Author of upcoming book "Aging Naked: A Book for Middle Aged Women"
What is Aging Naked?
The research is clear. Wearing shame-based façades and fear-based thinking becomes increasingly destructive for women as we age. While there are many losses in middle life, middle age also provides us with opportunities for transformative change.
WHAT IS AGING NAKED?I developed the aging paradigm Aging Naked™ when I was in my early 50s and my only child abandoned me for college. Although I had a full life and a career that kept me very busy, I still felt a sense of emptiness that I couldn't have anticipated and had no idea how to handle. Living alone, midlife dating, renegotiating friendships, navigating my career all with a dark cloud hanging over my head led me to a li'l life crisis. I was sad, lonely, confused, a little bit angry, a little bit envious (of anyone who had a seemingly better life than I did).
All of this was pretty awful, but it led to some pretty incredible epiphanies. Like how I wasn't nearly as authentic or transparent as I thought I was, and how I often said yes, when I really meant no, but I didn't know I meant no, because I didn't know who I was. And how I wasn't a "really good communicator" like I told everyone, but rather, I hated conflict so much that apparently I only communicated the good stuff, leaving the icky stuff out. And then there was the epiphany that shame and fear pretty much ruled my life, which was such a surprise since I really thought I was kind of a badass (the optimistic and grateful kind).
All of these epiphanies led me to the biggest epiphany of all: If I didn't get a grip on my thoughts and feelings, aging was going to be a very bumpy ride. So of course I ignored that epiphany and instead, spent a few more years trying to convince myself I was "okay." Okay if I could just make more money. Okay if I could just lose 20 lbs. Okay if I could just meet a decent guy and fall in love. A few failed diets and a few hundred (yes, really) awful first dates later, and I decided to start blogging.
My reasoning was that if I was struggling in midlife so much, then maybe other women were struggling as well and maybe we could create some kind of community and support each other. Blogging led to journaling, which led to a whole lot of therapy, which led to a lot of reading, thinking and writing, and *boom* a paradigm was born. My paradigm builds on the work and expertise of others in discovering the "what" (increased authenticity, increased transparency, reducing shame and toxic guild, and no longer role-playing or wearing various façades just to fit in and get along), and the "why" (why are these processes and characteristics important, particularly for women, particularly for women over 50?).
What Aging Naked also addresses is the "how," which I believe is pretty novel among the self-help book genre. This is why Aging Naked isn't just a self-help book, but is also a memoir. I'm asking you to be brave and stop hiding, so I must be willing to lead the way. Aging Naked, the paradigm and the book, offers fresh insights and suggestions on how to age in a way that is not just authentic but radically transparent, with no façades in sight. I'd love for you to come along with me on an Aging Naked journey, (metaphorically speaking of course!).