It's easy to feel that getting older isn't something to relish. But in fact, your later life is actually quite an exciting time, according to author Tanishka. Here, she explains why your 50s and beyond are packed with feminine power, and how to enjoy it.
It’s no secret we live in an age-phobic society, especially where women are concerned. However, sculptures and cave art spanning 30,000 years from the Paleolithic and Neolithic eras in Europe depict elder women as Goddesses. Why? Ancient cultures valued the wisdom that women accrue with age.
Where there’s fear, there’s power.
It was the rise of the Roman empire that saw ancient feminine wisdom teachings and practices outlawed, as they posed a threat to the dominion of the empire. Since our culture is based on the values and structures of ancient Rome, we’ve retained that social stigma afforded to women over 50.
This was the age when women were honored for their contribution in Native American society. Many would experience "moon pause" (which became known as menopause) around 50, when they’d be admitted entry to the Black Lodge, the place of the Grandmothers — the wisdom keepers.
At 50, they were thanked for their time spent as a sitting member in the women’s monthly Moon Lodge — the place where women gathered to practice their psychic abilities and grow their wisdom by reflecting upon their experiences.
Age gracefully, or fight the signs of aging?
Understandably, many women fear aging in our youth-obsessed culture, which devalues the worth and contribution of elders, so many bow to the constant pressure to reverse the clock with anti-aging treatments in an attempt to avoid feeling invisible or viewed as a "frail little old lady."
Feminine wisdom teaches us that everything in life is cyclical, including us. If we embrace the cyclic process, we seek the strengths of each life phase, accepting that the wheel must turn, and what we lose in one area, we will gain in another. Whereas if we view life as linear, we fear aging as "the beginning of the end" — a point of no return which sees us running in the opposite direction in a futile attempt to regain what we’ve lost.
Try these practical suggestions to claim your power as a wise woman.
1. Love your silver locks.
In the ancient Goddess-worshipping civilizations, they honored each of the three stages of womanhood: the maiden, mother, and crone. Whilst the word "crone" today has negative connotations, it originally meant "crown," signifying one who was crowned with wisdom.
So rather than perceiving gray hair as something to be disguised, celebrate your "silver hairs" as a sign that you’ve attained first-hand knowledge of the cycles indicated by your luminous lunar locks.
2. Cherish your inner power.
Just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder — so it is true of power. If we equate power with external qualities, we will feel disempowered as we age and our physical strength diminishes. However, if we associate true power with inner resilience, heightened awareness, powers of observation, humility, and self-mastery, we will feel increasingly powerful as we age.
3. Develop your mystic gifts.
As our physical senses wane, our subtle senses become more pronounced. So consider trying activities such as Yoga, Tai chi, Qi gong, meditation, and energy healing or esoteric study of mystic traditions such as numerology, Tarot, Sufism, Kabbalah, Astrology, or Feng Shui to explore the inner realms of perception that assist us in trusting what we can't perceive with our earthly senses.
4. Acknowledge and invest time in your legacy.
Whether it’s spending time with your grandchildren, documenting your family tree, passing on your recipes or mentoring those with a shared passion, the more we spend time seeing the fruits of our labors tended by those who value what we have to offer, the more fulfilled and grateful we feel in the knowing that our life has true meaning and our wisdom will continue to light the way for others.
5. Champion your inner child.
One of the advantages of aging is that we lose our inhibitions, which is why today, more mature women are seen sporting purple hair streaks or loud and colorful clothes on the street. We only feel this lightness of being if we attend to our emotional and psychological wounds from childhood. This process heals the wounded child so our playful inner child can return.
6. Go where you’re seen and embraced.
As we age, it’s easy to become isolated so it’s important we acknowledge our primal need to belong and ensure we take part in communal activities where we are appreciated for who we are and our contribution. In addition to traditional community groups such as gardens and choirs, consider finding a Red Tent/Moon Lodge women’s circle in your local area, or starting your own Grandmother’s Lodge.
7. Focus on the benefits of aging.
Celebrate your milestones by doing all the things on your bucket list, and refrain from ageist put-downs or you’ll attract more of the same. Instead, keep a gratitude diary to remind yourself and affirm all the benefits of being older that you now enjoy; such as having time to pursue your personal interests, long-standing friendships, greater self-acceptance, and self-assurance."
This article originally appeared on our sister site, Yours.