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Ageless Relationships


The Choice of Forgiveness

No matter who hurt us or what they did, we played a role in getting hurt. That can be hard to admit. But freedom and joy begin when we acknowledge that on an energetic level, we invite everything that comes into our lives. On a soul level, we pick our parents. Of course, this intellectual knowledge doesn’t help the hurt child within us. If you’re still holding on to resentment or blame toward someone, you not only have to release the feelings—you have to make the choice to tell the story differently so you don’t get stuck in emotional responses, such as resentment, that will age you. Blame is defined as a way to discharge pain or discomfort. Forgiveness means being willing to remember the past differently instead of trying to force the facts to be different. The facts will remain the same. How you frame them is what changes. Forgiveness has to include not just the other person but yourself too. Here’s what you can forgive yourself for: Not being perfect. Not knowing better. Lacking the courage to stand up for yourself and speak your truth. Needing a loving mom and wishing your mother were able to be the mother you needed at that moment. Many women hold on to feelings about their former spouses but feel guilty for failing at marriage. Our culture is relentless in driving home the screwed-up message that divorce is devastating to children and that women who divorce are selfish. This myth doesn’t seem to go away even though there’s no evidence for it.


Every article on how divorce devastates children cites the same old study by Judith Wallerstein that’s based on substandard social science. That bad nickel of a study simply will not disappear! And its message is just plain wrong. What’s devastating for any of us is chronic unresolved stress and conflict, which you’re all too likely to find in a family where the parents are still married despite their anger, resentment, and unhappiness. I am certain that neither my daughters nor I would have the level of health and happiness we now enjoy if their father and I hadn’t divorced. I consider my 24-year marriage a huge success. It supported me during the formative years of my career and produced two beautiful daughters who are loved by both their father and me. Let’s rethink the idea of a “broken home.” Why is it “broken” just because the parents are divorced or separated? A split is better than chronic depression, anger, and conflict. By addressing the unhappiness instead of just deciding to stay in the marriage “for the sake of the kids,” parents can transform the family and make it healthy and whole. Then, if they do stay together, it will be a better situation for all—and if they don’t stay together, the family won’t be “broken.” It will just be shaped differently. Chronically being unhappy ages you and leads to health problems. Make a conscious decision to live happily—with or without your partner. And get over the idea that because a relationship has reached its conclusion, it is somehow a “failure.” At this time in history, marriage is no longer the economic arrangement that it was for centuries. Now both men and women want more from their relationships than ever before. We want true partnerships in which both of us can grow and thrive, not everyday familiar misery nailed in place by the outmoded belief that divorce is the worst thing that can possibly happen to us. 


After we got divorced, both my husband and I flourished. (Not instantly, of course. But in time. And with a tremendous amount of effort and healing on my part.) He’s happily remarried, and my daughters love their stepmother and little half-sister—the daughter my former husband had with his second wife. My daughters also have an excellent relationship with me. They don’t have a broken family; they have two families who love them unconditionally. If my husband and I had stayed together, they wouldn’t have the loving relationships with their father’s second wife or their half-sister. While we don’t all spend holidays together as one big happy family, we get along well, without conflicts. You can have that too. You and your kids and your former husband get to choose how to frame the experience of divorce. By being willing to see what everyone gained from it, you can forgive each other for causing each other pain and commit to enjoying what you have to offer each other now. Forgive your ex and yourself, and let go of any residual emotions from the divorce. And if you’re thinking of divorce but figure there’s no one out there for you and you might as well end your days in the marriage, you need to stop thinking that way. You are not too old to start over. Choosing to stay in a bad relationship will quickly age you because of the stress you’ll create for yourself.


Perfectionism and Relationships

old-couple-huggingBeating yourself up or stressing yourself out for not being the perfect wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend, or neighbor is a sure route to premature aging. In Working Ourselves to Death: The High Cost of Workaholism and the Rewards of Recovery (HarperSanFrancisco, 1990), Diane Fassel, Ph.D., writes that most women do too much and develop what’s known as the “disease of doer-ship.” Workaholism, she explains, is the addiction of choice for those who feel unworthy. Women who never age give up the insanity of trying to make everyone love and approve of them at all times. The belief that you must be active all the time, working to please everybody, leads to worry, overwork, and obsession. It also results in an increased amount of inflammatory chemicals in the body that set the stage for chronic degenerative disease. I’m inspired by the words “You are my beloved child, in whom I am well pleased.” God knows us completely, with all our failings and faults, and loves us fully and unconditionally—and wants us to love ourselves the same way. God is not looking to get us to iron the sheets, iron over everyone’s hurt feelings, and be Little Mary Sunshine every minute of the day. When you try too hard to make everyone happy or get them to conform to what you think is the perfect way to live, you end up being too controlling and smothering—and you drive people away. Perfection in relationships doesn’t come from being perfect people but from allowing ourselves and others to be who we are. Do this and you will achieve perfection—the perfection of harmony.


