ten phases of a woman’s life



sistine-chapel-michelangelo-paintings-delphic sibyl
michelangelo – delphic sibyl

The Ten Phases of a Woman’s Life

.  A little list I found tucked in the back of a little book by Joan Anderson (The Second Journey) that I haven’t actually read yet….but this caught my eye and I loved it.  It’s a list of the phases women go through on their journey to themselves.   It helps to explain the restlessness, aching and tugging going on inside during these last years.  And it helps me feel a bit less alone – maybe I’m not such a loser freak, after all.  Maybe there are other women out there who have had life-altering events slamming into them like the waves of a tsunami.  Maybe I’m not the only one reeling from a reversal of all I thought I knew and a new and sudden “knowing” of a completely different reality.  After so long of feeling that I was pushing through uncharted areas, lately I’ve begun to be reminded that I’m not alone at all.  There are myriads of women, past and present, who have trod this path before.  I just don’t have them with me in the flesh.  But I read their words,  and, like this list, they give me hope and fresh purpose.

sistine-chapel-michelangelo-paintings-libyan sibyl
michelangelo – libyan sibyl
  • 0-7        childlike wonder
  • 7-14      the beginning of hormonal activity
  • 14-21    unfurling sexuality
  • 21-28    being affirmed by a man-the desire to procreate
  • 28-35    birthing, mothering, caretaking, putting others first
  • 35-42    leaving self out but occasionally looking beyond
  • 42-49    menopause approaching – is this all?  a desire for self-love
  • 49-56    birthing of a mature psyche – a desire to go away, live without rules and become more instinctive
  • 56-63    choosing one’s true purpose, work, vocation, finding one’s individual reason for being beyond the roles
  • 63-70    reflection – becoming the watchwoman, recasting all that one has learned, being whatever one has become
sistine-chapel-michelangelo-paintings-cumaean sibyl
michelangelo – cumaean sibyl