Don’t lie. You’ve heard all the stories about aging, and they aren’t pretty. Especially for women. Society says we’re over the hill, too old, gray, wrinkly, and used up. Once the kids leave home we might as well resign ourselves to the rocking chair. It’s too late for a new career, education, or to follow our dreams. But women over 40 and 50 say otherwise. We know that at 40, 50 and beyond, we are just getting started!
Withering is the quintessential word that describes aging, be it a human, animal, or plant. Everything ages, but withering is optional. Aging is what you make of it. Are you choosing to wither before you time? Look at nature. Before winter sets in, leaves burst out in a blaze of glory, offering the most beautiful, brilliant, and powerful display before they wither and die.
What about you? Are your “golden years” and the years leading up to your golden years going to be your biggest, brightest, and most gloriously out loud time, or is withering more of what you had in mind?
Barbara Brooks, 54, and Guadalupe Hirt, 47, are the founders of SecondActWomen, an organization for women 40, 50 and beyond who are in their second act, and know this is their time to design their life, their way!
How to combat, reject, and reeducate around ageism.
The power of the pivot, especially in middle age.
Why redefining who you are at 40 & 50+ helps you to FLAUNT all that you’ve been all along
How to Combat, Reject, and Reeducate Around Aging
Reeducation around ageing begins within by reexamining your own beliefs. Do you think old people are beautiful, useful, and filled with joy? What does your language reflect about your beliefs? When speaking to yourself or to others, have you ever said, “I can’t, I’m too old!” or “Leave that to the young ones.” Do you have a deep desire for something more, but talk yourself out of it because you think you are too old, it would take too long, or you don’t have the time?
Often, we unthinkingly parrot what we hear others saying and we unwittingly perpetuate stereotypes that we don’t actually believe. Worse, over time we embody the words that we say and become that which we don’t want to become.
Last month I bought a pair of yoga pants with fringe on them. My mother, who is in her early 70s, loved them! Upon offering to buy her a pair, she said, “I love them, but am I too old for fringe?” Without thinking, I popped off, “I don’t know, is Cher too old for fringe? She’s older than you are.” The answer was clearly no! Fringe is not the problem – the belief that people can be too old for fringe is.
The Power of the Middle Age Pivot
With age comes wisdom. Youth, warrior, sage is the male equivalent of maiden, mother, crone, but somewhere along the line the word crone was hijacked and turned from something positive and into something negative. Instead of being honored for her wisdom and experience, the crone was vilified for her looks.
Read that again. Women’s looks matter more than their experience or wisdom. Whoa! Not in my book.
Pivoting into your power, your wisdom, your experience, and most importantly into who you really are, so you can embrace the sage/crone that you’ve become is where the true power of the middle age pivot lies. As a glorious crone you are done taking care of kids, done proving yourself in your career, done striving to live up to other peoples’ idea of how you and your life should be lived. Midlife is where you can finally pivot into being exactly who you are.
Yeah, I get that you may not know who you are, and that is totally normal. After 20 years of being someone’s daughter, and another 20 years of being someone’s employee, partner, or mother how would you know? In the 14 years I’ve been coaching and working with women, the stumbling block that most women hit is twofold:
- Not knowing who they are, exclusive of their labels, roles, and scripts, and
- Not being able to show themselves for who they really are once they do.
Whether it’s fear of judgment, fear of being too much, or fear of not being quite enough, middle age is the time that women can finally pivot into their own identity and FLAUNT! all that they are.
Instead of covering up, accepting the hijacked and negative label of crone and stepping aside for the younger generation, why not replace crone with the word sage, reveal all that you are, and step into your full sovereignty and power? After all, who covers up and dims down the sage? Nobody. Now is the time to show it all and to reveal yourself as the sage that you are.
Why Redefining Who You Are at 40 & 50+ Helps You FLAUNT Who You’ve Been All Along
You’ve probably heard the phrase, name it and claim it. When you reeducate yourself around aging and pivot into the power of your wisdom and experience, you can finally redefine yourself by naming and claiming who you are and let go of who you think you should be.
The word FLAUNT! is a fun and powerful word that captures how many women feel when they reach a certain age and finally find the confidence and courage to show up as they authentically are. It is also an acronym for the 5-steps we should take daily in order to feel the kind of joy, satisfaction, and enthusiasm for life that we deserve to feel. FLAUNT! stands for:
Find Your Fetish – Each day, find something that you love, and do that thing. Whether it’s watching squirrels play in the yard, digging in the dirt, snuggling with your cat, or dancing it out to your favorite 80s tune. You deserve to pivot into something that you love each and every day.
Laugh Out Loud – Life is hard, you know that! While you can’t change anything outside of yourself, you can change the way you view and perceive life. Why not perceive it as the joyful, humorous, and laughter-inducing experiment that it is? Plus, everyone looks better when they smile, and when you look better, you feel better, so why not?
Accept Unconditionally – This one is simple but oh so hard! You can spend your time and energy fighting every darned thing you hate, and making yourself miserable in the process, or you can accept everyone and everything as it is– unconditionally – and move on with peace and joy.
Navigate the Negative – Stuff happens. Often. Are you going to act like a teen-age drama queen who quits and stomps off when the going gets tough, or are you going to navigate, steer, make it work, and get ‘er done? As you probably know from your own life experiences, sometimes the best things in life come from the most unexpected, and “negative” of circumstances.
Trust in Your Truth – How old are you? How long have you been living inside your own heart and head? Nobody can look at you on the outside and know diddly-squat about how you feel on the inside. You are the only person who knows if you are hungry, thirsty, tired, angry, titillated, in love, or having a deep spiritual moment. You are the only one who knows who you are, what you want, and how you feel. Maybe it’s time to let go of the idea that somebody out there knows best, and trust in your own truth.
What will the second half of your life be like? You can wither away, held captive by what other people think, or you can choose yourself, pivot into your full glory, and FLAUNT all that you are.
As for me? I choose blaze of glory.
For more information go to www.secondactwoman.com and find them across all social media at #secondactwoman.
Check out this amazing Denver Post feature article about Barbara, Guadalupe, and SecondActWoman: https://www.denverpost.com/2020/12/29/women-business-network-second-act-copes-in-pandemic/