When your hair is aflame with winter and you have decades of learning and leaving and loving sewn into the corners of your eyes and your children come home to find their own history in your face.
Thought for the day: THIS is how you live your life. Both hands in and messy.
Like many women, I thought of self-care as selfish or indulgent, served up with an undercurrent of guilt. It seemed extravagant – like a weekend at a spa, rather than emotional first aid of the highest order. Like the classic example flight attendants give about putting on your oxygen mask first before helping others, it’s important to tend to yourself first.
“Shame, for women, is this web of unobtainable, conflicting, competing expectations about who we’re supposed to be. And it’s a straight-jacket.” ~ Brené Brown
After talking with more than 100 women from all across the country, about 50% expressed concern that they were becoming marginalized because of their advancing years. The other 50% had no such concerns. In fact, I had to define more clearly and concisely what I meant by "invisible" in order for them to answer the question. It just wasn't on their radar.
What makes the Inner Critic difficult to see and root out is that quite often it’s been a part of your landscape from the very beginning. It feels so familiar and normal to you that it becomes strangely comfortable. Spotting your critical self-talk is just as crucial to your emotional health as detection and treatment of a debilitating disease is to your physical health.
Laughter is often said to be the best medicine. A shot of laughter can change your outlook and help you cope with stressful times. It unbridles you when you can’t see past your situation.
There are times in my life when, despite the significant changes I’ve made, I get in a funk. The truth is I sometimes lose that spark, that fire in the belly that fuels my passion. As is my usual method of dealing with being out of balance, I spend time in reflection - trying to sort out what’s holding me back; what’s holding me in place and preventing me from moving forward.
If I were to draw a line down the center of a piece of paper and write "Gifts" on one side and "Flaws" on the other side, I'm embarrassed to admit which side would fill up the fastest. Why is it that we are able to pick up on our faults so much easier than we are our skills, talents and abilities?
I wanted to get a better handle on what ignites a fire in the belly of a high-achieving, soul-driven midlife woman, and I wasn’t disappointed. Everyone I talked with was wonderfully open, unreservedly frank, and touchingly vulnerable. While these women may have taken any number of divergent paths as a result of choice or circumstance, there are a number of places where these various paths intersect, and when standing on that sacred ground, their voices sound particularly unified.