Dr Gladys McGarey: a 102-year-old shares their life lessons

A few months ago I read an article that took my breath away. The author was 102 years old and in it she wrote candidly about losing her partner in life and work after 46 years. Not because he passed away, but because he handed her divorce papers!

That would have floored most of us, but despite being sideswiped, Dr Gladys McGarey, picked herself up, started a new medical practice with her daughter before becoming a speaker, author and all-round inspiration. All this at the age of 70.

Since then Dr Gladys, who is known as the mother of holistic medicine, has received countless awards including the Humanities Award for Outstanding Service to Mankind. 

At 85 she travelled to Afghanistan to teach rural women safer birthing practices. At her 90th birthday party she jumped out of her birthday cake. At 102 she became the proud owner of an adult tricycle.

Who is this woman? And how does she do it? I HAD to know.

Now on the cusp of 103, Dr Gladys joined me from her home in Arizona to tell me her secrets to health and happiness. We discussed ageing into health, femifesting (as opposed to manifesting), how divorce was the remaking of her, finding her voice at 93 and why we should all spend our energy wildly!

I know this isn’t the first time I’ve said I found my old bird role model, but seriously. Dr Gladys is IT.

If you loved this episode you might also like my conversations with Hilma Wolitzer and Isabel Allende

* You can buy all the books mentioned in this podcast at The Shift bookshop on Bookshop.org, including The Well-Lived Life by Dr Gladys McGarey and the book that inspired this podcast, The Shift: how I lost and found myself after 40 - and you can too, by me.

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