Looking for a good book to read about going gray? We interviewed Maggie Rose Crane, the author of Amazing Grays: A Woman’s Guide to Making the Next 50 the Best 50 *Regardless of your hair color! She’s got a great story to share:

As I aged, I became less interested in pleasing others and more committed to honoring myself. I realized I had the option to live the rest of my life without all the self-doubt, hesitancy and second-guessing that I tormented myself with during the first half.

In conversations with a number of women, I discovered that right around the big 5-0, many women begin to seriously question and challenge the need to adhere to standards that no longer support them in living fulfilling lives. Many referred to it as a midlife speed bump! This seems to be the age juncture where many of us choose to slow down, reassess our priorities, turn up the heat under a simmering passion, allow our hair to go natural, or make any number of choices that support us in living more authentically.

It wasn’t until I had a salon epiphany (at age 55) that caused me to stop coloring my hair that I really began to look at my life through fresh eyes. I finally stepped out of the perpetual “self-improvement” loop and started to ask some serious questions. Why was I so invested in looking youthful? What was I really afraid of? What would happen if I stopped? Who am I now?

Living in a culture of distraction, it’s easy to gloss over what’s really important. We know the importance of slowing down, but few of us do. Sometimes life has to shake us up to remind us how important it is to sink into the stillness and listen. My “salon epiphany” encouraged me to pay attention, and the answers slowly surfaced.

Bubbling just below my conscious awareness was a potent layer of beliefs and fears about aging, messages that influenced so many of my thoughts, feelings, and actions. Old people don’t matter. Gray-haired women are not attractive. This is the beginning of the end. Unexamined, these limiting beliefs and fears were dictating my experience and stirring up a low-level anxiety about what was to come as I aged.

It finally occurred to me that the energy necessary to hold these fears at bay was probably far greater than the energy it would take to make peace with them, once and for all. Rather than spend my time, energy, and money trying to override Mother Nature, I wondered if it might be better spent on embracing Mother Nature. Perhaps it might be more useful to focus on the things I could do something about, and let go of the rest.

I reminded myself once again that I could face the next step kicking and screaming or approach it with grace. I did a lot of both. Actually, I still do a lot of both. Going gray was relatively easy; it’s the graceful part that I struggle with.

Learn how you can age with grace, gratitude and gusto in “Amazing Grays – A Woman’s Guide to Making the Next 50 the BEST 50