Women, My Women

Hi, Boomers,

When I was doing research for my memoir, 60, Sex & Tango, Confessions of a Beatnik Boomer, I read something of great interest about women.  As women grow older, they become closer in spirit to other women and their capacity for female friendship actually increases.   I found that terribly interesting because at the time I was writing and researching the boomer generation and the stages of aging, I had no idea that my closest relationships would be with women. To tell the truth, I never had too many close female relationships growing up and into adulthood.  My primary friendships were with men – not a whole lot of them – but two or three.  I still have those relationships, minus one or two and added on one or two to complete the gang.  I like it that way.

But recently, I have arrived at the age when women have become more important to me.  I don’t exactly know why or when that happened. I think it occurred on a day several years ago when I was teaching my 12 noon yoga class at UClA.  They are a lively group of ladies, sharped tongue, wildly intelligence and full of humor and warmth.  There is only one man in the class:  Sergy, the brilliant Russian physicist who has the body of an athletic and the soul of a poet.  He’s one of the girls, too, and proud of it.  This group inspires me and brings and our yoga practice into the realm of shear joy.  This is lunch time for these staff women.  They work hard and long and are often frustrated by higher administration, their supervisors, too much bureaucracy and burn out. Most have families or are five to seven years away from retirement.  They know that yoga is the gift they give themselves daily and it feels darn good to them to be able to come to meditation and yoga and honor their bodies, minds, and spirits.  When they return to their desks and posts and pillars, they do it more energy and mindfulness.

I have been admiring my women yoginis daily.  I feel a kindred spirit with their souls.  When I give my speeches to women, I feel the same way.  Last week I spoke to the older generation of women from Hadassah, the Jewish charity that raises monies for hospitals around the world. I stood before these women, average age 75 to 85, and marveled at their intelligence, their energy, their encompassing love.  I spoke before women students and staff at Cal Tech about empowering the new woman and I was wowed by their questions and insights.  I spoke in front of a women’s cancer support group about living with gratitude and understanding vulnerability as a way to achieve a creative life.  I gave a keynote speech on Saturday for UCLA/YWCA Day of Wellness:  Body, Mind, Spirit:  Maximizing Your Potential and the room was full of glorious women who were enthusiastic and willing to embrace amazing possibilities for a healthy lifestyle  And there have been more opportunities to honor women along my speaking journey, and each time I have felt that I had made many important connections, and each time I felt that the world of women was unbelievably special.

Women are amazing creatures.  We have been mythologized, idolized, idealized, lionized, patronized, held up as paragons of virtue and painted as fallen angels.  We have nuanced sensibilities that reflect our unique intelligence.  And we know that growth and transformation are the key to maximizing the highest level of our human potential.

Women are fabulous!



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