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What's The Value Of An Older Woman?

aging empowerment feminine leadership healing midlife woman empowerment Feb 09, 2022

I was what you might consider beautiful. So much so, that I had a successful career as an international model. I was shy and insecure, but this was some external validation that as much as I felt worthless most of my life, at least I had my looks. 

From early on I received messages from people around me that I was not measuring up. I was not funny enough, not smart enough, not disciplined enough, not organized enough, not outgoing enough, then not accomplished enough, not social enough, not creative enough, not sexual enough, not playful enough. Just plain not enough. 

The only agreement was that my looks were enough. So I clang to my youth and beauty like a life jacket, to keep me from drowning in the sea of not enoughness.  I never tried to use them to get ahead, lest my other shortcomings became obvious. It was my own private safe heaven.

Being noticed made me feel simultaneously like I wanted to run, and like there was hope for me somehow. When I would put mascara on my lashes, I looked myself in the eyes. At first it would make me uncomfortable, so I would avert my gaze, but over time I would linger. I noticed the sadness, the longing, the shame. I noticed the pain, and the desire to be more than my looks. 

I also noticed the fear of what I would become when inevitable aging strips me off my only bastion of worth. 

Fast forward 25 years. Today I am 53, my face and my body bear the signs of time, but while I have my moments of deep grief and outright panic, I also have something that I didn't have in my 20s, and 30s. Wisdom. Confidence. Substance. Experience. The deeply grounded aliveness that comes from knowing and honoring myself, and from life well lived. 

Becoming a Wise Woman cannot be faked, bought, or trained for. It can only be achieved by living long enough, having the benefit of hindsight, falling and getting up, loving, loosing, and loving again. 

Many indigenous cultures revere the elders for their big picture perspective. The tragedy of the modern culture is that by the myopic obsession with young and beautiful, it misses on a treasure trove of wisdom possessed by the Wise Women, and relegates itself to reinventing the wheel, and unnecessary suffering. 

The second tragedy, is that many Wise Women accept this cultural trend, and embody the irrelevance, and invisibility handed out by the youth obsessed. 

So I am calling now for a collective wake up. In Chinese Medicine, menopause is the Second Spring. It is the time when the woman's reproductive imperative ends, she no longer bleeds, so she can use this harnessed energy for herself. To fertilize her creativity, her growth, her expansion. 

It's the time for the Wise Woman to take up her rightful place in society. Not by fighting for it, but by falling in love with herself.

By relaxing into knowing that she has nothing to prove.

By prioritizing herself, her pleasure, her aliveness, and her desires. 

By speaking up, and sharing what she knows, so her hard won wisdom isn't wasted. 

By alleviating suffering through illuminating the path for others. Because she knows the way. 

So my beloved sisters, come out of the shadows. Connect to other women, dance, and tell your stores, so you may bring your light to the world increasingly dimmed by anxiety, loneliness, trauma, and pain.

I am not perfect at it yet, perhaps I will never be. The deeply internalized conditioning still echoes through my nervous system when I feel dismissed, marginalized, or invisible due to my age,  but the more I lean into the Wise Woman, and the more I prioritize pleasure, the more vibrant, beautiful, sexy and fulfilled I become. 

Let's resurrect love, connection, honor and play. Let's revolutionize midlife :) 



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Wild: unapologetically yourself

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