I just received an email inviting me to attend a workshop called “Celebrating The Body Erotic For Women” or CBE for short, run by The School For The Body Electric. I have attended this workshop about four times and found myself thinking about going again. Part of why I am a workshop repeater, is that I have found attending these types of workshops an incredible way to keep connected to who I am as an erotically connected woman. The CBE is designed to teach women how to access their sexuality in a sacred way that is just for them. It is an incredibly rare, and personal experience that has made me wonder if sex is the gateway drug to personal transformation.
These workshops usually start with what is known as a “opening circle” and what is not surprising to me is that most of the women that attend these workshops are usually nearer to 40 than 20 years of age. There is often a gritty determination on some of their faces during that first circle experience that communicates “I was strong enough to show up here, now what are you going to teach me?” quickly followed by “Don’t waste my time. I am on a mission to recreate myself and perhaps this is a part of the puzzle.”
I believe in my soul that they are right. After all, I know from personal experience that unearthing my sexuality in my forties was the key for me to live my life as a woman in full. My journey changed my body, my spiritual practices, shifted my career, created a joyfulness that I could only once imagine and deepened my marriage. So, I understand these women, because I have sat in that beginning place on a quest to find myself through my sexuality.
Please don’t dismiss the mid life woman who attends these sorts of workshops as being in the midst of some kind of mid life crisis or throw around terms like “Act Two” or “Second Adulthood.” These women are showing up more and more and they deserve to be taken more seriously then those labels imply. They are doing something courageous, often moving through social, religious or financial barriers to find out truly who they really are, while there is still time to enjoy it. These women are doing more than stepping forward and asking to be heard – they want action!
What I love about these women is that they are willing to take real risks for what they want even if exactly what they want is not clear to them yet. Those risks might mean making a radical change in career, relationship or most amazing of all – their relationship with themselves.
The woman who attends this workshop is no longer willing to settle for a life that simply nourishes her. This is a woman that is above the level of survival – she has that part figured out.