I’m working with my team on marketing material for a course we plan to offer targeting women over fifty. As usual, I’m feeling annoyed with the whole marketing shtick. I’m still searching for that elusive authentic sales voice.
“Think share, or invite, rather than market,” a suave marketing coach once said to me.
“Good marketing,” I thought as I rolled my eyes.
The intention of this particular course is to explore and discover “what’s next” for each of the participants.
For some, the inquiry will revolve around recreating an identity: Who am I now that nobody needs me to raise or care for them?
For others it will be a question of worthiness or permission: Is it okay for me to do something for myself and risk being called selfish?
Influencing each woman will be the elephant in the room: With our inevitable death creeping towards us, what might we regret not having done? This is a question worthy of asking at any age but becomes more pressing as the years pile on.
As I imagine being my audience rather than projecting my own desires onto them, it occurs to me that maybe what women over fifty want is simple, superficial, and not quite so deep. Maybe women over fifty just want to feel beautiful. Maybe this is what’s next for many of us.
My team suggests we put into the marketing language something about feeling juicy.
My team is all women.
We pause and look at one another.
“Okay, maybe not juicy,” Gayle in her mid forties says. “How about alive?”
“Yeah!” Laura chimes in.” Or vibrant?”
I say nothing and allow these ideas to simmer.
Do I want to be juicy?
Meaning sometimes I want to be juicy, not I want to be juicy sometimes.
Do I want to be vibrant?
But when I look a bit deeper here’s what I find.
More than anything, I want to rest deeply in knowing that I am whole just as I am. I want to move in the world from a place of knowing that I deserve to play with abandon and that I am worthy of a life well lived.
I want to know these truths and to live them consistently whether I’m juicy or dry, working or playing, old or young.
This contentment, this peace of mind, which is deeper than surface emotions – like feeling happy or sad, or thoughts of what I “should” or “should not” be doing – is born out of the following:
- Being good with God – by whatever name
- Being good with my self
- Having the capacity to remember my goodness even WHILE feeling not good about something – anything
I feel slightly sick to my stomach. I sense the insidiousness of our culture’s demand that women of whatever age look a certain way. I yearn for a world where we value the inside of a human more than the outside, because one thing I know for sure – when I live from the inside I am juicy.
“I understand that we may want to market feeling good, vibrant, and alive,” I finally say to my team. “And you’re the professionals here, so you can invite people in whatever way you see fit. But what we are offering them is something much more foundational and fundamental than a feeling.”
And it’s priceless.