by Karen Sands
1st Wave Feminism: This refers to Suffrage-age feminism spanning from 1880 to WWI, ending with women’s Suffrage in 1920 with the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the US Constitution.
2nd Wave Feminism: Second Wave Feminism of the late 1960s and early 1970s revitalized Feminism in the United States and continued a sociopolitical movement from the past. These women and men Feminists placed their efforts not only on retaining voting rights, but also extended their focus to “Victim Feminism”, women’s health rights, freedom of choice, and women’s lack of agency.
3rd Wave Feminism: Third Wave Feminism of the 1990s was led by new thought leaders like Naomi Wolf, Rene Denfeld, Katie Roiphe and Rebecca Walker. These new millennial leaders celebrated a woman’s right to pleasure, her power over her victimization, along with a number of interrelated political and social topics that are not necessarily only focused on women’s rights.
Age of Greatness™: The current time period when more of our population than ever before is in the position to seek and develop wisdom, while also having the health and longevity to put this wisdom to use, fulfilling both individual and collective greatness.
age-friendly: An approach to personal, social, community and business life that honors and welcomes the unique talents and gifts of each developmental phase, while intentionally implementing vibrant intergenerational organizations and communities.
ageism: Coined in 1969 by Robert Neil Butler to describe discrimination against people 50 years and older, it now refers to any stereotyping of, and discrimination against, individuals or groups on the basis of age at both ends of the spectrum.
ageless: Owning and internalizing the quality of being timeless and eternal, no matter our age or stage of life. Not using age to define or limit our capabilities. Being ageless reflects an ability to reinvent ourselves and make a difference in our world, knowing our age is not a weakness, but rather a strength, as it offers greater experience, wisdom, and the focus on what really matters in order to live up to our true potential.
ageless attraction: Ageless attraction emerges when instead of pursuing the promise of restoring youth, we make the effort to find meaningful beauty in ourselves, in who we are now as sexual and sensual beings, and in the “other.”
ageless beauty: An attitude in which one does not have to be anti-aging nor accepting of negative aging; anti-self-judgments. To find and enhance beauty at every age and stage, embracing and enhancing who we are; not being shown an impossible and outdated standard of who we should be. It is reflected in our skin, our wrinkles, our hair, gray or colored, our glow, our health, our spirituality, our intelligence, our hard-earned wisdom and accomplishments.
Ageless Future™: This refers to our capacity to live both fully in the present, in what really matters, and in the future tense, living the future we want to have, modeling the new story of aging, all while remaining grounded in the realities of our times, our lives, and our life stages. Ageless future is my vision of the possible future. The term also refers to envisioning and preparing for a future that is truly ageless and age-friendly, not limited — but enhanced — by our diversity of age and stage in every domain of our life, work and community.
Ageless Quest™: The transformative, psycho-spiritual journey (coalescing mind, body, spirit and Soul), which is also filled with struggle and triumph at any age or at any stage. Warning: This quest should only be navigated with the guidance of an expert.
ageless technology: The creation of innovative technology initially designed for the post-50 demographic that is multifunctional, intergenerational and user-friendly so that it ages with us, adapting to our needs over a lifetime.
Ageless Visionary™: The Inner Ageless Visionary, the Soul, timeless self is witness to all that each of us has been, is, and will be. It is also known as Ancient Future. Terms are coined in the book, The Ageless Way.
ageless woman: A woman who is simplifying, sifting and sorting, clearing life of all but what really matters so that she can incorporate an ageless flow consistently in her life. This includes integrating the various aspects of the Inner Feminine, from the Inner Girl to the Inner Wise Crone.
ageless workplace: Removes age biases so that top leaders and employees alike lead with their strengths, therefore creating an environment in which everyone is valued and has the opportunity to experience success. Accelerates the careers of younger colleagues who have the opportunity to learn from hands-on mentorship; rewards the wisdom and experience of older generations.
aging consciously: Remaining grounded in the realities of aging while attaining life satisfaction and connecting to something far greater than ourselves.
aging in place: A trend in which the aging are staying in homes and communities where they have spent their lives because they don’t want to, or cannot, sell their homes, resulting in an increase in remodeling to adapt homes to changing needs of aging.
aging well/vital aging: What Harry R. Moody, author of The Five Stages of the Soul, describes as the adaptive approach to “maintain optimal well-being in the face of age-associated losses;” an approach that extends our receding midlife with a focus on continued or new success and lifelong productivity.
Ancient Future™: I have coined “Ancient Future” as the name for this beneficial numinous energy who’s life changing visitation I describe in the book, The Ageless Way.
anti-aging: Anti-aging themes, myths and prevailing attitudes appear most prominently in the beauty and entertainment industry in which our mirrors and big screens define us; the anti-aging industry perpetuates the old myth that youth and beauty, and youth and new beginnings, are synonymous so that we focus solely on the mirror, not on whom we truly are inside, and who we are becoming. Anti-aging hides out under the umbrella of ageism in the workplace, in marketing, medicine, technology, etc.
