You’re Old! Vs. The Magnificence of Age
I invited a few friends over to swim. I’ve been known to spend upwards of 3 hours in the pool at a time. I love swimming almost as much as dancing. Jumping, diving, splashing, floating. I was probably a dolphin in my previous life. On this particular day, only one of my friends, let’s call her Angela, actually put her bathing suit on and came into the pool with me. It was a hot dayㅡlike 97 degrees hot. The pool water was cool and perfect. The look on Angela’s face when she came up out of the water was one of pure relief. I swam over to my other two friends (not going to use their real names either, they’ll be Jackie and Jill) who were clustered, fully clothed, under the umbrella, trying to stay out of the sun.
“Hey, you guys? Are you coming in?” Jackie scrunched her nose up at me and said, “I don’t swim anymore.” Jill said, “Ha, nobody wants to see me in a swimsuit!” and then cackled with forced laughter. I said back to Jackie, “What do you mean you don’t swim anymore? You swim with me all the time!” She pulled her sunglasses down her nose, looked me clear in the eye and said, “Well, not anymore, Not going to show these crepey old legs. I wouldn’t put anyone through that.”
She and Jill high fived, sharing that forced laughter again, then carried on between themselves, having discovered their shared reasoning for never again donning another bathing suit in public.
“What the fork?!” I thought to myself. I dived down to the bottom of the pool, swirled up through the sun sparkling water and let out a blood curling underwater cackle. How could this possibly be? How could two fun loving, strong, don’t-give-a-fuck women like Jackie and Jill suddenly turn into the types who wouldn’t put bathing suits on in public? How in the hell did that happen? When? Was it on my watch? I looked at my own legs. Yep, there was some creping there. But so what? There’s also cellulite and dimples and pimples galore.
The Great Disappearing Act
I’ve heard it all my life from one woman after another when they’ve reached a certain age. Comments like, “You hit 40 and you just disappear.” “Men stopped looking at me.” “I’m 52 years old and my body has gotten like jelly.” and the most popular one yet, “It’s like I’ve become invisible. Like I’m not even in the room.” This last comment was from a woman referring to a party she went to where most of the party goers were under the age of 45.
Hmmmm…as much as I hate to admit it I’ve seen this kind of behavior. Women at screenings, bars and social get togethers scanned over like out-of-date loaves of bread. And with each scan over I could see that woman’s body collapse a little more. Her confidence shrunk. Her brow furrowed and pulled inside itself. I saw her begin to get old.
But she doesn’t have to.
I’m On a Mission
If we allow the patriarchal culture we live in to determine our value, we will be taken out with the trash. Yes, this is true. But I want to cut that narrative right out of our culture. Excise it. Burn it with the fire of our TRUE feminine nature. Stop allowing the mascline eye to define our beauty and our worth.
How? There’s only one way I know of, it’s called living out loud in full unapologetic body ownership. It’s what I’ve been doing for nearly 23 years now.
I love aging. I find the passing of time fascinating, adventurous, freeing and profound. I’ve found it to be sensual, rich, and bliss-filled. And you know what? I find it to be sexyㅡprofoundly sexy.
Contrary to popular culture and common belief, you do not have to become invisible after a certain age…unless you become invisible to yourself. Unless you allow yourself to disappear. Unless you start erasing yourself first. Like my friends did at the pool the other day.
I know, it’s the antithesis of what our masculine world wants us to believe, but we all know that I don’t think, feel, or live by their rules. I have discovered the feminine point of view and the feminine way of doing things differently. The truth is, the more centered I become in my feminine nature, the more I know to my core that one of our feminine super powers is being an eternal badass! I will not go silently into the abyss of invisibility, I will not let the masculine world take this power from me, or from us. It is not theirs to take, it is mine and ours to harness.
With every additional year, I am going to live out loud at supersonic speeds. I am going to rock my super woman 8” vinyl boots until I’m 95… I’m going to stoke the flame of my lust and passion all the way. And then I’m going to rock it in the afterlife! I am going to live the magnificence of my time here on this planet and not cut any part of that short for some arbitrary reason like crepey skin. I am going to wring out every ounce of delight and pleasure my body desires.
