Millions of women are affected world-wide by a lack of self-worth – it is our modern-day plague. This lack of self-worth is one of the underlying reasons why many women make so many choices every day which are not only dishonouring of themselves, but can be deeply abusive; further cementing the false beliefs and negative self-talk that we are not worthy of love for ourselves or of being loved by others too. So, we could say that this is a critical topic to bring our attention and discussion to.
Ever since I was a child, the world always presented a really consistent view of ageing as being something I most definitely should not consider looking forward to. Old age has certainly been given bad press by everyone. There’s the adage ‘old age does not come alone’; that, along with all the many derogatory jokes about getting old, made it quite clear that ageing was not to be valued at all.
As a child if I looked at the men and women in my life who were older and they did not present an inspiring view of being older. I recall seeing old women who always seemed very ancient to me, having very wrinkly skin, dressing in drab dark colours and with their hair always grey, worn in unflattering styles. I could not imagine them ever having been young, happy or carefree.
I was on my walk this morning, and as I walked steadily, a deep warmth circulated up my spine. I checked in with myself, feeling into it more, while continuing to walk in presence. What came was a feeling of true power in my steps, a new level of intimacy I have with my body. With walking as part of my consistent daily routine, the level of connection felt with my body has deepened. The power that I am feeling is one, which I have chosen now to live, devotedly connected to this body. The connection with my body is something I have ignored for a long time, until recently.
So this morning as I was feeling in Love and in Joy with myself and in my every step, I felt the whole world walking with me. At that moment I was aware that someone was looking at me — a man, standing at a nearby bus stop.
I entered my adult life anticipating that I would meet the ‘one’ and have my own family. This picture was firmly set from a young age. It was what being a woman was all about, unless you were unfortunate and ended up as a spinster – on the shelf…
“In modern everyday English, spinster cannot be used to mean simply ‘unmarried woman’; it is now always a derogatory term, referring or alluding to a stereotype of an older woman who is unmarried, childless, prissy, and repressed.”1
The term ‘spinster’ came with such a loaded image of an unattractive, miserable and lonely woman. It was to be avoided at all costs and remaining single wasn’t an option on my checklist for life. Instead, finding ‘the one’ and having a family would mean that I’d made it … or would it? Continue reading “Being a Woman: Developing my own Self-Worth”
For many years, practising as a Professional Make-up Artist and more recently advising and offering Inner Image Consultations, I’ve noticed that as women we’re still apologising for the way we look. Why do we resist accepting and embracing our own true beauty?
The most beautiful make-up of a woman is the love that she is.
Until we truly claim the woman within, we will continue to mask and hide our Divine Beauty underneath layers of protection that no amount of make-up can penetrate.
Recently I realised that I was often feeling jealous and compared myself to other women, particularly my friends. If they achieved something or were doing well, got a new boyfriend, a lovely dress, anything really, I would feel small pangs of jealousy arise within my body.
In the past I have quickly pushed down these feelings of jealousy and then played the ‘nice friend’, commenting and congratulating them on whatever it is that they shared. Because the jealousy was only a small feeling, nothing too big that only lasted for a few seconds, I didn’t think I had jealousy issues. Continue reading “Jealousy: Foe or Friend?”
‘ … I just have to accept how I am and how I look …‘
These are the words from Laura May McMullan after being diagnosed with malignant melanoma (skin cancer). Laura had spent many years using sunbeds only to be hit with this diagnosis some 12 years after she stopped using them.
The above words from Laura are very poignant. After spending years of trying to change herself, look different and be what she called ‘Mahogany’ in the end she’s had to accept her natural skin colour just as it is.
The dictionary’s definition of caring is, someone that shows kindness and concern for others.
Could it be possible that this is a very narrow perspective on the true meaning of caring?
My willingness to care came in many guises and started at a very young age. With a Mum who was sometimes ill or in overwhelm, I often took on the role of mother for our family until she was well enough to resume her life. I took it upon myself to tend to and nurture the animals we had at home when they became ill and as I grew older, I would offer my services to some of my neighbours, by taking their babies out for a walk in the fine weather to get some fresh air! (This was a relatively common practice back in Ireland in the 1950s). Continue reading “Born to Care”
I often contemplate what it means to be female and middle aged these days. I recently saw a documentary that featured an American actress of great skill and immense beauty, who had disappeared quietly from the acting scene in the mid ‘90s whilst at the height of her career. So there she suddenly was, looking every inch her natural 59 years, but totally in her skin, untouched by the modern plague of scalpels, fillers and injections. It was beautiful to see and inspiring that for a change, a woman had allowed herself the grace to age naturally.
It got me thinking about why it is we want to lie about our age, by lying about how we look and the self-mutilation some are prepared to sanction let alone fund, to maintain that lie. Well the obvious answer is because our society tends to judge on immediate appearance in a split second. Society last century turned its back on wisdom in favour of youth and so today’s prevailing consciousness carries an aim to beat the system and linger in youth, long past its sell-by date.
Why so? Is it possible that we have an inherent lack of self-confidence in our appearance or a need for recognition, approval and acceptance by this thing called society that we let judge us on the basis of how young or old we look? Perhaps, but a peek under the bonnet might also suggest that it starts with us not accepting who we truly are, our inner beauty, our natural essence and the unique value these bring to everyone we meet, regardless of our age and appearance. Continue reading “Ageing Naturally – The Elephant in the Room with the Emperor’s New Clothes”
For many years (actually most of my life) I was lost to myself, trying very hard to live up to a picture (actually a variety of pictures) of what defines a true woman and how it ‘should’ be, without connecting back deep inside me, and listening with care to my body, but instead from a variety of ‘external’ pictures or fixed ways to be defined as a ‘true’ woman.
There was then a time in my life that I got caught up in a way of being as woman that I thought (with the ‘help’ of my head) was ‘natural’.
As a young child I watched my mum who was always crazily busy on this committee and that charity – doing ‘noble deeds’ but running herself so ragged, utterly unable to sit still and intensely self critical in this seeking of perfection. There was a drive and a very fixed idea of what it was to be ‘good’ and ‘nice’ and ‘proper’ – and so, sadly an absence of any tenderness to self and so for others. I actively rejected (and reacted) to this way, as definitely not being ‘it’.