Accept The Challenge Of Midlife To Thrive And Blossom For Years Ahead
If you are reading this I guess you’re among the women who find their midlife years (including perimenopause, menopause or post-menopause, creating the next chapter of your life) to be a little (or hell) of a challenge!
In fact, from my experience as a women’s coach, it is the vast majority of women who feel like that at some point between the age of 40 and 60 (and I proudly include myself into this group). So, we are in good company!
And you’re right. Midlife can be challenging! It can be confusing, overwhelming, annoying and frightening…
But also… it doesn’t have to be all or any of that. And it can be SO MUCH MORE.
You see, you have a choice. There are things you have little or no control over – outside circumstances, other people’s behavior, changes that take part in your body over time… But you are always free to choose how you respond to any of them.
And if you’re reading this, chances are you are also among the courageous women who are ready to accept this midlife challenge! Women, who are ready and willing to let it take you for a ride and use it to their best advantage. Good for you! The decision to do that is the first step towards tapping into your true power. The first step to make the years ahead the best you’ve ever had and to thrive and blossom not only through midlife but long, long beyond!
But how do you go about that?
The Next Chapter of Your Life – What Does Not Work
There’s plenty of advice out there. In honesty, there’s so much information and advice available, that it can make you even more confused than you already are.
I know, I’ve been there myself.
For a long while, I was trying to make myself feel better by following other people’s guidelines, suggestions and advice. I tried to change my routines. I pushed myself to do more exercise. I struggled to eat healthy and eliminate sugar in every shape or form. I started yoga and became very regular with my meditations.
All that didn’t feel great, and to be honest, and it didn’t help much.
Most of the time, I felt tired and deprived. I was overwhelmed with how to fit all the things I was ‘supposed to do’ into a day. I was constantly confused and questioned whether I was doing it right. Is yoga better than cardio??? Do I really need both??? Should I go to the gym (everyone goes to the gym, surely I should too?)
And quite soon…I started to feel disheartened things did not work as they were supposed to and I was not much better than without all these ‘sacrifices’.
I knew there must be a better way. And I found it!
There Is No Quick Fix To Building The Next Chapter of Your Life
Now, after 12 years of working with women, I can share with you 3 secret keys that have really worked for me and for plenty of my coaching clients.
They have been the essence of my beautiful and deep work with midlife women over the last decade and they have proven to help my clients not only cope much better with their midlife challenges but turned out to be true game-changers for many of them.
But let me get it straight. I know you would probably love somebody to tell you what you can do (ideally overnight) to simply get rid of all your less-than-lovely symptoms, uncomfortable emotions and life changes that are not very welcome. Or at least, give you a simple and precise recipe to follow (preferably for just a couple of days) to get all of that sorted once and forever!
I’m awfully sorry to disappoint you, especially that we are just starting … but that is not likely to happen. I’m afraid there is no quick fix – for your midlife transition.
And you know what? I’m truly and deeply grateful for that. I am deeply grateful that nobody has found out a ‘miracle solution’ that would deprive you (and me) of this amazing and powerful opportunity to become the most beautiful, confident and wise version of yourself.
The opportunity to show up, to grow, to change. The opportunity to come back home to yourself. To let go of all that does not serve you well. To become your own best friend… And then, share all this with your loved ones and with the world.
Does that sound exciting? Let me tell you how to start:
Your Next Chapter Needs To Start And End With You!
1. STOP RUNNING AWAY FROM YOURSELF
I imagine you have a lot on your plate right now. You might be rushing through your days, juggling all the duties and responsibilities, and attending to everyone who needs your attention. And your changing hormones, with all the resulting ‘symptoms’ in your body and emotions, might be adding their own bit to the mix.
While attending to everything and everyone else and in the midst of everyday hassle, you probably keep forgetting about the most important person ever – YOURSELF.
Yes, I know…it sounds a bit weird. I remember the cringe when I heard my beloved breathwork teacher saying this for the first time (right into my ear, right in the middle of a breath session):
YOU ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT PERSON IN YOUR LIFE.
What??? Seriously? What does that even mean?
It was so different from what I believed in at the time.
It took me a long time to wrap my head around this idea and even longer to accept it as my truth and to start living it.
But isn’t it the place where each of us needs to start?
Very often we seem to live in a trans. We run through our days trying to tick all the boxes and keep everyone around pleased. We depend heavily on autopilots. We have our routines, our habits, our patterns (some of them not very helpful). And all of the time our minds are busy creating plenty of different stories about the past, about the future, about others, about ourselves. The majority of them – quite negative, unfortunately.