THIS is the magic of embracing the feminine way of being, the feminine essence of life. You wake up to new ways of seeing things that the masculine world obfuscated from our view – we can wake up to the reality that aging isn’t a burden. In fact, aging brings you into the depth of experience and the lightness of being that we’re all seeking.
Aging Magnificently vs. Getting Old
For me, aging is about growing more magnificent. In fact, I am going to replace the phrase “getting old” with “growing more magnificent”ㅡjoin me if you dare. Like a gorgeous oak tree getting taller, stronger, more visible from miles and miles away. With more leaves, and colors. The older we get, the more beautiful we can become and the more we have to offer to those around us. And you know what? When you are a giant oak with so many branches and leaves, you don’t just have more to give – but giving also feels like less of a drain to you. Aging doesn’t just make life better in our own bodies, but it offers us the opportunity to give more to others without draining our own energies quite so much.
The Gifts of Magnificence
As I become more magnificent, the things that I am learning are breathtaking. The things I can do with my body now, which I couldn’t even do when I was 25 astound me. When I surrender to time and allow time to teach me, I become water-like. I flow.
* I am at ease now in any social situation. If I thought I was a unstoppable a few years ago, watch out world.
* I am unflappable. Nothing gets under my skin the way it used to.
* I feel the connection to the eternal.
* I am lithe and light in body and soul.
* My sensuality is fluid and smooth and filled with bliss.
* I am efficiently functioning at ultimate ease.
* I waste no time. Not a moment–not ever.
* I surround myself with only those people who deserve my ever-expanding light. I am more discerning, and I have allowed toxic people who are trapped in their own darkness to swirl away, right down the drain of “not in my house.”
* I am turned on 24 / 7.
Life has given me my fair share of knocks. But it has also gifted me with extraordinary, soul searing relationships. Knowledge. The kind of knowledge you can only get from lived experiences. It has gifted me love like I couldn’t have even fathomed in my 20s. Love that I only dreamed about in my teens. Love that I couldn’t come near in my 30’s. And who knew it would be with the same person the whole time?! The magnificence of time has carved away the facades. Stripped down the falsehoods to reveal the truest essence of me, my soul, and my values. And time has given me unsurpassed and sublime beauty. Timeless beauty. Magnificent beauty. And the fascinating thing about where I am in my time line is that there is no way that I could have achieved any of this any earlier. These gifts of time have to be earned.
Getting more magnificent can be divine. I am going to learn to love it!
There’s no getting around it. Life will steal things from you. Things that you believed you couldn’t live without. Jobs. Houses. Pets. Cars. Money. But most excruciatingly, people. Friends. Family. Teachers, even your Heroes. You will lose your dad and your mom. Maybe a sister, a brother or two. Definitely grandparents and aunts and uncles. Dear friends and trusted mentors. And your bones will ache with the loss.
But loss informs who we are, it’s woven into our DNA, it’s written in our skin. Growing into your magnificent self can give you resilience and elasticity. Aging, if done well, will bring you great riches. Choose wisely, embrace the path of time, and you will be rewarded with the wealth of life. But when we resist age, pull back from it in fear and denial? That is when you GET OLD. This is the difference between the magnificence of aging and getting old – between evolving and giving up.
Getting old is getting dried and brittle in the body. Rigid and controlling in behavior. An old body caves in on itself. And slowly, throughout the rest of your lifetime, turns to stone.
Aging magnificently like a motherfucking warrior is supple and fluid. Open and surrendered to grace in behavior. A magnificent body expands and opens into possibility. She allows the aging process to happen and to move her. She doesn’t fight it into inevitable defeat. No! The magnificent body is fascinated by the changes time brings. The swerves and alterations she must continuously make to rise.
Is it all sweet and effortless? Hell no! It’s not always cute, but it’s always valuable. There’s nothing like a bum knee to make you appreciate every step. There’s nothing like reading glasses to make you appreciate the fine lines in each leaf.
Like life, aging isn’t perfect, but it’s worth itㅡif you lean into the progression of time and value every moment, every lesson – even the hard ones! – you will learn that getting old is not inevitable.
The feminine doesn’t have an expiration date. We are exquisite from the time we enter this world until the day we say goodbye.
Your beauty grows as you become more and more magnificent. Magnificence is waiting for you – you just have to take her by the hand.
I would love to hear your comments and thoughts. Please leave a message beauty xo Sheila