I’d like you to consider the following questions –
Are you feeling a confident and mature woman or middle-aged and miserable? Feeling that life is flat, a bit dull and not as enjoyable as it once was? Aware that life is worth living to the full, but aren’t doing it?
I wonder what your answers were and also if you’ve taken the time to reflect on those questions before.
Become visible to yourself
I’ve written a book in response to those questions and it is for women who’ve reached a stage in life where they’ve decided it’s time for them to become visible to others and more importantly to themselves. For those who want to be able to stand in their own shoes and not those imposed on them by society. It is for women who have forgotten about themselves as they’ve been so busy either being busy or caring for everyone else or establishing themselves in a career or both. It is the “forgetting of yourself” that is my focus as this can cause us to settle for less. Over time we forget our gifts, our dreams and our life experience seems to be overlooked.
The women I have come into contact with professionally and personally do want to be visible and to fulfil their lost dreams – what their soul is yearning for – but the draw of safety often pulls them in the opposite direction. We’re torn in two. Our glass is half empty and we feel cheated or half full and we are grateful. The difference in the two is not what we have but our attitude about what we have.
What stops us from taking action and being visible to ourselves and the world is Fear – of failure, of success, of rejection, of disappointment or even unconscious fears we don’t even know we have!
What frees us is Courage – which isn’t the absence of fear but the willingness to break through our limitations and take action for the greater good.
Re-connect to the world in new ways
We realise that our basic childhood and adolescent dreams of immortality and specialness have all been a bit of a fantasy. And this, essentially, is where we are at midlife – we are confronting the harsh realities of adult life – ageing and death. Our brain is asking us to re-connect with the world in new ways.
It’s the time when we become aware that we need to take stock, look back to see our accomplishments, forgotten dreams and possibilities and forward to see what there is still to come. Some keep on in the old way as long as possible and don’t revise their attitude or change direction. For many of us, this can be because the obligations and demands on our time and energy have a way of expanding to take up our own life. We make a comfort zone of routines and/or people who make life easy. But it is also a trap from moving on and developing further.
This time isn’t so depressing as this “mid-life crisis” makes us stop and think carefully about the choices we make, their impact on others and what we want to do with the rest of our life. It serves as a vital wake-up call to find and re-connect with the skills we’ve forgotten about. It’s the time to celebrate our womanhood and to honour and appreciate ourselves. Also to know that we are worth the effort.
You may become more visible than ever before as you choose to see this time as your active years or you may develop your inner life and pursue creative interests. It would be your choice.
By listening and going with your passion, your lust for life, you will find your curiosity and interests will grow. It’s time to turn that switch on. It’s time to empower yourself as you bring out your known and re-discovered strengths.
So my book is for those resilient thrivers who can connect with “I can still stand out, make a difference and be counted” – whatever age they are. Remember we have the maturity and understanding that can only have come from having had experience of life’s ups and downs.
About Irene: I am a Chartered Counselling Psychologist, Supervisor and Coach. I bring many years of personal and professional experience to my work and mixed in with love, wisdom and maturity is a good pinch of Glaswegian humour.