Dancing from the Inside Out

Grace-Filled Reflections on Growing Older

Westina Matthews

Oct/2019, 224 Pages, PAPER, 5.5 x 8.5

ISBN-13: 9781640651586

  • Relatable essays focused primarily on being at a “certain stage of life”
  • A universal message of faith from a renowned speaker and author

This collection of essays about ordinary events invites the reader to reflect on how God can be found throughout life. Matthews offers a personal and authentic voice that resonates with a wide audience—particularly women—in an easily accessible and understandable manner. These timely reflections are in keeping with the Most Rev. Michael B. Curry’s call to “live into being the Jesus Movement by committing to evangelism and the work of reconciliation—beginning with racial reconciliation . . . across the borders and boundaries that divide the human family of God.”

Through thoughtful, poignant, humorous, and authentic reflections—shared from her journal and weekly email blogs—Matthews invites the reader to redefine themselves. This book is a wonderful resource for personal reflection, and a great gift for colleagues, friends, and family members.

Audience: Retirees and those nearing retirement, spiritual directors, community and lay leaders

WESTINA MATTHEWS is an adjunct professor for the Center for Christian Spirituality at General Theological Seminary where she has taught contemplative spiritual direction for several years. A graduate of the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation, Matthews is an author, public speaker, spiritual director and retreat leader whose practice reflects contemplative living through “holy listening.” With a doctorate in education from the University of Chicago, she completed postdoctoral research fellowships at both Northwestern University and the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

"This book is so much fun to read. Everything: the stories, the people, the history — it's a rooted, generous wisdom, willing to share itself."
––Barbara Cawthorne Crafton, author, The Courage to Grow Old

"Dancing from the Inside Out is quintessential Westina Matthews -- unsparingly honest, deep-down wise, and refreshingly trenchant. Readers will relish every one of these reflections whether the subject is Westina's ongoing spiritual quest, lessons learned from her beloved grandmas and great aunt, being the first black homecoming queen at her university, her lifelong passion for teaching, her remarkable Wall Street career, tried-and-true recipes for Coconut Cake, Lemon Pound Cake, and Mashed Potato Rolls, finding God at Starbucks, or her terrifying escape from one of the Twin Towers on 9/11. Though I'm a practicing Jew and Westina writes from her profound Christian faith, I gleaned many gifts from this book, not just inspiring advice about aging wisely but the pure pleasure of a story well told."
––Letty Cottin Pogrebin, co-founding editor of Ms. Magazine, author of eleven books,
including Deborah, Golda, and Me: Being Female and Jewish in America

"Matthews provides a candidly honest outline of life's lessons in these reflections as she lovingly weaves her engaged readers from beginning to end."
––David N. Dinkins, 106th Mayor, City of New York

"Westina's courses at General are magnetic to students and others who are wise enough to study with her. There is no doubt that Dancing from the Inside Out will be equally attractive. A huge gift to the church."
The Very Rev. Kurt H. Dunkle, Dean and President, General Theological Seminary


  • Aging
  • retirement
  • diversity and inclusivity
  • spirituality
  • prayer

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