Wellness is more than being free from illness…it is a dynamic process of change and growth; of becoming aware of and making choices toward a healthy and energizing life.
A few years back something big started happening to me. I felt like I was running out of time.
My whole being began to change in ways that felt weird and uncomfortable. It seemed like overnight I began to realize the obvious: that according to general statistics, my life was most likely more than half-way over. I began to question my purpose on our planet and wonder if I’d have enough time to leave the impact that I longed to. Had I experienced and shared everything I hoped would leave me with little or no regrets at the end of my journey here?
So many things that used to bring me release and pleasure: running, eating out at trendy restaurants, saying yes whenever I was asked to volunteer, and filling my days full of tasks to accomplish became draining instead of energizing to me.
At times, I felt like I was becoming a stranger to myself.
The body I lived in for over four decades was also shifting and creating a new rhythm I wasn’t used to. I had been an athlete and fitness trainer for most of my life. Always moving and focusing on the outside. The more I could accomplish and produce, the more successful I felt. Now my body was asking me (sometimes demanding) that I slow down and start focusing on the inside more.
I stopped running because my knees and hips hurt so much. I started walking instead. At first my ego screamed “Quitter!” and really did a number on my self-esteem. Who would I be without my running? I began to listen to my body and stopped pushing it through the pain like I had for so long. I decided to trust my body instead of override it. Slowly, the connection to nature and the inner peace I started to feel became more important than my fear of not running.
I turned my walks into Facebook Lives ‘Walk and Talk with Tracy’ and had people from around the world join me on my walks.
I took singing lessons (two were enough 😊).
I started attending a woman’s spiritual circle and growing a deeper connection to my inner voice.
I made new friends through an online class and travelled across the country to meet them ‘live’.
I slowed down and started paying closer attention to the things that mattered to me.
Some of the identities and habits I had created for over 40+ years began to fall away. They were replaced with a quality of life that I had been longing for but was too afraid to investigate earlier in life.
Now instead of feeling like I am ‘running out of time’, I feel more secure with myself and excited about my life than ever before.
Instead of a midlife crisis, I choose to call it a midlife awakening. Or even better, a midlife (r)evolution!
Here are some of the ‘symptoms’ of my midlife awakening that I experienced:
The realization that time is finite and goes by in a snap
My priorities started to shift from to do lists and productivity to quality of life and just being.
Thoughts of “who was I born to be” started drifting into my consciousness
Feeling down or even depressed while doing tasks that used to make me happy
I suddenly being drawn to a new creative outlet: knitting (whaaat??)
Getting everything checked off my to-do list no longer brought the satisfaction it used to
Some friendships began to change and drift
I started to see how exercise and nutrition were tools to ward off illness and injury rather than for physical aesthetics.
I began feeling even more connected to nature and animals
I felt drawn to investigate new spiritual practices and resources
Does any of this sound familiar? What does your midlife awakening look like?
If any of this resonates, know that you are not alone or ‘going crazy’. We are just hitting the next phase or our life, and not many people want to talk about it because we live in a youth worshipped society.