A Woman Turning 40: Celebrating the Beauty of the True Woman

I am a gorgeous, single woman with no children and have never been married. Last year I found myself turning 40.

A few years ago, I spent a lot of time worrying that time was running out – ‘time’ being biological time. It is common knowledge that a woman’s chance of conceiving naturally after 40 is much slimmer than a woman in her 20s or 30s. The idea of turning 40 was D-Day, I figured that 40 was the cut-off mark that would determine if I was destined to be a mother or not.

In my 30s, every time I met a man who could potentially be a partner I would quickly size him up to see if he would be a suitable father or not. Those types of thoughts were always lingering there in the back of my mind, although I dared not admit it to anyone.

I felt an underlying pressure to meet Mr. Right, to have a child and become a mother.

It was as though I had an internal programme running telling me that this was how life was, this is what we do as women and that if this didn’t happen for me, I had failed life as a woman. I often thought: surely it can’t be that difficult, most women around me seem to be able to meet someone, get married, and have children. I questioned what was wrong with me. The closer I got to 40 the more anxious I was that my time was running out.

It’s interesting to reflect that on growing up, I had assumed that I would one day get married and have children. I grew up in a small country town and this was ‘normal’ and what most women did. I never questioned it until later in life. As a young girl I had dreamed of marrying a farmer. I use to love seeing the farmers’ wives coming into town all dressed up to do their shopping. I thought they looked pretty and I wanted to be like them. I guess on a subliminal level this picture had stuck in my head. It wasn’t until my later school years by going to high school in a bigger town that I realised that there was perhaps more to life and more to being a woman than I had initially thought.

However, for most of 20s and 30s, unbeknown to me on a conscious level I had continued to carry around with me this picture of ‘getting married and having children.’ I still held it as the natural and the normal way in which a woman could have a fulfilled life. This was in spite of the fact that my life circumstances had very much changed, career was now important to me, and I was an independent woman of the world.

A couple of years ago, I started to feel differently about this deep-seated belief I held. It wasn’t until this shift had taken place that I became aware of just how much it had been there my whole life. It had been buried for a while, but it hadn’t gone away.

It was like a soft tune that was playing in the background and it wasn’t until it was no longer playing that I noticed that it was there in the first place.

I found these shifts took place after I had started to attend workshops and presentations by Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine. What was offered in these courses was a different way of living, a way where we self-care, self-nurture and honour ourselves. I began to make simple daily choices that had a big impact on how I felt, such as eating in a way that left me feeling light, going to bed early, expressing more about how I felt and dealing with my issues.

I began to develop a loving connection with my body.

This was a far cry from how I had previously lived, very much stuck in my mind, having spent many years looking outside of myself for fulfillment through travel, relationships and then the spiritual new age movement.

Over time as my connection and relationship with myself deepened, I could see how the idea of having a child was something that I had a picture of that had stemmed from my childhood, thinking that this is what would finally make me feel complete.

I soon realised that the longing to fulfil this was coming from a need because I was feeling empty inside. Nothing up until that date had filled the emptiness: not the travel, any relationship or my spiritual new age pursuits.

Seeing this picture as just that – a picture that I had grown up with – I decided that it was no longer serving me and it was time for it to go. As I allowed myself to feel more and more deeply into this ideal that I was holding, I could see how these frequent thoughts were keeping me disconnected from the loveliness and simplicity of being with my body. They were keeping me in my mind and causing me to feel an ongoing low grade of anxiety.

Around this time, having dedicated myself to feeling and living more from my body, I was beginning to feel pretty awesome within myself, and starting to really enjoy being me. When I pondered whether life would really be any better if I had a child, I soon realised that life would be different, but not necessarily better because the better was reliant on something outside of myself. This was my ‘aha’ moment.

I realised that it didn’t matter if I was to be a mother or not. I would always still be me.

What matters most is how I feel about myself and how I live in my body moment to moment, regardless of my circumstances.

From this realisation, the background noise that had been playing out for such a long time about having a child disappeared. I felt a sense of freedom in my body as I let go of this burden that I had been carrying around with me for most of my 20s and 30s.

In the beginning it almost felt too good to be true, to not have this noise occupying space in my mind and my body. On the rare occasion now when the thoughts enter my mind, I make the commitment to come back to my connection with myself by choosing to move my body gently and feel and appreciate the preciousness and amazingness of me. The thoughts soon subside.

Last year I joyfully turned 40. It was a true celebration of me. I embraced 40 like I never thought I would.

With my new found freedom since letting go of the ideal I was holding of having a child and with my deepening relationship with myself, I now feel completely comfortable with not knowing what the future holds.

As this connection to the beauty that is inside me deepens it develops the foundation for what I now know is me as a woman. This celebration of me is no longer reliant on anything that is outside of myself. Being a woman for me now is not tied up with the ideals of being a mother. Being a woman turning 40 is about celebrating the innate beauty that is inside me… the loveliness and gorgeousness that is inside us all.

By Donna Gianniotis, BA, Diploma Health (Yoga), Yoga/ Esoteric Healing Practitioner, Sydney, Australia

You may also enjoy:
Women Speak 101
Single Woman, Aged 38, No husband, No kids – No problem by Zofia 
No Children – I am No less of a Woman by Mariette Reineke

646 thoughts on “A Woman Turning 40: Celebrating the Beauty of the True Woman

  1. “I realised that it didn’t matter if I was to be a mother or not. I would always still be me.” When we let go of the background buzz of our ingrained beliefs we are free to be who we are.

