In telling you a bit about myself, I could give you the list of usual labels – wife, mother of three daughters, sister, friend, life coach, author, motivational speaker but I think “globe trekking, ocean loving, poetry writing, dark chocolate eating, wisdom seeking, slightly irreverent work-in-progress” is a more revealing description.
Turning 50 for me was not a difficult transition. Like many people, I have a bit of a disconnect between my actual age and how I perceive myself. In my head I think I am somewhere between 18 and 30, but my body reminds me that I am a little older than that. I try to focus on being present in the moment and age becomes simply a state of mind.
In my late 40’s and early 50’s I have learned to live my own version of myself rather than someone else’s. I choose to no longer make apologies for who I am. That has opened so many doors both personally and professionally. In my work as a life coach, I have the great honor to help other women do the same thing – to figure out what is most important in life and then align their choices to reflect that. When we begin to do that our sense of satisfaction, balance and fulfilment expands.
I’ve enjoyed a series of peak experiences that have helped me clarify my life’s vision and priorities and have allowed me to express more fully who I am.
Some of those experiences include:
- travelling to India
- walking the Tuscan hills with my husband
- running three marathons
- the death of my parents
- sweet moments with my children
Certainly I think the key in these life lessons we all experience is to take the time to integrate them and use them to propel us forward. Unless we use our light bulb moments to create change in our lives we’re essentially still in the dark. There is a continual dance between awareness and action that moves us along life’s path.
Setting conscious intentions that are reflective of what matters most to me helps me to be centered when making choices. Compassion for myself and others, embracing abundance, honouring beauty in all its forms and living mindfully are all strong personal values for me.I like to think of abundance as the universe co-creating with me. Absolutely anything is possible. If I hold a spirit of abundance then I am more open and awake to all kinds of opportunities that present themselves, event when they don’t show up exactly the way I imagined. I’ve found that if I slip into a scarcity mindset – that there’s not enough time, money, energy or whatever – then that’s exactly what I will experience.
Abundance means asking, “What would it take to…?” rather than saying “I can’t because…” The great secret I have discovered is that whatever I want is available to me in any moment – peace or joy or compassion or fun – I simply have to choose it.
If I had to summarize my world view I would say that the world is one giant jigsaw puzzle. Each of us has a piece of the puzzle that is needed to make the picture complete. There are big pieces and little pieces and corners and straight edges. All of them are equally important. My motivation in life is to continually deepen my understanding of my piece of the puzzle make choices each day that help to fulfill it. In my work as a life coach my job is to help other people figure out and then do their piece too.
Midlife is a wonderful time to stretch ourselves in whatever ways we can. I think we all continually set limitations for ourselves physically, intellectually, emotionally. When we bust through one barrier, there’s a sense of confidence and possibility. The temptation is to believe that when we overcome a limitation then we are all done. When we think we no longer set limitations, that’s just another way we create boundaries for ourselves. Part of our life’s journey is to continually challenge ourselves. No matter how big your comfort zone, there is always a step outside of it.
For me the ever-present question is “In what way am I holding myself back now?”
I’m not sure what the future holds and that’s okay with me. That’s because from today’s vantage point there are things we are not able to see. It’s like hiking to the top of a mountain. You usually can’t totally picture the view until you get there. That’s part of the magic of life unfolding. Being okay with the unknown is one of the best gifts I have given myself. What I know is that life is meant to be a luscious journey lived each and every day and whatever unfolds in the future will be just as it is meant to be.
If I am conscious and intentional in my choices I can certainly influence the path I am on but the unexpected is delightfully always around the corner.