Years ago I wrote my dissertation on “Grandparenting as a Path of Consciousness”. I was 50 something. Today, I would write it on “Aging as a Path of Consciousness”. I’m not sure yet what “aging as a path of consciousness” means exactly, but I am on a journey to find out.
So, I am asking women. What often comes up when we talk about aging is “do we or don’t we get some kind of aesthetic enhancement?”. Are we “conscious” if we don’t and “unconscious” if we do? Certainly we are faced with decisions that didn’t exist for our grandmothers – I almost said ‘superficial’ decisions.
But it’s a tough call. If we are living in a society where ageism exists, if we are marginalized, if we are left out of the job market and worse, if we are desperate, what do we do? What does it take in that moment to go inside, to find within ourselves that deep pool of feminine wisdom, to trust, to sit on our zafus and to remember.
The world of advertising and the world of the patriarchy is doing to women (and men) what has been done to mother earth. It has raped her of her essence for it’s own use, disregarded her innate beauty, used her for it’s own pleasure. And what do we have left. What has happened to the abundance of her natural beauty, her ecosystem, her old growth?
Henry David Thoreau said “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation”. I fear that this is what is happening to us, afraid that it may happen to me. I am praying that it won’t; in fact, trusting that it won’t. Only because I have been blessed to have been on a spiritual path, because I have the grace to have people around me who I love and who love me despite my age, because I am in a profession that doesn’t care how I look. But still, there is a place of fear inside. Perhaps it is a fear of disappearing, being devalued because I am old, the fear of being marginalized, having people be inpatient with me because I may move slower. And perhaps what is most painful are my memories of my own impatience with my mother – but that’s another story.
So why not wear a mask of youth? Is it a small price for cultural value or a huge price for a betrayal of a gentle turning within to our essential nature that calls us to the center of our own earth. Actually, I believe both are possible and would love to hear your thoughts.
I became curious about the history of plastic surgery – thought you might enjoy.
•As early as 800 BC, physicians in India were utilizing skin grafts for reconstructive surgery.
• In 1827, Dr. John Peter Mettauer successfully performed the first cleft palate surgery.
• Due to the extensive facial trauma resulting from the First Wold War, reconstructive surgery quickly became a prevalent part of the medical field.
•Due to an intentional expansion of public awareness and the economic boom of the 1980′s, plastic surgery suddenly became more accessible to mainstream America.
•In 2004 more then twelve million cosmetic procedures were performed in the U.S alone.
•The number of plastic surgery procedures performed worldwide has increased an average of 21% per year and continues to grow.
•The most frequently performed nonsurgical procedure was Botox injections and the most popular surgical procedure was breast augmentation.