The Beautiful Diamond of Mid-life.
There is a reason you are here. Maybe you haven’t quite discovered it yet. Now is the perfect time to discover what your soul purpose is. With all the challenges that humanity and the planet are facing, you are needed. Mid-life is not a stopping point, where you get off the train of life and step back. It is the prime-time opportunity of your life. It can also be one of the best times of life.
You have walked through many life stages by the time you reach your 40’s and 50’s. Adolescence – done. Do you really want to go back and be a teenager anyway? Young adulthood – done. Career, marriage and forming a family. Middle adulthood – done. Children raised and launched, career winding down and looking at the empty nest. And who is that person I partnered with for all these years? Now what? Relax and retire?
There is much to be mined, treasured and shared in these middle years. The wisdom that may have been hard earned over the last 3 or 4 decades is ripe with opportunity and skills to share. Really? Is there anything I have to offer? The resounding answer is YES! You have much to share, offer, give and teach to others.
But I feel so old, unprepared, unskilled and unclear about all this! Perfect. Here is the opportunity. And some steps to consider. It is much like putting together a jigsaw puzzle.
First you take out all the pieces, turn them over so they are all face up. This is your inventory of all things you have done in your life.
Step two, start organizing the pieces. Put all the blue ones together, the yellow ones, etc. This may take a while, but there is a pattern to everything you have done in your life so far. It just takes a little bit of inspecting to see the patterns. Don’t fret the pattern will appear.
Step three, put all the pieces together. Little by little the pieces start to fit together, and the picture starts to emerge. What appeared to be random shapes and colors now are joined into a beautiful scene. The seemingly unrelated activities of your life have meaning. Congratulations! Now you see that there is more to this next part of your life than you thought.
But I can’t see all the pieces and some of them are missing. This is where a little meditation, journaling and grounding come in. And perhaps a little therapy. Sometimes it takes partnering with a friend or therapist to help sort out all the pieces. And maybe there are few pieces you must go find. There are also some pieces that may not belong to you. They go in another box.
Here’s an example. I was a full time stay at home mom. After my daughters graduated from high school, I thought I was going to retire from parenting and just go ride my bicycle in the mountains around Dnver and beyond. This is my therapy – cycle therapy. I kept journaling, meditating, grounding and riding my bike. Every week or so, one healing modality that I had studied would appear in my dreams, my journaling or through a “random” encounter with someone. I ignored this at first. Soon, all the pieces were on the table. And they wouldn’t leave me alone. It all came together. It was time to reopen my practice in healing as a body psychotherapist.
When you work with this process for a while, clarity and light emerges. You can now claim the authority of your life, your wisdom and begin to see the next chapter. We all need what you have to offer! Here are some books I found useful:
Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life by Richard Rohr. An inspiring deep dive into the spiritual meaning of the stages of our life.
It’s Never Too Late to Begin Again: Discovering Creativity and Meaning at Midlife and Beyond (Artist’s Way) by Julia Cameron. Following the creative process can lead to great discoveries about life’s next path.
Life Reimagined – The Science, Art and Opportunity of Midlife, by Barbara Bradley Haggerty. Humorous, insightful, reframe of the middle years.
I look forward to your sharing with me what tools and experiences have helped you discover your new “why”.