Recognizing Your Potential as a Woman in Midlife and Beyond
Women over 60 may remember our younger days when we fought for the acknowledgement of women as equals. When we wanted to be “seen” for who we really were.
Gone were the days of subservience to the patriarchal structure that had ruled the role of women from the dawn of humankind. We experienced the innocent freedom that the 70s and 80s gave us.
Exploring our newly found equality in sports and business, we also explored our womanhood. We restated old female rituals of honoring our monthly cycles in moon circles. In coming of age ceremonies for our daughters, we adopted the word “crone” as wise women for the elder post-menarche women among us.
The tie between our bodily cycles and our self-worth represented a swing to a change in consciousness about what it meant to be a woman.
Maiden, Mother, and Crone
The three physical phases of Maiden, Mother, and Crone in a woman’s life have become a psychological gateway to changes in consciousness that mark personal growth. Due to improvements in living conditions and healthcare, the traditionally short third phase of a woman’s life is now often nearing a third of our lifespan.
Don’t you think we need to pay attention and make something of this time of our life? We’re boomers, we can shake expectations up a bit.
Experiencing the Third Phase of Life
For women over 60, the third phase is a phase when the results of our womanly competency, our art in living, is apparent for those who want to take a look. For many of us the family is complete. The children are raised and the business is running smoothly without our constant attention. It’s a phase in which we know what our contribution to society is.
This is also the phase we are starting to feel the results in our body of the life we have lived, both positive and negative. Past age 55, post menopause, you may have experienced a decrease in mood swings and an increased sense of well-being, due to a shift in the estrogen-testosterone balance.
You may have noticed how this has contributed to a renewed feeling of energy. In this phase of your life you can contribute from a well of experience and knowledge and energy, as you’re no longer distracted by the biological need to find a mate for procreation.
You are now the Crone, a ‘wise woman’. Under ideal circumstances you can rely on appreciation for what you have contributed and still can contribute. Not on what you can physically display – although there are enough stories of women who experience a new found beauty in becoming active in their late 50s in physical ways they never dreamed of.
I joined a rowing club and women’s racing team at age 58, and by training regularly, have found a physical strength that has opened the doors to many other adventures.
Coming Into Our Power
As women over 60 who have come fully into our power, we can use our woman power to create and contribute, we can become masters of living in an artful way. By continuing to do so, we can maintain our body and mind, and give back to the community and the planet.
It is true that we will start to experience more and more loss, as partners and friends start to fall away, as physical beauty and strength is changing. This time of life then becomes more a time of inner growth. This phase becomes the return, both to self and to the earth.
It becomes as Gail Sheehy says in her book New Passages, “a series of little victories over little deaths. Surprise! We can go ahead. There is resurrection in life – and it is alright to say so.”
Have you, a woman over 60, experienced an energy renewal, a deeper sense of living? If so, share in the conversation about this new potential and let us know how you have expressed yourself in this third phase of your life.