I sat in the front of a sold out event, Ageless Mindset, entranced by two glorious women I love, ob/gyn physician and New York Times bestselling author Dr. Christiane Northrup and Tony Award-winning activist and author of The Vagina Monologues, Eve Ensler. These ageless Goddesses were sharing their wisdom, insight and experience on female aging. This topic has been on my mind more in recent years for obvious reasons. If you are lucky enough to continue living, you age. Like many women I know, I never thought much about aging until I starting noticing changes in my face and body that I couldn’t attribute to anything but aging. So my interest was peaked when their conversation turned to this question; Is it possible for women’s beliefs about aging to be as powerful or more powerful than their own biology? Dr. Northrup’s answers were fascinating.
In her inspiring new book, Goddesses Never Age: The Secret Prescription for Radiance, Vitality and Well-Being, Dr. Northrup shares a revolutionary perspective on aging. Women in American culture have inherited the belief that after a certain age, you can expect to see and feel an inevitable decline in your appearance, health and energy. Society has made billions selling anything they can market, from creams to clothing to surgical procedures, with the promise of restoring youth. Dr. Northrup believes that every woman has the power to transform her own aging process to an empowered experience instead of an inevitable tragedy.
Society tells you that “young” is sexy. It tells you to strive to be tight and toned and perky. You are encouraged to do whatever it takes and spend whatever it costs to maintain your youth. Very often, the voices around you can be so loud that it becomes difficult to connect to your own thoughts and feelings about what aging actually means to you and what you need to feel and look your best.
As you age there is no denying that your body and appearance will change. However, you have more power over how you look and feel than you think. You get to define what 30, 40, 50, 60, 70 and 80 feel like. You get to decide what is sexy. You get to create your own radiance and vitality. Remind yourself with age comes wisdom, experience and character. However, before you do any of this it is important to get clear on what “aging” means to you.
Notice your thoughts and words when it comes to your own aging and the aging of others, especially women. Think about the way your mother experienced aging as it has a tremendous impact on your downloaded psychological blueprint about your own process. Do you feel more empowered with each year, acknowledging your accomplishments and wisdom gained or do you focus on what you are losing or what you are getting that you might not want like wrinkles, sagging body parts or a few grey hairs? Do you find yourself critiquing the appearance of other women your age?
Or do you celebrate womanhood in its many shapes, forms, ages and sizes?
In order to feel like a Goddess, which to me means recognizing your divine nature, you must see yourself that way. I also find it helpful to mourn some of the things that ageing impacts. For me that has been a slight change in my memory, among other things, which used to be a readily accessible steel trap of information. I still have a great memory but it is not the same as when I was twenty or thirty so I have learned to become a little more patient. Mourning what has passed creates space to truly embrace what is amazing about being whatever age you are right now. I wouldn’t change anything about my life for a tighter butt or less smile lines.
It is up to you to recognize and celebrate the inherent value and beauty of being a woman at every age. You are exquisite, but in order to feel it you must treat yourself and think about yourself in that way. If you feel bad about your skin, body, hair, energy level, sex drive or whatever, it will show. Perhaps not in how you look but in what you say, what you do and the energy you put out into the world. Which impacts what happens.
You can shift your perspective and expectations about getting older. You can feel and look better than you used to regardless of how many years have passed. You can reject old paradigms and create your own ideals of ageless living. You just have to decide to do it your way.
I am grateful to women like Dr. Northrup and Eve Ensler for leading this movement of empowered living. Now It is up to us to be a part of our own solution instead of being a part of the problem.
In the comments below please share with me one old belief about aging that you are willing to transform. Share it for yourself and share it to inspire others. Together we can make a massive shift in how the world responds to women and their age.
Keep rocking your inner Goddess and as always, take care of you.
Love Love Love
*image courtesy of Nic McPhee