New Beginnings – Welcome 2024
I am not one to make resolutions specifically at this time of year, but this year is little different. I felt particularly challenged this past year with questions about myself and the direction I was choosing. You see this year, I turned 65 and although birthdays had always been a time to celebrate and have some fun with no significant changes in me, this one was a little different. I have not really been one who worried about aging, in fact never really thought about it that much except to make a joke or use it as an excuse for forgetting something. But this chronological number changed society’s opinion of me. In just 24 hours, in the eyes of society I became more disposable, less capable and of less value. I was disappointed by this realization, as I was a contributing human to society in every way, holding a job, owning a small business, paying taxes, and volunteering my time. Why was I now disposable? Why now did I feel like I did not fit in and what I wanted to do and pursue were not really of value in the big picture of society?
This was a year of reflection, conversation, yoga and fitness practice, research, and learning. It became time to move forward, no longer ruminating, but accepting that I am not going to change society or our culture. Our culture is that of youth and the billion-dollar anti-aging industry. Unlike many other cultures, we do not respect the wisdom or the learning of our aging population. We set this population, that I am a now a part of, up for disease and depression by creating an environment that makes aging a failure. This negative perspective sets up this population for a feeling of a diminished self-worth.
I have realized that I cannot change our society’s holistic perspective on aging, but I can still move forward with positive and accepting presence. I also realized that I needed to go back to my fitness roots to create a yoga program that incorporates a whole fitness practice, supporting physical, social, mental, and spiritual health. I choose now to accept my aging persona and represent the process of activating the life stage of the Crone. No, not the Webster Dictionary abrasive definition of “an ugly old woman” but rather the spiritual definition of an aging post-menopausal woman, or I believe anyone identifying as a woman in that age group. In this stage our need for approval from others now holds less weight, our voice becomes more direct and truer, our experiences and transformation to this stage becomes a resource for wisdom and teaching. Symbolically, the Crone is a proud and mature woman. She does not reflect our society’s stereotype of old. She is a wise woman who is brave, still, passionate, calm, peaceful, and adaptable. The Crone is a woman who is aware of her choices as she transitions from Mother stage to the Crone. She sees herself as being in her prime with many productive and creative years ahead. This is a process and is not a transformation that happens overnight, but by accepting my presence as I am right now, this becomes the beginning…. a new beginning, living as a Crone.
To what end? Why write this? Why share this information? Well, I do not believe that I was alone in this conflict. I hope that by sharing this reflection that the younger generations, the Maidens and the mothers, the partners and the children and grandchildren, that they will gain an alternate perspective and respect on aging and the aging population and what the humans living in this stage of life can look like. Hopefully, this platform offers those of us in this stage a life affirming and positive outlook that will affect our own personal overall wellbeing.
I created “Y.O.G.A. is Fitness.” This program is for everyone, for all stages of life, for anyone who is willing to come to their mat and show up for themselves. Together we will share a Y.O.G.A. practice that celebrates ourselves as we are, as we learn, challenge, and experience a whole yoga fitness practice. Now is the time to join in, to expand your practice or try something new. Now is the time to take responsibility for your well-being, your worth and presence in your life. This program welcomes all ages, genders, and bodies to the mat. For program information, please refer to “Y.O.G.A. is Fitness” Programs.