Are You Having A Midlife Un-Crisis?

Are You Having A Midlife Un-Crisis?

I am nearing 50 in a matter of months, the time when many people go through a midlife crisis.  Depending upon how long we live, it may occur earlier or later, and for many, we have numerous so-called crisis in our life.

A crisis would be defined as “a time of intense difficulty, trouble, or danger” or “a time when a difficult or important decision must be made.”

I have definitely experienced some major shifts over the past couple of years and much of what I placed importance on no longer has meaning. It has left me questioning everything that I had been working towards in the past. The term crisis may be a bit dramatic, but I for one, most definitely feel an important and life-affirming shift.

If you see things like I do, then you realize that life as we know it, involves constant expansion and growth and the very reason we are here, is to evolve as spiritual beings having this human experience. Therefore, we begin to understand that there is no such thing as crisis. Instead, I now make a declaration for everybody out there who is feeling the effects of such a challenging chapter in their own life, to rename it “Midlife Un-Crisis!”

What are the signs that we may be in such an “Un-Crisis?”

  • Lack of clarity, motivation, or passion for life
  • Feelings of powerlessness or depression
  • Questioning where you want to go from here
  • Wondering why you feel unhappy, stuck, or complacent
  • Recognizing negative, habitual ways of being but not knowing how to move through them
  • Noticing what once made you happy in the past i.e. shopping, eating, sex, or addictive behaviors no longer fulfill you
  • Discovering that what once worked to get you ahead, no longer does
  • You choose happiness over success, money, or accolades

Here is the good news! This doesn’t mean that life is over or that you should give up. It is just the opposite. It’s reflecting back to you, that THE BEST TIMES are yet to come and that all you need to do is make space. This is a time when you don’t need outside stimulus to make you feel alive, when you can actually accomplish more with less striving, and a time when you can allow more joy, fulfillment, and ease into your experience without being so attached to outcome.

It’s the perfect time to Un-Do, Un-Wind, and Un-Tether all those things that no longer serve you. A time to let go of the parts of yourself that you’ve outgrown and moved beyond. Laying just around the corner is something far more valuable and authentic.

It’s okay to question your direction. It is fine to wonder where the heck you’re going and why you’re here. But when we can begin seeing this as a strength and not a weakness, that is where our true power lies.

There may be a midlife questioning about your career or the marriage that you committed to but if you can just love yourself through all of it and learn to be gentle, forgiving, and accepting towards all that is, and stop making yourself wrong for these feelings, then you will soon realize that we really have nothing to fear.

Yes, the inevitable is coming, we are going to die at some point. Many of us fear that more than anything else. Sometimes these painful spots we find ourselves in are derived from that deep-rooted truth we want to avoid, especially as we reach mid-life.

If you can dig deep, do the emotional and spiritual work necessary to get you through to the other side, you’ll begin to see that these times of crisis really are our best teachers and that nothing lasts forever. If we can be patient and loving all while committed to moving through whatever we are dealing with, we will realize that we are having a Midlife Un-Crisis because more is being asked of us, because we are meant to be channels of light for others and because our life is calling for us to become beacons of inspiration, and love.

Don’t give up. Stick with it and begin to unravel why you’re feeling paralyzed, apathetic, or blue. Look for clues. Allow clarity with the help of healers, books, retreats, videos, and a spiritual practice, and you will begin to see that brighter days and a new chapter worth living are just around the corner. If you’re approaching mid-life like I am, the second half really can be your happiest, most fulfilling, and rewarding if you can just ride the wave and have faith.

 

Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Coach Living in Los Angeles. http://www.JayBradleyLifestyle.com

He is the Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!

Surrender – The Ultimate Test of Faith

Surrender – The Ultimate Test of Faith

Many of us have read self-help books that talk about surrendering and letting go as a way of de-stressing and stopping our need to control every aspect of life. By digging deep and finding an inner faith that everything will be okay, we are more able to relax and live with joy and ease.

Sometimes, this is easier said than done. Especially if you’ve explored the law of attraction like I have, which teaches us that thoughts become things, therefore often causing us added pressure to keep our mind aligned and disciplined.  Ironically, this takes us further away from simply letting go.

Then what is true surrender? How can we incorporate it into our lives so that it isn’t just a theory but an actual way of being?

For me, it has taken years to truly understand letting go and trusting. It’s easy for us to doubt ourselves or to question whether or not we are on the right path or if we’ve made smart choices along the way.