Timeless Time

In his book The Big Leap (HarperCollins, 2009), Gay Hendricks has a chapter called “Living in Einstein Time,” in which he explores the idea that since time is relative, we can change our relationship to it and experience “timeless time.” For many overworked people, time has become a commodity as precious as gold. But every one of us is given exactly the same amount of time. I wrote this poem as a way to help me remember to slow it down and truly experience the expansiveness of time in a delightful way. Say the following out loud—slowly—while breathing deeply. "I brag that time is on my side; That time is standing lusciously still for me; That I am creating timeless time; That I have enough time; That I am having the time of my life!!!; That I am where time comes from, in slow, sexy, sensual rhythms of joy and pleasure that stretch out into eternity. Ahhhhhhhhhh …"


Caretaking and Taking Care of Ourselves

happy-old-coupleThough sickness and infirmity are not inevitable as you get older, you may find yourself in the role of caretaker of a sick or ill parent—or needing care yourself. The flow of offering and receiving is a part of life, but it’s easy to become cranky and difficult instead of submitting to it gracefully. Caretaking for others can be so stressful that it zaps your energy, makes you depressed and anxious, and even causes you to develop stress-related illnesses. It’s no accident that women often develop autoimmune diseases after the stress of caretaking for their parents. An autoimmune disease is characterized by the immune system not recognizing the body’s tissues as its own. In caretaking for those you love, you can lose yourself and start to wonder, Who am I? What’s my role? Am I daughter or nurse? If at all possible, even if you are a nurse, get professional caretakers to help you with your parents should their health start to fail. Becoming all things to Mom and Dad is a surefire way to age yourself. As daughters, we have to learn to express our love to our parents without losing or exhausting ourselves. Years ago, the dying process was very different. We didn’t have the medical interventions we have now that can prolong a fairly poor quality of life at great cost for an average of five years, causing enormous stress on the person dying and on the family caring for her. In her book Passages in Caregiving (William Morrow, 2010), Gail Sheehy writes, “Today’s average family caregiver in the United States is a forty-eight-year-old woman who holds down a paid job (more than half work full-time) and spends twenty hours a week providing unpaid care for an adult who used to be independent. One-third of family caretakers are actually on duty forty or more hours a week. One-third also still have children or grandchildren under the age of eighteen living with them and take care of two or more people, usually parents. Not surprisingly, one-half report a high level of burden and nearly one-half say their own health is fair or poor.”


When perfectionism enters the picture, the burden on the caretaker becomes even greater. Sheehy has written that caretaking should be approached as a marathon, not a sprint. We all want to believe that once Mom gets the surgery and the post-surgery physical therapy, she’ll get right back to her active life again. We all want to believe that Dad’s mild confusion and forgetfulness will be checked by some medication. Unfortunately, often, one small loss of health or independence leads to another and another and we’re unprepared for how quickly the situation snowballs. The typical scenario is that the daughter—and if there’s more than one daughter, it’s usually the oldest daughter or the unmarried one—steps in to do the caretaking while the other siblings check in here and there, and maybe offer some money to the caretaking daughter (or son). The other siblings don’t understand how much of a burden Mom and Dad are on the caretaker. If you see this beginning to happen in your family, call a family meeting and set a plan. Expect some denial all around. No one wants to admit that Mom and Dad aren’t able to be totally independent anymore. Push for everyone to come to an agreement on what to do so that you don’t end up doing all the caretaking. If your parents are still independent and in good health, talk to them and your siblings now and set up a plan for what to do should Mom or Dad become frail or ill. Urge your parents to do estate planning and end-of-life planning. Have them set up and sign a health care POA (power of attorney) so someone can deal with their finances if they become incapacitated. Also, have them set up a living will so you have a legal document spelling out their wishes when it comes to end-of-life medical interventions, and a MOST (medical orders for scope of treatment) form.


