I can’t really believe we are in September already but I have had a lovely summer catching up with family, friends and sunshine (I found some away from home!)
I spent some time with my mum and at some point was questioning whether it is time to dye my greying hair. Her advice (she knows me well!) was am I up for the commitment once I start and maybe I might just want to embrace the grey.
It got me to thinking about WHY I would remove the grey and in the process I realised ageing is one of our greatest reconnection tools. We might be able to slow ageing down or at least the signs of it and its impact, but it is yet another aspect of modern life that highlights our cultural belief that we can ‘fight’ nature, we are cleverer than it, we can trick it, overcome it. By embracing what is happening to us both internally and externally (which in our current culture can be very hard to do), we are acknowledging we are nature, one of its many rhythms.
I’ve always believed wholeness is that point between significance and insignificance and that midlife is the tipping point where our individuality and need to define ourselves becomes less important and our ‘being part of something bigger’ with our growing desire to find purpose and be of service to the larger world stirs within us. It calls to be actioned in some way. It is the ‘job’ you would have landed in had you grown up in a nourishing and healthy society.
I see it in every one of my friends in different ways, this magnetic pull to expansion and less defined ways of being. In our current world we call it a midlife crisis, but it only feels like a crisis because the size of the rift between what makes sense of our time and what we have found ourselves doing with our time often catches us unawares.
It is an often arduous process that in its timing alone, aligns with a lot of other personal challenges including big hormonal changes, physical ageing, children leaving home, parents needing more support, significant bereavements and emotional and mental health issues surfacing from these challenges.
But it is also a time, if embraced well, that can offer a more congruent next chapter. Ageing is cyclical, it doesn’t just spring on you (although it can feel that way) but the different processes that form this continuous cycle are felt more deeply as we reach older age. There are things that need letting go of to make room for the new, there is the space you must give yourself to ponder who you want to be going forward and what you see your role as and what seeds need planting to ensure you grow in the right direction. There is then the nurturing and nourishment you need to encourage this expansion- maybe study, rest, practicing more self-compassion, going to therapy, joining a gym- it will be different for us all.
Once we start to shift and point in the right direction, there is a moment for gratitude. Manifesting this midlife change is huge and shouldn’t go unnoticed. We are allowed to pat ourselves, our guides, our supporters and our challengers on the back! The Soul Medicine set was created to help Ric and I work through this for ourselves and we are currently creating some practices to help support the journey that will soon be available to try out.
Finally, there is the liminal space left to start the process again by taking time to dream the next part of the dream for I’ve made it sound simple and fairly swift but in fact it will most likely be a series of tiny incremental cycles of change that edge you nearer and nearer the authentic human you are under all of life’s influencing and conditioning. It will take a lifetime.
The shift into ‘eldership’ will be mixed- beautiful and empowering yet brutal and stressful. Like all good butterflies, the transition part isn’t too pretty. It will raise your blood pressure, break you down, make you question yourself, make you question those around you, open your eyes to things you may wish to have kept them closed for.
So although this train of thought came from a seemingly ridiculous pondering ‘should I dye my hair?’, it taps into the heart of everything we are deep in our humanness. For in accomplishing this super human feat, the hero’s journey, of accepting our ageing process in a culture calling for us to remain forever young, we can choose to find our connection back to source. When we honour ourselves and become adult, facing the truth of life- that we are being held for an unknown length of time in a physical experience of living- as we get older and join the dots up looking back, we will see clearly that the spectrum of emotions and experiences that is our life has brought us to this moment. And right now that is all that matters.
So as we enter the late summer, entering the cycle at a time calling for new intentions, I invite you to drink a delicious cup of Pu’erh Tea (as it holds the energy of this season) and ponder your next move :)
Wishing you a wonderful September and we look forward to talking to you again in October.
Anne and Ric x