I wrote this text in May 2014. I have left it unedited and as raw as it was originally written (save for some aesthetic touches which are important to the eye). It explains my journey to how I came to coaching. Even though it’s only been 3.5 years since I wrote these words, I have grown and changed so much since then. The journey of entrepreneurship and coaching will do that to someone (HA, understatement of the year!). And yet, I still very much see myself, the good ole’ ordinary me. Every last bit of my extraordinarily ordinary self, so open, ready and earnest. I do love her. 


All I want is an “ordinary” life…an extraordinarily beautiful, inspiring, joyful, exciting, fun, awesome, meaningful, loving, and happy life. And with this ordinary life of mine, I want to help people live their own extraordinarily “ordinary” lives too.

I believe that life is simple. It is made up of a thousand different moments, day after day after day that then turn into year after year after year. And these moments tend to be the most ordinary things…the sound of your toddler’s feet pitter-pattering down the hallway; sipping your morning coffee; having dinner with friends; going for an ice cream on a hot, summer day; reading the paper; taking a shower; preparing for a trip; getting ready for work; lounging in bed…whatever ordinary looks like in your life.

But here’s the thing, THESE MOMENTS ARE WHAT MAKE OUR LIVES EXTRAORDINARY when your life is your own creation. When you live from a place of authenticity, you are clearer about what makes your life feel extraordinary. YOU get to decide what feels like fun, what tastes delicious, what you need, what you want, how you want to spend your days, hours, minutes. Your life becomes extraordinary because you realize that you have the power, brilliance and capabilities to make your life and soul shine from within.

You see… here’s my truth. I believe that life is magical and we become awakened to this magic when our soul’s mission finally comes into full clarity. I believe the universe really does conspire to help us live our best lives when we take those leaps of faith as we listen to the whispering of our soul’s yearnings and start putting what we truly want from life into action. I believe that life is messy, complicated and wonderful, all at the same time. Life is unfair, it hurts, it SUCKS sometimes, but it is so damn beautiful that it can take our breath away.

And I believe from the depths of my soul that when we choose to create the lives we deeply yearn for, we make the world a better place. When we share our authentic selves, from a place of full vulnerability, courage, fear and love, we ignite the same desire in others and then the world slowly becomes lit-up from within, with people going about their ordinary lives from places of extraordinary brilliance…we’re all just trying to do our thing, our way and be respected and loved and accepted for who we are and what we have to offer.

Step out of your own shadow and into your brilliant light, I say!

My search for authenticity

I would like to say that my quest for authenticity began young, as I am now able to reflect back on my rebellious youth from a compassionate perspective. I tried desperately to be heard, loved and appreciated, but adolescent angst, insecurity and the deep need to “belong” yet “stand apart” certainly muddied my waters for a few years. Some might say that I looked for acceptance in the wrong places, with the wrong people, through the wrong actions. Maybe. Maybe not.

The turning point in my search for authenticity came on an ordinary day as I sat in front of the man I thought I would one day marry after I had asked him how he saw his life five years down the road. (I was always a dreamer and lover of these deep and meaningful questions!)

What were some of his dreams? What did he yearn for in his life?

BUT…he was unable to answer.

HE WAS UNABLE TO ANSWER!

Nothing came out.

Not. One. Dream. Not. One. Idea. Nothing.

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He was unable to answer…and my soul whispered, rather loudly, “Ok girl, this is NOT feeling good. I think it may be time to get moving and living and start dreaming about a different kind of a life.” And I did pretty quickly after that. After 6 years together, I moved away to start living my dream and we slowly fell apart a few months later. (Suffice it to say, there were lots of other issues going on here, but this was my incredibly defined and memorable tipping point.)

The next pivotal moment on my journey came while I was traveling around the world on an 8-month backpacking trip with my sister. (BEST TIME EVER, BTW!) I met a man in New Zealand, who I consider my spiritual soul mate, who taught me very simply how to be still and then “follow my heart, be true to myself”. Something clicked inside my soul when I heard this incredibly simple yet deeply profound statement and it propelled me into a new way of being in the world. I have embodied this mantra every since (and I liked it so much that I actually got it tattooed on my leg in Chinese characters while in Thailand during our travels, much to the horror of my poor parents!) And as soon as I started to live this way, my life changed in miraculous ways.

