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Aging

Aging as a Woman

There aren't many of us who haven't cringed at the discovery of a new 'laugh line' or stood naked before a full length mirror and thought, "What ever happened to my body?" At some point there is a confrontation with the individual's concept of what the physical body is or should be and the inevitable reality that it is morphing right before our eyes.

Fact is, everything about us is different when compared to any other time in this physical experience. No matter how stridently we fight, the maturing of the physical, mental and spiritual is a natural progression. In a single lifetime we undergo changes too numerous to count. The causes that result in these changes are a complex combination of many factors that are as individual as each of us. Some we have control over, others we don't. Some are external or artificial; others are internal or natural. Exterior events such as stress, pollution, sun, physical activity or the lack thereof can impact the physical body. Internal events such as genetics, hormones, chemical changes and diet can also impact the physical body. Together these, and hundreds of other influences, are significant contributors to the overall metamorphosis we call aging.

Since we cannot escape the inevitability of getting older, what can we do and how can we cope in our youth oriented culture? Maybe a starting point should be the adage that says the movement of one butterfly's wings can alter an ocean's currents. That means if we, as individuals, adjust our thoughts and beliefs about ourselves we can change our consciousness to allow for natural maturation. If each of us transforms personal opinions of who and what we are with respect to aging, the overall perception of women aging will never be the same.

We have taken great steps to better understanding and expressing ourselves in the last few decades. We began to stretch our wings, knowing we only had to contend with boundaries we created. Whether a nurse, housewife or corporate executive, we began feel our power as women and to appreciate ourselves and our contributions. Our appreciation and knowledge of our gender and self then began to radiate outward.

These are wonderful advances, but, truth be told we are in the infant stages of learning what it means to be female. The exploration of the emotional and physical requirements of a woman has really just entered the gender landscape. Women are obviously physically different from men, yet the majority of medical testing has traditionally been centered around males, their needs, their responses, the causes for and the treatment of their ills. Women's health was grouped in with men, even though we are different. However, society has finally started to recognize that women may experience the same ills for different reasons and our more female oriented issues are just beginning to be explored by the medical profession.

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