The MOST form, which must be reviewed yearly, is far more explicit and detailed than the living will. For example, a MOST form includes an option to choose a do-not-resuscitate (DNR) order, which means that if your parent goes into cardiac arrest, she does not want cardiopulmonary resuscitation administered. The harsh truth is that CPR often breaks the person’s ribs and rarely even works, or if it does work, it often leads to diminished quality of life. It’s important to know whether your parent wants to spend his last minutes of life on a floor or hospital bed having someone pound on his chest—or to risk surviving and becoming an invalid. You can get the forms I’ve mentioned on the Internet; they can vary from state to state and country to country, so you want to read them carefully to make sure they cover what you need covered. The MOST form should be printed out on bright-colored paper and posted visibly on your loved one’s bed so that every person can see it and follow the instructions clearly. If your parent is open to it, you can plan even further ahead. I recently took a walk with my mother and asked her what she wanted for her funeral. Given her relationship with organized religion, she was most clear on the fact that she didn’t want a minister anywhere near when it came time for the funeral. She’s fine with a Vedanta monk, however, who is a friend of the family. And she wants to be cremated and have her ashes strewn from a small airplane over the back hill on the farm where we all grew up. I asked her if she wanted to have one of us make a video of some “parting comments” in the next year or two that we could play at a memorial service after her death; Mom said she’d think about it. She also wants her service within a couple of days after her death—that matters to her, and I want to honor that. While we’re on the subject of making end-of-life wishes clear, start thinking about your own plan for leaving this world for the next. I don’t care if you’re 30—there’s no time like the present to create a vision for your transition. Remember, healthy centenarians usually die in their sleep, not in a hospital bed. Don’t set up your loved ones to try to guess at your wishes and wrestle with the doctors and the state and your other relatives to try get everyone on the same page.


Develop a loving relationship with yourself, with the people in your life, and with the Divine. I don’t think it’s death we fear so much as the possibility that we won’t get to truly complete the unfinished emotional business that is part of our soul school in the first place. Consider what we can all learn from the many who have had near-death experiences and now teach us that when we pass over, we will find that we are loved and cherished beyond anything we can imagine. Anita Moorjani says that having died and come back, she no longer works so hard at being “spiritual.” Instead, her near-death experience taught her that truly loving and taking care of herself in daily life were most important. Live fully now, trust the process of life, and plan for how you want to make your exit. No one wants to be a burden on the people they love. Avoiding the conversation about planning for the end pretty much ensures that will happen! Ira Byock, M.D., former director of palliative medicine at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, has said, “When people die well, their families grieve lighter.” Truly, the deathbed can be a place of amazing healing. My sister and brother-in-law lived with his mother, Thelma, for the last six months of her life until she finally passed at age 94. Thelma had been a successful research chemist and a natural leader in her community. She wanted to die in her own home, and was a fighter until almost the very end of her life. One day, toward the end, she could no longer stand up, and she laid her head on her son’s shoulder. Then she told him, “You’ve done a good job.” These were words he’d never heard her say before—and they healed not only him, but his children as well. After that, his mother slipped into a coma and didn’t eat or drink for five days. Meanwhile, her entire extended family gathered around her. On what would be the final day of her life, her great-grandson, who was just a toddler, said, “When is she going to die?” The child’s mother was embarrassed because Thelma had always been a most proper individual, with a strong personality. But immediately after the boy asked his question, Thelma suddenly had a moment of lucidity and said with great compassion, “He can’t help it, dear.” And with that, she took her final breath. She had a good death. If all this talk of death is making you want to get on with life, good! To quote Rebecca Authement, “Thoughts of death are best used to get on with life. Death will come in its own time. Get your affairs in order should be a daily mantra, not something said to a person with a terminal diagnosis.”

