You are a pioneering woman
It may not always feel like it, but you are already a pioneering woman.
It is the first time in human history that so many women around the world enjoy so much privilege, freedom, and choice–or at least until Covid lockdowns when women often carried the burden.
Yes, we’ve still got a long way to go before we are truly equal to men. But even when things aren’t perfect, there’s often an element of choice, and things we can all do to champion equality and support more vulnerable women.
An unprecedented time of choice
Compared to one hundred years ago, many women today can choose how we want to live our life including:
- Where we want to live.
- What work, career, or life’s path we want to follow.
- Which partners and friends we want in our lives. I know many people find it hard to find a partner, although most of us could be with someone if we weren’t fussy. Quite rightly we’ve also become discerning, in our quest for love and respect and unfortunately side effects of choice sometimes include being alone or getting hurt.
- Whether and when to have children (or at least try for them)–thanks to readily available contraception.
- Whether to marry or not.
- The ability to earn our own money.
- How we want to spend the autumn and winter seasons of our life
- And so much more…
Exploring new ways of balancing these choices can be challenging, espcially if you are ambitious, caring, or want to enjoy a meaningful life and make a difference in the world. Challenges are natural. There is nothing wrong with you. You’re more a caterpillar going through several reincarnations of becoming a butterfly. Remember, you are a pioneer in a constantly changing landscape.
Celebrating our ancestors
The lives we live today are thanks to the millions of women who came before us. Your ancestors will have had all sorts of struggles, challenges, responsibilities, and roles they took on to survive. In doing so they all contributed to you being here today.
I’m very proud to come from a family full of strong pioneering women who for as long as I can remember have always challenged the norm, championed women, and taken a stand against social, environmental, and global injustices. I know I wouldn’t be who I am today if it wasn’t for all the women I grew up around including my friends, mum, gran, aunts, sister, and cousin. My gran especially was a huge inspiration – she was great fun, a strict vegan, a and activist, bringing us up on homeopathic medicine, a traveller interested in different cultures, and author of a book about her life growing up in Edinburgh during World War I. The older I get the more I realise how the women in my life have influenced who I’ve become.
Who we are today is shaped by previous generations–their wisdom, strength, DNA, habits, behaviours, and extent of their privilege. This is all within you.
But there weren’t able to teach you how to cope with today’s challenges and become a leader in this new world. In the same way, they were pioneers, they’ve handed this baton over to you.
How have your ancestors influenced who you’ve become?
The four waves of feminism
We are also riding on waves of feminism:
- First wave of the 19th and early 20th century relating to our right to vote, our contribution to the war effort, and progress on our right to earn.
- Second wave of the 1960s and 1970s focusing on social, sexual, and reproductive rights;
- Third wave of girl power and are rights of choice in the 1990s; and
- Fourth wave of hashtag activism and social media movements (2010 to present).
There have always been pioneering women. When you take a stand for what’s important to you, if you participate in movements, tackling inequality, or protests. You are a pioneering championing change.
A fresh perspective on aging women
We are also living longer.
Historically for your female ancestors, their job as a woman was pretty much done once you entered menopause. At the turn of the 20th Century, the life expectancy of women in the UK was 50.
By comparison, the average age of women entering menopause in the UK today is 51.
With life expectancy being 83, we now find ourselves with more time in life to fill, and often with a better quality of life than previous generations of women.
It’s no wonder so many women in their forties, fifties, and beyond are wondering, ‘So now what?’
That’s one of the reasons so many women are now on a quest for meaning.
To find that reason to want to get up out of bed each day. The reason to live. The reason to die. Getting clarity on what a meaningful like looks like isn’t always easy, but that’s part of the process–of being an older woman with privilege, choice and the healthy to continue to be active as we age.
Many of us have recently experienced a change in circumstances or fresh perspectives on what’s important in life thanks to COVID.
So now what?
Some women in their forties, fifties and beyong will have had children have left home, and be wondering what’s next.
Around 20% of women who reach menopause haven’t had children, and for childless women the quest for meaning often comes earlier in life as we’ve more time to fill.
Western cultures still run mainly by white men of privilege have yet to celebrate the role of older women. It’s not that long ago we were put in mental institutions when going through menopause. Older generations have said there became a time when they became invisible.
So if you want to create a joyful meaningful life that lights up your heart and leaves a legacy you’re proud of, it’s time to step into being the creator of the next stage in your life. There is a growing tide of pioneering women in a similar same position to you.
Channelling your pioneering spirit
- What legacy do you want to leave in the world?
- What do you want to make sure you do sooner rather than later?
- What dreams or ambitions do you have which are still unfulfilled?
- What do you want to stop doing?
- How do you ensure you never forget what we’ve learned during this pandemic?
The fact you’re here reading this means you are a privileged pioneering woman with so much to offer and choice as to what you do next.
Be the pioneering woman in charge of your magical meaningful life
Everything you decide to do has an impact–on your life, the lives of others, and the planet. Now more than ever the world needs remarkable pioneering women like you to step up and live with passion, purpose, and intentional impact. It’s your choice.
Remember you are a pioneering woman with the strength and wisdom of hundreds of your female ancestors behind you. The future may be uncertain. But it doesn’t need to be scary.
You can choose your destiny including putting in place all the resources and support you need. So you can enjoy a life brimming with pleasure, fabulous friends, and meaningful impact.
Aligning your life to what’s important to you, is a privilege and a luxury. Use it well.
If you’d like any help with this, please do get in touch.
Often described as one of the most authentic and inspiring souls you can meet, Alisoun is on a mission to improve the lives of 100,000 people–by making it easier for women over forty to feel good, enjoy a meaningful life, and have more impact in the world.
Alisoun’s keynote talks, training, mentoring, and best-selling books Give-to-Profit: How to Grow Your Business by Supporting Charities and Social Causes and Heartatude: The 9 Principles of Heart-Centered Success have favorably changed the good fortune of thousands of people worldwide. She loves helping others, fundraising, and enjoying a quiet life by the beach in Scotland.
Alisoun is has written the following free resources:
- Ebook: 101+ Ways to Create a Joyful Life of Meaning, Vitality, and Impact Over 40 (click here)
- Ebook: 52 Ways to Raise Funds for Charities and Social Causes Through Your Business (click here)
- Ebook: 101 Ways To Attract Great Clients, With Heart, Integrity & Social Impact (click here)
Connect with Alisoun here:
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