How do you view midlife transition?
Most experts look at a “crisis in midlife” as an opportunity to take action, to revaluate priorities and transform life for the better. I truly believe it is a transformative season of our lives. A season marked by fabulous growth around creating new goals and/or revisiting old ones. It is also a “coming to terms” with who you are now and finding new understanding of what you want your life to look like as you grow forward.
In my article “What you Need to Know About Midlife Crisis or Midlife Transition” we talked about the “symptoms” of midlife transformation. Reality is, however, that experiencing a midlife transformation is not about curing a set of symptoms, after all, mid-life transformation isn’t something that you can go to a doctor for a treatment to cure it. Rather, it represents a time in your life when you are looking to broaden your life. It’s all about rearranging your life to be a better fit – to be where your heart longs to be.
The fact is, a midlife transformation is a very natural biological and psychological process of a maturing woman. It is something we are all going to go through. While some of the symptoms may seem like the opposite of maturing; at times a person needs to step backwards in order to move forward. This can also be seen as learning to play again, since play is indeed a form of education. The fact is, we all grow and change as we get older. I believe the best thing we can do for ourselves is to accept the fact that we are changing and just explore and enjoy the process of transformation.
What You Should Know About Midlife Transformation
You are not alone. Many women who are going through a midlife transformation often feel separated, misunderstood and alone. You don’t have to feel alone. You can find comfort with other women who are going through the same experiences. You can join communities like the Women’s Self-Discovery Network or you can talk to a professional who can help you with your personal transformation without misunderstanding or judgement.
Change is necessary. The “symptoms” of transformation that we listed in our previous article are the signals that reflect the process of change. Denying the change process is what brings about the feelings of “crisis” you may feel hanging over you. You must not hold on to your life as you know it right now. You must allow room in your life to grow an change. Change is what a midlife transformation is all about. You can however, maintain the important parts of your life and release and switch around other parts of your life to allow the space you need to discover your personal path of transformation.
Change isn’t easy. The prospect of change often paralyzes the strongest person. When this is the case, ironically, the solution is often to take a simple retreat, to pause and to reflect on one’s life. Sometimes to take a pause, to be aware, in itself, is the change people need. Often, pausing means to stop the actions which were creating the feelings of crisis. As a result, pause isn’t to do nothing. Pause becomes the active process of examining your possibilities and considering which options would fit best in your life! Sometimes, people need to be taught how to pause and this is why those in midlife transformation often seek to learn meditation as a technique of pause to help them find peace in their situation.
When you do nothing, you pick crisis. This is a time of choice – the choice of crisis or transformation. To do nothing, is to continue living life to the past choices that led to the feelings of crisis you now face. Hence, when you do nothing, you are basically letting “midlife crisis” decide how you change. The truth of the matter is that transformation will occur whether you want it or not. “Crisis” will always invoke change, but when you don’t control its path, it then becomes an external change that you no longer can control and unfortunately, it often breaks those around us in the process. Also when you choose to let crisis dictate your change, you may not end up in a place that truly matches where you were hoping to go. I believe that in itself is a compelling argument to guide your own transformation rather than letting “life” choose it for you.
Consider Transformation a Personal Opportunity
The most important thing for a person undergoing going a Midlife Transformation to do is to accept their nature is changing.
We really need to to approach this time of life not as a time of crisis but as a time for transformation and opportunity. However, with that being said, it is not something that should be rushed or forced, but rather, accept this as a time of following the needs of your mind, your body and your spirit – equally. Also, often painful moments have to be embraced, experienced and accepted before the final transformation can occur and this process cannot be rushed.
A very important tool to use in the transformational process is a journal. Within your journal you can document and explore your life. You can reflect on who you are and who you dream of becoming. Often we have a ” blind-spot” when it comes to seeing our own nature. As a result, we may need to have conversations with those who know us well and note those observations within our journals.
Other important tools you may use in the self-discovery – transformational process are art, music, playing an instrument, dance, poetry and being open to notice how others see you. Journals, art, music, playing musical instruments, poetry, the observation of others all give critical feedback to help us and guide the transformation rather than shift blindly to fantasy of who and what we think we are.
If you decide to explore art please remember: the art isn’t about creating a masterpiece, it’s simply about witnessing yourself. Art is an amazing tool to explore life and find place in the world. These are two qualities of life that people seek within their midlife transformation.
Some people hesitate to use art or music at this point since it often seems daunting or it brings up bad experiences from younger years of failed artistic explorations. However, many years have passed and new skills have been added to one’s life. The period of a midlife transformation is the perfect time to begin exploring life again with art and music. I must stress here that the goal is not one of a trade or career but for self-exploration. Studies have shown with 5 to 10 years of focused practice anyone can get quite good at any skill. The length of time within a midlife transformation supports the drive and time required to develop our inner potential, since it provides both new energy and time for the channeling of such skills.
Another problem we face is that with our modern lifestyle, which is based upon chasing dollars and goals rather than supporting personal truth, people are so focused looking forward to their incomes and the next pay check that they forget or feel they cannot afford to embrace living to their true internal personal needs in the now. Sadly this way of looking at the problem in terms of finance only, also means “doing nothing” when it comes to our personal transformation and that only promotes and expands the crisis into happening anyway! We must understand – It’s far cheaper to address and educate oneself in this process than it is to pay the longer term consequences of letting our midlife transformation become a full-fledged crisis.
Finally and Most Importantly – We all see the world as a reflection of ourselves. Just because you are changing doesn’t mean the world needs to change. Focus your energy upon yourself and not the world. Trying to change the world, pretty much ensures you will have no energy left to transform and heal yourself. Trying to change another person means to take upon their nature into you, which effectively derails many mid-life transformations. Instead embrace and discover your new nature.
The world is truly a reflection of each of us, so changing the world simply means putting energy and time into embracing and transforming yourself completely and fully.
“Embrace and Discover Your New Nature”
Tips for Making The Most of Your Midlife Transformation
On an average, midlife transformation can last anywhere between three to seven years, hence coping with midlife transformation takes time and energy. While the “symptoms” are not physically based, finding greater satisfaction in life as we navigate this journey will be of immense help. Below are some ways you can do that:
- Reflect about your life regularly
- Devote extra time to your partner and rekindle your relationship
- Maintain an active sex life
- Set new goals and develop new hobbies
- Devote special time to your children
- Take care of your mental health (join a group or seek out a therapist if necessary).
- Keep fit with exercise and or physical activity regularly
- Eat a balanced, nutritious diet
- Practice yoga for balance and agility
- Sleep well and rest often
Allow your mid-life to be a time of creative change. Although it may be painful at first, it can be your greatest opportunity for having the life you want or gaining a sense of peace.
What did you think of the information shared above? Does it help you know that you are not alone and that you are sharing this journey with other women? Share your answer and your story in the comments box below or join the conversation on social media channels. Also, share this article with anyone whom you think would benefit from it.
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