Midlife Spirit

Are You Successful?

Most often, our spiritual vision expands as we age. We didn’t have to face this in younger years because we were pressed to develop our navigation skills. Developing these skills is important, because we want to get somewhere fast. Parents, teachers and friends were concerned about our success. That meant finding some way to succeed. It’s that old story of getting the good grades so we can get a good job. It’s important to qualify for the best certification, school, and professional contacts. We work to get something to move up to somewhere. Though the specifics of how we do it are unknown and uncertain, we know when we are successful or not. It’s measured by the trips abroad, the house we buy, the way our kids turn out, and the money we make. All this happens in the context of settling down in a city, suburb or exurban community. Being settled down means we work incredibly hard to maintain and expand our bank accounts and influence. The pace is intense and we learn a great deal about people and what we do for a living.

After a while, we look around and wonder if all this stuff is necessary? It’s taken a long time to reach this point. Many years have passed and people our age start to retire. We consider it too. When we leave the job, a new door opens. For most of us we have made what we’re going to make. Even now, with people continuing to work, that old drive and energy shifts. Other things become important.

A New Definition Of Success

We’ve gone through the spring and summer of life. This is the early fall. We’re no longer accumulating. For most, we have achieved most of whatever we’re going to achieve. Who at this point determines if we are a success or not? It used to be the outside world. Now, we are face to face with our own evaluation. It’s here that some of the stuff we’ve worked so hard for, becomes more of a burden than a goal. What are we going to do with it? Give it away to family or friends, sell it? These objects lose their old designation and meaning.

The Doorway Of Spiritual Expansion

This re-examination is the doorway for spiritual expansion. Cleaning out the cellar and getting rid of those things you’ve saved makes you lighter, freer. You’re more able to move and live comfortably. This is a rejection of an old way of being and operating in life. Your spiritual vision opens –– questioning  the meaning of life. You start to ponder everything you thought life was about. You seek redefinition and a clearer experience of your inner self. Who is this experiencer that decides to refocus? When you divest yourself of your old ways of thinking and the stuff that comes along with it, what’s left? There is a sense of freedom and opening up to something.

For me, there has been a sense of acceptance. I made the decisions I made, chose what I chose, no matter whether it was good or bad. I don’t regret what I didn’t know, because I didn’t know it then. I couldn’t be standing in the driveway and sitting in a chair in the house at the same time. There is no longer any use in pretending I could have known what I didn’t know. This is such a relief. It is just one of the benefits of an expanded spiritual vision and the weakening of my attention on those earlier years. I invite you to come along and enjoy the ride. And to help with your new lighter self, download my ebook: How to Master Change.


Midlife Preparation

Are You Ready For Midlife?

You can’t prepare for all the surprises life offers. It’s a nice thought, but something I’ve given up on. Once you open the wisdom world, once you start to see the underlying threads that work to manipulate you and other people’s reactions, it becomes clear how much we can’t know until we get there. We can’t know our reactions and we can’t know theirs. Reactions come quickly because life comes at us with lightning speed. There is only one hope as I see it. The hope is that we can see, learn and let go of the upset/ surprise as it appears in our lives so we can move on. You just can’t know everything about yourself and other people. This is the chance to relax into life, let the bumps occur, feel the pain or discomfort, and move on.

The unawareness around wisdom and enlightenment are made clear by Ram Dass in his famous quote, “If you think you’re enlightened, go home to your family for the holidays.” This is the typical place we get triggered. But we can get triggered in daily life too. It can be as simple as the time I attended my husband Jim’s high school reunion. I ran into a girl my mother invited to one of my birthday parties in elementary school; and we once double dated in high school. She came alone to the reunion. Cathy was always moody, volatile and hostile. When we were young, I generally stayed away from her.

But this was the 25th reunion and I wondered what had happened in her life. I went up to her and asked how she was. I said something like, “How’ve you been doing?” The conversation degenerated from there. She flipped out. She huffed and puffed about I could not figure what, and stomped away. I had no idea what she was talking about. I realized that we were living in totally different worlds. Her internal dialogue had some point of view, some story, she was reacting to, and I wasn’t in on the code.

How You Can Prepare

In this case I wasn’t upset so much as I was surprised that we couldn’t really talk at all. I couldn’t find out much about her because she wasn’t able to hear what I asked. She was stuck on whatever she thought I was saying and angry about it. I left the conversation sad about how lost she seemed. Age seemed to have deepened her bitterness and anger. I was disappointed but amazingly fine about being verbally attacked. I could easily let it go and move on. Life is always a lesson, even in these little spaces. The important thing is that you practice letting go as things happen. Surprise is inevitable, disappointment will also show up, but you can make life more fun if you are practiced at moving on to the next experience. This is one way you can prepare wisdom in aging.

Your input is important so let us know what you are moving through. And make sure to download our e-book on living your life with passion.