  2. Super interesting article. How a belief can occupy space in our bodies, and supply our mind with thoughts. So if we have thoughts running in our minds, instead of wanting to stop the thoughts, we are better off investigating the beliefs running underneath. To conclude that beliefs are not us, and something we have picked-up from society.

  3. It is interesting how we are taught to seek pictures outside us to feel fulfilled about ourselves and end up constantly searching for more pictures when our experiences do not turn out how we expected they would. It makes sense that without building a loving and caring relationship with ourselves first we are empty of love and then develop a need to fill that emptiness by looking outside us rather than within.

  4. It keeps it simple knowing everything is inside us, no fruitlessly searching outside anymore, ‘Being a woman turning 40 is about celebrating the innate beauty that is inside me… the loveliness and gorgeousness that is inside us all.’

  5. Choosing to note how we feel moment by moment is a true gift to ourselves and then what we reflect to others. A marker in knowing that the interior is what shines through for all to see.

  6. “I now feel completely comfortable with not knowing what the future holds.” I feel this is an important part of letting go of any ideal or need we have to be in a relationship get married or have children. There is so much to learn about life and about ourselves that sometimes just learning to be with ourselves is the most loving thing we can do. When we allow the future to unfold we release ourselves from the control of wanting life to be a certain way.

  7. It’s beautiful how you describe the freedom you felt when you surrendered to life just the way it is. We don’t realising how much these pictures – like “I want or need a child” impede and control our whole lives, imagine if every choice we made was to fulfil a picture that kept us away from what life was truly about – what are we actually missing out on? And could it be incredible?

    1. Our pictures can send us so off track, and can be huge distractions from getting on with what we’re here to do. When we drop the pictures we open up the space for other opportunities.

  8. It’s amazing how something as seemingly simple as developing a more loving relationship with your body helped you to become aware of a tune as you say that had been playing in your way of living that didn’t actually belong. It’s like by building a stronger foundation of being connected to who we truly are allows us to be more aware of what we may be running with that is actually harming and not from who we are in essence.

  9. ‘This celebration of me is no longer reliant on anything that is outside of myself.’ This to me is what success is – not all the pictures I’ve tried to achieve that I brought into growing up.

  10. When ever we rely on something outside of ourselves to make life better we have lost sight of truth as we are already everything

  11. How gorgeous that you came to this understanding and acceptance, ‘What matters most is how I feel about myself and how I live in my body moment to moment, regardless of my circumstances.’

  12. This is a very inspiring article. I know what it is to feel this joyful and in love with oneself and to express this in full however often for me it is a lingering feeling in the background whilst I let other more worldly things or my own internal chatter get in the way. You remind me to be more present with myself in a way that my delicate nature can be felt. Thank you.

  13. Isn’t it interesting how as women we can want so much for a child, and yet not have a body that is full of love, a love that comes from caring deeply for ourselves, from nurturing ourselves, from allowing the sweetly sensitive person inside to express.

  14. When we identify with any our roles in life, there is often a need or emptiness looking to be fulfilled. We are way more than our roles or what we do.

  15. It is amazing how we can live with pictures of how we think things should be and gradually over time they become our reality. Who says we have to get married and have children, this may not be our reality and our purpose in this life. Knowing that reincarnation is a fact and an absolute truth takes away this picture and allows our true purpose in life to unfold. We may have things to learn in this life ready to be a mother in our next we don’t always not what is ahead of us but it can be so easy to block this by not accepting what is offered to us in this life

  16. ‘these frequent thoughts were keeping me disconnected from the loveliness and simplicity of being with my body.’ Yes, if we’re not staying awake and aware and paying attention to the quality of our thoughts then it’s easy to slide into same old unhealthy thought patterns- thoughts of memories about how things were, or how we’d like them to be, that only serve to disconnect us from our bodies and keep us stuck in our heads

  17. “What matters most is how I feel about myself and how I live in my body moment to moment, regardless of my circumstances.” Beautiful Donna. So many are always craving more than they are or already have within them. If we get to the picture we may have been yearning for it isn’t always what its cracked up to be. Appreciating and confirming where and who we are – right now – allows life to unfold.

  18. As far as I can tell, parenting with emptiness is a global phenomena that rarely gets challenged or questioned. e are given pictures to achieve and books for the answers, but rarely have I seen something that confirms the woman beyond her role as a mother. So, having done this for yourself is beautiful. It is a place that not many women get to see, and then to write about it is even more beautiful still, as we all get to share in the experience and to be inspired.

  19. “I realised that it didn’t matter if I was to be a mother or not. I would always still be me.” This is a beautiful realisation. No matter what happens in life being ourselves cannot be taken from us nor can anything in truth change it, it is just that we learn to adapt and fit in to life, so it is simply a reclaiming of our true inner self and live it with every breath more.

  20. It is very empowering to uncover the extent in which our thoughts and ideals impact our body and whole way of being when we disconnect from our body and allow thoughts and anxiousness to take over. In learning to deepen our relationship with ourselves through building a true connection and presence with our body we are able to value our true inner beauty and preciousness.

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