Aspirational Ageless Future(s)™: A revised most enhanced and desired view of aging and the future that is grounded in reality but transcends the self-imposed limitations we’ve inherited from our culture’s old stories and those we’ve internalized.
Beat the Clock Syndrome™: A syndrome in which our inner voice reminds us we have only so much time left, throwing us into a sense of urgency to check off our bucket list, to accomplish something meaningful, to matter before it’s too late.
Business of Aging: The world’s most lucrative consumers are aging, and our business enterprises and social organizations are aging out at the same time — opening new potential inroads for entrepreneurs, innovators and enterprises to think beyond the stereotypical ageist box in the search for breakthrough products and services for the mature consumer, which tend to serve all generations. The aging population is reshaping our economy, while the way traditional marketing and business is conducted is no longer working to meet the longevity challenges and opportunities of our times. Gray is the New Green$ eCourseTM based on the work of Karen Sands is a new Signature program that offers tools to leverage this new Longevity Economy.
Clio Feminists™: Named for the Greek muse, Clio, the goddess of history, a Clio feminist goes beyond chronological or generational biases and is rooted in a shared ideology formed through archiving and recognizing herstory throughout time.
CoHERency™: The holistic process of bringing together body, Soul and mind into total alignment with the deep sacred feminine residing and now rising within each of us.
conscious aging: Growing older through embracing every year as a psychospiritual journey that coalesces mind, body, spirit and soul, which often is filled with struggle and triumph and requires continuous personal evolution as we navigate the Canyon of the Soul.™
continually reducing the variability: Before you can create preferred futures, based on alternative stories, you have to first assess exactly where you are now. One of the first steps is to examine your current state and then commit to continuously reducing your variations until you are within Six Sigma degrees of variation in every aspect of your life and work.
continuous discontinuous change: The ongoing organic change process (a force field of its own) that is inconsistent (it erratically shows up and shifts direction unexpectedly) and is always changing (vs. incremental) over time. We can’t predict the future from the past because there will always be unexpected, discontinuous change. Seemingly more frequent “black swan events” (high-impact, unpredictable events) disrupt what was, and dismantle what appeared, solid. We need to develop the awareness and wisdom that enable us to be adaptable, to see and embrace all facets of ourselves and the world. Bottom line, we must learn critical-thinking skills, apply foresight to create alternative scenarios of possible outcomes, and integrate our insight so we can adapt to changing circumstances.
Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) Movement: The most widely-recognized quality improvement authority of modern times was Dr. W. Edwards Deming, which earned him the status of the Grandfather of the Quality Improvement movement, which is even more relevant and valid today in creating world-renowned models with the primary goal to systemize every aspect of the organization/enterprise to foster a laser-like focus on exceptional employee and customer satisfaction. The key categories of focused inquiry that form the foundation of Dr. Deming’s CQI management philosophy are: (a) Continuous Improvement (b) Prevention Orientation (c) Team Approach (d) Process Management and (e) Employee Empowerment.
creative destruction: Often destruction leads to new creation; for example, there is a great deal of healthy, creative destruction going on in the aging field. The new “older adult” demographic of leading-edge Boomers is wreaking havoc on the longtime preferred and universally accepted disease model of aging that has long been the underpinning of the gerontology and geriatric field.
crone: Mythologically defined, the crone is the wise one, the one who knows. She is also personified in myth by Hecate, Medusa and Kali Ma, who carry the darker mysteries, and by La Lobe, Kuan Yin and Sophia, representing the mother of all, the creator and destroyer of life. By reclaiming the transformational insight and truth-telling of the crone, we reclaim the value of our wisdom.
Crossing the Canyon of the Soul™: The deep abyss that exists between our actions and feeling spiritually and emotionally fulfilled can lead to despair that ultimately brings us to reinvention. As people traverse midlife into elderhood, many cross the Canyon of the Soul as they face their mortality and ask the big questions about meaning and legacy.
elderhood: Elderhood demands maturation of consciousness, along with wisdom that comes from drawing upon life experience. Elders are connected to the transcendent more profoundly than when they were young, and have a container of consciousness wider and deeper than that of someone who is old.
emergence through emergency: Buckminster Fuller’s concept that frequently an emergency is required, such as on the scale of climate change, for our best selves to emerge collectively and act in innovative ways. The bigger the problems we need to solve, the bigger the innovations.
encore careers: Careers pursued in the post-retirement age that are flexible, meaningful and value-based. A term coined by my colleague, Marc Freedman, journalist and founder of www.encore.org.
