Stepping Into Your Sensual Birthright
Gathered in a circle, I asked the women my favorite question, “what is your deepest, darkest secret?”
(What can I say, I like to get to the heart of things.)
Answers varied – and I wouldn’t dare share any of them with the outside world, these conversations we held in circle on a recent retreat. But I will say that so much of what it comes back to for women are the basics: love, purpose, honesty, sex, feeling empowered, health, autonomy nuzzled up against being in relationship, and being truly seen.
There is a prescription for women depending on our age: girl to be protected until age 12 or 13; teenager from 13-18 who somehow is supposed to have the wherewithal to fend off boys and or/men’s advances or be deemed a slut/whore/promiscuous instigator; 18-29 she must be in her sexual and beauty prime, having the time of her life and hopefully finding the love of her life and getting married somewhere towards the end of that era; 30-35, it’s time to have those babies if she hasn’t already, and get the last ‘hurrah’ out of her looks and love life because it’s about to start going downhill; 35-45 is ‘transition’ time, with some luster still left but fading quickly; 45-60 into and over menopause and therefore no longer a sexually viable creature by the end of that era; 60 and above, the crone.
On all of these prescriptions, I call bullshit.
* * * * *
I’ll use myself as an example.
I was a dorky kid, with glasses and stringy hair who sweat A LOT; my teenage years were full of acne and fast food and big clothes (early 90s style) and some boys but ones who were mostly good and respectful; college was a wasteland, and my 20s was about testing the waters of all different types of men, but also contending with illness, disordered eating, and the worst body image of my life. I never wanted children, so no drive to make that happen between 30-35, and now here I am, at almost 39. And it’s just gotten a HELL of a lot better.
This is the secret (aka “it gets better”).
There is a multi-cultural desire to diminish women as we age, as we get out of our child-bearing years (whether we wanted any kids or not) and supposedly out of our tight little bodies (how many women ever live up to this ridiculous ideal?).
And yet aging provides our power. We understand our minds, our bodies, our selves to a degree that would blow our 24-year-old minds. We pull inside and check our internal compass a trillion times more than we did before age 30. More and more, we see our bodies for the amazing sacred machines that they are, and treat them with the respect that they deserve (sometimes, we just need a bit of tweaking). Ever year that goes by, we give less of a shit of what other people think of us, and more of a shit about going after what we want. This is the time to connect to your soul purpose if you haven’t up to this point. This is the time to say, “I deserve it all, too.”*
I know this isn’t the case for every woman over age 35. I know plenty have kids, jobs, face institutional racism and sexism, feel their bodies are getting out of control, and/or feel the sting of lost youth. My message to you is that I believe everything I wrote in the previous paragraph can be true for you, too, despite all of these things. But the first step is you have to find that place inside of you that believes it. And do everything you can to keep connecting to and coming back to this place.
Figuring this out for myself, while understanding that not every woman is in the same place, is what inspired me to create my SensualMagic: A Guide for Women 35-45 program**. It’s an introductory holistic program that begins you on the journey of recognizing your beauty, your power, your absolute radiance and supreme worthiness.
Because you have it all in you; you just need to figure out how to access it.
*None of this is intended to diminish the experience of being under 35. What an amazing experience it is to be a woman of any age, and we always have the option to believe we deserve it all, too – no matter the age.
**Much of this program applies to women over the age of 45, as the principles are really universal. I chose the 35-45 range ONLY because of the nutritional/hormonal component, which is specific to this time of life.