Photo Credit: Courtney Paige Ray

Malibu, CA

“There is a tipping point in midlife, a midpoint in your journey, a day when you feel that middleness of having equal parts past and future, of the life that you’ve lived and the life that you will live, of what is done and what is still possible” – Michael Lipsey 

One of my favorite books is “My Greatest Teacher” by Wayne Dyer. It’s the story of how he realized that the Father who abandoned him as a young child ultimately became his greatest gift, thus his greatest teacher. He’d spent a lifetime hating his Father and then one day, as he went to his Father’s grave, filled with a pent-up anger, he had a powerful moment of awakening and all the anger was gone in an instant. What was left was an  overwhelming realization that everything he learned and everything he had become, was because of the challenges he had overcome and the lessons he’d learned along the way.

That’s how I feel about Midlife. We’re lead to believe that Midlife is a scary place. We’re taught that we must go skidding into Midlife, kicking and screaming, while fearing every little sign of aging. Now, that I’m not only at Midlife but possibly well beyond the “middleness” of life, I would love to share the greatest lessons I’ve learned from this stage of life. Once a woman reaches Midlife, it’s as though life becomes crystal clear while looking backward and reflecting on their life. Our greatest struggles, our deepest pain is now our greatest teacher. Midlife forces us to wake up to the truth and beauty of who we are. Midlife is a gift. Midlife is my greatest gift and here are my greatest lessons:

  1. Midlife isn’t an ending but rather a powerful beginning. To me, and many of the women I’ve met through the Forever Fierce Revolution Community, the first part of our lives are oftentimes lead by and for others. With Midlife comes a freedom, particularly an inner freedom, to finally exhale and breathe in a new, life and a new beginning. With Midlife comes a new outlook, a new perspective and a realization that it’s now or never and it’s time to get on with it!
  2. Midlife is the perfect storm. It’s not the Midlife of our moms! We have wisdom and access to our decades of life experiences to shape our thoughts and beliefs, while our bodies have the benefits of changes in lifestyle and wellness practices that give us the choice of fitness and health. It’s as though the universe has conspired to awaken a woman in the prime of her creativity and power! It’s perfect storms that give rise to the Phoenix.
  3. The Midlife woman realizes the meaning of “true beauty is found within.” As her exterior softens, so does her interior. She realizes that a kind and compassionate heart is more beautiful than anything else in the world. She learns that her true worth and value deepens with time and can only be found from within.
  4. She awakens to the realization that she’s been taught everything backwards and upside down. She has learned things outside in and realizes that life happens inside out. She begins looking inward rather than searching outward.
  5. Time becomes more precious and she becomes more present than ever before. She realizes that she’s experienced over 26 million minutes of one precious life and she’s not going to waste another one in worry or regret.
  6. She knows that connection is the key to life and the only thing that matters in the end, are the lives she’s touched and changed along the way.
  7. She’s learned to stop trying to be anybody but herself. She realizes that comparison is the thief of joy and it’s time to learn to love who she is and not who she’s supposed to be.
  8. The Midlife woman discovers what true power is and that it’s not what we’ve been taught it to be. She learns that true power can only be found within. She realizes the only power we really have is over ourselves, our thoughts and our attitudes about life.
  9. She now knows that age isn’t a number. Age is energy.
  10. The Midlife woman can no longer pretend. She can no longer carry the facade and it begins to come crashing down. What she finds underneath is far more real and beautiful than the facade ever could be.
  11. She learns she has one life to live and she best get on with it and live with gusto and joy.
  12. She has learned not only to like herself but to love herself.
  13. She’s learned that the battle has been on the inside the entire time. She’s ready to lay down her arms and her shield. She’s learned that she’s a true warrior that no longer needs to be at war with herself.

Most of all Midlife has taught me that, although we play many roles throughout our lives, the role we are born to play is that of being ourselves. It’s as though we’ve been holding our breaths for entire lives. Midlife is like one giant exhale of who we were so we can finally inhale who we are meant to be.

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