Hi Gorgeous Women,
This month I turned 50! I remember being a little girl and thinking that 30 was ooooooold. I am happy to see that time has changed my perspective.
I often write about how messages based on oppression, conditioning and limitations on women can affect our health, how we function and how we express ourselves in the world. There are a few big ones, age included, that can create a negative and distorted sense of self and lead us to a compromised life and health.
The following list highlights 5 messages that ruin our health and how to heal and thrive by changing our perspective.
1. Messages About Age
We are living in a culture that is obsessed with youth in a very distorted way.
We don’t admit and even lie about our age.
We buy anti-aging products and treatments.
We tell ourselves that 40 is the new 20.
We long for the fountain of youth.
We spend money on procedures and surgeries that turn back the time.
We beam when someone tells us we look younger than our age.
We are bombarded we images of youth from all directions.
We associate youth with health, success and happiness.
We associate getting older with the end of all good things, with a list of unavoidable limiting health conditions and with the loss of our attractiveness. We feel, once we reach a certain age, that it’s too late to live the life we always dreamed of.
Nothing can be further from the truth.
Every age brings with it valuable lessons and a new perspective.
As we age we get better, we know ourselves better, we get gentler and softer, we carry the many lessons life has given us.
There are many cultures where women are considered beautiful and sexy at every age. Let’s adopt that as an attitude. Start telling yourself that you just get better, healthier, more beautiful and amazing as you grow into yourself. That today, you know more than you did yesterday and that knowledge opens up the door to an even more glorious life.
Think of all the advantages of being at your particular age and all the experiences that shaped you into who you are. Thank every year and every day for bringing you here.
Getting older is a gift. It is something that happens to us if we are lucky.
One of the big advantages of getting older is that we can let go of other people’s expectations and ideas more easily. We can truly live our lives for us! And that includes focusing on our health and wellbeing. We can actually grow healthier as we age!
I feel better about myself now than I ever did. Looking forward to a fabulous 50s!
2. Messages About What We Can And Cannot Do
Think about all the things you tell yourself you cannot do.
All the places you gave up on trying.
All the things you think you’re not good at.
What areas in your life do you feel NOT in charge of?
As young girls we got a lot of direct and indirect messages about what is appropriate and what is not. We were trained to be nice with our behaviors, feelings, words, actions and thoughts. We were not given access to the full range of what it means to be who we are.
And while the things that we associate with our female capabilities like nurturing, giving and caring are super valuable, we need to explore all of the aspects of who we are.
We are limitless. We are brilliant. We can can do anything if we have the right resources. But that does not mean that we need to do everything.
Imagine your ideal life. If you had absolutely no limitations, what would your life look like? What would you be doing? How will you be living?
Take some time to dream, think, write and create images of your ideal life. Bring that dream life into your awareness first. And then think about what is stopping you from living that life. When you identify an obstacle, whether it’s lack of skill, a limiting belief, physical limitation or lack of time, take a tiny step towards improving it. Take a class, read a book, work with a health or life coach, invest in yourself.
This is your life.
You create it.
You direct it.
Live it for you.
3. Messages About Our Worth
We feel that our worth is defined by things outside our inner selves.
By how we look.
By how much money we have.
By our accomplishments.
By what we do for others.
By the approval of others.
But our worth is unquestionable.
We are worthy because we are.
Because we are here.
Because we exist.
There is nothing you need to do to prove your worth.
It is given you the moment you were created and nothing can take it away.
Use your thoughts and words and actions to express how worthy you are.
Walk as if you are a gift to this world. Because you are.
Cherish yourself as if you are precious beyond measure. Because you are.
Refuse to engage in any words of self degradation and self criticism.
You are a goddess.
A wise woman.
Treat yourself as one.
4. Messages About Beauty
Even though I touched on our feelings and thoughts about how we look in the previous messages, Beauty deserved a category of it’s own.
We are given many opinions about what is considered beautiful and what is not.
Ideas about beauty get filtered through many oppressive lenses of race, color, size, individual body parts, social status, age, gender identification and any other ism out there.
The beauty industry, the cosmetic industry, the fashion industry, the cosmetic surgery industry even the porn industry are all giving us images of what is considered beautiful.
Those industries are huge.
Those industries are not interested in you feeling beautiful.
They actually count on you feeling flawed.
And they use billions of dollars in manipulating you to feel flawed and be on a constant look for a fix.
I love clothes, shoes, make up, accessories and beautifying stuff just like the next girl. I think it’s impossible to live in our world and not be influenced by all those messages we are submerged in.
This is an area we all need to work on.
Just like our worth, our beauty is a given. We might need to make changes to be healthier, to be less limited, to improve our condition but we are beautiful no matter what. Beauty is not the narrow definition of our society. Just like a rose is beautiful at every stage of it’s life cycle, from bud to full bloom to rose hip, so are we. We are divinely created and our beauty is divinely created.
What a life we would have if we could internalized that!
Imagine what your life will look like if you felt beautiful. All. The. Time. No matter what. Go there. Really imagine that. Create it in your mind. And start inviting it into your life. Anytime you feel less that beautiful remind yourself that those feelings are not based on truth and that you always were and always are breathtakingly beautiful.
Weight has a particular way of being attached to ideas of beauty in our current society. There were times in history when large women were considered to be more desirable and beautiful. There are cultures that see larger women as more attractive. Beauty comes in all sizes. Feeling that you are not beautiful because of your body size will actually make it more difficult to think about your health. Internalizing that you are beautiful no matter what will help you to make more empowered choices.
5. Messages About Loving And Prioritizing YOU
You will not be able to accomplish your health goals if you do not make yourself a priority. You will not be able to make yourself a priority if you do not love yourself enough.
When I first meet a client, they often share that they want to make changes because they don’t like themselves, don’t like how they feel or scared of health challenges. And while that is a good way to start a health journey it will not get them far.
Fear, self criticism and self hatred are very poor motivators. They will not lead to make lasting changes. They will only create more things to fear in the long run.
Instead of thinking of what you do not want; how you do not want to look, how you do not want to feel, health issues you do not want to have, think about what you would LOVE your life and your health to look like.
Create a glowing vision of ‘Healthy You’.
Imagine yourself at your healthiest and journal about the following;
What do you look like?
What do you feel like?
What habits are you practicing?
What foods are you eating?
What important things are you giving your time and attention to?
Practicing self love is what will lead you to make that vision a reality.
Love yourself enough to make your health important.
Love yourself enough to say yes to things that bring you health and joy.
Love yourself enough to say no to things that drain and deplete you.
Love yourself completely because who doesn’t want to take care of what they love?