Newly single and loving every minute of it, BAM!, I met the man who would become my husband while traveling in the Greek islands and yes, it was as romantic as you can imagine; moved to Montréal with my man and found a “perfect” Master’s program where I was able to write my Master’s thesis while doing actual academic research on authenticity, needless to say I was in HEAVEN! (The abstract can be found here for those interested: http://philpapers.org/rec/BOSLTG).

And then I continued on my path towards living my full and lovely life, which slowly filled up with a dog, friends, family, work, trips, homes, renovations, children, yada, yada, yada. It wasn’t always pretty or easy or fun, as I had some very hard times in between but it was my lovely little life. Until…another pivotal moment arrived, and then another and another…until I could no longer look away and ignore the whispers of my soul.

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Holy Moly!! Did September just knock you out like it did me?

It started off with so much energy! I was PUMPED about launching my new program, getting back into my groove with the kiddos back in school and doing my thing! 😉

But to be totally transparent, by the end of the month I had a sore throat and a cold on the way, the remnants of which are STILL lingering. And I was exhausted! Like deeply, deeply tired.

And this is where things get interesting… P I N this to pinterest

I am working with a business coach (because we all need support, accountability and help to make our dreams come true!) and as part of my work with her I declare my intentions for the week on every Monday. It’s a powerful activity that keeps me focused on my goals and intentions (duh). Anyway, I let her know a few weeks back that I was feeling “like I’m running on fumes and my intention is to rest”. 

I felt courageous and proud that I was giving myself permission to REST. Yay me!

Except, here’s the kicker. I didn’t rest. Because you know what I realized?

I’m a Fake Rester. YES, a FAKE RESTER. 

I think I know how to rest and I like to convince myself that I allow for rest, but I actually rarely ever really rest. As in deeply rest and do nothing.

Can you relate? Are you able to just sit and do nothing? 

Because up until a few weeks ago, resting for me meant: 

  • laying down while doing a guided meditation
  • relaxing in my living room while reading
  • baking while listening to a podcast
  • sipping a glass of wine while browsing Facebook
  • going for a walk (!)

You see, I realized there is a HUGE difference between doing something restful/not feeling “busy” and actually resting. 

In fact, turns out I have a lot of old beliefs and judgments about people who rest (as in lay down, close their eyes and take a little snooze in the middle of the day). Even if it’s just for 2 minutes.

Here are some of my default thoughts that come up when my husband says he’s going to lay down for a few minutes and close his eyes (warning, they are not nice):

“Wow, must be nice to feel like you can just lay down… in the MIDDLE OF THE FUCKING DAY!”

“Huh, look at that, he thinks he can just LAY DOWN? Who does he think he is?!”

“So it looks like I’ll be the one to do ____________ (fill in the blank) and all the other shit that needs to get done around here!”

And it goes on and on and on, if I let it. Does this sound familiar? Do you have similar thoughts?

But thanks to the awareness I have about my own thoughts, I am able to catch myself pretty quickly when these snarky judgments pop up. Because I actually truly believe that resting is essential to our well-being.

So why don’t I do it? HA HA HA! Great question.

Well, the thing is I really thought I was resting when I was slowing my pace down, minimizing my distractions and activities and doing things that felt “restful”.

And, there’s more. (Man, it’s hard to be honest!) 

When I’m really honest, it’s because I carry around, deep inside my brain, the belief that there is always something to do and  that “resting” is for lazy people. Yikes, I said it!

Carrying this limiting belief around let’s me relax just enough so I am still doing something. Because when I am doing, I am being productive, active and engaged. And those are good things to be, right? Who wants to be lazy? Oh, god forbid anyone be perceived as lazy or unproductive!

So where does this leave me? You? Us?

Since this horrifying but enlightening discovery about myself being a Fake Rester (seriously, I was so shocked to learn this about myself, although when I brought my realization to my husband and sister they both gave me the “Well, duh” look! Oops, sometimes our loved ones know us better than we know ourselves!)…I am whole-heartedly embracing the practice of resting.

I am letting myself be a beginner at this too, because we all have to start where we’re at, right?

My morning routine still sees me getting up before everyone else, but instead of jumping into doing my meditation, gratitude practice, and journaling, I now set the timer for at least 5 min and just sit there. Doing nothing. Resting. Nowhere to go, nothing TO DO, except sit and be.

So far, it feels delicious, comforting, and indulgent and very much like I am taking good care of my body, mind and soul. And, HAHAHA, I have more energy. Gee, what a shock! 🙂

I would LOVE to hear your thoughts on this! How do you rest? Do you allow yourself to rest or are you also a Fake Rester? It’s ok, we can help each other out!