The Era of Community

old-man-with-young-peopleIt’s hard not to be scared in times of uncertainty, whether it’s a transitional time in your life or a transitional period that everyone is facing. As I write this, there are astrologic events happening that we haven’t experienced since 1966—perhaps before you were born. The last time the celestial bodies were in a similar position was a very chaotic time when the women’s movement, civil rights, gay rights, and the very unpopular Vietnam War were all in the news. It was also the beginning of waves of women and nonwhite individuals entering professional schools in significant numbers for the first time in history. Today, we’re entering a new era and experiencing what shamanic astrologer Daniel Giamario calls “the turning of the ages.” You won’t find security in money, power, or doing things the way you’ve always done them. Give up the fear habit and replace it with faith, love, and community connections. You will find support and sustenance in your relationships with those around you. Social isolation and loneliness are a major health risk, right up there with smoking cigarettes, high blood pressure, obesity, and a sedentary lifestyle. The happiest people are those who have a tribe. In the documentary Happy, the elderly women of Okinawa, Japan, one of the famous Blue Zones where people enjoy an unusually long healthspan and lifespan, talk about being sisters to each other and interacting and playing with the children on the island; a single mother in Denmark explains why communal living with a dozen or so families was key to overcoming her loneliness and fear. We aren’t meant to live alone and disconnected. In his study of healthy centenarians, Dr. Mario Martinez finds that they all live in “subcultures” of like-minded individuals who support their joyful and healthy outlook. Many people feel close to their family and close friends who serve as their tribe, but we can also receive support from the larger tribe of the human race. Social media has helped us recognize our interconnectedness. I’m a regular over at Tosha Silver’s Facebook page, where a tribe of us follow Tosha’s wonderful writing and example of turning our lives over to the Divine Beloved. On my birthday, I was on a family cruise of the Greek islands and Turkey—a dream-come-true vacation for all of us—and I checked Tosha’s page, where she’d posted about my birthday. A woman named Yesim had posted “Happy Birthday all the way from Istanbul.” I loved her picture—she looked so vibrant! I took a chance and asked if she wanted to meet my family when we arrived in her city. Not only did Yesim meet us, she became our family tour guide for the weekend, getting us into places we would never have been able to visit without her. She also became my friend. The moment I met her, I knew that I had met a true kindred spirit. My entire family felt the same!


old-coupleThis is how we’re designed to interact with each other: remembering that we’re all sisters and brothers, and letting go of our social anxiety, fear, and shame to reach out to say hey, let’s enjoy this experience together. When we do that, we share cardiac coherence. Our hearts actually synchronize with each other and change the energy field we share. We also begin to attract persons, places, and things that reflect our celebration of life. The universe reaches out and gives us a high five, and the Woman herself smiles. So move into the new era of community by building a sustainable tribe of support. And when it comes to your tribe, be judicious about who is in it. The people around you can help you reconnect to the life force and flourish or they can drain you and depress you. When we first started the Women to Women health center years ago, at a time when women doctors and nurse practitioners treating only women was a radical shift, some colleagues I respected responded with resistance and sarcasm, the way most people do when confronted with new ideas. I learned to be careful about choosing the people I shared my ideas with. I didn’t need colleagues who were highly critical and unsupportive of the changes I was making in my practice and my perspective, especially when my ideas were new and tender. Some of these colleagues were people I had known for years; we had shared a long and rich history in the trenches of medical training. I loved and respected them. But just as plants outgrow their pots, I was outgrowing them. You may have to turn the volume down on some relationships, or even let go of them, and commit to bringing new people into your life who will be more supportive of you. The good news is that the universe will provide you with new members of your “tribe,” sometimes in the most extraordinary ways. Once you make the change inside of you, your energy will shift; those who resonate with you energetically will gravitate your way and those who don’t will start to fall away. Years after transforming the way I practiced and thought about medicine, I find that I’m a magnet for people who believe in inspiring women to experience wellness through feeling connected with their joy and their life force. I regularly meet people I want to add to my tribe. 


There are people who truly want to vibrate at a higher frequency and be happier and lighter in mood and attitude. But some people who will be attracted to your lightness of being will bring to the table their old, negative emotional patterns. They will love what they get from you, but they will drain you because they’re not committed to becoming lighter themselves. They are emotional vampires. You might not realize that they are sucking you dry because they seem to be so nice and supportive at first. They may not realize what they’re doing to you. But in time, you’ll see that whenever you interact with them, you come away feeling as if someone just took a pint of blood out of you. I have felt as though I had to get down on the floor and go to sleep after interacting with certain individuals. In fact, sometimes I feel this way just from reading an e-mail from one of them! Those people are mostly gone from my life at this point, but it sure took a while to figure out this pattern. As you begin to tap into your own vitality, you have to be cautious about letting people drain it out of you as quickly as you fill yourself up. Encourage family and friends who want what you’ve got to get it for themselves and stop seeing you as their Source. In fact, people can energetically hook into you so strongly that if you stop, focus, and tune in, you can actually sense the cord of energy that goes from you to them. I like to use the following exercise to cut them loose so they can find another source of energy. 


