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Being An Older Woman in the World

IMG_8517Photograph by Iris Pohl

There is a tendency in Western society to dismiss women as weaker and especially for our young to see an older woman as ‘just a lonely old grandma’ and to dismiss years of experience, all the lessons they’ve learned throughout their long lives, and any wisdom they may have to offer.

What happens when we become older? Do we just get old and bent and forgetful, like so many women we have seen in our society? Many women feel they are useless and give up, and go about their daily lives walking in a way that leaves them permanently bent.

I knew one very alert old lady in her 90s who still had the mind of a twenty-year old and kept making herself ill because she forgot that her body was not twenty. She would do physical things that were way beyond her actual capability but she lived on her own and didn’t like to ask for help.

In fact many of us women do things that are beyond our physical capability – I have seen many women carrying heavy bags of shopping, wielding heavy garden tools, and generally pushing themselves way beyond what they are physically capable of.

Our bodies are very strong and can deal with a lot, and in my case I considered myself equal to any man, I didn’t lift such heavy weights at the gym, but I played squash, which is a hard, fast, physical game and drove myself pretty hard in whatever work I did and I chaired committees and did voluntary work in my spare time. I would often lift heavy things, and thought nothing of it. In fact, recently, packing up my possessions prior to moving to Australia, I packed all the boxes to a weight of 15 – 20 Kgs because I felt that was a weight I could carry. That’s the weight of a very full suitcase – and there was a cost.

I ended up with a prolapse and had to have a hysterectomy to repair it, after which I was given dire warnings about lifting any weight over 2Kg for the rest of my life. It was a big wake up call as to how I’d been living and just how much I had pushed myself and what weights I had made my body carry. It showed me how I had totally ignored my natural fragility and delicateness.

There was another aspect to my being a woman and that was how we are in relationships as we age. I had been through the menopause when I was 49, and was enjoying the freedom of no more periods, but was aware that I’d developed an anxiousness I don’t remember being there before. I also lost interest in sex. At the time of my prolapse, I was 66, and had been ‘celibate’ for at least fifteen years, and with a new relationship in the offing, was concerned about how the physical side of the relationship would turn out.

There is an assumption that as we get older, that our libido drops, and everything dries up. That certainly appeared to be the case when I was in my early 50s just after the menopause. I was obese, weighing 98Kgs, feeling very ugly, with very low self esteem.

I came across Universal Medicine when I was 54 and learned a lot about how the way I’d been living was hurting my body, and that included the food I ate, the attitudes I held, and the way I moved. Over the next 12 years I refined my diet, and my weight returned to just over 50Kgs with very little effort. I have de-stressed my way of living and working so that a hyperactive thyroid I was suffering from returned to normal.

I attended Sacred Esoteric Healing courses, and the therapies offered by Universal Medicine practitioners helped me a great deal. For example, through the Esoteric Breast Massage, I began to be more aware of the hardness that was in my chest, as a result of the way I’d been living, and I could experience glimpses of the tenderness that lay just underneath. I also started to recognise the power that women have when they bring that tenderness into society along with an innate stillness. For me the Esoteric Yoga has been a beautiful way to connect with my body and to move with stillness.

During the preparation before my hysterectomy operation and during the recovery period after, I was careful what I ate so that my digestive system was not compromised, and I used the Gentle Breath Meditation to keep myself calm and relaxed. A friend visited me in hospital and gave me an Esoteric Arm Massage which felt very nurturing.

I was given some gentle Esoteric Connective Tissue Therapy exercises to do that enabled to me stay in touch with my tenderness, gently exercising my muscles and allowing scar tissue to repair itself without risk of further damage. I was very careful to follow the surgeon’s advice and the physiotherapist’s instructions, including not pushing when I went to the toilet, something I often did in the past when I was in a hurry.

When I returned home, I took great care with my body and I am pleased to say that my recovery went well. I have been careful to not lift heavy weights, for example, I had the boxes packed by the shipping company and asked for help with my suitcases when I travelled to Australia. Since then I have been careful to let go of the old push and drive, and I am living in a far more delicate way than before, continuing to develop my tenderness and sensitivity.

Not only am I living as the truly delicate and fragile woman I am, I am delighted to report that, now the relationship is in full progress, everything in my body is working fine, I am rediscovering myself as a truly ‘sexy’ woman, capable of fully living in the world and capable of a full physical relationship, despite my age.

Although my Australian visa does not allow me to work as an employee, I have been invited to join several voluntary projects where my innate steadiness and my years of experience are appreciated, and I will be able to make a valuable contribution in my local community and a worldwide digital community as well.

