It is time to embrace the Wise Woman
When I look around I see many of my contemporaries, women over 50, eagerly reclaiming their power. Older women are refusing to fade into the background. Instead, we are choosing to use our experience and wisdom to create a better life for everyone.
When I was younger I didn’t notice how older women were treated. My mother and her friends didn’t appear oppressed, they just got on with their lives. She and a friend travelled around the world in their 60s, so I didn’t see getting older as a handicap.
But as I got older myself, I noticed the misogyny, prejudice and negative stereotypes experienced by women as they aged. This really annoyed me. Getting older doesn’t seem to hold men back. They are still respected and considered sexy, even with grey hair and a paunch! The same cannot be said for women. Things are slowly changing. If you look around there are many more women over 50 in positions of power and influence. We are also more visible in the media but, there is still a long way to go.
It is in response to this and my own journey into middle age, that I created the Ancient Wisdom of Women.
As a woman in midlife, I am no longer prepared to fade into the background as I get older. I am determined that older women should take our rightful place in society as wise elders.
What is a wise woman?
The Wise Woman archetype can be found throughout many cultures and religions. She is often seen as a powerful and wise figure who can help and guide others.
If you look up the word wisdom it means, ‘someone who has the experience, knowledge and good judgement.’
I would also include the following as traits:
- Being authentic and trusting your intuition
- Learning from your mistakes
- Independent and resourceful
- Open to learning new things
- Being non-judgemental as they are aware that they are not perfect
- Wanting to work for the common good rather than self-interest
- When times are difficult, choose the path of compassion and love instead of anger or resentment.
Whatever your definition of a wise woman is she is someone we should all aspire and work to become.
Wise Women of the past
The word “wise” has been used to describe women for centuries. Many women have helped shape the course of history. Some of these women have been queens, politicians, scientists, or even mothers. I have no doubt there are many more wise women forgotten by history, that helped make the world a better place.
Wise women were regarded as healers and the keepers of tradition. They were often consulted on matters of the heart, such as love and marriage as well. In many cultures, older women are valued as wise elders who have much to teach younger members of the community.
However different they may appear, these women all share one common trait – they were able to use their knowledge and experience to help others.
Have you taken the Quiz yet?
If you are curious to find your Wise Woman Archetype, take my fun quiz and find out here.
Wise Woman Archetypes
I like the idea of becoming a wise woman as I get older. Our society is very youth-centred, especially when it comes to women. It is hard enough to avoid the stereotypes of older women, battle axe, cougar or dowdy frump take your pick. Look at exercise classes aimed at the over 50s and you will find many assume we can’t get off a chair! The average woman in the UK lives to 80+, which gives us many years to enjoy past our 30s or even our 50s.
If you look at the female archetypes of Maiden/Mother/Crone you can see that there are three phases of life, all with equal importance and worth. It is easy to become complacent and see life as something that happens in the first two phases of the archetype only. As you enter your 50s and 60s, it’s important to remember that you’re not done growing. You still have a lot to offer the world, and you have lots of living to do for yourself too.
The statistics show that as women get older less of their time is spent rearing children or concentrating on their careers. This gives them more time to become more involved in the workforce and their communities. As they take on more responsibility, they show they are capable of achieving anything that they set their minds to. This is a powerful message that should be embraced by society as a whole. This trend is not only positive for women, but it is also beneficial for society as a whole.
We are refusing to fade into the background and are making a strong statement that we are ready to take on the world. Look out world!
How to reclaim the wise woman
True wisdom isn’t found only in well-known, powerful or influential people. Think about the women you have known in your life. I bet you can find several that you consider wise. How about one of your teachers or a woman you consider a mentor. It could be your mother or another relative. What about the women around you? You can spot them by the way they live their life, how they treat others and their deep understanding of the world around them.
You can begin to reclaim the Wise Woman by recognizing that she exists within us all. We can tap into our innate wisdom by paying attention to our instincts and intuitions. We can also learn from the wisdom of others and seek out advice from trusted sources.
The process begins with self-awareness. The more you get to know yourself, the better equipped you are to understand your strengths and limitations. Let go of negative self-judgments and embrace your unique strengths. You will then start to recognize when you need help and how to ask for it. By building on this knowledge, you can then begin to empower yourself and others around you.
The road to wisdom is different for every woman. Her path depends on her unique personality and experiences. However, here are a few tips on how to reclaim the wise woman within yourself:
- Take actions that support your personal growth and empowerment.
Learn new things and be open to new experiences and opportunities. This will help you become the best possible version of yourself. Don’t be afraid to face your fears and step outside your comfort zone, however difficult it may seem. Sometimes this is necessary to grow as a person.
- Listen to your intuition and trust in your judgement.
Don’t be afraid to trust your gut feeling and go with your first instinct. Don’t feel you have to rely on external sources of information (e.g., media, other people, etc.) when making decisions – trust your inner voice. Doing so will help you make better decisions and be more successful in your life. We should be wary of relying solely on our intellect. This can lead to problems in our personal lives and our professional careers. By listening to our intuition, we can avoid making mistakes and make better decisions. Trust that you have the knowledge and experience to make the right choices.
- Learn to enjoy and value your solitude.
We all need time to ourselves. Don’t feel guilty about this. It is this time that helps you to focus and think more clearly. It can also help you to develop your unique perspective on the world. Find time for yourself each day. This could mean walking in nature, reading a book or daydreaming by the window.
- Embrace your spontaneity.
Don’t be afraid to be open-minded and experimental. Try new things, meet new people, and don’t be afraid to take risks. When we are spontaneous, we are not always sure what is going to happen next. This can add excitement to our lives and help us to feel more alive.
- Be patient.
Learn to be patient with others. I know it is difficult, especially when we feel frustrated or angry. However, patience is a key ingredient in successful relationships. It allows us to listen carefully and understand what the other person is saying. It also allows us to take the time needed to resolve conflicts peacefully. Patience needs to extend to our desires too. Don’t expect things to happen overnight. Take things one step at a time and give yourself time to achieve your goals.
- Be kind.
Treat others the way you would want to be treated – with respect, honesty, and compassion. It is so important to remember that we are all human and that we all have feelings. When you are kind and compassionate to others, it shows them that you care about them. It can also make them feel appreciated and loved, and we all need that.
The wise woman is a powerful symbol that can promote positive change in society. She is a symbol of strength and independence. She can inspire us to see getting older as a privilege instead of something to dread. After all, ageing is inevitable. We should appreciate the benefits of being a wise woman. She empowers us to take control of our lives, as well as contribute to society as a whole. Reclaiming the wise woman is an important step in ensuring that older women have a positive impact on the world around them. Wise women have always been a part of our culture and history. It is up to us to ensure this continues well into the future.