in general. You have to have a fair amount of financial security to do this.

Link to Amazon: The Third Chapter: Passion, Risk, and Adventure in the 25 years After 50