Mine is only one example, when it comes to Women’s Health – there are many hundreds of women of all ages that I know, who have turned their lives around and are living with a vitality, confidence and innate sexiness; they are powerful yet tender, busy but with an inner stillness, moving everywhere with grace and in relationships that are ever deepening.

It feels great to be an older woman in the world!

Self Care

RedRose

When I first heard about Self Care, I didn’t really know what it meant. In my mind it meant dressing well, making sure your hair was tidy, making your bed, keeping your room clean, so everything looked good. I have since found out that there is a whole lot more to those two little words.

I’ve learned that it is not just about activities to create an image, it’s a whole way of living that puts yourself first, before anyone else. ‘But that’s being selfish!’ you might cry, and that’s what I thought – at first. But I’ve since learned that if we look after ourselves first, then we (a) set a good example for others, especially our children, and (b) we are less exhausted and can then have more energy to support everyone else. Self Care is about a quality of living that keeps us in touch with our bodies and learns from the messages our bodies are constantly giving us.

For example, if we have a backache, it could be from the way we are sitting or standing at work. We may need to check our posture, our seat shape, the hours we are in just one position, the way we move, bend and stretch. Have we exercised enough to build up our supporting muscles?

We all have a responsibility to make sure that we are fit for work, and that leads to the question, Are we fit for life? How can we ensure that we have optimum physical and mental health so that we can move with confidence in every situation, have great relationships with family, friends and work colleagues, and find joy in everything we do? Sounds idealistic? Yes, but not impossible because we can make many choices in the way we live that can bring about positive changes in all aspects of our lives.

Different types of self care can include how we Eat, Sleep, Exercise, Talk, and Think.

One great stress in the workplace is suffering at the hands of what we see as poor management decisions, that perhaps did not take into account the needs of each employee, for example, hospitals making doctors work long shifts without proper sleep. We can get steamed up about it, we can accept it, or we can do something about it.

If we can do something about it, then it needs to be done in a matter of fact way. One of the things that exhausts us is getting emotional about issues we feel we have no control over. We talk to all our friends and colleagues in a moaning type of voice, they agree with us and we all disappear in a downward spiral of negativity. That serves no-one. Being practical like finding a way to reflect our awareness back to management, offering statistics that show the consequences of their decision, presenting facts in a non-emotional way, without judgment, gives them more of an opportunity to listen. It doesn’t always work and we can present the facts and they will still be ignored, but at least we tried, and can look for other ways of getting the message across.

In situations where we have no choice but to do what is asked, we might feel irritated or annoyed, but one of the phrases that I’ve found helps me is to say ‘That’s just the way it is.’ It hurts to bat your head against a brick wall. We do need to express what we feel, but indulging in emotional reactions just wears everybody down. A colleague once asked me how I responded when someone was rude to me. This can be a typical customer service situation in any industry. For me I have learned not to take things personally, and I try to understand that perhaps they are having a bad day, or something is really wrong, but it’s not actually my fault, I am not wrong, but they are having an emotional reaction to something and directing it at me. It feels awful, but if I don’t react, if I calmly ask for more information and develop my understanding of the situation, they may also calm down, especially as someone is truly listening to them.

So for me one example of self care is learning to respond and not react in difficult situations.

If you would like to read more on Self Care, the Unimed Living Self Care web pages have articles that may be of interest, there are audios and self care quotes for you to enjoy.

 

Clairsentience, Decisions and Choices

RainbowHow we can use our sixth sense 

“Clairsentience is the ability to not override what you feel is true.”

Serge Benhayon Esoteric & Exoteric Philosophy, p 36

We have many ways of making decisions in life, some people can make a snap decision, with an instant knowing and others like to deliberate and ponder before they make any kind of choice.

We make decisions or choices all day long, from choosing what time to get up, how well to brush our teeth and what to have for breakfast, to the bigger life changing decisions such as who to marry, what job to go for or where to live.

On what factors do we base our decisions and choices?
Some are based on external factors and we may feel that we have no choice, such as having to get up at six to go to work. Others will be based on our thoughts, our ideals, and our beliefs about the world and how we should be in it, for example in choosing what to wear to look right for an occasion.

For some people the decision they make will be based entirely on what they feel, and that is where Clairsentience comes in.

Some people call it a Gut Feeling or intuition, but true Clairsentience is more than that. Described in Unimed Living’s Unimedpedia as the ability to clearly feel energy, Clairsentience is a whole body experience that is over and above our five physical senses

We humans are incredibly sensitive, we feel a lot, all day, although we often do things to dull that awareness, such as overeat or distract ourselves with TV and Social Media. When we are open to feeling what is going on, we have an added sense, the 6th Sense, that enables us to make decisions that are true.