Exercise: Cutting Energetic Cords

old-couple-hugging-on-bridgeUse this exercise whenever you suspect you have an energetic connection to someone who is draining you of life force. Cutting the energetic cord is good for you and for that person. You can do this when the cord is between you and a living person or when it’s between you and someone who has crossed over into the spiritual realm. There are many ways to remove an energetic cord, but I learned the basic technique from the late shaman Peter Calhoun—and it is explained more fully in Peter and his wife Astrid Ganz’s book Last Hope on Earth (World Service Institute, 2013). To remove dark energies’ connection to your energetic field, you will call upon Archangel Michael, an angel of protection and love who wields a cobalt-blue sword of light. You’ll also use the energy of what’s called the Violet Flame, a living spiritual energy that’s an aspect of Divine Love. Before beginning, take a moment to clear your mind and take a few deep breaths so that you can tune in to your energy field. Take a minute or two to become quiet and relaxed as you focus on your breathing. Start by asking any dark or wandering energies to leave. Say, “If there are any dark or wandering energies, I now send you to the light. If there are any dark ones, I encapsulate you in black light and bar you from ever returning.” Draw your attention to your lower chakras, from your solar plexus down. Do you sense, feel, or see a cord or a hook extending outward toward someone else, or do you see one coming into you? If so, you need to cut it so it stops draining your energy. Then visualize and feel yourself cutting the cords while saying aloud, “With Archangel Michael’s cobalt-blue sword of light, I now cut all attachments and cords.” You can make sweeping movements around your body with your hands. Identify where you feel an uncomfortable sensation in your body. For most people, it’s in the belly, where the third chakra is located, or in the heart area, where the fourth chakra is located. Next, identify the person who is connected with this feeling who requires your forgiveness and release.


Now say the following out loud: “(Name of the person), I forgive you for (fill in the blank; for example, for sexually abusing me, betraying me, abandoning me, for not stepping up, or whatever it is—name everything you need to forgive that person for).” Allow yourself to feel the full power of your emotions as they come up. Don’t hold back out of guilt or shame! When you’re ready, say, “I send you on your path of healing.” Repeat steps 3 through 6 until you feel finished with the work, that is, until you have no more emotions to release or words to say. Now see yourself standing within the Violet Flame (a brightly burning violet flame) and say, “I now transmute this pattern with the Violet Flame.” If you prefer, you can say, “I now transmute this pattern with Divine Love” (or use any other wording that is in sync with your beliefs about the Divine). Draw your attention to the area of your body where you’d felt discomfort. Chances are very good that the discomfort will have resolved. If not, repeat the steps until it’s gone. You’ve just removed an energetic imprint, and it leaves an energetic hole. For your protection, visualize “packing” the area where the imprint was with healing midnight-blue and golden light. Make sure to drink plenty of water and get rest following this exercise. You may find yourself very sleepy. If so, don’t fight it. Removing an energetic imprint is like doing surgery on your energy field, so it’s very important to rest afterward. The imprint removal process is like peeling an onion. You may find that once you’ve cut a cord and released one energetic imprint, others arise or the cord reforms. Take it slowly—don’t expect to heal all your grief or emotional pain in one sitting. Do imprint removals as the need arises—by yourself, or with another person leading you in the process. Cords can easily reattach if you don’t change your daily relationship patterns, so you can take precautions. Before you interact with someone you’ve had a draining energetic connection to in the past, imagine zipping up a bag over yourself, starting at your feet and zipping right up over your head. This imaginary bag will protect you energetically.


Ageless Relationships

old-couple-in-parkBeing around people who depress and frustrate you will age you quickly. Do you want to spend your most creative years surrounded by the people you’re currently spending most of your time with? Agelessness means discerning which relationships are worth keeping, starting, and nurturing, and which need to end—and then withdrawing from those. You can do this simply by allowing them to wither on the vine. It’s not that you have to stop speaking to an old friend for good or write her off forever. It’s just that you no longer donate your precious energy to trying to save her from her choices. Your ageless years are also a time for making new friends with youthful energy who don’t dwell on the past or talk about illnesses and doctors. Healthy centenarians are focused on their future, not their past. I’ve often said “community is immunity,” and research has shown this to be true. People who have varied community connections live longer and enjoy a longer healthspan than people who are loners or in unhealthy relationships (bad marriages, for example) that cause them stress. Unhealthy community fosters poor health. Healthy communities foster true flourishing. If you want to remain ageless, you need to create a subculture of individuals who are living healthfully and joyfully. Affirm and imagine your supportive tribe and be patient as the universe works to bring it to you. Then make a point of getting together with others. Maybe your group of girlfriends, whom you used to meet at the bar in your 20s and then at the playground when you had young children, is ready to meet at the yoga studio or the cooking demonstration at the food coop. As I’ve always told my daughters, “Everyone is looking for a good gig.” Attend classes or events you find interesting and go to places you like to visit, and see who shows up. 


