Back to the Body


Things To Know By The Time You Hit 40

My list of must haves, must knows and what is important in life for women

1. Your childhood may have been screwed up or less than perfect - but it's over.

2. What you are willing to do for love, sex or money.

3. How to leave gracefully. Whether it's time to quit a job, break up with a partner or confront a friend without ruining the friendship. By 40, you better not be using social media in the execution of any of these actions.

4. When to be "all in" and "try harder" or when to back off and walk away.

5. If you believe in anything (like yourself), you will piss people off along the way.

6. That waiting until you are ready is bullshit. You are never ready, and you better get off your ass and do it.

Some women are lost in the fire. Some women are built from it. ~Pamela Madsen

7. Having good friends matter.

8. Cutting people out of your life because they fuck up can be an even bigger fuck up than their fuck up. Everyone fucks up.

9. Call friends. Often. And, with your voice.

β€œThe energy between the women was what made this retreat a total stand out. Necessary for these relationships.” ~Jennifer, Participant at Summer Camp, a Back to the Body: Sensuous Retreats for Women

10. Praise is not over rated. Needing it and remembering to give it.

11. Generosity is the key to a happy life, especially being generous to yourself.

12. Sex matters. And it if doesn't matter to you, be curious about that.

And we need to let go to allow pleasure.

13. Apologizing for things that are not your fault, or always taking care of other people's needs before your own is not generous. It's exhausting and will lead to you feeling resentful.

14. Learning how to accept an apology, being graceful and forgiveness is not a concept, it's a healing tool.

15. Relief that your youth is behind you.

16. Realizing that some chances and some people only come around in your life like a golden ticket. Hug them hard.

17. Grieving takes as long as it takes.

18. Don't give unsolicited advice, learn to listen instead.

19. Talking mean about about people is still gossip and destructive and in the end people will wonder about what you are saying about them behind their backs.

20. Judgement is hubris. Avoid it. Being mean is not funny, it's just mean.

21. You can ALWAYS change you mind and make a U turn. The world will recover.

22. It's okay to look silly.

23 Adventures are sacred. Take them.

24. Most people only need a few minutes of love directed at them to feel loved and cared about. Be in the practice of offering people in your life directed loving attention. That CAN be a text. 3 minutes count a lot.

25. Touch matters.

26. Lies will be found out.

27. Give to people that you take from.

28. Non-attachment is a concept.

29. People learn nothing through shame or humiliation, except to feel shame or humiliated.

30. Understanding that saying "I love you" means so many different things to so many different people.

31. When it comes to Eros, desire and sexuality -- if you don't feel your directed desire returned; it's a sign.

32. Expect wonderful things to happen.

33. People always find the time, money and expend effort on what they care about.

34. Resistance, fear and the thought that "this is not for me" is often the neon blinking road sign that should say "Go for it", this is where your possibility, shifts and magic is waiting.

I hope there is something here for you.

Pamela Madsen is the author of Shameless: How I Ditched the Diet, Got Naked, Found True Pleasure...and Somehow Got Home in Time To Cook Dinner and creator of Back to the Body: Sensuous Retreats for Women.  Her work can be found at

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Pamela Madsen