Women, Ageing and ‘the shelf’

What does the shelf mean to you?

For us it is the thing that has us in its grip from an early age as women. There is an unspoken contract that says that by a certain age we need to be partnered up and having babies.

It is so embedded in our societies that when we choose not to abide by these rules we are required to explain ourselves.

So who made the shelf and what keeps it on the wall? Continue reading “Women, Ageing and ‘the shelf’”

Going with or Resisting our Natural Cycles

‘I am in a 60+ year old body and yes, it is starting to show signs of ageing, but the me inside this body feels sparklier and more vital than it ever has; regardless of what is going on physically – the connection to my inner self is deepening and expanding exponentially – I put this down to acceptance and appreciation of the innate qualities I have and express.~ Judy

We have created such a weird construct in society in which we impose stops, negativity and ‘no gos’ on our natural cycles (ageing, menstruation, menopause, dying … to name a few) and this leaves us in a quandary and no man’s land in terms of our relationship with, and acceptance of, ourselves, our bodies and life.

Continue reading “Going with or Resisting our Natural Cycles”

Women – Honouring our Body Image and Appreciating our Reflection

When we look at ourselves in the mirror, what is the relationship we have with the image reflected back at us? How much do we appreciate ourselves?

A while ago I was in a shop trying on some clothes. The lady in the next cubicle came out looking stunning. She was trying on a beautiful dress – and her friend immediately expressed to her how gorgeous she looked. This lady did look gorgeous, and I could feel she loved the dress. The dress fitted beautifully and I could feel a grace in her quality as she stood in front of the mirror. It wasn’t that the dress made the woman into anything, it was that the woman in her beauty made the dress shine – she shone in the dress. I observed as the woman in the dress got distinctly more uncomfortable as she looked at herself in the mirror, and made some comments that picked fault in how it looked to her, and she decided not to buy the dress.

Continue reading “Women – Honouring our Body Image and Appreciating our Reflection”

Women’s Rights: Bringing Universality into the Conversation

In a recent Women in Livingness Group in London, Sara Williams shared some insights from a recent International Women’s Conference. As she was sharing these it raised a question: whilst things have changed for some women in some parts of the world, is it possible that there is nothing that has changed for women in many hundreds, if not thousands of years, that could be universally applied to all women across the globe? And if this is so, have we really gone anywhere with regard to how women are treated in our societies today?

Continue reading “Women’s Rights: Bringing Universality into the Conversation”

Finding the Gift in Menopause

Exploring how women in the past and in other cultures have approached menopause was fascinating to me, and I used it as a guide to open up and deepen my own experience.

Part of continuing to expand my understanding of menopause meant, for me, finding simple ways to keep it real and maintain lightness. I tend to learn more when I don’t get hooked into an intensity of trying to absorb knowledge and information. It has to make sense in my body so I can experience the feeling and mark that as a learning point to use as my guide to evolving. One of the examples of this was my choice associated with experiencing the hot flushes.

I decided to rename “hot flushes” as “my meeting with the Elders”.

Continue reading “Finding the Gift in Menopause”

I’m Pregnant! What’s next?

Two days ago, after a missed period in my menstrual cycle I took a pregnancy test that confirmed positive results. I’m pregnant!

Initially I didn’t believe my eyes! And yet when I looked deeply into those eyes in the bathroom mirror I recall feeling absolute love, joy and confirmation for what was ahead.

In this moment I immediately felt everything that this meant and would mean, how my life would change but mostly the huge responsibility that I was saying yes to (which I’ll explain more about) and this felt BIG.

Continue reading “I’m Pregnant! What’s next?”

An Unexpected Pregnancy: Making Truly Responsible Choices

The responsibility that comes with bringing a child into the world is no small thing. It affects every aspect of life – socially, physically, emotionally, psychologically and financially. For many women the experience of falling pregnant is welcomed, planned and embraced as a joyful life event, but when pregnancy is ‘unexpected’, as 50% of them are1, it comes with a mixture of emotions from shock, dread, surprise, fear and feelings of ‘what do I do now’?

I was pregnant ‘unexpectedly’ at 24 years old. I was well aware of how to, and how not to get pregnant, so no blame of insufficient sex education rests here. For me at the time life was ticking along; I was newly in a relationship with a man I was besotted with and although his feelings for me were not fully reciprocated, you could say we, ‘enjoyed ourselves’. The result being a night of passion where caution was thrown to the wind with us knowing I was likely to be ovulating. At the time I was not taking any oral contraception and that night having no other means of contraception available the choice was made to ‘carry on regardless’ throwing caution and implications to the wind in the moment…only to have them blow right back again after the moment had gone. Continue reading “An Unexpected Pregnancy: Making Truly Responsible Choices”

A Woman’s Choice: To Become a Mother, or Not

I grew up with one older brother and three younger ones. There’s quite a difference in age between us. There are fifteen, nine and eight year’s age difference between myself and my three younger brothers. 

No one asked me, nor was it expected of me, that I take on the role as ‘a second mother’ to my younger brothers, but that’s exactly what I did. I would take responsibility for them and how they felt. I used a lot of mental energy worrying about them, and also being there for them and doing things with them. At times I would even yell at them and put them into place and really acted out the ‘mothering-role’ as a teenager.

Continue reading “A Woman’s Choice: To Become a Mother, or Not”

Menopause, Motherhood and Ageing: Discarding the Ideals and Discovering True Beauty

I recently became aware how the ideals of motherhood and related beliefs have an enormous longevity and persistence in women and girls of all ages, and can even affect how we enter and experience menopause.

I have observed girls and women from ages 12 to 50 make the possibility and reality of motherhood the focus of their lives: their sole purpose of being a woman. The number of women seeking fertility treatments has skyrocketed over the last two decades as the desire, and often desperation, to have a child kicks in, with the promise of motherhood and a complete family. In truth, and perhaps, surprisingly, this motherhood ideal continues after menopause.

Continue reading “Menopause, Motherhood and Ageing: Discarding the Ideals and Discovering True Beauty”

Divine Marriage – Commitment and Knowing True Love

I’m a bit of an oddball: I took ‘solo flyer’ to a high art form, being almost continuously and faithfully in relationships with men throughout my adult life, and yet managing to stay unmarried and separate. Not because I was looking for greener grass, but because I was not looking for any grass at all!

I’ve always felt a sense of what love means, but not seen it in the world.

Continue reading “Divine Marriage – Commitment and Knowing True Love”