In the United States today we are living longer and more vital lives than ever before, thanks to developments in medicine, exercise science and nutrition. For many, “60 is the new 40” really does hold true. Millions of us are working, playing, traveling and taking on new projects and explorations well into what was once considered advanced age.
Adding decades to the life cycle is at once exciting and uniquely challenging for women. As we morph from young women to mid-life and then into maturity, our experiences physically and emotionally shift as well. As our bodies change, we need to change how we treat our bodies.
From the kinds of lotions and cosmetics we use, to the kinds of foods, supplements and herbs we take, to the kinds of exercise and relaxation we do, each time we shift into a new cycle, we’re called upon to curate a revised self-care regimen that’s tailored to who we are now.
At 38, I’m closer to middle age than any other. Still, it was disappointing when I realized recently that the hard-core style of yoga I’d loved since my 20s no longer felt right for my life now as a busy, working mom. Like breaking up with a friend or lover when both parties realize it’s time, I felt a sense of loss that something that had been so nourishing for so long suddenly felt depleting. Hard as it was to accept, I realized that the process of embracing those shifts and finding my way to new lifestyle choices was core to staying true and present to myself at each turn in the road.
In this year’s Women’s Wellness issue we celebrate the journey to maturity by exploring some of the most prevalent wellness concerns for women who are living in their 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s as comfortably and vitally as possible. One of our focuses is on the variety of current holistic and traditional treatment options available for managing the hormonal changes brought on by menopause. We also talk about sexuality, with the recognition that, just as with everything else in our lives, what turns us on physically and mentally is fluid and ever-changing; we discuss how we can lovingly address a decreased libido and feel more vitally connected with our sexual energy.
As for me, I’ve found a Mommy and Me yoga class that I’ve just started with baby Asa, and I’ve been thumbing through our Calendar of Events, circling and dog-earing for Spring. In the Natural Awakenings network where personal growth and expansion are always on the agenda, I have no doubt that I’ll find the practices and routines that will nourish and inspire the me in this moment, and the next. I’m thankful this month and all months for you all—my sisters, mothers and aunties in community here—for your company and camaraderie as we ripen into ourselves, again and again.
With you in Awakening,