Evolutionary Spiral of Reinvention™: Tracks the pathway of evolutionary reinvention from a variety of triggering events through the descent and ascent that can occur and lead to introspection, transformation and action.
feminism: Originally meant simply “being feminine” or “being a woman,” but gained the meaning “advocacy of women’s rights” in the late 1800s. As a result, feminism helps all genders to abolish gender-based limitations and inequalities through movements and ideologies that define, establish, and defend political, economic, cultural and social rights for women.
gender mainstreaming: An official policy approach established in Vienna, Austria in which the city ensured gender equality by surveying the actual needs of women, including women with families, and redesigned parts of the city in response to these identified needs.
GeroFuturist™: A unique combination of a gerontologist, who studies adult development and aging through the life course, and a futurist who studies the future through strategic foresight and insight to futurecast a variety of scenarios — from most likely to happen to our desired aspirational outcome, from which to plan, navigate and thrive into the future.
Gerontology: The study of the social, cultural, psychological, cognitive and biological aspects of aging. The word was coined by Ilya Ilyich Mechnikov in 1903.
Gray is the New Green™: A new trend that potentially leads to groundbreaking growth and increased profits for professionals and entrepreneurs who serve the 40+ market — as well as for the enterprises and organizations that understand, and thereby, leverage the new Longevity Economy and turn the Business of Aging on its head.
Gray Tsunami: Without a doubt, the most massive transformation we have experienced as a nation (and around the globe), catalyzed by the “change- everything-in-its-path” Gray Force Field of Baby Boomers (born 1943-1967).
HerStory™: Women’s history told from a woman’s perspective without the usual patriarchal filtering.
Humanility™: A core quality of wisdom that combines empathy with humility.
Inner Ageist™: “It’s too late for you. You’re not credible unless you are young and beguiling! Haven’t you got that yet?” These anti-aging inner voices berate us for the changes in our bodies — our appearance, our energy, our health — and “remind” us that we are no longer relevant, that we are a burden, or that we shouldn’t bother speaking up because no one will take an “old woman” seriously.
Inner Ageless Visionary™: The Soul within that is timeless — once lived in the past, now living in the present, and will also be present in the future. I call her Ancient Future. We all have an Ageless Visionary inside us, but for some, it lies dormant in its chrysalis, while their lives go on quietly around it. Those who are blessed with the gift of Her sacred apparition are tapped to be our elder visionaries and guides if they accept their mission at Her invitation.
Inner Dragon of Midlife™: A variety of inner voices act like dragons and demons that keep us from fully living the Ageless Way: “You won’t be taken seriously. You can’t do this. Don’t make waves!” For women at midlife and beyond, some of these anti-aging voices can get particularly nasty, starting with the “Dragon of Midlife,” only outdone by its deeply-embedded, disruptive cohort, the “Inner Ageist.”
Inner Feminine: The right-brained and more in-the-now and relationship-oriented processing function, with the capacity to “go with the flow,” adapt easily, trust and nurture their highly-evolved intuition and inner knowing, and to collaborate with others in ways that are often invisible in this society but are now becoming highly regarded.
Inner Masculine: The left-brained, analytical, goal-focused processing function associated with our ego and visibility. More prevalent and greatly encouraged in males.
Inner Patriarch: Embedded deep within all of us, because of societal and cultural programming and messaging, is a patriarchal view; that is, a general structure in which men have power over women throughout organized society and in individual relationships. The Inner Patriarch, like a stealth bomber, flies under the radar, constraining men and boys, but markedly ruthless and unrelenting in girls and women, telling us we are less than; we are limited because we are the Feminine in motion in real time.
inner voices: Our inner talk (a.k.a. our inner voices, a.k.a. sub-personalities) that can ensnare or enlighten us. We enter this realm as an empty slate with no inner limitations. From the time we emerge into life we are overloaded with limitations. To protect our Soul and Self, we incorporate learned, archetypal, energetic patterns — both positive and negative — which morph into subpersonalities — always ready and willing to step forward and rule our lives.
Each of us has a range of these archetypes, who/which work in unison, and others all go at it on their own. Some of these archetypes, like the commonly accepted “Inner Critic” or “Inner Child,” are not solely out to bring us down. Instead, these submerged personalities, some of which we have pushed out of view earlier in our lives, or perhaps never even knew we possessed, tend to get ignited — sometimes out of hand — or take over when we appear to be in danger — real or unrealized. Others, like our Inner Visionary, may have never seen the light of day since birth. The cacophony of inner voices some refer to as our shadow selves, for they are like invisible energies hidden from our sight.
intergenerational: A new approach bridging the gap between the older and younger generations, focusing on common values shared among colleagues and people of multiple generations. Having conversations about values and aspirational visions — for one’s self, the company, the community, and even the world. Keeping these commonalities front and center can motivate everyone to celebrate and leverage diversity in service of collaboration toward common values, goals and visions.
