WWB Book Wise Club

Moving Forward…WWB’s Summer 23 ‘Book Wise’ Pick is “The Well Lived Life” A 102 -Year Old Doctor’s Six Secrets to Health & Happiness at Every Age

It’s early September and we still have a couple of weeks of summer on the calendar! It was my hope to present this season’s Book Wise pick “The Well Lived Life” earlier in the summer, but I was on a long line to gain access to Dr. Gladys McGarey. This summer, the Mother of Holistic Medicine has been a guest on every podcast you can think of, and featured at some of the biggest media outlets on television and in publishing. I am grateful to have been included and honored she took time to do this Q&A with me at World Wise Beauty.

A blog post doesn’t do this extremely wise and enlightening book justice. You just have to read it! I don’t usually do long bio’s of the author’s I feature but in this case I felt a proper introduction was in order. Here is the introduction from her personal ‘about page’ which beautifully encapsulates her work, life, and spirit.

Gladys McGarey began her medical practice at a time when women couldn’t even own their own bank accounts. Over the past sixty years, she has pioneered a new way of thinking about disease and health that has transformed the way we imagine health care and self-care around the world. The cofounder of the American Holistic Medical Association, Dr. McGarey has mentored everyone from Dr. Mark Hyman to Dr. Edith Eger and has helped hundreds of patients live happier and healthier lives. In a voice that is both practical and inspiring, Dr. McGarey shares her own extraordinary stories and eternal wisdom from her early childhood in India and chance encounter with Mahatma Gandhi to her life as a physician and a mother of six children, to her survival of both heartbreak and illness. And she doesn’t just look backward, she looks forward. At 102, Dr. McGarey has a ten-year plan and an eye on a healthier and more joyful future for all.

The Well Lived Life, A 102 Year Old Doctor’s Six Secrets to Health and Happiness at Every Age is a must read for anyone who aspires not only to age well but who is also interested in living well. There is nothing like hindsight and at 102 Dr.Gladys ( her preferred name) shares wellness wisdom truly derived from life experience and lessons learned. There are no prescriptions or quick fixes found in this book, but her six secrets will put you on a life changing course and will change your perspective about health and healing forever. For just guidepost purposes I will share the six simple secrets here with you, but to really comprehend them you will need to read her book! Our Q&A will touch down on some of the content in the book, but great wellness wisdom is also a great story and Dr. Gladys has many for you in her book!


SECRET 1- You Are Here for a Reason

SECRET 2- All Life Needs to Move

SECRET 3- Love is the Most Powerful Medicine

SECRET 4- You Are Never Truly Alone

SECRET 5- Everything is Your Teacher

SECRET 6- Spend Your Energy Wildly

Let’s dig in a little and explore the book with Dr. Gladys McGarey. I hope you find her wisdom a bright light on your path wherever you are on your wellness journey. Enjoy the summer’s end with this wonderful book!


Laura Connolly, CHC, Founder of World Wise Beauty


Lauroly Q– What I found refreshing about your wellness book is there is no diet and dogmatic advice about how to eat and live. This might sound funny coming from an integrative nutrition health coach, but I think our emotional well-being and mindset is just as important to our health as our diet is. Your six secrets to health and happiness at every age really gets to the heart of the matter. To open this up, I will share your words of wisdom I found so meaningful, and it speaks to ‘the juice’ you talk about in chapter one.


“To be truly alive, we must find the force within ourselves

and direct our energy toward it.”


Why is finding ‘your juice’ so important to our health and happiness? And readers we are not talking about juice in a blender!


Dr. Gladys: First of all, people need to remember that they already have their juice, they don’t have to “find” it. It’s not somewhere “out there,” it’s somewhere “in here.” So it’s an inward journey. You’ll discover it if you just look to and connect with your Physician Within. Entering into that journey, which is a lifelong adventure, not only brings us face-to-face with our juice, but it empowers us to live life fully and discover our True Humanity. Our juice matters because without our juice we’re not really alive. When we are really alive, we are able to get up each morning and be excited about the possibilities this day holds.


