Becoming a True Wisdom Elder with Connie Zweig, Ph.D.

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Aging is a collective frontier. As humanity is living longer and longer, aging can feel rudderless without an anchor and often beset with fears of the future and of losing our capacities and our youth. Aging is a physical, emotional, moral, cognitive, and spiritual frontier. As we age the main activities of our lives in which we’ve identified begin to fall away such as losing a spouse, or a job, or we become ill. Zweig suggests that we are faced with such spiritual questions like ‘Who am I?’ and ‘What practices can lead us to become a spiritual elder?’ She poses the question, “What are the practices we need to shift in our internal identity to move from role to soul?” The good news is that with this extended longevity comes a chance to become a true wisdom elder. To accomplish this leap from adulthood to elderhood we're challenged to uncover and explore our unconscious denials and resistances around repairing the past and reclaiming our creativity. This deep dialogue reveals ways to discover and share our talents and wisdom and to become a force for change in ourselves and in the lives of others. Zweig calls attention to important questions that can be revealed from an inner life-review such as: “What is it that only that I can do? What is it only I can give and if I don't will I die with regret?” Here we explore obstacles encountered in the transition to wise elder. (hosted by Justine Willis Toms) 


Connie Zweig is a psychotherapist and has been initiated into Elderhood as a certified Sage-ing leader. She is known as an expert in Shadow Work and uncovering our inner shadow. Although she is retired from clinical practice, she leads online workshops listed on her website which is also populated with many activities, blogs, videos, and audio references. 

Connie Zweig is the author of several books including: 

  • Meeting the Shadow: The Hidden Power of the Dark Side of Human Nature (Tarcher/Perigee 1991 reprint iUniverse 2017)
  • with (Steve Wolf, PhD.) Romancing the Shadow: A Guide to Soul Work for a Vital Authentic Life (Wellspring/Ballantine; Reprint edition 1999)
  • A Moth to the Flame: The Life of the Sufi Poet Rumi (a novel) (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers 2006)
  • The Inner Work of Age: Shifting from Role to Soul. (Park Street Press 2021) 

To learn more about the work of Connie Zweig go to

Topics explored in this dialogue include: 

  • How our lives, as we age, can be cluttered with outward concerns such as retirement, security, food and housing security, health care options, social services, and more
  • Why having a contemplative practice is imperative no matter what our outward concerns may be
  • What is the emotional repair work that leads to spaciousness to aging from the inside out
  • How shadow work can lead us to hearing messages from our higher self or our intuition
  • What are the two levels of reviewing our life
  • What are the gifts and treasures to be found in shadow work
  • How wisdom is defined as a direct experience of our true nature
  • What is the practice of stating the phrase “I am a soul” over and over
  • What is the analogy to the Greek myth of Tiresias who was blinded by Athena
  • How can illness and losing our capacities be used as a spiritual practice
  • How can our mortality be a teacher
  • What are some suggestions as to how we can be a political and environmental activist as we age
  • What are the community circles forming around reading Zweig’s book
  • How the soul is naturally creative and wants to express itself at any age
  • What does the life of Moses teach us about standing on the precipice of the promised land and not being allowed to enter
  • Zweig articulates the questions: What is a finished story? What is a completed life? How do we leave a legacy for the next generations? 

Host: Justine Willis Toms   Interview Date: 2/14/2022   Program Number: 3752

Music Playlist

From Album:  Homage to Kindness
Artist: David Darling
2019 Hearts of Space Records # 2-HOS-11440

Opening Essay: Track 01 The Beauty of All Things
Music Break 1: Track 02 Homage to Kindness
Music Break 2: Track 03 The Great X
Music Break 3: Track 04 First Impressions