This guest post was provided by Stacey Tucker, author of Ocean’s Fire: Book One of the Equal Night Trilogy. Make sure you also check out her very empowering article on PopSugar “6 Ways to Affirm Your Inner Feminist.”
No one is speaking to me. And by that I mean my Generation X self. A few years into forty I feel wedged right off the planet by retiring Boomers and Millennials taking over the world. If network TV is an indication of demographics, all law firms, hospitals, and even the White House are now being run by humans at least a decade younger than me. I know in the “real world” Donald Trump is still trying to fill DC with old white men…comforting.
As a demographic, we forty-somethings have been left to forage for leftovers. More Magazine, the only stepping stone between Cosmo and AARP, closed its hard copy doors in 2016 to re-emerge online, targeting the twenty-nine and under crowd. So, now what?
The patriarchy that has ruled our planet for eons is crumbling. I know you can feel it. Our left-brained, logic-is-king culture has our country and our planet on the brink of disaster. Women around the globe are feeling the restlessness in their hearts to take action. We are no longer satisfied to play the passive role in history. This is our time. Let’s not blow it.
The secret to bridge our need for belonging with our need to take action is to get IN TOUCH. That’s code for FEEL.
Get in touch with your Aggression.
We have been taught to make nice. And in doing so, we have created an entire shadow culture of women undermining and backstabbing each other with a smile on our face. Men don’t do this, they punch each other or yell or beat each other on the football field but they get it out and move on. Women are not encouraged to express our aggression and it festers and oozes out in catty, bitchy behavior. And yes, bitches are mean. But they are mean because they are struggling to express emotions they are taught to suppress. I get you bitches.
Our culture judges women for being bold. We are taught to be polite and swallow our anger. I did that for forty+ years and ended up with an anti-depressant prescription in my hand. It wasn’t until I uncovered the layers of unexpressed anger that I got to the bottom of my depression. The freedom from the binds of cultural conditioning is indescribable. Physical outlets are vital for a healthy mental state. Intense aerobic exercise, kick-boxing classes, and fencing lessons are all great ways to move stagnant energy through your body and out. And hey, maybe tell that guy he pissed you off instead of saying “nothing” when he asks you what’s wrong. Standing up for yourself in the moment is the ultimate form of self-respect, and it’s empowering as hell.
Get in touch with your Solar Plexus.
The key to life is a strong core. Your belly is your will center. It sends out its own signals to everyone you meet. Activating this energy center can be enormously helpful before any confrontation or speaking engagement. I know you hate crunches. Everyone does. Just know a strong core is a key part of maintaining your vitality as you age as well as your physical stature. I’m not saying you need to have a tiny waist. I’m saying the strength of the muscles in your abdomen will help support you physically and emotionally. They literally “have your back.”
Get in touch with your Sexy.
Many of us are tired. We have children and careers and a never-ending to-do list. Making time to foster our sensuality isn’t usually on the top of that list. And we are miserable for it. We are sensual creatures by nature and our bodies miss our love, our kindness, our attention. As a society we have denied our pleasure for too many reasons to discuss here.
But just because our sensuality hasn’t been a priority before, doesn’t mean it can’t be now. The days of our mother’s martyrdom are over, ladies! Are you really going to live the rest of your life miserable and tired? And wake up when the kids are off to college and you haven’t connected to your husband on any meaningful level in years and are so far removed from each other that the only possible answer is divorce?
That worst-case scenario can be avoided with action now. And it involves work. Work, which you don’t have time for. I thought the same thing. But here’s the thing with the Universe: if you start paying attention to the things that matter, pockets of time you didn’t know you had start showing up. And part of feeling sexy is loving yourself as you currently are. I know it’s a tall order. We have been conditioned to hate all aspects of our bodies that aren’t “perfect,” as the definition in our culture goes. That’s where we as women have to find our balls, get in touch with that aforementioned aggression, and say the hell with social standards. Aren’t you tired of beating yourself up for not being perfect? Or hiding parts of your body or parts of your personality for fear of being judged? We all put on our best faces for the outside world when in our deepest souls, we want to be seen and loved and accepted as we truly are. We admire brave souls for coming out of whatever closet they’ve been in to live their truth. They are heroines because they are taking a risk to be who they truly are. And that’s sexy.
Get in touch with your Family.
We are still the biggest influence on our families. We forget that. Many of us have relinquished our influence to our children’s peers and social media and we have a hopeless attitude toward it all. I refuse to let our society ruin the decade of hard work I have put into my son. And the best thing I can do for him is to be a good role model of a strong woman. He sees me work to get out of my comfort zone on a daily basis. He sees me strive to fulfill “unattainable” dreams. I want him to know nothing is unattainable. Last week, he gave me a paper flower and each petal had a word on it to describe his mom. “Loving, playful, and kind” were all on there and they are important! But my favorite was “perseveres.” He sees me fight for my truth every day and my one wish for him is that he never forgets his.
So as it turns out, we Gen X-ers are being called to be a generation of fighters. There are too many influencers in the world with their own selfish agendas hoping their manipulations go unnoticed. So get clarity about what’s important to you. You’re going to have to fight for it. That requires you to be bold, be seen, feel it all with an open heart, and know you are living by your own rules.