I often say that when women reach their 40s, they don’t have a mid-life crisis; they have an awakening.
Or, at least, that’s what happened to me!
I was having way too much fun celebrating my fortieth year to stop and listen to the stirrings of my awakening but, by the time I reached age 42, there was no denying them any longer.
I had a good life, a happy marriage, a great business and social life, and yet I kept feeling the pull of the word MORE. I need to be MORE, do MORE, create MORE.
I ignored it for a while. “Don’t be greedy. Be content with where you’re at!” I would tell myself over and over again. I mean, who was I to think I could possibly have MORE?
But MORE took over. My curiosity and creative nature led me to do some soul-searching. I began to question my purpose and to realize which activities fulfilled me and which drained me. Ultimately, it led me to transitioning my career in the beauty industry as a master hairstylist and salon owner to an image coach and consultant – a move which has continued to allow me and my business to expand, blossom and grow. MORE!!
Have you felt the stirring?
Maybe the kids are off to college and you find yourself cooking the ‘usual’ Tuesday supper and thinking, I don’t even like tacos.
What do I want? What do like? Who am I now at this stage in my life? These are some of the many questions I pondered when I embraced my awakening, and you may be asking similar ones yourself. Here are 3 of the things I did to help find the answers:
1. Get off the hamster wheel.
And I don’t mean hop off for a quick 10-minute meditation and expect all the answers to your questions.
Stop, unplug, and listen.
Getting away from your usual surroundings works best. At the very least, take an afternoon off and go to a park or a secluded area on the beach, sit under a tree and just BE. No phone, no books, no magazine – nothing that will stimulate the mind. Just sit there or lie there, and breathe.
(That sounds glorious and scary, doesn’t it?!)
The brightest clarity and greatest ideas and ‘Ah-ha!’ moments have come to me when I’m not ‘thinking.’ Do bring a notebook and pen with you, and when your own thoughts, inspirations or ‘Ah-ha!’s surface, jot them down.
2. Press play, record and erase.
Start to track how you feel in social groups, activity or club settings, and with people you are surrounding yourself with. Are you feeling stimulated, or drained?
Often, we just keep doing the same things we’ve always done because, well, that’s what we’ve always done!
If you find yourself bored or craving a different scene, that is totally OK. Having new experiences and meeting new people is exciting. Begin to explore by joining something new or reaching out to someone you’ve wanted to get to know better but is outside of your ‘regular circle.’
3. Find your inner child.
The popularity of adult colouring books is proof we’re craving simple ways to be creative again, like when we were kids!
Think back to the things you loved to do as a kid. How can you bring that into your life now?
When I explored this, 3 activities surfaced for me:
- Baking with my grandma: I’m still an avid baker!
- Playing “store”: Well, I’m an entrepreneur and I owned a spa.
- Entertaining/performing: BINGO! As a kid, I loved putting together dance or gymnastic routines with my friends for our parents, or singing in the school choir.
I’ll admit, I’m not the most graceful or musically talented, but it brings me JOY! So, when I got asked to join the community theatre, I said yes!
Now, I know that thinking about doing even one of these 3 suggestions can feel overwhelming. So many thoughts, fears, and reasons to not do anything can start bubbling up to the surface faster than we realizing what’s going on!
- I have all this laundry to fold
- Where am I going to find the time to do any of that? I already have way too much on my plate.
- What if I find the answers I’m looking for, but my husband/parents/friends won’t support me?
This is why I am planning to host a retreat (or 2) and offer one on one life coaching to help women navigate this life transition in the near future. To get more details about upcoming retreats or coaching enter your name and email to be added to the wait list!