Lauroly Q- Yes the juice! It’s that difference between existing and living. You come back to the greatest medicine of all throughout the book. Are you ready for it WWB readers? It’s pretty powerful, and it’s all about LOVE. For all the romantics reading this, Dr. McGarey is not talking just about sentimental romantic love. She is talking about love as a way of living and being. I think Chapter 16 is a challenge for so many in these times. Many of us have grown up in fractured families, and connection and community is harder and harder to nurture in this technology driven world we are living in. As humans we experience so many things that can cut us off from receiving and giving love. Why then is self-love so important to our health, wellness, and longevity?

Dr. Gladys: Throughout my book, I use the terms Juice and Energy and Love interchangeably. Love is the heart of healing and living, because it activates all of life. Love empowers life. It also brings out the joy in laughter, the delight in labor, and the profound understanding when we truly listen. Whether it’s self-love or loving others, love is the thing that plugs us into the flow of life. So without love, we are not fully living, we’re not truly alive.

Lauroly Q– Speaking of love, I LOVE how you tap into the idea of ‘energy’. Since I was a child I always s felt  that all of life was energy. You put it plainly in the book …


“When we align our energy with life, we create a give and take,

sharing relationship with the source.”


For some this may sound a little ‘heady’. You even said it is hard to explain and yet your entire book speaks to this wisdom perfectly. This brings us back to holistic health. When energy is blocked by fear or heartbreak it can have an affect on our health. I’ve featured other books here at World Wise Beauty that focus on this topic literally and scientifically. You are a MD as well, and you masterfully convey the importance of holistic wellness through your personal stories best. You aren’t called the ‘the mother of holistic medicine’ for no reason! Our experience of life, and our attitude and mindset, can really have a big impact on our  ‘life energy’ for better and for worse. Can you speak to this for us a little bit on how to spend your energy wisely and wildly?


Dr. Gladys McGarey: Energy isn’t something we save for a rainy day. Energy is something we use daily, hourly, minute by minute. So the question is, what’s worth your energy? And then, how can you invest your energy in something that genuinely matters to you? The things that will grow and mature in your life are the things you feed with your energy. So choose wisely and wildly, and enjoy your life!


Dr. Gladys and her tricycle!

I also want to talk about our life’s challenges. Everyone has difficult times in their lives. I certainly have had many myself, most especially when my husband asked me for a divorce after 46 years of marriage. We can’t simply “get over” challenges like this, we “live through” them. If we don’t allow ourselves to really face them and live through them, we become blocked. Then it’s time to look for the trickle around the dam and slowly work our way through these blockages. My divorce broke my heart and it was a really hard time for me, but I made it through, and you can too.

Lauroly Q- Your six secrets seem so simple on the surface, but I think all of us stumble over them in life because we are human. I very much appreciated your humble stories where you share in a vulnerable way how you too are a work in progress when it comes to living life well.  So, at 102 years old and young, what are you still learning about living life well? Which secret in your book do you find yourself revisiting and which one do you think is a challenge for our times?

Dr. Gladys McGarey: If we don’t move, none of the other secrets count. I think there are a lot of ways in which we are stuck, as individuals, politically, and as a culture, so my secret “All Life Needs to Move” continues to speak to me. Some days it’s a little hard for me to get all my 3,800 steps in, so I remind myself that life needs to move and it’s important for me to get up off my rear and start walking.

Lauroly Closing- I am so honored to feature your book and it will be one I will be recommending and gifting for years to come. I use the term ‘cultivating wellness wisdom” at this blog because our well-being is something we are always nurturing and tending to. Nobody gets a manual for living life well, but I would say ‘The Well Lived Life’ comes pretty close! Thank you so much for joining me at World Wise Beauty. Readers, soak up the Doctor Gladys wisdom and pay it forward. Here’s to flourishing through the ages and loving all the parts!

Dr. Gladys McGarey Closing: I am constantly amazed at having lived through all the remarkable experiences I describe in my book, and it deeply touches my heart that this book has been changing lives for the better. Your blog is bringing my lifelong work to the minds and hearts of others, but my work won’t matter a hill of beans if you and others don’t pick it up. You make it possible for my work to live on. Thank you, Laura.