But here are some simple ways to open up to a more surrendered life. Practice these and you’ll be well on your way to a serene and happy way of being:

  • Look Back– If you’re stressed or worried about a particular area of your life, just look back onto past events that brought you similar angst and recall what the outcome was. Most often, it ended positively without major drama. We mostly fear things that will never come to fruition so with each similar experience that pops up, we should be able to let go more each time without anticipating the worst. Practice makes perfect. Be careful not to spend too much time in the past however, as it can rehash stuff that no longer serves us.
  • Stop Planning – Most people need to set goals and make plans to stay on track. This isn’t a bad idea but be careful not to spend too much time focused on future events or we miss the magic of today. Work on setting intentions and visions for your future but then let go fully and completely. Have faith that the Universe has heard your wishes and that it doesn’t need constant reminders in order to fulfill those very things. Again, trust and let go.
  • Create Space– Each of us requires daily, quiet, reflective time. We need to go inward and tune in to what that quiet voice of intuition is telling us. When we can get still and learn to trust our gut reactions, we will begin to rely on it as our friendly confidant that never steers us wrong. Start focusing more on living from a still and centered way of being rather than from one of analysis. Create mental and spiritual space within.
  • Stop Reacting– There comes a time in our life when we must stop being a victim, reacting to our life’s events. What if there was a higher power guiding us and it had more wisdom than we did? What if we could totally let go and be led somewhere far greater than we even imagined? Stress begets stress. Let’s work on reacting less and easing into whatever is happening in this moment with trust and faith.
  • Calming Herbs – Most of us are programmed from a young age to look at the worst case scenario. This intensifies our fight or flight reactions causing only more upset. Try herbs like Ashwaganda, Rhodiola, and Maca to boost energy while lowering the stress hormone cortisol. Chamomile, Kava kava, Valerian, and Lemon Balm along with Sun Theanine and Gamma Amino Butyric (GABA) also work very well to soothe the body and mind and lessen anxiety.
  • Have Fun – When we can remember to enjoy life, celebrate with friends, and do things that feed our inner child, we immediately begin to let go and live more in the moment. When we are fully present, we are totally surrendered. Having fun and planning outings each week will absolutely help you to relax, release, and regain balance.

 

Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Coach Living in Los Angeles. http://www.JayBradleyLifestyle.om

He is the Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!

And The Oscar Goes To…

And The Oscar Goes To…

You may be curious as to why I’d write about the Oscars in a wellness section of City Watch LA. One might think that the Hollywood scene is all about money, power, outer appearances, and a fake double kiss on the cheek with the right connections.

But after watching closely, I got a very different sense of that world. It may be partly due to the recent “me too” movement but it feels as if the heart of the business has shifted. I became keenly aware of an underlying significance at the core of each speech, to follow your dreams.

Year after year, I find myself getting emotional throughout the Oscars. Part of me feels excited and inspired by what the actors and the movies are portraying yet there is also sadness, a feeling that I am missing out. It’s not that I want to be a celebrity actor but rather, I want to have a larger, starring role in my own life. Viewing the Oscars always reminds me that I can reach higher and dream bigger than I imagined.

If you listen closely to each of the winners, their speeches are filled with thanks for those who have helped them along the way. There is a great deal of humility and gratitude that comes across for receiving such an honor. Even deeper than that, there is a message of hope. “Do not give up on your dreams” says one actor, “don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t” says another. And on and on the inspiration goes.

Underneath all of the elegant gowns and tailored tuxedos, designer jewelry, cameras, lights, and fame, comes a message of courage, faith, and hopefulness. Through all of the glitz and glam is a grassroots, heart-warming story of achieving dreams and reaching a goal that seemed impossible to many.

Whether you’re a single parent, electrician, esthetician, or athlete, and no matter what your age, dreams are what keep us going. Faith that we are on the right path and serving our highest and best mission is the fuel that helps us focus. On those days when we feel like quitting and our inner spark is on the verge of going out, dreams light the way for a better life.

You may not aspire for an Oscar or even to be in the public eye but we all have a unique and awesome purpose. It’s up to each one of us to discover that mission and then go about our life sharing it with others. Our ultimate undertaking is to leave the world a better place because we lived.

Most of us won’t receive an Oscar but we can begin playing a bigger role in our own lives. We can star in the story of our life like nobody else can. We can use our unique talents and abilities and become more present, giving, and open. Then we can listen to those around us who send us praise, thanks, and appreciation for all that we have done for them; accolades that are well deserved and far more important than any trophy.