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More and more, I feel drawn to living a life built upon PLEASURE. And while doing and being in action is so important to and for our lives (I am a go-getter!), so is stillness, rest, quiet and nourishing ourselves deeply.

It’s the in-between that calls to me…that sweet spot between productivity and pleasure. 

My new mantra (discovered with my coach) is My pleasure IS productive.

How freaking juicy is that? It’s worth repeating.

My pleasure IS productive. I invite you to find your pleasure. And rest if you need to. 

PS. isn’ it cool to learn more about ourselves? I love this process and discovery. It is endlessly fascinating.

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  • At least you were trying to rest. I just don’t. Like you I think deep down that resting is for the lazy. There just isn’t enough time to rest during the day- resting can happen when I sleep. So, I only rest when I sleep or when I’m too exhausted to take another step or move another inch. My poor body 🙁ReplyCancel

  • Linda Gross

    What a delightful post Marieke!

    I love what you are sharing. I relate to your story so strongly, however, from the “other side” of the Lazy Fence. lol

    I’ve struggled most of my life with the shame and guilt of being a Morning Sleepyhead. I absolutely love to sleep in, because I dearly love staying up late, doing whatever I want in those quiet, dark hours of the evening and night. No wonder I have a horrible time getting up early. I’ve worked hard most of my life to hide this “defect”. Many years of workshops, coaching, life experiences, and beliefs told me to accept myself but deep down I was always ashamed of my slothful, sleepyhead nature.

    My funny ah-ha moment came a few years ago when my wonderful, loving, early-bird husband came rushing up to our bedroom, ashen-faced and loudly calling out my name in fear. You see it was almost 1:00 in the afternoon and when he realized that I was still upstairs in bed, he was certain that I must have suffered a heart attack, or stroke, or some other calamity. In his mind, why else would a normal, healthy 56 year old woman still be in bed AT 1:00 IN THE AFTERNOON???!!!!

    I can laugh about it now but it was a deep and long talk we had that day about ‘this is WHO I am, I am not you, nor your mother or grandmother (hard working farm folks) and I want to be accepted and still loved for who I am’. I’m not sure who needed to hear this more – him or me, but I certainly voiced a truth that I needed to declare that day.

    These days I practice being more authentic about my slow to start, late mornings. I can’t say that I am 100% comfortable showing everyone this aspect – it doesn’t always feel safe. There are many “judgers” out there. However, with friends and family, I’m much more honest. I’ve even adopted a saying. I tell them that I’m a “crack of noon” person and after we have a good laugh, I let them know that phone calls before 10 or 11 am are not likely to be answered, that I’m not always reliable with early morning meetings and if they need a late night visit or task to be done, I’m their girl!

    So I love the bald honesty of your post, the rueful realization that we hold some of these social norms (early bird gets the worm, idle hands are the devil’s tools, etc) despite many years of self-work, awareness, and acceptance.

    I truly join you in the walk and look forward to more ‘relatable’ and shared experiences.
    Your friend, Linda in Vancouver

    PS: I found you and your site via Cristi Cooke (Pillars of Genius)ReplyCancel

    • Hi Linda! Thank you so much for sharing your honest experience with the opposite side of resting. I LOVE and admire that you own your morning sleepyhead self, giving yourself the permission to be you. onwards to being our truest selves, without shame or guilt. Just lots of love. xoxReplyCancel

      • Thanks for your comment Jennifer! Those pesky default thoughts we have about rest are so interesting. Let’s support each other and give ourselves permission to rest, before out bodies give out on us. 😉ReplyCancel

  • Oh my goodness yes! And how I love that mantra! I’ve definitely been a fake rester in the past and feel like I’m learning to embrace rest more and more, but it definitely takes effort. (Wait, can rest take effort?) 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing this reflection Marieke and reminding us that we need to support our intentions with our whole body so that our intentions can support us.ReplyCancel

    • I know we’re in this together Elena! 😉 I’m happy to know it resonated with you too. Supporting you from afar to stop the fake resting. Maybe it does take some effort to rest afterall?Hmmm. next post. stay tuned!ReplyCancel

Real. What does it mean to be real?

In the last few days I’ve been seriously triggered by some comments I’ve heard and some observations I’ve made. So I slowed down to dig in to what exactly was feeling so icky to me. 

