“Aging well is a goal worth wanting.” ~ Jean Shinoda Bolen
Growing up, I didn’t have any role model of a Crone to emulate. In fact, it was the opposite. The majority of the supposed words of wisdom that I’ve heard from the older women with whom I grew up — be it my mother or other female elders in my immediate family or elsewhere — actually spoke, mostly, only of falsehoods. Thought patterns and philosophies that reflected disempowerment.
Thankfully, as I started to awaken, I began to be exposed to people, resources and information that helped me shape my idea of what epitomizes a Wise Woman — thanks largely to the Internet!
Stories that inspire. Examples to emulate. Narratives of empowered women who have embodied the essence of a Crone. These and more are now readily available and easily accessible.
One such invaluable resource that is guiding and helping me evolve into the Wise Woman that I’m aspiring and, starting to actually become — and I say that with much pride — is Jean Shinoda Bolen’s Crones Don’t Whine: Concentrated Wisdom for Juicy Women. I made reference to it in my earlier post here.
In an eloquently and insightfully written fashion characteristic of her writing, Bolen outlines the 13 Crone qualities that aptly describe a Crone. I feel compelled to share it here now, as I celebrate this month of May as my official membership into the Crone and Wise Women Club! 😀
As Bolen highlighted, “these crone qualities are not acquired overnight. One does not become a full-fledged crone automatically following menopause, any more than growing older and wiser go hand in hand. There are decades that follow menopause in which to grow psychologically and spiritually.
”It is in cultivating these qualities that the third phase of life becomes a culmination time for inner beauty and wisdom. It is the perspective that makes the prime years of this phase of life an especially rich time to enjoy who we are, what we have, and what we are doing. It is a time when wisdom calls upon us to use our time, energy, and vitality well. It is an opportunity to have more chances, experience shifts in roles, and develop talents and interests. This may be a time to play and express affection, or a time for creativity or sensuality, or a time for meditation or therapy , or a time for family or a time when family recedes, or a time to make a difference in the world.
“To be a crone is about inner development , not outer appearance. A crone is a woman who has wisdom, compassion, humor, courage , and vitality. She has a sense of truly being herself, can express what she knows and feels, and take action when need be. She does not avert her eyes or numb her mind from reality. She can see the flaws and imperfections in herself and others, but the light in which she sees is not harsh and judgmental. She has learned to trust herself to know what she knows.
“The crone is a potential, much like an inherent talent, that needs to be recognized and practiced in order to develop. This wise presence in your psyche will grow, once you trust that there is a crone within and begin to listen. Then in the quiet of your own mind, pay attention to her perceptions and intuitions and act upon them. Crone qualities are the distinguishing features by which a crone (as a woman or an archetype) can be known.
“It’s a wise woman who reads the thirteen qualities and is amused to realize that she can see herself and the idea of being a crone, or becoming one, in a positive light. It is an evolving woman who sees in any of one or more of these qualities what she wants to develop in herself and finds in these words support to do so. “
1. Crones Don’t Whine
2. Crones Are Juicy
3. Crones Have Green Thumbs
4. Crones Trust What They Know in Their Bones
5. Crones Meditate in Their Fashion
6. Crones Are Fierce About What Matters to Them
7. Crones Choose the Path with Heart
8. Crones Speak the Truth with Compassion
9. Crones Listen to Their Bodies
10. Crones Improvise
11. Crones Don’t Grovel
12. Crones Laugh Together
13. Crones Savor the Good in Their Lives
“When my grandmother was sick in the hospital, I foolishly quoted her the saying, ‘Never regret growing old; It’s a privilege denied to many.’ She glared at me and responded, ‘Spoken like a truly young idiot.”
~ Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing
Related article and links:
- I AM 52, A Crone, and Damn Proud Of It!
- Crones Don’t Whine: Concentrated Wisdom for Juicy Women
- Official website of Jean Shinoda Bolen, M.D.
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