Fill in the blank: “Growing old __________________”.
Most people choose words and phrases describing difficulty, adversity or other unpleasantness. One cause of this mindset is societal ageism – the devaluing of older adults. Older women in Western society receive a very mixed message about what it means to age - constantly compared to pop culture images of youthful beauty, yet called the b-word for appearing strong and confident. Women’s life expectancies are now around 80 years, meaning that women can spend up to 35 years being “older”. Clearly it’s time for women to reclaim and redefine aging, and yet – how? And where?
Judith, like many women of a certain age, was experiencing the “empty nest syndrome” after her son left for college, and also the bodily changes that come with menopause. She was very aware that her time of active mothering was coming to an end. A woman’s life can be thought of in four parts: youthful maiden, nurturing mother, leader queen and wise woman crone. Judith was crossing from the mother stage into the queen stage. It was an enormous transition, but received no acknowledgement. Judith needed a Crone Rave.
Crone Rave ™ is a one-day workshop designed to help women cross stages of life with intention and strength. Much like a Bat Mitzvah, or the experience of childbirth, Crone Rave ™ marks a rite of passage into the archetype of the Wise Woman. Women are offered the opportunity to deconstruct negative thoughts, feelings and beliefs about growing older, and to create new empowered connections to their intuition and personal power. A Crone Rave ™ is literally a “wise woman’s party” – a place for support, recognition and celebration. Through story telling, group activities, music, crafting and a shared meal, women reinvent themselves as strong and vibrant.
Judith attended Crone Rave ™ and was thrilled with the results. “Not only did it give me words for my experiences up to that point in my life, but it also allowed me to choose how I want to experience the next phase of my life. It’s important to grieve the loss of my active mothering days, but it’s exciting to think about ways to use those same skills for the betterment of humanity”.
Mandy, at 65 and transitioning from the queen stage into the crone stage, found that the workshop “helped me focus on what I was gaining with age, rather than what I was losing. I have a lot of hard earned wisdom, and great intuition. I accept myself the way I am. I’m not afraid to speak truth to power.”
Crone Rave ™ is not just for older women; young women also benefit from redefining aging. Rather than dreading growing older, one workshop participant in her mid 20’s said “it was cool to see how much confidence and courage and strength I have to look forward to growing into.”
Ask a Crone Rave™ participant to fill in the sentence “Growing old ___________.” and a whole different set of words are used, like:
· is an opportunity
· ia a privilege
· has let me be at peace with myself
· means the end of feeling insecure
· means growing wise.
Women have gathered in groups to support one another for as long as there have been mothers, daughters and sisters. This makes Crone Rave™ a very old idea. And old is the new awesome.
The next Crone Rave™ will be held on Saturday, October 5th from 12:30pm – 8:00pm. This experience is led by Kathy Igoe - Professional Coach and Labyrinth Facilitator, Kimi Riegel – Minister, and Betz King – Psychologist and Priestess. Advanced registration is required and can be done online at http://www.CroneRaVe.com. The event will be held at the Northwest Unitarian Universalist Church in Southfield, MI 48075.