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.
She is in that part of her life where she is hungering for something that will not only recharge her batteries, give her life purpose, provide her with adventure, but she is also wanting that “something more” to fill her piggy bank. What is new, at least to me, is that she often starts this journey by connecting the dots to the understanding that “getting there” might have something to do with her own relationship to her body and her sexuality.
I see these women as resilient explorers setting out on an odyssey to live the second or third part of their life – full court, with no excuses for their desires. Not only that, they are reaching for their desires and their sexuality as a power source as never before. In my coaching practice, I call these women my “Women in Full” and they are showing up more and more every day.
These intrepid explorers are signing up for workshops, exploring “hands on sexual healing,” sacred spot work, and even activities such as pole, burlesque and tango dancing as a way to not only discover what has been locked up inside them – but as a path to continue to fuel their sexual engines.
They are reaching for the thread and needle, and bravely trying to knit themselves a new relationship with their bodies. It’s as if they intuitively know that if they can figure this piece out – all the rest of it will come together. They are willing, ready and able to jump in head first into whatever seems to them to offer the opportunity to teach them the answer to their own divine sexy selves.
Maybe they had to wait until they were aged properly. Perhaps there is some kind of magic button that goes off in a woman somewhere in early mid life that says “Honey, what are you waiting for? Isn’t it time to find out who you really are? Isn’t it time to stop feeding everybody else and start looking inside of you?”
These women are seeking way more than erotic encounters. That is not what they are after. The women who I have sat next to at these workshops are on a sacred journey to source their inner divinity through their sexual identity. The Chasity belts are off, and they are finally being invited to look inside themselves. They are playing for keeps, and are ready to open their hearts and even drop their shorts.
These women are in transition and ready to birth themselves now. They want to find out everything there is to know about being a woman in full because they know that somehow it’s here, inside themselves that they will find the key to their personal quest for mid life transformation.