On Selfishness & What Women Over 50 Want

Sarah Marshank is one of the experts joining us for the Hormone and Wellness Summit, April 16th, 25th & 30th. She’ll be talking about strategies for riding the waves of hormones throughout your life. Join us!

I’m working with my team on marketing material for a course we plan to offer targeting women over fifty. 

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.

I sigh.

“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?

Of course.



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:

  1. Being good with God – by whatever name
  2. Being good with my self
  3. Having the capacity to remember my goodness even WHILE feeling not good about something 

I feel slightly sick to my stomach. I sense the insidiousness of our culture’s demand that women of whatever age look and feel 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.

Reserve your spot for the Hormone and Wellness Summit, April 16th, 25th, and 30th!

Sarah Marshank

Sarah Marshank MEd. is the the founder of Selfistry, a comprehensive integrative educational system for mastering the art of being human. She is the author of the Being Selfish: My Journey from Escort to Monk to Grandmother.

Based in the SF Bay Area, Sarah teaches and speaks internationally, facilitates on-line courses, and works one-on-one with individuals. Sarah’s embodied teaching and presence come from spending ten years in retreat. Her life’s purpose, articulated and expressed through Selfistry, integrates Eastern and Western philosophy and psychology with meditative and somatic practices.

Selfistry masterfully guides practitioners to a deep encounter with themselves and all life. 

Use the code BTRTSELF for a special bonus when you register for the Know Yourself Course, starting May 13th!

January 21, 2021