Longevity Economy: Not just defined by demographics, this term also applies to the total of all economic activity related to serving the needs of the post-50s in the United States. The products and services this same demographic purchases directly, and the continued economics their spending engenders: $7.6 trillion in annual economic activity — a figure that is expected to reach well over $13.5 trillion in real terms by 2032. Long after Baby Boomers, potentially longer and longer life spans will result in continuously occurring, large post-40 populations; thus, the Longevity Economy is here to stay.
Matures: Women born before 1943 who are in their seventies, eighties and beyond.
Multigenerational Gap: The future of the workplace is not a zero-sum game, nor one in which one generation has to lose while the other wins. When we look closely at what all generations want as employees, entrepreneurs and leaders, we can see greater fluidity in roles is only going to increase in the future, and it has as much to do with the changing priorities of the older generation as it does with the new expectations and preferences of the younger — and every age and stage in between.
Positive Aging: The latest meme for describing new approaches to life post-40. Focuses on changing the story about aging to encompass the reality that the years ahead of us hold more potential, not less, for meaningful work and business, making a difference, and living lives of significance, value and visibility.
Prime Time Demographic: A term coined by Marti Barletta which refers to Boomer women over 50 who grew up watching primetime TV and now are emerging as the hottest market to serve.
Radical Reinvention™: The new ageless story is a radical reinvention of what it means to age across our life course; it requires new imagination of what’s possible. It requires transcending age, not denying it. The Ageless Way is the new story of our times.
reinvention: No matter what age, life cycle, or stage we are in, we can bring our unique brand of Greatness DNA to whatever we do and to all we engage in. Reinvention is a purification process, getting down to your essence, to your Signature Greatness DNA, and to your core values. It is essentially a revision of your story, a “re-storying.” It’s a process of working with who you are, where you are, what you’ve done, what you’re doing, and what you’re capable of. It means looking at the story you are in right now, at all the possible directions for the plot in the future, and then choosing the plot line that you most want to experience in your future story.
right-angle precession: Tracing patterns in nature, Buckminster Fuller uncovered a new truth: We must stay open to what shows up, although it may look like a detour. It may very well be our destiny honking.
sexism: Prejudice or discrimination based on a person’s sex or gender. Sexism can affect anyone, but it primarily affects women and girls. It has been linked to stereotypes and gender roles; it may include the belief that one sex or gender is intrinsically superior to another.
Sham Syndrome™: Occurring in those who are successful and live in fear of being “found out” for who they really are; this sense of dread, can lead to turning down promotions, being unassertive in seeking funding, avoidance of speaking up and seeking out new customers for their own business, and for many, debilitating stage fright.
Signature Greatness DNA™: Our innate gift, which everyone has. It is what makes each of us unique and enables us to be conscious human beings with something special to offer in the world which, when shared, helps ignite others’ own greatness within themselves, and those they touch.
Silver Ceiling™: An adaptation of the phrase “glass ceiling” in which people face barriers in the workplace because of their age.
Soulspeak™: The language of the Soul that comes from deep within and is most easily accessed in a quiet, safe space or in dreamtime. Your Soul will speak in its own language through dream symbols: “ahas” that unexpectedly emerge across the blank screen of your meditating mind and when you engage in such reflective activities as journaling or taking a walk in the woods.
The Ageless Way™: All of us alive today are part of writing this new story. This new narrative leads to our internalizing the quality of being timeless and eternal no matter our age or stage of life; not using age to define or limit our capabilities.
The Trailblazer Advantage™: Trailblazers craft a trail that guides others into new territory. The trailblazer advantage recognizes the unique value of trailblazers, who are visionaries at the leading edge, and offers specific tools to optimize their effectiveness, especially in the new Longevity Economy.
Visionary Trailblazer™: When referring to the Business of Aging: a new breed of Ageless marketing geniuses and thought leaders, many of whom were groundbreakers in the human potential and consciousness movement. These visionaries started a new wave of thought in the early 1990s, which they eloquently enunciated as Conscious Aging.
triple bottom line: Demonstrated in enterprises guided by purpose and vision dedicated to reinventing our world through the robust health of people, planet, and profit.
universal design: Design based on combining accessibility with beauty in building and remodeling for all phases of life.
Visionaries with Wrinkles™: A term coined in the title of a book I first wrote in 2012, in which aging women, post age 60, share their visionary voices and unique experiences as they model living the Ageless Way.
Voice Dialogue: A powerful, deep discovery process originally created and taught by Drs. Hal and Sidra Stone, authors of Embracing Your Inner Critic, that involves engaging in dialogue with our inner voices to reap lasting transformation.
wisdom: A composite of many different characteristics: profound knowledge, conscious awareness, intuition, foresight, insight, patience, big picture thinking, experience, openness and empathy. Wisdom is, however, greater than the sum of its parts, just as wisdom has a greater impact beyond the self.