It's time we rebranded the mid-life crisis. On the other side of one of my own, it feels much more like a mid-life opportunity, a gift. We just have to be brave enough to dive right into and through it. Two captains often steer the ship of life; in the first half of life, the ego is at the helm, and in mid-life, the invitation is for the ego to step aside and hand over the helm to the soul. In doing so, we can step into connection with our soul's purpose in our inner world and manifest this in service to the world around us during the second half of life, leaving the world that bit better from our lives being a part of it.
A dark nights of the soul is a challenging process, though, and not many fully embrace it. Guided by the power-over paradigm of patriarchal society, the ego doesn't know how to share and fears giving away power and control, so often puts up quite a fight. However, it's not cast aside but assigned a new task, that of the first mate, and the many skills of the ego remain crucial to navigating the seas ahead.
Sadly, over the centuries, we've also lost many practices that facilitated our connection with the soul, and there is a shortage of wise elders to show us the way. We are often lost at sea without these necessary navigation skills at this point. These tragic losses stem from the imbalances created between the masculine and feminine (energies that reside within every living thing) as a consequence of the patriarchal myths we've lived by for millennia in the western world, which have encouraged us to subjugate the feminine. Reclaiming aspects of the feminine, particularly during mid-life, offers us a portal into navigating the waters of this transitional period. The feminine provides a vessel for the descent to the soul. We can access the feminine through practices that foster the arts of compassion, presence, creativity, inclusion, connection, intuition and much more.
So let's rebrand this time of life; let's call it the midlife gift, for it is full of treasures. Let's reconnect our feminine navigation systems so that we can explore what we have lost and become all of who we can be. I currently find myself falling in love over and over with previously hidden gifts within myself and within others. This week I'm particularly struck by the beauty I see in unapologetic middle-aged women I know who are shedding the patterns that kept them small and reclaiming aspects of themselves they cast into the shadows. Beautiful!
What of yourself would you reclaim if you were brave enough to do so?