Whether it be touching the lives of millions or simply one. We ARE making a difference! We ARE here for a reason and your dreams exist to keep you on track, constantly moving you forward while expanding and growing. Never give up and don’t ever underemphasize what is possible in the screenplay of your life.

And the Oscar goes to…YOU!

 

Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Expert and a Transformational Breath Healer Living in Los Angeles. http://www.JayBradleyLifestyle.com

He is the Best-Selling Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!

 

 

What IF This is as Good as it Gets?

What IF This is as Good as it Gets?

I am ALL for being optimistic and thinking positive. I believe that we can to some degree, create our destiny using affirmations, a focused mindset, and the power of intention. But if you’ve tried to implement the law of attraction you may have found that things don’t always go as planned.

Sometimes life can take us in a totally different direction than we wanted, and often, it ends up being exactly what we need.

Lately, the message that keeps coming to me is “what if this is as good as it gets?” What if our life doesn’t improve from where it is today? How would we feel if that miracle job, relationship, or adventure didn’t happen at all? I don’t mean to revert to a negative or pessimistic attitude but rather, I’d like to create a new way of living and thinking, one that brings us back into this moment. The ONLY moment we have.

When we spend time wanting, desiring, needing, and day dreaming about things to come, we totally miss what is directly in front of us. And even if the current situation is challenging, we can learn to find within that moment, truth, growth, pain, acceptance, and perhaps even more love and gratitude than we ever thought possible.

We wouldn’t be human if we didn’t have dreams and I am not suggesting that we ditch those fantasies because in many ways, they are what sustain us. An underlying faith that life will get better keeps us from sinking too low when times are tough.

But there is a certain amount of surrender that needs to take place once we’ve set intentions for something new to come. We can learn to envision it, feel it’s presence and then gently let it go with a deep knowing that it will show up…or perhaps something better. And by better, I don’t necessarily mean what appears positive to those looking on. Better may mean something that trumps the fancy car, ideal mate, or windfall. It may just be the thing that we need to help us grow in a totally new direction.

What if this is as good as it gets? Would you be okay with that? Would you be able to dig deep and find love, joy, appreciation, and satisfaction in what may seem boring, monotonous, or disappointing? Being present, accepting what is, and squeezing every bit of juice out of our day-to-day experience may be the key to living a full and rich life.

Chances are very good that your life WILL improve and that many of your dreams will come true. But just for today, why not live as if this is as good as it gets and see what comes of it. I have a feeling it may open you up to a whole new depth of richness and beauty in even the most mundane of experiences.

 

Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Coach Living In Los Angeles. http://www.JayBradleyLifestyle.com

He is the Best-Selling Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!

The Power of Gratitude

The Power of Gratitude

I spent most of my life wanting more. It seemed that no matter what manifested into my experience, it wasn’t enough. I believed that this incessant drive and focus that had its roots in my future was the way to get ahead and create the life of my dreams.

Fast-forward to today and I’ve had a major awakening. Perhaps its due to my age and the fact that more and more people around me are getting sick and or dying, but suddenly I am struck by an overwhelming sense of gratitude.

We all know in theory that being thankful is the key to lasting joy but we live in a hectic world where more is often better. More achievements, more love, more money, and more goals. It is a never-ending cycle that leaves us empty and ironically, wanting more.

Giving thanks and having gratitude isn’t just a spiritual practice, studies are now showing that being in such a space may help us to live longer and remain healthy for extended periods of time. When we live in a space of loving what we have now, we surrender more and gently let go of the stress of this perpetual wheel.

The paradox is that the more thankful we are, often-additional things show up into our experience because we let go of the need. When we don’t push, prod, or force things to happen, we sit in a beautiful space of being grateful for what is and faithful that even more will show up in the right time.

The practice of gratitude sends a gentle message to the Universe that we appreciate all that has been brought into our life. As we evolve, we also realize that those very challenges that we didn’t desire showed up so that we could grow and learn, and even for those we give thanks.

Gratitude journals are popular for a very good reason. They serve as emotional prompts. When we write down a list of what we are thankful for, we are reminded of just how blessed we truly are. We can see that even the smallest of things like our warm bed, the bird in our backyard, or the fact that we can see at all, are miracles in themselves.

Sometimes life is messy. Being where we don’t want to be isn’t fun but looking deeply into the mystery of life and seeing glimmers of hope is the power of gratitude gently reminding us to find joy through the sorrow and hope through the despair.

Don’t stop desiring a more creative and full life but do begin giving thanks for ALL that is here and now.

 

Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Expert Living in Los Angeles. http://www.JayBradleyLifestyle.com

He is the Best-Selling Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!