The Wise Woman: To Grow Older or to Grow Wiser
© Robin Benad
That is the Question & the Choice
A woman filled with a deep understanding and exuding love, what better to aim for as I grow?
Not long ago, I attended a festival led by indigenous tribal elders. There was so much to take from this experience, but perhaps the most interesting that happened was that I received a brand new type of role model. This new role model is a woman who brings the way I look at growing older to a whole new level. She is a wise elder woman. I might not belong to an indigenous tribe, but I do feel connected to her.
There are some hurdles to overcome, though, for embodying the sacred experience of growing older, wisely. First of all, there is a need to drop societal expectations, for example that we should have a picture perfect, youthful body. Here a few questions for you to consider, that might help you shift your perspective in order that you may transition into a wise (and perhaps wild!) woman.
Do I want to grow older or do I want to grow wiser?
As we experience life, we learn what works and what doesn’t. It all depends how we respond to different situations. And, it is crucial to reflect and adjust our behaviour if we want to grow wiser and not just older. But on the whole, most of us do become wiser with age. How does this show? For example, we may value different things than before and have less time for people that no longer seem to support our growth in a joyful and positive way.
Increasingly seeking out solitude and quiet, for example, in fact likely improves our health. At least this can be said for someone who has sought out busy, perhaps even stressful, life situations before. To grow wiser, it will serve me well to look at what genuinely feels good, as opposed to what brings me ‘status’ – such as having a full calendar, a long list of friends and a busy social life.
Do I look forward to growing older?
Actually, there is nothing sad about shifting into the new ‘older’ phase of our lives, quite the contrary. And yet, the moment we hold on to a self-image of youth, we suffer. If I obsess about youth and looking youthful, it might help me to remember that no cosmetic surgery or other body enhancement procedures can stop the inner processes of generating wisdom.
With a healthy focus on reflection and adjusting my behaviour, I stay in flow with evolution. This is my natural state and it wants me to look forward to growing older, or at the least to not resist it. If I feel unable to look forward to growing older, can I at least look forward to simply grow, or to simply rest in the present moment.
Can I change how I look at growing older?
As my body changes, so do my energy levels and flows. This is a golden opportunity for paying attention to my energies and doing what I can to help them flow in a healthy manner, unobstructed. Also, if I still find it difficult to accept the way my looks change, it might help to keep in mind that the way I look at things, is even more powerful and amendable.
So, if I tweak the way I look at ageing, I may stumble upon a sacred experience. It’s all in my power to change my perception of growing older. I can choose to make the best of it, and enjoy it. It’s not about how I look, it’s about my outlook on life (and I can still look fabulous and enjoy the journey!).
Who are my role models?
If I ask myself whom I admire, and whom I look up to, this can give some food for thought. Ok, here’s an instruction: List the women that you admire. Find out and make a note of each of their ages, as well as what they do in life (such as a particular line of work or type of influence the person has). How old are they? Do they tend to be Hollywood celebrities or wise elder women of the native tribes from all over the world?
Reflect on the answers. Are they mostly young movie starlets or wise older women? This will give some indication of where you’re at with regards to positive role models; ones that support your growth. And don’t get depressed if the women you admire are all young and seem to “have it all” except for wisdom – this just means there is room for growth. To start: find wise women role models, ones that can inspire you to look forward to growing older and wiser.
Remember: You can ‘fight’ the outside, but not the insight.
Aho! O’Rise (as the Wise Elder would say!)
Onwards and upwards, here’s to consciously and playfully transitioning into starring in Your 2nd Act in life. If this topic interests you get in touch. I am running several events.
Food for your Soul is a regular column featuring short articles for moments of reflection – to look at life from a different perspective (should you choose to!). Invest a few minutes and allow your thoughts to ponder. Awareness creates choice.
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All original material copyright © 2019 Claudia Roth