Midlife Myths & Realities: Andrea M. Slominski, Ph.D.
Midlife is the most powerful opportunity remaining for us to transform our thinking.
It’s Time To Love Our Bodies:
Midlife invites us to make a complete reassessment of our lives, our beliefs, our perspectives, and our attitudes. It is a time of tremendous change and possibility, including the chance to reject culture’s warped, limited, and misaligned ideas of beauty, acceptability, and our value as aging women.
It’s time to love our bodies and ourselves unconditionally. It’s also an opportunity to embrace our bodies. For their individual beauty, power, intuition, strength, and resilience. And it’s time to approach ourselves with a deeper understanding and unconditional love.
We have grown up in a patriarchal culture that has told us who we should be, what we should do, who we should do it with, how we should look, what our goals should be, and what our value is as human beings.
“For their individual beauty, power, intuition, strength, and resilience.”
Speak Your Truth:
Wherever you are in your journey – Perimenopause, midlife, menopause, or post-menopause, you can declare sovereignty over your body, self-image, beliefs, hopes, and dreams. This does not mean striving for some new-limiting version of perfection or denying our faults and foibles.
It means living consciously and mindfully in the world, re-tuning yourself to the natural world, listening to your body, your gut, and intuition, setting and minding boundaries, honoring your needs, and feeding your creative and intuitive processes.
In addition, it means speaking your truth.
That sounds great! But how do we undo thousands of years of cultural conditioning to reclaim ourselves and love our bodies and ourselves unconditionally?
Aspects Of Ourselves And Our Bodies:
We have to go on a quest, a heroine’s journey, to reclaim our understanding. And reintegrate the aspects of ourselves and our bodies that have been disrespected, disregarded, and rejected by our culture.
The ongoing process of honoring, recovering, and celebrating your inner archetypal feminine energies will empower you and give you the strength to make changes, tough it out, or delay decisions until the time is right. The inner strength of our ancestral feminine energies is a direct current from the deepest and oldest places of our psyches.
“Suppose as in fairy tales of the shape changers, the body is a God in its own right, a teacher, a mentor, a certified guide?”
In other words, it’s time for us to reclaim the narrative of what it means to be a mature and aging woman in our culture. We have all our life experience, career experience, and wisdom to lead us forward and inspire us. It’s past time for us to love our bodies, no matter their limitations, appreciate them, honor them, and be grateful they have given us so much and brought us so far.
Women Who Run With Wolves:
I’m going to leave you with a quote from Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés and her best-selling book on women’s mythology, Women Who Run With Wolves:
“Some say the soul informs the body. But what if we were to imagine for a moment that the body informs the soul, helps it adapt to mundane life, parses, translates, gives the blank page, the ink, and the pen with which the soul can write upon our lives? Suppose as in fairy tales of the shape changers, the body is a God in its own right, a teacher, a mentor, a certified guide?
Then what? Is it wise to spend a lifetime chastising this teacher who has so much to give and teach? Do we wish to spend a lifetime allowing others to detract from our bodies, judge them, find them wanting? Are we strong enough to refute the party line and listen deep, listen true to our body as a powerful and holy being?
[The purpose of the body is ]. . . to protect contain, support, and fire the spirit and soul within it, to be a repository for memory, to fill us with feeling—that is the supreme psychic nourishment. It is to lift us and propel us, to fill us with feeling to prove that we exist, that we are here, to give us grounding, heft, weight…It is wrong to think of it as a place we leave in order to soar to the spirit.
Moreover, the body is the launcher of those experiences. Without the body there would be no sensation of crossing thresholds. the body is the rocket launcher.” (206-207)
Love And Trust Our Body:
In conclusion, once we love and trust our bodies, instincts, and intuition, once we marshal all our wisdom, skill, and talents, there will be no one who can stand in our way. If you want to learn more about Dr. Estés’ work, checkout the additional resources below.
About the Author:
Andrea M. Slominski, Ph.D., is an author, speaker, and women’s midlife coach. During her dissertation research and study, she explored the new life stage for women that has emerged over the past 100 years.
Naming this new life stage, from ages 45-70, Regency, Dr. A. has spoken at conferences, published articles, and coached women to make the most of their emerging power years. Dr. A. guides women 45+ through the often-tumultuous transformations during perimenopause, midlife, and menopause. She uses tools that include creativity, story, mythology, imagination, ceremony, and ritual. If you need support for your Regency years, including all the changes of midlife and menopause, I’m here for you. For additional information on Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés , click HERE. Email me at [email protected]