This week, I worked with a group of mompreneurs about to turn 40 and also facilitated a workshop on life’s second act with a group of women over 60.
The biggest challenge for all the women, no matter their age, was the same! They were all negotiating with their physical beauty as they age.
Whether it looms large or small in your world, most women heading into their 40s start to notice our changing physical beauty. Sure, a few women start to feel even more beautiful—curse them! (just kidding…sort of)—but most of us start to see places where our physical beauty is becoming less “youthful” and less valuable by mainstream standards. And most of us are noticed physically less in our 40s than we were in our 20s and 30s.
So how do we navigate aging and our physical beauty? How do we keep feeling good in our skin? How do we know what choices to make along the way? Do we get botox? Do we go grey?
Here are nine ideas for how we can keep feeling beautiful at any age, on our own terms.
1. Stop resisting change. We gotta feel it to move through it. There just isn’t another way. If you’re feeling bummed out about aging, let yourself feel it. Ask yourself what you’re most afraid of. Be present with it and usher it though.
2. Acknowledge your higher self. We are goddesses. However you define your connection to something larger than you—we are way more than our body. Find your way into your truest, wisest place on the regular! Whether it’s in nature, at church, in water, in exercise, in dance, in music, or in art, find your way into knowing and feeling the sparkly, breathtaking, sovereignty that comes when you connect to a deeper beauty.
3. Define beauty. Whose eyes are you seeing your beauty through? Yes we’ve spent 20, 30, 40, 50+ years having beauty defined for us. We have seen ourselves through marketers and ad agencies. Time to take the reigns, sister! Look in the mirror. Find the physical things about you that you don’t love. Ask yourself, whose eyes am I seeing this through? Who trained me to see that part of me that way? Can you see your physical image through a different set of eyes? One that is more loving? More divine? What do those eyes see?
4. Be radiant. What makes you glow from the inside out? What if we spend as much time and money on becoming radiant as we do on our physical beauty?
5. Be passionate. How stunning does a woman look when she’s in her flow? When she’s talking about or teaching her passion? When she’s changing the world? When she’s inspiring? When she’s experiencing joy, pleasure, and orgasm? How are you getting lit up? How are you experiencing passion in your life? What can you do to get your groove on? Sex? Music? Purposeful work?
6. Be uncompromising. Let’s decide what makes us feel best in our own skin. Let’s decide if we want Botox or to go grey. Let’s make that choice based on our standards, our definition, and on our own deepest knowing about what is best for ourselves.
7. Create your style. Even Carrie Bradshaw decided at some point she was done with tutus and bustiers. But she never gave up her Manolos! She found her new signature style and kept her self-expression along the way. As you age, define your own style. F*ck trends. F*ck rules. Create a signature style that expresses you.
8. Don’t be so serious. At the end of the day, we’re all aging. Doing it with humor and levity will allow us to breeze into it with much more ease and joy than gripping the edge of youth. Let go and have a good laugh.
9. Love yourself. It’s more than just a “Saturday Night Live” skit! Giving ourselves positive affirmations works. I have a spin instructor who says to us in the middle of a hard, heart pumping class, “I love you, I love you, I love you!” I have found myself saying it to myself and I like the ring of it. Try it. Put your hand on your heart and whisper, “I love you, I love you, I love you.”
Two guiding tenets that I believe and teach women are 1) you have the best answers for you, 2) do whatever it takes to stay awake, and inspired. As you navigate the hundreds of ways to age and the thousands of choices about your physical beauty along the way, you will never go wrong if you follow your own heart and stay lit up.