The truth is many of us have tried our whole life to fit into some outside standards. We have worked hard to fulfill the expectations of others to do things we ‘have to do’ ‘should do’, ‘are supposed to do’.
Midlife is often the time when we start to feel really fed up with all this. We start to realize time is slipping through our fingers and life (at least here in this body) is quite limited.
So the first, and most important thing you need to do, is to gather all your courage, take a pause, and start reconnecting to yourself. So that you can come back home, to your body, heart and spirit.
This is where we all need to start. Because it is the only place where you can meet yourself. Not all the ideas and stories about yourself. Not all the versions of yourself that you created to please others. But the Real You. The beautiful, precious, powerful YOU.
Try and see for yourself. It brings such a relief! (You might not realize it but I’m sure have grown so tired wandering away from home for such a long time….)
Creating A New Life Requires Falling Back In Love With All Parts Of You.
2. EMBRACE THE WHOLE YOU
Sometimes our struggle with midlife starts quite suddenly. Has your body taken you by surprise? For many of us, it is the uncomfortable symptoms of perimenopause or menopause that push us out of our comfort zone.
Sometimes the challenge starts with your emotions – some vague feeling of uneasiness or anxiety, crying for no reason, mood swings, brain fog, feeling irritated all of the time…
At other times it’s the events and life transitions that push us to the edge – children leaving the nest, divorce or separation, parents growing older or passing away.
Whatever it starts with, we tend to try to solve the problem right where it hurts most.
If it’s your body, you might look into medications, supplements, maybe changes in the diet. If its’ emotions – supplements again, maybe some changes to the routine, or a new exercise regime. If it’s the events – you might look for outside solutions or fixes (and often distractions) to make yourself feel a bit better. And there is nothing wrong with that. All this can be helpful. Unfortunately, it seldom brings a lasting change for the better.
Most often these partial solutions are like a patch on a tire. They will let you travel for a while longer but eventually, you need to replace the tire itself.
The problem is, that we seldom realize how all these levels are integrated and interconnected.
The WHOLE OF YOU consists of your body, mind, heart and spirit. All of these levels are deeply connected, always communicating and interacting with one another. None of them is truly separate from the rest.
That is why so many of the solutions that focus on one level only – do not work long-term and can’t give you sustainable results.
I’m sure you have noticed it yourself many times by now! If your body hurts – it’s difficult to jump up with joy. If you feel heartbroken – your physical body is always affected. If your mindset is very negative – your emotions follow suit. If you can’t see the meaning and purpose of your life – you risk getting depressed and once you’re depressed, your immune system can’t work properly.
We are wonderfully complex beings!
That is why it is so important that you acknowledge all of YOU and take good care of yourself on all levels. If you want to thrive at midlife and beyond you need to take good care of your body, mind, heart and spirit.
And I know it might seem quite overwhelming when you put it like that … But, trust me, it is not. It’s the easiest and most natural thing in the world, once you get the gist of it. It doesn’t mean you have to create a weekly plan how to support each part of you separately.
It means you learn how to stay in balance. Once you reconnect to yourself (see #1) you start to recognize when and where you are out of balance. Sometimes it’s your body that needs some loving and caring attention, sometimes it’s your heart. You learn to listen, to be attentive, and act accordingly. Not because there is some outside plan to follow, but because you yourself know best what you need in each and every moment.
Self-Care Isn’t What Shows Up On Pinterest Search
3. DARE TO SELF-CARE
Don’t you think that self-care is a very misused term? Try putting ‘self -care’ in the Pinterest search box. What will pop out? A whole bunch of self-care checklists, plenty of well-intended advice to eat healthily and exercise more (and even ‘make an effort to look good’???) and plenty of ads for some ‘self-care products’, like bath bombs and massage oils.
Well, I’ve tried all this already and I’m sure you did too. It doesn’t work so well.
You see, self-care has been my weak spot for years. I was brought up to be a ‘good girl’, that ‘should be seen, not heard’, look good, work hard, and think about everyone else first. I grew up to be a shy and quiet young woman, doing her best to be as invisible as possible and trying to please everyone around. Literally, EVERYONE around. I desperately wanted to fit in.
It took me years of learning, both in therapy rooms and in real-life settings, to start changing the way I thought of myself and the way I treated myself. And when I look at all these years now, well… It seems I made all the mistakes possible on the way.
