Inside: You may feel weary and a little beat up by life but you can map a new joyful vision for the next season of your life.
Just being human can be hard work at times! But layer on grief, trauma, messy and vulnerable life transitions, a lifetime of pouring out for others while neglecting our own needs, trying to measure up and keep up to prove our worth, comparison, perfectionism, fear, and a mean inner critic who tells us we’re never enough… and it’s no wonder that by the time we arrive at midlife, we’re exhausted and desperate for something new.
The good news is that as long as you’re breathing, you can map a new joyful vision for your life.
Midlife – we are no longer willing to sacrifice our wellbeing for the comfort of others or for ‘fitting in’; we have a better sense of who we are and of our core values; and we’ve lived through some hard stuff and have developed a core of resilience and perspective.Krista xo
The middle season of life can be messy for many reasons and there’s zero shame or judgment in this. It simply is. But – the middle season of life can also feel exciting, freeing, like a brand new adventure. Messy and exciting all at once.
We need to tell the truth about the challenges or fears we’re navigating: divorce, needing hormonal support, aging parents, grief, resistance to slowing down and resting, guilt about having financial security when others do not or financial stress, needing a new sense of purpose now that the kids are on their own, or believing that you can find happiness after 50 (or 40 or 60) … it can be a mixed bag.
But there are a few common considerations for each of us:
- We need to tell the truth about the reality of our current season of life and intentionally map out a new vision;
- We need to ask for help and build our community and health care team;
- We need to examine and possibly challenge our beliefs about aging and midlife joy and strip away the stories that no longer serve us.
As you explore your beliefs about Midlife Joy or What’s Possible In This New Season, remember this
This is a new season. You get to change course, strip away what no longer serves, and write a new story for your life. Even if your past season of life was beautiful (life is rarely all one thing or the other), we must be willing to let go of what was in order to open ourselves up to something new. Each season of life is a brand new adventure and we can choose to resist this or we can say YES to what is next.
📍 You are not bad, wrong, or broken; you’re simply human in a messy world. As you own your story, strength and struggle, shame and judgment-free, you’ll walk in greater freedom, wholeness and joy.
📍 You can stop trying to fit someone else’s mold and choose a soul-honouring way of being in your body and life. You can let go of all the “shoulds” and conditioning, and express the full truth of who you are. To do this, you have to get to know, love, and trust your True Self.
📍 Joy and pain coexist in a full, meaningful, beautiful life. It’s a both/and equation. And when you make peace with the messiness of life, and learn that you’re strong enough to sit with discomfort and not break, you’ll expand your capacity for joy.
📍 You have permission to truth-tell about how you feel, to grieve, or express your rage or pain about what was. You have permission to keep thriving (even after painful loss), embrace new adventures, and do what it takes to feel safe, at home, and joyful in your body and your life.
📍 There’s beauty and wisdom to be mined in every season, even the hardest of them. You have the privilege and agency to map out a new vision for your life but you must take that first tentative step. Though you’d love the perfect plan laid out for you, you’ll find your way in action, not before!
Map a New Joyful Vision For your life
I believe that life is more circular than linear, faster is not better, and that we’re regularly invited to go deeper and/or begin again. I also believe that there is wisdom and beauty to be mined in every season.
Having said that, we often feel more comfortable feeling fear or anger than we do savoring beauty or allowing joy to live freely in our lives! These less pleasant emotions feel safer than opening ourselves up to a new, joyful possibility. Joy is vulnerable.
This means, that we have to consciously choose joy, scan for joy, and allow joy to live alongside whatever else we’re experiencing. It won’t just drop into our lap. We must do the work to envision ourselves thriving, loving life, fully embracing the gift of each new season.
midlife is a time to bloom
Joan Borysenko, Ph.D., in A Woman’s Book of Life, writes “All human beings go through cycles in their lives, progressing from infant to child to adolescent to adult. While each stage builds upon previous biology and experience, evolving from one stage to the next sometimes requires a dying to what we have been in order to complete our metamorphosis.
While the infant does not lament becoming the toddler, or the child mourn the approach of adolescence, women have been portrayed as lamenting our continued maturation into midlife and older adulthood.
Older women are supposed to fade graciously – or gloomily – into the woodwork. Yet, as studies demonstrate, the truth is that women continue to DEVELOP THEIR STRENGTHS and actually BLOOM, rather than fade, with the advent of midlife.”
If you’re feeling weary, I hear you. I certainly am. Years of stress, fear, trauma, and grief have taken their toll on me. But joy lives here too, even as I rest and recalibrate. Joy doesn’t have to wait for tomorrow.
And mapping out a new vision doesn’t mean diving into more busyness or performing. It means envisioning for ourselves a new joyful and hopeful possibility. One that includes rest, pleasure, and space for whatever lights us up. No more sacrificing our wellbeing for productivity.
Moving at the pace of our nervous system, honouring our wiring and honest capacity. It means our needs get to be first – at least lots of the time. And it means feeling healthy, strong, and empowered in our body, life, and relationships.
Perfection not required.
I have the pleasure of working with women from different corners of the world. Most are somewhere in the middle season of life. All of them are, in one way or another, mapping out a new joyful vision for the life they want and for who and how they choose to be in the world.
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