Thursday, August 18, 2011

Being 50, becoming myself

Interviewing a woman who turned 50 a year ago this morning, and we had a deep conversation about how much strength there is in being 50, in becoming aligned with your spiritual and creative energy, to create your life in your own image.  I am exploring this in my work, how the need to reinvent ourselves sometimes hits in the 40's or 50's - one has a dissatisfaction with the way things are, the ordinary, conventional ideas of success. As if society says, if you haven't hit it by 50, well then, lay low, get out of the way for the 30 year olds up and coming. You haven't made it.

But we have so much to give! so much new found confidence and assurance, so much life experience. We're just beginning to know ourselves, with focused simplicity and passion for giving back what we've learned.  Often this implies a 'virement' a complete 360 degree change. Or a sideways channel - for this woman it was turning her back on years of playing piano, teaching music, earning degrees, to go back to school to study the body and its inner workings in osteopathy. I loved the way she talked about her hands - being the instrument she uses to touch the world, in both disciplines.

Another woman who I respect as an author, turned from being a therapist to working with the menstrual cycle and teaching its inner workings to women, leading workshops, and following an inner Authority, as she called it which calls her to do this work. ( Myself, I was working at home, writing poetry, raising children, doing the odd reading, and teaching part-time, but not fulfilled completely by either - wanting to find that specific gift or talent or purpose to give to the world. Knowing that I need to manage my energy and not disperse it wildly in too many directions, I was seeking the one thing that was mine to give, and create something of my own.

Eventually this lead me to teaching journal writing classes and leading retreats, which so satisfies me and gives me pleasure - to dip into the juicy conversations, the deeper levels of communicating with other women, women in transition, women raising children, or working at careers, who themselves don't understand the quest they are on for meaning, but are looking for new learnings, open to discovery. Now I'm on to publishing, and getting my books out there, and all that entails, new learnings.

How have you been affected by the mid-life transition? have you felt the winds of change blowing through your life, or are you content with the way things are? Are you learning to know yourself better?

post a comment, let me know, I'm very curious how other women live this time.

ps see my new facebook page for Musemother

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