Books & Curriculums
on Healthy Feelings!
Talk, Trust & Feel
Therapeutics

Dr. Lynne Namka
Licensed Psychologist
www.AngriesOut.com

 

A Gathering of Grandmothers
Words of Wisdom from
Women of Spirit and Power

 

A Gathering of Grandmothers: Words of Wisdom From Women of Spirit and Power is a collection of stories, poems, wise sayings and visions and women supporting each other in the later stages of life. It speaks to the rite of passage of women moving into the second half of life with grace and wisdom. If you want to read stories about positive women who are making their life count, this is the book for you.

 



The book is edited by Lynne Namka and features her unique kind of wisdom plus 25 other authors. This anthology addresses women ages 50 to 101 becoming their true self in the second half of life. They write about aging with zest and enthusiasm with much to give to older women and the younger generation. The book offers readers wit, humor and zest as these women share their deepest fears, hopes and decisions to age consciously. As Margaret Mead said,'There is nothing like the zest of a menopausal woman!' These authors are gutsy, opinionated women who have something to say about the deeper essence and mysteries of life.

A Gathering of Grandmothers: Words of Wisdom from Women of Spirit and Power is available from iUniverse.com for $16.95 plus postage. It is also on Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble at the same price.

Withering Face, Flowering Spirit

Skye Blaine



One afternoon, in my early forties, as I stood in front of the mirror, I noticed with horror that the skin around my mouth was breaking down into fine wrinkles.  The light is stronger and less forgiving at that time of day, and I was wearing my new reading glasses.  My denial fell away in that instant.  My whole body reacted; my heart rhythm jumped, solar plexus tightened, and stomach felt slightly ill.  I was not escaping aging...I was becoming my mother's face, my grandmother's face.  I wasn't ready.

The frown line between my brows came first, and at a young age, by twenty-two I think.  My dad had the same frown line, and I had consciously modeled mine after his.  As a child I looked very young for my age; I was also the youngest in my family and the neighborhood, and was certain this was a disadvantage.  I felt that lines would help me look older and add character, and I cultivated them, using my face in an expressive way that encouraged their development.  The frown line added a serious, thoughtful quality.  The smile lines, like sunrays around my eyes, became indelible in my thirties.  I didn't mind them because I had memories of elder women in my family, especially my Aunt Betty, and her smile lines were the signature of her warmth and joy.  Yes, wrinkles have been gathering on my face, faster this decade than before.

In my experience, when something is taken away, there is often a gift in return.  It is not always obvious, and it may not be easy to receive. Sometimes I must stalk it as a hunter stalks prey, quietly, with patience and above all, endurance.  Clearly my young adulthood was over.  Gone, I
knew in that moment, and not recoverable.  Living in this culture, where aging is not honored, this new experience of myself came with both fear and pain.  What did this mean in my life?  The stalk began.

First there were periods of intense sharing with my women friends.  It was too fresh, too fierce a feeling to share with male friends yet.  That would come later.  My women's lodge gathered sixty women together for a Council on Aging.  We invited active old women in their seventies, eighties and nineties to share their wisdom with us.  We risked plumbing the depth of pain we collectively have that in this culture, female beauty is synonymous with youth.  With quiet rage, women shared feelings of becoming anonymous, unseen.  We spoke how we want to be when we are very old.  We laughed and cried together; we danced our beauty.  I discovered there were many of us on this path exploring, seeking a new way.  It helped.

Around forty-six, the deepening began.  I needed large chunks of time alone, and my husband, what a wonderful partner, encouraged my claiming that time. I had a strong need to sleep alone, and felt as though I was birthing myself anew.  My spiritual practice reawakened with a richer vitality.  My listening changed subtly and powerfully as an unquenchable thirst for truth emerged.

I developed peace with my wrinkles as I turned forty-eight.  The movement of my life stemmed from a different, deeper source.  I began to feel called to places, people and work, by my inner listening rather than personal desire. I felt a creative quickening inside that was reminiscent of the surges of energy I had as a teenager.  My uncertainty, shyness and self-consciousness left.  I started writing; I knew as a small child that this would develop, as I grew older.  I began telling my truth firmly, clearly, and lovingly‚Ä'a crone voice.

Approaching fifty-one, I feel like ripe, mature fruit that is ready to nourish others; it is clearly time to give back.  My community is asking for that giveaway just as I am ready to respond.  I am an energetic light for others and can bring objectivity well seasoned with love.  I can accept the
mantle of mentoring another.  These attributes are abundantly available in my friends as well.

We are seeking to move into our elder years in ways that speak of far memory and distant times; there is resiliency, deep power, and courage.  We are choosing to allow the gray to emerge in our hair, and face lifts are not a topic of discussion.  So there, women's magazines!  This culture will have empowered, elder, wise women who claim their voice and the right to speak it, and we will not be invisible.  Withering face, flowering spirit, how beautiful we are!


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