THE BLOG
08/08/2011 04:26 pm ET Updated Oct 07, 2011

In Praise of the "Juicy" Crone

Last week, while shopping for shoes (a favorite pastime of mine), I ran into a friend I hadn't seen in quite some time. No accident that we met at a shoe store, since shoe shopping is a universal requirement for all women. Yes, ladies?

Laura and I stood and chatted a bit, laughing and reminiscing about the times we'd shared long ago, when she reminded me about a name we'd given ourselves back then. We called ourselves The Juicy Crones.

Crone is an interesting word, isn't it? First of all, women don't exactly cozy up to the idea of being one. Images of an old hag with wild hair and a huge, ugly wart on her chin come to mind. With a scratchy voice and long, knobby fingers, she probably hasn't bathed since the Eisenhower administration, or was it Harry Truman?

Everything about the classical crone image screams de-hydration. She appears pinched and parched, closely resembling a witch. Ah, but there's more to her than meets the eye.

Hence, my very first article published here three years ago this week was entitled The Raisin Years, wherein I lamented my own de-hydrating process while acknowledging a growing awareness of the gifts of aging.

"It's a pity that youth is wasted on the young."
G. Bernard Shaw

It does seem unjust that we're not equipped to fully appreciate the gifts endowed by our youth until we've gained the perspective that only aging affords. As I gradually surrender to the inevitability of my body becoming more prune-like, I become aware of a deeper source of juice to sustain me going forward.

I'm learning to accept that at the core of this warrior woman I've been all my life, lays a tender, vulnerable heart, here to lead me into the mystery of what lies ahead. Like a grape that lingers on the vine gently being transformed by the sun's drying rays, I trust that in these "Raisin Years," I too am being distilled into the sweetest, richest essence of who I am.

This, I believe then, is the work of our elder years; to deepen the chalice of our Being by transforming the pain of loss and disappointment into the sweet wine of Wisdom and to drink heartily from the cup of Gratitude. .

The Raisin Years, Aug. 11, 2008

That article honored an old chapter of my life and opened a new one, one that I can only describe as "juicy". Today I celebrate the Juicy Crone, the one I've become, the one you very well may be or are becoming, or surely will be one day. I want you to know that being here with you every week has, in part, defined this "juicy" new part of my life.

Frankly, this wouldn't be nearly as much fun without you. So thank you. I feel honored to meet you here every week. We are an interesting collection of Beings, those who gather at this well. As our dialogues unfold every week, new facets of the human experience are revealed. Perhaps it is I who benefit the most from this exchange, as in the process of responding to comments, I get to try on and walk in your shoes, if only for a moment.

How "juicy" is that? Very, if you ask me!

So I'm inviting anyone who can relate to this conversation, female or male, young or old, to please join me in this celebration. Let's hear it for the Juicy Crones!

We Juicy Crones have taken the reins of our lives and we travel lightly, with everything we need already on board. We know that what we seek is already within, so we don't spend a lot of time looking out "there" for what we desire. This was a hard earned lesson and we have the scars to prove it. But we wear them gracefully.

And we've updated the visuals. I mean, look in the mirror. You're looking fabulous I'd say. No qualifiers, as in: "for someone your age". No, you've taken care of yourself and it shows. But don't be misled by this outer beauty for yours is much more than skin deep.

You know who you are and you accept 100% accountability and responsibility for your self and your life. You're fiercely independent, perhaps to a fault, and probably would benefit from allowing yourself to be on the receiving end of things once in awhile. Giving isn't giving if there isn't a receiver, and you probably need some work in this area. Ask me how I know.......

At one level, you call the shots, yet you have no illusions about being in control of much beyond 1-2% of anything, if that much. But it doesn't matter, because you've come to the place in your life where, at last, you feel comfortable in your own skin, have accepted yourself pretty much as you are, and now, you're much more interested in becoming deep and wiser than you are in finding your soul mate. At least the outer one.

You've come to know yourself as the real soul mate you've been seeking. It was you all along! And though it's a bit humbling to admit, you somehow managed to avoid knowing this truth about yourself up until now, but now you know. What a relief!

How juicy is that? Very, if you ask me!

What could be more freeing than releasing yourself from the cultural dictate to fit in and be like everyone else, and instead, aligning with the guidance from your Highest Self? Call yours what you will. I'm calling my mine, The Juicy Crone.

She invites us to give up the dance we've been taught and make up a new one. Make up a new dance that moves to a beat that you alone can hear, and even though you still sometimes hesitate and worry if others will think you look foolish, you wouldn't dream of sitting it out or selling out, not to the one who knows who you are. This one calls you up and out.

The one who calls you to this dance is calling you to shake off whatever you've been carrying that now only slows you down and just step up and dance. Dance for your life.

Dance for the past and honor it.

Dance in remembrance of your ancestors. Dance in gratitude for their sacrifices and their journey, which brought you right to this moment.

Dance for the present and be grateful.

However it looks, find the beauty in it, find the joy in it, find the love in it and be grateful. The Juicy Crone invites us to look beyond appearances and see the deeper truths, hidden inside the mundane, Ask her how she knows.........

Dance for the future and embrace it.

The future is wide open. It can be anything. What future are you creating now?
The Juicy Crone reminds us "there aren't that many more shopping days left until Christmas", as my dear friend Eleanor, the Queen of Juicy Crones, says.

What's the point of waiting? For anything? As Anais Nin said, "Life's too short to wear tight shoes." We gave up tight shoes a long time ago, didn't we? Not to mention tight anything else. We gave up "tight" altogether. Check out your closet. See anything tight in there? I didn't think so. Mine either.

But here's the most interesting part of all. She, the Juicy Crone, is well beyond the half way point and can see the finish line. She's aware there's an end to this dance, at least in this format, and in the grand scheme of things, this earthly finish line isn't that far down the road. And so be it. The Juicy Crone knows that,now is all there is. So she lives now. She is no longer waiting for anything.

How juicy is that? Very, if you ask me!

And how about you? Are you a Juicy Crone? You could be, if you wanted. No age or gender restrictions apply. Why not be wise and young, male or female? Why not be an elder and be juicy? At the very least, you can cultivate the crone's heart, which is deep, wise and compassionate.

How juicy is that? Very, if you ask me.

So jump in and let's cook up a Juicy Crone stew. What does this evoke in you? What kind of Juicy Crone are you? We're listening and I'm taking notes. There will be a final exam one of these days so let's prepare.

And while you're at it, come check out my blog and personal website at Rx For The Soul.

For personal contact, reach me judith@judithrich.com I love hearing from you! Seriously!

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Abundant blessings on the path.