Stage 3: The Joy of Giving Back

Saturn’s orbit is approximately 29 years, so your third Saturn cycle begins around age 58. Now that I have reached this stage, I call it my “third act” … and it’s about sharing, supporting and teaching.

Now, of course, these “stages” are not precisely timed. Many people (especially these days) continue the “earning” stage well beyond 58, or even 65 for that matter. And many of us were sharing, supporting and teaching during Stage 1 or Stage 2, even while we were pursuing an education or ways to pay the bills.

My Stage 3 began when I sold the business I had started. I became a grandfather around the same time, which so nicely initiated me into the joys of being generous, by helping it feel so natural. What a heart-opener that little tyke has been for me … may the generous impulses he stimulates in me, and the joy that I get from indulging them, continue to expand (for me, via non-profit work and teaching).

True generosity is a joyous thing that can take many forms. As the author of Plenitude — The New Economics of True Wealth points out, we all have more than we know — if not monetarily, in our knowledge, skills, creativity, connections, time, attention and enjoyment of nature. How much do we take these forms of “true wealth” for granted, rather than sharing this abundance with others? “How can I help?” Ram Dass famously asked, as the title of a book he wrote after entering Stage 3.

Even if you are still busy being a student of life (Stage 1) or a producer (Stage 2), know that you have a joyous “third act” to look forward to — where sharing and supporting no longer feel like a responsibility or another thing you “should” do, but a pure natural pleasure!