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Aging with poise?

Aging with poise?

Poise (def): equilibrium; ease and dignity of manner; self-assurance; composure; calm or serene

This piece was sparked by a recently viewed commercial for Poise – feminine hygiene products designed to address the changes inherent in an aging woman’s body. You may have seen it…in this piece, various women question why it is that we know so much more about our menses than we do about menopause. In searching their website, I discovered further, an entire campaign dedicated to the exploration of menopause. What I love about this new campaign is the fact that it targets women of age in a manner that demystifies and normalizes the changes that women undergo as they enter their Crone years and the experience of menopause that accompanies this passage. What I also like, is that it gives voice to the aging woman. Not unlike the Dove campaign that targets self-esteem issues in the teenage demographic, Poise is now shedding light on a topic that for many has remained concealed in secrecy, ignorance, or humor, for there seemed no avenue available for honoring the significant changes that this time of life produces.

For years, we have focused our energies on our periods – a function of being female that in my recollection was often demonized and reviled for the inconvenience (and sometimes great discomfort) that it produces. What strikes me as sad about this, is the “disconnect” that this represents in terms of how we relate to and honor our bodies. From a transpersonal perspective, the body is viewed as a physical manifestation of spirit, and as such it holds great capacity and potential to create – not the least of which is that of another human being. Historically, cultural groups throughout the world have honored this as a time of great reverence for women, recognizing in it the life giving potential that our bodies hold. To experience the end of this life-giving time of our lives is something to be contemplated with awareness and awe – an exit that is marked so poignantly by the cessation of blood flow.

An interesting series of video clips accompany the Poise campaign. One is attached for you to view. I like much of what is said here - most especially the perception of one woman, that life is expanding and becoming fuller rather than diminishing as we age. And yet, embedded in the subtext of this message – right at the end of this clip – is the joyous proclamation of one woman that at last there is no more period…”thank you God” she proclaims. I believe that Poise is onto something important here. I believe that talking openly about the physical changes inherent in the second half of life is utterly important to share. But doing so with dignity and with poise – honoring what this transition represents beyond just being a change in bodily functions – is just as important.

The experience of menopause marks an important threshold. It marks a time of passage into our Crone years where wisdom and mentoring potentials exist. How we choose to navigate this experience will invariably help those who follow in our footsteps. To do this with self-assurance and composure, viewing every stage of life with reverence, is to honor all of our life. This is the gift we give to ourselves and leave to others…

Enjoy the clip…