Now, I can proudly say I am my own best friend. Being kind, loving and compassionate to myself is my default position. Everything in my life changed for the better as a result of that.
Because everything you ever wanted from life starts with self-love.
Creating True And Authentic Self-Care Will Change Everything In Your Life
Self-care is not really about what you do. It’s not about ticking the boxes, following certain routines, being very consistent with your plans to do a certain amount of exercises or avoiding certain foods. And it’s certainly not about looking good or buying certain kinds of products.
True self-care is always about how you treat yourself. How you talk to yourself during your everyday life. What you think about yourself. How you respond to your mistakes and imperfections. How you support yourself in times of stress. How you make choices and prioritize, in situations when other people are involved.
Daring to self-care also means setting healthy boundaries and feeling great about them. It means learning how to say ‘no’ if it feels the right thing to do. It means letting go of people-pleasing. Letting go of trying to play invisible and unimportant. As a result, the relationships in your life will also start to change and evolve into a more supportive and inspiring version.
No new diet, exercise regime, meditation commitments are going to change things for long. They are helpful, of course, and can make your life a bit easier.
But if you keep putting yourself last, beating yourself up for whatever went wrong, ignoring your feelings and your needs – they won’t take you far.
On the other hand…Guess what happens once you create this supportive relationship with yourself? Once you overcome your stumbling blocks and start living like you really matter? Then, all the external things- your actions, routines, practices- just fall into place. Easily and effortlessly. No more struggle, no more overwhelm, no more guilt.
Midlife Wakes You Up To Write Your Next Chapter (Sometimes Rather Abruptly Too)
What has it all to do with midlife? Well, it’s equally true whatever age you might be. But if you reached your 40s without learning how to take good, loving care of yourself, you might be in for a tough ride.
Midlife is the time when so many things change – your body, the roles you play, your relationships, your professional life. Let’s face it, midlife can be very uncomfortable.
If you don’t know how to be self-compassionate, supportive and accepting towards yourself, if you don’t know how to be your best friend, support yourself through all these changes and transitions, if you don’t know how to set clear boundaries, hmm…. this discomfort can become quite unbearable.
And what’s more, midlife is often like a wake-up call. It will push you hard to change things that are not good for you. You might have gone years without taking proper care of yourself up to now. But you might not get away with that so easily anymore. Your ability to listen to your body, heart, mind, and spirit and act on what you’ve heard, will determine your physical health and emotional well-being for many years to come.
So, what you really need is a true, long-lasting change in how you treat yourself. Not a new year resolution, not a few days long attempt at a new diet, not a seldom-used membership card for your local gym. But a deep, liberating, sustainable change. A revolutionary shift, that happens inside, and then expands like ripples on a lake, naturally, easily, with no effort on your part, into all areas of your life.
What changes once you dare to self-care?
You have a different relationship with yourself – one that is accepting, supportive, empowering. You’re on your side! As a natural consequence of this shift, you start behaving and acting differently in all areas of your life – naturally, easily, effortlessly. No more struggling, trying hard, pushing through. Your self-care has become the most natural thing in the world.
The Next Chapter Of Your Life – The Journey To A Full, Rich And Meaningful Life.
Midlife is a journey. It is a transition, it is a transformation. There’s nothing you can do about that. It is what it is. You may acknowledge it or not, go for the trip consciously or not and use it for your greatest benefit or feel the victim of it. You may just grind your teeth and try to survive or you may trust and dive into the unknown. The choice is yours. The good news is, it will pass away no matter what you choose. Things will get better in the end. I can assure you, you will survive!
But…if survival is not enough for you, if you want to thrive, blossom and flourish…you need to go on a journey!
If you choose to make this journey consciously it will change your life. It will change you and the way you relate to the world. It’s an amazing opportunity to redefine your ideas about aging, to rediscover your true passions and to start living the life you have always wanted to live. An opportunity to explore who you really want to be and what truly makes you come alive.
Many women who have gone through this transition consciously say that they have never been happier in their lives.
You’re not 20 any longer – good! You are much wiser now, have much more experience, know so much more about life.
Great time to let go of what you should do or what others expect you to do.
Great time to start listening to your body, to your heart, to your inner voice.
Great time to start treating yourself like you really matter!
I have helped hundreds of women who decided to go on this journey and I’d be delighted to be your guide too. Book a free Discovery Call and let’s talk how I can support you so that this your path is as smooth as possible and takes you right where your long to get!