Tag: midlife transitions

Midlife Trauma & Transformation

Midlife Trauma & Transformation

Stina Persson is an illustrator based in Stockholm, Sweden. She has been working for many famous corporations, such as Coca Cola, Absolut Vodka,Sony Music and popular editorial magazines as Harper’s Bazaar, Flaunt, Elle UK, Marie Claire, etc. Here is a collection of her watercolor paintings. CLICK PICTURE FOR MORE INFORMATION
Stina Persson is an illustrator based in Stockholm, Sweden. She has been working for many famous corporations, such as Coca Cola, Absolut Vodka,Sony Music and popular editorial magazines as Harper’s Bazaar, Flaunt, Elle UK, Marie Claire, etc.

MANIFEST ME

Midlife brings many changes, some are incredibly good, some extremely challenging. We are happy to discover a sense of confidence and freedom we may not have known in our younger days. We take on new challenges, try new things and sometimes even start over completely. Our sense of self and identity begins to take form in deeper ways. Many of us face deep and challenging questions that often bring to light traumas we may have experienced as children or even throughout our lives that now seems to impede our progress. This is a rich and complex issue that I hold close to my heart. I have therefore begun to delve into this issue in a new blog ManifestMe2014. If you have suffered trauma at any time in your life, or are finding it difficult to find yourself or your path at midlife and beyond, I urge you to follow this blog.  It might just offer you some of answers you have been looking for, or launch you on a new and fertile path in your journey toward health and wholeness. I hope you’ll join me in this new adventure.

 

Embrace Your Child’s Heart

Embrace Your Child’s Heart

"Little Magic" by Susie Pryor Oil on Canvas 40 x 36
“Little Magic” by
Susie Pryor
Oil on Canvas 40 x 36

The midlife transformation that begins in earnest at fifty, and that many of us have already spent a decade or more navigating, is a turning point for many. The dark, confusing period of time, during which everything around us is shifting,  is so disconcerting that it drives us every day, with much earnestness, to examine ourselves and our lives. Have we been living in accordance with our deepest beliefs? What are our beliefs? What governs the decisions we make and the steps we take each day?

The process of questioning is the first step in the reconfiguration of our perspectives and, subsequently, our lives. It’s a tremendous opportunity to delve deeper into our hearts and souls, deeper than we may ever have gone before.  The journey teaches us everything we need to know to begin to discover and to practice new thoughts attitudes and patterns of behavior that will bring us closer to becoming the wise women we were born to be.

My journey led me back to my original self, the unique individual that was born so many years ago, but was never allowed to exist. There is such a clear connection to myself as a child that it is almost eerie. We think, or I used to think, that that child was not wise, nor was her personality formed.  I was wrong. That child held as much wisdom, if not more, than this woman does sixty years later.

Discovering the wise child that lived in us then, and reconnecting with her now, can be an informative and valuable process. The untainted beliefs, abilities, dreams and hopes that she held are still very much alive today. We may have just forgotten them, or buried them, or replaced them with our culture’s beliefs, or our families.

Reconnect with your child heart, by closing your eyes and going inside. Spend a few moments breathing deeply and relaxing. When you feel calm, remember back to a happy moment in your childhood. Allow your adult to spend some time talking with your child. Ask her questions. Ask her what she is thinking about, and what is important to her. Get acquainted.

Repeat this exercise often. Give her what she needs. Be the parent she needed then. Listen to her heart. Together you can heal each other and carry her wisdom forward into today.

No matter where you are on the midlife transformation journey, there’s is something to learn from our inner child.

Dorothy Sander © 2013

WE HAVE THE KEY

LISTEN TO YOUR HEART

We Have the Key

We Have the Key

 

Mountain Art
Granny Hands
Artist: Jill Pritchett
Click on image to visit her website
“So often time it happens,
we all live our life in chains,
and we never even know we have the key.”
The Eagles, Already Gone 
(Quote taken from Aging Abundantly’s A Little Book of Hope)
 

Sometimes it takes a major crisis in our lives to wake us up. Often it just takes turning fifty to realize that our youth has passed us by and it’s time to get moving, to  look at things differently. Midlife is fraught with issues of aging, as well as, external challenges and there are adjustments to be made; values to be examined; beliefs to be questioned. Enough time has passed for most things for us to look back and really evaluate our choices and to begin to see patterns in our behavior.

I read again and again, in blogs and articles written by women at midlife, about waking up to the need for change at midlife; of divorce, new careers, moving across the country, taking up a significant new hobby and more. There’s a sense of urgency, of the willingness to jump into something with both feet that seems to be driven more by fear than sense. The sense is that it is now or never to break free from the chains of our lives.

In many cases, however, it is more true that the chains have been of our own making, than the externals we view as the source of our bondage. Throwing out our husband may provide temporary relief from our unhappiness. Marriages and husbands are easy to blame for our unhappiness. We’ve had twenty or thirty years to study our mate’s problems and foibles , decades to master the blame game and to divert our attention from ourselves to them for the cause of our misery. Likewise, a job, a boss, a series of circumstances can take our attention from the true source of our freedom.

Making changes will certainly shake up the status quo, but to think these changes will bring about our freedom and happiness is delusional. Until we look inside of ourselves, the changes  we make today will always only bring us back to the unfinished business we still hold, the fears and anxieties we don’t want to face, and too the job of finding the key we hold within us.  The sooner we get down to the real business of breaking free from our false beliefs and in-congruent lifestyle, the sooner we will find true peace.

