by Laura Sillerman

“I found, after several years of research, that everyone — no matter how much money or achievement you’ve attained or not attained — must go through the narrows. You may do it in your late 40s, you may not do it till your 70s, but if you don’t do it voluntarily, the world or your body will force you to. Maybe your hips or knees wear down, or you can’t drink as much and stay out as late without paying. You’re compelled to shift gears, and you won’t come out unchanged.”

Thus author Sara Davidson gets our attention and begins to take us on a journey into ourselves and what the rest of our own lives can mean to us.

One has only to read the Newsweek excerpt by the deeply respected and widely read Davidson to understand that when her book “Leap!: What Will We do With the Rest of Our Lives?” is released next month, we’ll be guided by a landsman. Davidson is someone who has been on top (her book “Loose Change” was a national bestseller in the ’70s and she’s written for top TV shows, among other credits), but she was compelled to know more about why she found herself adrift and what she could do about it.

What Davidson did was look for “contemporaries who were going through some kind of stripping, because I needed to see that people could survive, find a way through.” She interviewed icons like Tom Hayden, Dr. Andrew Weill, Carly Simon and more than 150 others, and learned that conversion and surrender mean different things to different people — but they are inevitable if one is to make the most creative jump into what can be life’s most fertile time.

“In the narrows, you’re in the dark, stripped of what you thought was your identity, and must grapple with questions like: What do you really want to do with the time left? What will make you feel most alive? That your being here has mattered?”

Women’s Voices for Change was created to help us all through the narrows and to harness our collective power to realize and use this time when we are free to be our most alive. Clearly Davidson’s “Leap” is a volume that we can look to for wisdom and guidance and more than a few surprises.

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