If I had a dime for every time I hear older women say, “I feel invisible.”, I'd be a multimillionaire.
Having gone through this myself I empathize. It's as if once women approach menopause, we're ignored. Men no longer leer and many people develop selective hearing when we try to speak.
The irony is that as we continue to gain in wisdom, gifts, skills and emotional maturity, our bodies lose health, vitality, and attractiveness. We're on the downward trajectory toward death as we have more to contribute to life.
We're told to “age gracefully” but what does that really mean? And who defines it?
What if we want to age “outrageously”? Or “uniquely”? Or we have better things to do than to think about aging?
Of course, most of us do not want to spend what could potentially be one-third or more of our lifespan after our mid-50's just sliding toward death, nor do we want to remain invisible.
And, it's quite interesting that up until the Industrial Revolution, elderly women did neither. For millenia we were revered in our tribes as wise counselors, healers, heritage keepers, nurturers of children, spiritual guides.
The engines of industry have no use for the wise elder. But why should that mean that we should accept invisibility and bodily decay?
Here's the good news: the latest research indicates that the single biggest predictor of successful aging is mindset.
Not genetics/family history. Not socioeconomics. Not demographics.
The more beliefs we hold about aging that are positive, the more likely we are to keep expanding, contributing, and maintaining youthful vigor at any age.
The challenge is that we've been weighed down with ageist beliefs. Even children form beliefs about aging starting around 5 years old. And, you guessed it, most of those beliefs are negative.
So what are some simple steps that we can take to reprogram our mindset about aging?
1) Be very aware of our negative stereotypes as well as those of society at large.
2) As we notice them, actively question them. Do we know women who've successfully broken the age barrier? Are we contributing to our own invisibility by shrinking down into the confines of the negative stereotypes?
3) Value our bodies but don't identify with them. If we see ourselves as Infinite Beings in finite bodies we can shift focus to our soul's purpose in being in this world. Then we automatically become more of a shining presence. We don't have to wear leather and ride a motorcycle. We just have to know that we are a unique manifestation of the Divine in this world.
4) Be more connected to our bodies. If we pick up the messages our bodies are sending us – on a biological and emotional level – we feel more integrated and we're more likely to provide what we need for a long and happy life.
Ultimately, we are still creators of our lives, no matter how old we are.
Rather than becoming invisible as we age, we can make aging invisible.
Dr. Lucille is a Life Coach for women whose life experience leaves them longing for more. Through her company, “The Joy of Purpose”, she helps these women find the missing pieces of true fulfillment, meaning and joy that have eluded them despite all they've achieved.
Dr. Lucille's has spent over 30 years practising psychiatry with a focus on holistically and spiritually oriented psychotherapy. Healing root causes of her patients' distress has been her greatest reward. All that her patients have taught her informs her Life Coaching, which takes women from healing to thriving.
Her perspective is that women, especially as they age, have within them a vast reservoir of gifts and strengths, much of which lies dormant. Like diving for pearls at the seabed of the psyche, she loves nothing better than to bring them to the surface. When expressed, these gifts and strengths lead to joy and fulfillment.
And when she's not diving for pearls, she enjoys romping on the beach with her dog, dancing, singing, geeking out on human potential research, and having intimate contact with Nature.
You can check out Dr. Lucille at her website: https://www.drlucille.ca
and on Instagram: @lucillenecas
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