© Dorothy Sander 2013

Learn to Listen to Your Heart

Learn to Listen to Your Heart

DS quoteOne of the most important things we can do to create change in our lives, at midlife and beyond, is to learn to listen to our hearts. I paid lip service to this idea for years. I thought I was listening to myself, but I came to realize that I had so many complex messages running around in my head that I couldn’t even begin to hear my heart’s directives.  Most of the noise going on inside of me didn’t even originate from me. Little by little, day by day, through discipline and effort I was able to untangle the mess that lived inside of me and cluttered my decision making process and generally wreaked havoc with my life. Your head and heart may not be disconnected the way mine was, but if you’re struggling to make decisions, yearning to follow your heart’s desire but don’t know what that is, or live under a cloud of unhappiness, you can not only change, but find all the answers you need right inside of you.

STEP 1: Tune in to you.

Begin by slowing down, even if only for five or ten minutes a day. Create space in your day to do absolutely nothing. Use this time to relax and tune in to what’s going on inside of you. Pay attention to what thoughts go through your mind, what feelings you are feeling and where in your body you feel them. Don’t try to solve any problems or make any decisions, just notice and name what you are experiencing and let it go. Do this every day if you can or at least several times a week. When the fifteen minutes are up you may want to write down your observations.

Step 2: Identify the voices in your head.

By the time we reach 40, 50 or 60 years of age, we have such an assortment of voices in our heads we may have lost touch with which one is actually our own. We may think we are doing what we “want” to do, but we may actually be following the dictates of the culture, our parents, our friends, our spouse, and even our children. From little day to day decisions, to major, life changing decisions, do you know who is in charge of your life? Do you know who is actually making your decisions and what is behind them?  As you continue a practice of tuning in, you will begin to recognize certain patterns of thought. Some you will be able to identify as clearly your own, others will likely be messages you heard from your parents and significant others. When you recognize a thought that is not your own, make a note of it. Later ask yourself, “is this something I believe?” or “is it just something I think I’m supposed to believe?” This time around, you get to choose which values and beliefs you will hold on to and which you will eliminate.

Step 3: Listen for your inner voice.

As you begin to eliminate the thoughts that are tied to beliefs that are not your own, your true inner voice will become stronger. The more often you are able to say, “yes, that is my true voice. That is a message from my inner most self,” the stronger you will become anchored in the real you.

© Dorothy Sander 2013

 

OTHER ARTICLES YOU MIGHT ENJOY

How to Practice Mindfulness

Rediscovering Your Gifts

The Gift of Presence

 

 

Every Day We Have a Choice

Every Day We Have a Choice

 

Every day you have a choice ~ to dwell on the past or focus on today. Ask yourself: what can I do today to bring me one step closer to my dream? You do have today…this moment…now. You owe it to yourself to make the most of it.

Life goes by so quickly. It seems I turned around and in a flash my kids were grown and I’m nearing sixty. Age is just a number to me. I don’t feel old. I certainly don’t feel sixty, but I haven’t a clue what sixty feels like so I can’t be certain. It sure doesn’t feel like what it looked like when I was young!  My body is showing the effects of time, but I often forget to notice and the impact is minimal.

Moving from fifty to sixty was difficult and challenging, but unlike what I had imagined, it has also been extraordinarily fulfilling. Like most mothers I cried when my kids left home and like most daughters I cried when my father died and then my mother. I churned with regret for too long about how I had spent my youth and lived in fear of the future even longer. But through hard work and the invaluable support and guidance of friends and books, I have ventured onto a path that feels like the one I am meant to be on. Trust me it’s not always obvious or blissful ~ but it is amazing and worth getting up for in the morning.

I think the fifties is the decade of change, the narrow, treacherous pathway that takes us from life then to life now ~ from seeking to being ~ from reaching for the future to living in the moment.

Life is richer now. My dreams are more meaningful and feel more attainable. We have today. I have today. You have today. We owe it to ourselves to make the most of it.

 

The Gift of Age

Getting It Together After Fifty

The Gift of Age

The Gift of Age

Living just for today can be a real challenge for those of us who have lived our lives immersed in western culture. Every where we turn we hear messages, reminders, and indicators that unless we are moving forward at break neck speed we are not really living. Buddha, and others, understood the disservice we do to ourselves, and our lives, when we do not see and appreciate what is ours in the present moment, the gifts that are right in front of us.

One of the greatest awakenings I have experienced in my lifetime has been to finally see with great clarity how much I was losing today while worrying about tomorrow and fretting about the past. It took reaching midlife and fifty years of beating my head against a wall to finally get it. As a good “hippie”, I read years ago, and understood at some level the value of living in the moment, but I could only sustain it in moments when I was feeling particularly carefree. But living it in my soul? Ah, that would take years, and many, many hours and days of living mentally in the future, encountering road blocks to my best laid plans, and then reaching midlife and immersing myself in the heartbreak of the past.

Midlife presents an enormous opportunity to make great soul strides, to learn from fifty years of living that we can shed our misconceptions and get back to the basics of who we really are. We can choose to ignore the messages of our culture and hang on to what we know to be true in our hears.  Therein, lies one of the true wonders of aging… to at last not only be able, but willing, to see things more clearly…see things as they were meant to be…to see things as they are for us and to accept life with all its ups and downs, as good, and right and true. It’s a gift of aging. Embrace it.