I had been told once that a woman’s life, if lived well, goes through four phases.
These are the Playful Child, the Sexy Seductress, the Good Mother and the Wise Older Woman (WOW). I was told this as I was entering into the “Good Mother” phase. I accepted it readily and kept the notion at the back of my mind as I observed women throughout the years and placed them in their appropriate category.
The Playful Child was clear. As I watch my daughters grow, I can easily see their playful sides. They are energetic, fun and live fully in their bodies. You can see their joy clearly on the playground. They move without reservation, fully engage in running, playing, swinging, and laugh easily and often.
When women move into the Sexy Seductress, they bring all the qualities of the Playful Child and add to them. They incorporate the art of the tease. Flirting and touching come easily to them. The combination of these two phases is irresistible to anyone who has the pleasure to know a young woman. They command the attention of everyone around them. Men are drawn to them. The Sexy Seductresses have only themselves to be concerned about and seem to carry a devil-may-care attitude that is fun and infectious.
Moving into the Good Mother phase seems to be a harder transition. The energy we felt in the previous phases is now focused on nurturing and raising children while tending to the daily needs of others. Attention is taken off of ourselves and transferred to our family. The indulgent days of caring only for ourselves are rarely available. However, most women embrace this time; it can be rewarding and adds a deeper dimension to our lives. Raising children opens up our hearts and warms our soul. We move outside of ourselves and no longer claim or need all the attention.
Conversely, we can also lose touch with good aspects of the previous phases. In an ideal world, we would bring the energies of the child and the seductress to this new phase and yet we often seem to abandon them. We now view taking time for ourselves as selfish. We also seem to have trouble reconciling the sexuality of the Sexy Seductress with the Good Mother, somehow making her less good. Why do we do this to ourselves? We no longer demand the attention, time and care for ourselves as we did in the previous phases and without honoring those parts of ourselves, we start to lose them.
The Good Mother needs the previous two phases to thrive and grow. We may abandon them temporarily but the pull to incorporate these previous qualities into our lives is strong. Woman shouldn’t go through life with so much of themselves hidden. Rediscovering playfulness, sexuality and sensuality is essential in order to fully become the Good Mother and grow into the Wise Older Woman.
Mothers, caregivers, teachers and nurturers: it’s time to give back to yourselves. Start to carve out a little time for yourself to enjoy being present in your own body. Give yourself permission to be indulgent and find the Playful Child and Sexy Seductress that resides inside of you. Revisit an activity or place you enjoyed as a child. Play on a swing set. Frolic in the water when you go to the beach. Buy pretty lingerie then book an appointment for a boudoir photo. Flirt for the joy of flirting.
These three phases, if embraced, move seamlessly into the Wise Older Woman. This phase provides wisdom from life experiences with the knowledge that while life can be hard, there are gifts in our adversities. We’ve overcome our obstacles, grown stronger, feel more appreciation and give back our experience, the resulting gifts and hard-earned knowledge to the world. The WOW looks at life’s lessons as a necessary part of growth with gratitude, acknowledgment and appreciation. WOWs see the fun, sexy and loving side to life. She is able to keep her essence and spirit alive while providing valuable insight and lessons for upcoming generations.
What phase are you in currently? Have you abandoned any of the qualities earned from each phase? What can you do to nurture each phase and claim your entire self, not just some parts? Enjoy each phase and embrace the next as part of your journey for a fuller, more satisfying life.
Bonus: How to know if she/he is the one:
Relephant to this:
Assistant Editor: Jamie Khoo/Editor: Rachel Nussbaum