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!
Life isn’t always easy. Regardless of how many self-help books we’ve read, the number of empowering seminars and warrior camps we’ve attended, sometimes we still suffer. After all, if we were happy and overjoyed all the time, we certainly wouldn’t be able to appreciate the awesomeness of the joyous experiences when they show up.
That being said, I truly believe that we can find more fulfillment, satisfaction, and joy in our day-to-day experiences once we learn the tools of how to live more consciously. I have certainly seen and felt this in my own life and I have witnessed countless others growing, evolving, and moving through stuff that had kept them stuck for years. Once we can delve deeper into the density of our heavy emotions, things often become lighter, brighter, and more surrendered on the other side.
The next time you find yourself in a dark place where you feel paralyzed, unloved, like a victim, or any number of other habitual ways of being, consider these steps which may help to remove some of the glue that keeps you stuck:
1) ACCEPTANCE – What we resist persists. Therefore it is time to accept these struggles fully and completely. In fact, we need to learn to love them. Instead of resisting and trying to move away from the down times, why not look them straight in the face and find out what they are trying to tell you? Every life experience has a message for us. The bad times have an especially valuable meaning. Begin asking your higher self for hints about why you continue this cycle. Listen carefully. The answers will come. Your higher life is calling you and it wants you to let go of these painful times once and for all.
2) SELF-LOVE – With accepting what is comes loving ourselves through our negative patterns. Continually beating ourselves up gets us nowhere! We need to become our own best support system and cheerleaders and we need to learn how to nurture that inner child who really is crying out for our love. Practice makes perfect. Begin catching those negative internal voices and stop them in their tracks. Then turn them into loving and supportive ones. This is the first step towards reprogramming outdated ways of being and letting them go completely.
3) GO INWARD – Take time each day to get quiet. Journal, meditate, read inspirational words, and sit quietly with your thoughts. Ask your Higher Self for messages and signs to lead you into a more positive direction. Trust that you are ALWAYS being guided and find faith in knowing that brighter days are ahead.
4) FIND A HEALER – Whether your suffering is physical, mental, or spiritual, there are people out there who can help. Search. Experiment. Continue to try new healers, doctors, psychologists, coaches, or a multitude of other “angels” who have been sent on our path to help us. Friends can also be there in our time of need but it’s our job to reach out. Learning one new tool or perspective may be just enough to get you over the hump.
5) TAKE ACTION – Once we are intuitively guided, it is up to us to take the physical steps in the direction of feeling better. Most often those steps are the ones that feel most exciting. Listen to your emotions and take baby steps that feel good and the ones which seem like the most logical next step. If you are inspired to take a bigger leap, know that it’s okay to do so. I have learned that the net always appears when you need it most. Understand that growth almost always comes with some anxiety, fear, and angst. When we can learn to accept this as part of the path, we will more quickly see and feel the results that we desire.
6) GRATITUDE – Sometimes the most difficult times to be thankful are while we are in the midst of struggle. We may need to force ourselves to make a list of things that we are grateful for. They are always in our presence, we just need to become more conscious of them. Focus your mind in a positive direction rather than on all those things that you don’t have. Gratitude creates miracles!
Take heart that you are in fact, moving through the heaviness even though it may feel as if you have been here over and over again. What we can’t see during these cycles is what is happening under the surface. The changes. The subtle shifts. The transformation. We cannot stay the same. It is virtually impossible. Just as our cells are constantly renewing, so too is our life. The good news is that although you may not yet feel the improvement today, it IS happening week-by-week, day-by-day, and moment-by-moment. Do your best to enjoy the journey with as much self-love that you can muster. You may just wake up one day and realize that they no longer have power over you.
Jay Bradley is an Anti-Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Expert Living in Los Angeles
He is the Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!
We all have one. It’s something that we are born with and an innate part of who we are as humans. Some call it intuition, while others call it Universal guidance. For the sake of simplifying it a bit, let’s just name it our internal GPS system.
Most of us cannot live without our automobile GPS. I for one, rely on it every day to help me get from point A to point B. In fact, it’s hard to remember how I ever lived without one!
Our day-to-day lives are guided by our internal GPS, although it is something that we often take for granted. We simply assume that we’ll make it through our day based upon certain choices, decisions, and actions. While this is correct, maybe there is an easier way and one that can make our journey more enjoyable, fulfilling, and rich.
Always Safely Guided
Our internal GPS system sends us signals via our emotions. If we can get quiet and still, and truly listen to this inner voice, we will always be guided safely along our journey. As Joseph Campbell stated, “ALWAYS follow your bliss.” Make decisions based upon how good they feel for you. If a pending event feels joyful and light, put on your best dress or suit and make an appearance! If, on the other hand, you’re feeling dread or heaviness around something, consider taking a detour.
The one exception to this rule is when we have commitments that need to be completed. Sometimes when we have certain obligations, it pushes us outside of our comfort zones and this doesn’t always feel good. The key here is to find a balance between what needs to get done versus what doesn’t. As you learn to trust your own intuition, this process will become clearer in time.
Look for Road Signs
The Universe is always giving us signs. If we learn to pay close attention and live more in the moment, these messages become easier to recognize. Yields, detours, and construction signs will be lit up like light street lamps and we’ll simply learn to take another route.
Stop for Fuel
With any cross-country road trip, we will need to re-fuel. We won’t get very far without high quality gasoline. Our body, mind, and spirit are the same. Make sure to take time each day to reflect, meditate, pray, and read inspirational material along with consuming high quality foods, water, and vitamins so that your system is properly fueled. If we don’t feel well, this is a sure sign that something needs to be repaired, re-balanced, and nurtured.
Ask for Directions
If you’re a man, this is particularly difficult. Sometimes even our GPS system goes haywire due to crossed signals and mixed messages. ALWAYS ask for help from experts in the fields of health, wellness, and healing. Pay close attention to those people that pop-up out of nowhere because they are your messengers. These guides have an important memo for you that could possibly change your life. We don’t know it all and it’s wise to ask others for directions when we are feeling lost, off-balance, or when we simply need some comforting advice.
Any good road trip would NOT be complete without singing some of your favorite tunes along the way! Discover new avenues to make your life more creative and fun. Try different things like taking a class, or painting a canvas and open up to all of your talents and gifts. That wonderful quote “dance as if no one were watching, sing as if no one were listening, and live every day as if it were your last” fits perfectly here.
Fasten your Seatbelt
When we listen to our internal GPS system, we are almost never led astray. However, it is always good to take some precautions. Visiting your doctor for your yearly physical, taking vitamins, getting health insurance, booking a massage, and doing things to prevent accidents simply makes sense. Just like all of us fasten our seatbelt when driving, reconsider the rules of your life to ensure that you are securing the health of your body, mind, and spirit so that you can have a wonderful, joyous, and peaceful ride!