What is mid life? Say 40 to 50 on a really broad inconclusive scale?
Women, men and environmental factors are going to come into it of course. We all have our own wonderful unique lens through which we experience our world.
But the point is, why is midlife deemed such a crisis?
Is your cup full or empty? Is midlife the beginning of decline and decay? Or could it be the beginning of a magical phase of life?
Yes, the fact is – we are not getting any younger. We are not getting out alive either. Our mortality becomes apparent. Questioning the limitations and society conditioning becomes apparent. Reclaiming some of that misspent youth, suppressed childhood, joy and pleasure you forgot or never knew how to have. Claiming back the power that you just know is real and true, and nothing is going to dull that.
Where exactly is the crisis in that?
Apparently psychologist Elliott Jaques introduced the term "midlife crisis" based on clinical studies of patients dealing with depression and anxiety about getting older. Since then it’s been associated with divorcee’s buying sports cars, dating younger people, and ‘the change’ for women battling hot flushes and longing for the bodies that flaunt on Love Island.
Of course, I have nothing but my opinion and lived experience.
I think my ‘midlife crisis’ or midlife clarity started really early - I got married young, divorced at 30 with a housing market and financial market crash which also prompted my walking away from a corporate investment banking career.
Yes, there were very very dark days. But in that darkness and silence was a space and depth I hadn’t been before.
My lived experience actually started to improve. Here I was, experiencing a new level of freedom. No corporate chains, no relationship commitments, no house or role to maintain. I was lost at sea and thrilled at the prospect of navigating choppy seas and mysterious sunsets. So what do you do when you are lost? You find a way, you find yourself, you find all the things that you need to do to keep you alive. Then when you feel safe and grounded, there is more.. you find all the things that keep you super alive. All the things that you actually love to do. Things that amplify the vitality and life force within. An unexplainable and unfathomable expansion.
With the knowledge and wisdom of let's say at least 40 years on the planet, one has begun to cultivate a sense of trust, and deeper knowing. The wisdom that comes with age could never be substituted. One realises that there is always a choice..
As a woman I can safely say that I actively do tap into my deep inner wisdom, my ancestral lines carry the bags and my intuition opens the doors. I trust my deep inner knowing and highest self to light the way, and so it does.
My lived experience as a 'middle aged woman' going through the 'change' is this:
Change is amazing, and the only guarantee we have
Change brings courage, strength and great beauty
Middle age is a gathering of wisdom, a keeper of the light, and a shower of the way
Middle age is a mid way initiatory gateway of freedom, peace and joy
There is no-one to please or impress
The outcome is not important, the journey is everything
The tribe may be smaller, but the impact is so much more potent
The intention is focussed, set, and held in a sacred way
The connection and service to Mother Earth and humanity is very clear
The clarity is unquestionable
The need for verification is dissolving
The inner child has her unconditional eternal parent
External deities are a beautiful way to connect to the aspects of the divine within – not without
The intellectual becomes heart centred creation
My work is no longer work. It is my Purpose
I trust and know that universal law is working in my favour
I’ve studied enough modalities and teachings to create a tool kit of mastery
I serve from the overflow
I listen to my body and allow rest and play in equal measure
I don’t wait for permission
I recognise my trauma and pain and nurture these wounds
I work on expressing my needs and setting clear boundaries
I cherish conscious communication and connection
I recognise my fears and go visit them
I self regulate my emotions in responsible loving awareness
I use my time and energy very wisely
I celebrate my wins, no matter how small
I live in gratitude and find joy in simple things
I breathe, and I hydrate – consciously
I have developed a daily spiritual practice that is my own
I carry a mind/body/spirit awareness and internal checking system
I love being alive, and I satisfy my hunger for life with everything that nourishes me
I could go on and on about the pleasures of being a female human, entering a new cycle of life. How using daily practices and rituals has cultivated levels of sensitivity and sensuality I could never have dreamed of.
Man or woman, we are all cyclical beings, we all have phases and cycles of life where we change and grow - it is what we are here to do!
So in my world, and the world I want to share - does not carry shame for being 'middle aged' and wanting a change.
It does not carry guilt or responsibility for things I may or may not have done, and things that others may or may not think of me.
Now is the time to fully embrace the essence of life, for no one else. Caring for and understanding and nurturing the self first will juice us up to understand and nurture others.
A Life Review
Perhaps you never had children and you are now at peace with that, perhaps you had children who are gone or grown and you are now at peace with that. Perhaps you are not at peace with any of it. The fact is, there comes a time when every human has a life review - must we wait until our death bed or a crisis?
A life review and contemplation can be a catalyst for great change and potential. Perhaps finally you could just be who the fck you want to be, without anybody else's suggestions and well intended influences clouding your inner compass?
Perhaps you just know what is right and good for you, and that is what you choose to do now.
Mid life is a blessing. Life is a blessing.
The best is yet to come.
All I know, at a ripe mid age of 46, is that the roots are getting deeper and the branches are reaching higher.