In our youth driven society extra value is placed on being and staying young. This is a spell that has been cast, and most everyone has at some point been under its influence, especially women. Often, it seems that women spend the first half of their lives frustrated that they are not yet what they want to be, and the middle consumed with fears related to running out of time. Under the spell, they erroneously believe that their window of time to be their best is closing.
Youth has its benefits, however being wrinkle free, tight and perky comes at a high price: being young-minded. Putting our ideas of youth to bed and flowing with the seasons of our life is the key to realizing our life’s work.
The Art of Becoming
As a holistic health coach the majority of my clients are women aged 30 to 40. I commonly hear that they feel overwhelmed, that they are drowning in obligations and responsibilities other than their own, and missing their window of opportunity to realize their own dreams. They have a deep-seated fear that some of life’s parts are passing them by.
The realization that your life is about becoming the greatness you so desperately seek to express in this world is a paradigm shift. It means that you, your life, your career, your purpose, your dreams, and your work in the world will be ever-changing, ever-expressing, and ever-evolving.
Despite the archetypal image of the old hag which threatens women into believing that after 25 it is all down hill, in reality the most accomplished and satisfied years of their lives have yet to come.
Separating from the past associations of yourself, however, is necessary in order to create the space to become aligned with the next step. Realizing that every task, duty, responsibility, talent, prior job, education, interest, ambition, desire and role you have ever had is somehow part of what you are becoming (and not what you are) is essential.
A women can choose to flow into her next act with grace instead of looking in the mirror and obsessing over the fact that her face is falling, or feeling like the number of years she is old is a clock ticking which screams that she is running out of time.
By embracing our seasons, cycles, and maturing gifts we can put away our hot pants…and answer the very real call on our lives to make the world a better place.
The Juicy Middle
I learned that releasing youth-riddled ideas can be quite challenging; it is like shedding your first skin. These notions that we hold about who we are, what we are good at, or what we think we should be doing are very powerful; as much as they may propel us forward, they can also hold us back.
For years I was unknowingly being impacted by these very same fears. I was constantly pushing as I suffered from the beliefs that I did not have enough time, things were not happening fast enough for me, and I was not measuring up to the ideals I was attached to about who I was supposed to be and what I was supposed to be accomplishing.
Was I failing, progressing too slow, running out of time? Would the day come when I realized that the train had left the station, and I was not on it?
This place of existence that so many women find themselves at today is utterly exhausting, unhealthy and unsustainable. At a certain point I got tired of the fight and I laid it all down; the long-held notions of what I needed to do in life, and the ideas of who I thought I was supposed to be, dissolved. Like a death, I released my young ideas about image, career, beauty and body.
It was difficult to evolve. I had to let go of who I was which was outdated and had become a source of pain, in order to be who I am becoming.
I experienced sadness and confusion; but then I began joyfully entering my next act. It was abundantly clear to me that I had been blocking myself from entering the juicy middle of my life. At age 36, I have just begun to put away my child-like obsessions and come into my own. As one of my teachers often said, life is a long time. I was too stuck in my old ideas to allow the flow of an unplanned life bursting with a new level of potential–and as a result my life and dreams had come to a brief stand-still.
When my mind-set shifted, a door without a handle opened; the mystery returned, and life opened up to me in a whole new way. I felt renewal, as if I was being reincarnated in my existing body. And everything in my life began to flow in fresh, unexpected and exciting ways!
Where ever you are in life, I challenge you to examine mind-sets around your age, your dreams and the pursuit of happiness. Instead of holding back, believing that you’re missing it, feeling that your time is running out or your moment in the sun is passing you by–think about the reality that you have a lot of life to live. You may as well be pursuing good stuff and realizing your dreams. You are just now arriving at a place of readiness, and it is really never too late.
What are you ready to do now that you were not capable of ten years ago? This is your prime and the juiciest parts are just beginning. Let’s embrace our budding wisdom and bask in the richness and freedom of our maturity. The best is yet to come.