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www.mirrorwomen.com
Workshops and resources for women over 50

Our Many Different “Me’s”

By Liz Monroe-Cook, Ph.D.

As you’ve seen in Chris’s description of Mirror Image, one of the paths we’re traveling concerns “identity,” or who the woman in the mirror is. (I’m not going to try to define identity any more than that or fisticuffs might break out among nearby psychologists and sociologists.)

At this age, we have the advantage of being able to look back on many different “me’s” that we have been over the years. Sometimes our identities are tied up with the social roles we have – daughter, sister, friend, girlfriend, lover, spouse, in-law, mother, aunt, grandmother – or with work roles we have, starting with our days as students, maybe finishing with roles like mentor, retiree and volunteer. Throughout it all, however, I believe we carry a sense of self that transcends our social roles, our work roles and our physical selves. It’s kind of that feeling of “who I am as a human being.”

One of the things we hope visiting this site or attending one of the workshops will do is to encourage you to explore what it means to be you at this time in your life. We believe this kind of exploration can help you maximize your experiences and enjoyment, and to focus–and reach–the goals you have now.

Who is today’s “Me”?
One of the simpler things you can do, without spending a lot of time, is a quick visit or “check-in” with yourself. To do this, find a quiet spot or a quiet time of day for yourself; set aside about 15 to 20 minutes and be sure to begin and end with some relaxed deep breathing. You can just sit and think or, better yet, make some notes in a journal. You can use the following questions as thought starters, or simply notice where your thoughts take you.

• Has your sense of yourself changed over time? From what to what?
• What life events led you to think differently about yourself?
• When have you felt at your strongest? …your most vulnerable?
• If you had a chance to have a conversation with your younger self, what would you say?
• What parts of yourself or life lessons do you want to make sure you take into the future with you?
• What changes, if any, seem most important to make right now?
• What are some of the resources you have (people, processes or objects) to help you be more aware and to fulfill your current goals?

As the shampoo instructions say, “Lather. Rinse. Repeat.” That is, use this kind of check-in with yourself to clear things out or clear them up and repeat as needed!

I’d love to hear what your “Me’s” have to see. Post a comment when you get a minute.

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  1. Comment by Cindy Clark

    Posted on November 18, 2009 at 11:22 am

    Liz,

    What a nice essay for lathering, rinsing and repeating.

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