For example, in choosing what clothes to wear, with greater awareness we can choose not only what colour or style suits our expression for the day, we may choose to wear the exact colour that our colleagues need to see that day in order to evolve. In other words, Clairsentience gives us the bigger picture.
In the work environment employees often complain about decisions that management have made. There may be a general feeling that corporate decisions are made based on greed, the need for higher profit, reducing costs, and the employees’ needs are not being fully considered. In other words, those making the decisions are not feeling the bigger picture, not using Clairsentience in their decision-making. If they were, then everyone’s needs would be felt and considered, not just the shareholders.

Companies sometimes make products that we do not actually need but with clever marketing we think we do and buy them anyway. This can be food and drink that is not healthy, toys, gadgets, all manner of things. What if a company decided what products to make based on what humanity needs rather than what sells?

Outside of the corporate world, what if politicians made decisions based on what their country needed rather than what gets them votes?

If we were all using our Clairsentience we cannot but make great decisions, because our feeling would naturally be all encompassing, i.e. taking everybody into account. Many of us make decisions based on our personal needs and desires, but when we allow ourselves to truly feel, we can feel all of humanity, and everything we choose is based on benefit to all.

Further Reading: Unimed Living’s Unimedpedia has an article on Clairsentience that contains quotes and audio snippets from modern day philosopher Serge Benhayon http://www.unimedliving.com/unimedpedia/word-index/unimedpedia-clairsentience.html

Inspiring Presentations come from the Heart

‘Expression is everything’ – Serge Benhayon

Presentations are a form of expression and, contrary to popular thought, their success depends entirely on the speaker and not on how wonderful the PowerPoint slides are. There may be hours spent on preparing slides, working out what to say, but on the day, it is the speaker’s personal preparation and final delivery that matters.

Now I’m not saying that we don’t need any slides – some people need to see a visual aid to help them absorb and remember what you’ve said, so a few key words and some great pictures are a help. Whatever supporting information we provide, be it lists, tables, or statistics, we need to  keep them all very simple and make sure they can be read easily from the back of the room.

Some speakers love to have an audience and can chat happily without notes, but for some, giving a presentation is like a white knuckle ride – an adrenaline pumping moment of absolute terror. I have worked with both.

Of the last 25 years I have seen many different presentations, including, sadly, many of the ‘Death by Powerpoint’ ones. The ones I find most inspiring are where the speaker lives what they are speaking about, because they can speak with a full sense of knowing, and we, the audience can trust that what they say is true because it doesn’t come with any hidden agenda, they are simply sharing what lights them up, their passion, and their life.

It doesn’t matter if their speech is technical, a sales pitch or sharing information about a hobby, any talk can be inspiring as long as the speaker is fully connected within their own body and  with the audience.

I remember I gave a short talk some years ago and I was so determined to get it absolutely perfect that I rehearsed it and rehearsed it, and when I stood up to speak, I performed it beautifully, but a friend said after ‘Where were you, I missed you’.

In other words, I wasn’t being me. My underlying agenda was trying to achieve perfection, trying to impress people, and in doing so, the real me got lost.

Nowadays I am much more relaxed, my personal preparation is days beforehand, taking time to reconnect to my innermost self, having an early night, and simply being natural on the day. I might prepare some slides, but I only make a few and ensure that they support but don’t dominate my talk. I don’t plan what to say apart from noting a few important points and mostly what I say is prompted by what I get back from the audience.

I’m learning to let go of the ‘will they like me’ anxiety and to work more with ‘what do they need to hear today?’ approach. If I feel great in myself, that will come across in my presentation, so appreciating me is a great way to start the day. When there is no anxiousness and my body is relaxed, my body language is more natural and that helps the audience to relax too.

I use a few techniques to help me relax – a few gentle exercises, like rolling my shoulders, feeling my feet on the floor, relaxing my knees, tucking my tailbone under, adjusting my posture, and moving my fingers gently. I also work with breathing very gently, there is a beautiful Gentle Breath Meditation audio by Serge Benhayon that helps to calm anxiety.

Over the last 20 years, I have worked with groups and individuals, helping them to overcome nerves and give inspiring presentations. I have been supported on the way by Chris James who says ‘Everyone is born with a beautiful voice’, and more recently, by Serge Benhayon who has helped me to feel less anxious and to trust my inner knowing.