There’s a new science called sociogenomics, which is the study of the relationship between people’s social connections and their health and gene expression. The truth is that your health will pretty much be the same as that of the people you hang around with (just as your income tends to be the average of that of your five closest friends). The Social Network Diet by Miriam Nelson, Ph.D., a nutritionist at Tufts University, and Jennifer Ackerman, explains that it really isn’t willpower that makes us stick to our goals for eating and exercising so much as whether we have a social network of people who support us in those goals. If your family brings junk food into your home daily, and complains when you want to turn off the television in the family room and work out in that space, it’s going to be hard to stick to better habits. Healthy centenarians all have subcultures that support maximizing their ability to live agelessly, so start looking for individuals to hang out with who make it easy to be happy and healthy. There’s nothing like a group of girlfriends to enhance each other’s life force. I like to say that women can be a placenta for each other. However, what you want is a relationship that is nourishing for all, not a sisterhood based on one-upping each other on who has more trouble keeping weight off or who has more aches and pains. When I pass a restaurant table of women all having an “organ recital”—talking about their doctor visits and so on—I get out of there quickly. 


To create positive sisterhood, you have to be an uplifting, ageless Woman who knows how to have fun. Bond over funny online videos, a healthy recipe you invented, or a hilarious movie you saw. Design an evening or weekend around doing something none of you have done before that sounds daring and fun. Get everyone together to go surfing, sailing, or hot air ballooning, or to enjoy karaoke or dancing. Go birding or kayaking or to an indoor climbing wall. Have a spa weekend or attend a spiritual retreat or music festival. Clothing swaps are also great fun, and you can score a new wardrobe! And if you want to have fun with girlfriends, don’t forget to invite women you’ve recently met who clearly have great energy. Loyalty is wonderful, but we do tend to hang on to female friendships after they’ve become stale and depressing.


Furry Friends

old-couple-smilingFor more and more women, pets are a part of a loving community. I’m not exaggerating: the amount of money people spend on their pets has increased exponentially in my lifetime, and we’ve seen a huge shift in how people relate to animals. When I was growing up on a farm, cats belonged in the barn and dogs in the yard, never on the couch. You had pets but didn’t necessarily think of them as furry friends or members of the family. Now, people are connecting to the animals in their lives to a degree that’s unprecedented. Our relationships with our pets aren’t just emotionally nourishing. They’re spiritually nourishing and good for our health. Having a pet lowers your stress, your cortisol levels, and your blood pressure. Cats and dogs keep our heart chakras open and clear. They love us unconditionally, which humans aren’t truly capable of without Divine intervention. No wonder the amount of money we’ve spent on our pets has exploded. The image of the woman surrounded by cats being someone lonely and pathetic has to go. More often, the woman who has cats—or dogs, or birds, or some other type of pet she’s connected to—is happy and less lonely because she’s surrounded by unconditional love and affection.


Let’s own this: Our pets are more than just friends. They’re creatures who come here to share love with us. And they can be extraordinary healers. Both of the cats I got after my divorce died from cancer within 12 years, even though they ate quality organic food and there was nothing in the environment of our home to cause cancer in any of the humans. Those cats came here as souls to serve me, and I believe they took on my post-divorce grief. I’ve talked to other women who have had similar experiences. Although my cat Francine has been dead for several years, I still feel her around me even now, and I dream about her regularly. Her spirit visits my house. Sometimes, a very intuitive person will come to my house and pick up on Francine’s energy too. She’s still looking out for me. As for relationships with people, your intuition will never steer you wrong. You know when a relationship is serving you, and when it isn’t. You’re no longer willing to spend your precious time and energy trying to fix people or get them to change. You want to be around whole people who take responsibility for their side of the street. What a relief! As you begin to reclaim your Woman nature, you also reclaim your intuition and your inner knowing. You stop trying to justify yourself to other people because you know your worth regardless of what they think of you. You’re more secure and sure of yourself—and your identity as an ageless Woman.