I watched an amusing video the other day about men being photoshopped like women. I watched it twice actually, the second time with my kids. Aside from the obvious reason to be pissed off about the premise behind the video, I was especially triggered by the following statement, “We all want to look like the best version of ourselves.” I paused.

We all want to look like the best version of ourselves. 

I mean, seriously, who can disagree with this? I can’t. I love when I see a photo of myself that somehow doesn’t show my eye bags too much.

But… why is our “best” version not our real one?

What are we actually saying to ourselves when we say, “Oh, I prefer the shinier, prettier, sparklier, tightened up and tucked in, unblemished version?” 

What the actual Fu*k?

No wonder so many of us feels less than and not good enough!

How did we get to this point that being our best selves somehow means something other than being our real selves?

Seriously. PLEASE take a moment to think about this. Since when is being real, as in 100% really YOU, not good enough? And who decides this anyway!?

As a mother, and I am sure you’ll all agree, I am sickened that my girls are growing up in a culture that promotes and encourages this distorted way of thinking about what it means to be our best selves.
P I N this to pinterestWatching the Emmys the other night (to cheer on Montréal’s own Jean-Marc Vallée and Big Little Lies), I was at first saddened by the faces of Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin and Dolly Parton. They are almost 80 years old and look “amazing”. And all I could find online about their plastic faces (as I searched for something to share with you all) was praise for how “amazing” they look for their age.

Yup, they do look a lot younger than most 80 years olds I know. Is that what it means to look “amazing” at 80; that you look younger than you are?

And in full transparency, I am not immune to this myself. I posted a pic of myself on FB last week and a friend (she’s probably reading this right now!), commented that I looked like I was in my 20s. And I immediately very happy! Yay for me, the 43 year old who looks 20 in that pic! Trust me, I am just as caught up in the “looking younger” as everyone else.

So back to my original question, what is real? My thoughts:

Real is messy and painful and glorious and triumphant. Real is mistakes made, judgments passed and apologies accepted. Real is struggling with your age, weight, height, face and doing something about it. Real is acceptance of what you cannot change. Real is passion, confusion and struggling to make ends meet. Real is children playing in the school yard, while parents check their Instagram. Real is hurricanes, earthquakes and the destruction they leave in their wake.  Real is the red lipstick I wear for a pop of color on my face. Real is at once the truth we speak, and the lies we tell. 

The human experience is real. Including plastic faces, filtered photos and all the other “fake” images and news that comes our way. The human experience is BIG enough to contain it all. And I accept that now.

But where does this leave us? If everything is real, than nothing is real. Right? Maybe not. P I N this to pinterest

Being real, as in unmasked and uncovered and raw, takes fucking courage! Being real means loving yourself…really and truly loving yourself, including your own freaked out mind, your insecurities and the darker shadows of your soul.

Being real means not needing the approval of others because you already deeply approve of yourself, the unfiltered, messy, imperfectly perfect you. Being real is compassion for self.

So in summary, if your real self is all of these things and you also happen to love plastic surgery…well, ok then. You’re doing it for YOU, not because you feel like you have to because your real version isn’t good enough.

Here’s what I know for sure: our REAL selves deserve to be cared for, tended to, and loved. Our real selves are more than good enough. Our blemished and bumpy faces, bodies and lives ARE the best we have because they are ours to hold dear and cherish! There is so much pressure for our real selves to stay hidden and neatly tucked away. So we have to be fierce about keepin’ it real. We have to be brave and bold and honest and vulnerable. On our own. With our children. With each other. Every single day.

I’ve got your back. We’re in this together. Will you join me?

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A paradox* is defined as a seemingly absurd or self-contradictory statement or proposition that when investigated or explained may prove to be well founded or true.

Here’s what I want us all to know. Our contradictions not only help make us super interesting but when we give them space to live and we give ourselves the permission to want what we want, we become whole.

And when we’re whole, we live more meaningful, purposeful and fulfilled lives. 

I have had an office outside our home since Dec 2015. Saying YES to getting my own office was a dream come true. It’s the tiniest, coziest, prettiest office with very affordable rent, and it’s a 5-minute walk from my house. I am in love with it.P I N this to pinterest

My initial desire to work outside the home surprised me, as part of why I left my previous career was to be home more, not less. But sure enough, I pretty quickly had a growing and hungry desire to have my own sacred space somewhere else (far from my family, my husband who works at home, and all the other distractions that home holds).  I craved a space that no one could touch and that was mine all mine (read: little fingers and “Oh, can I borrow this cool pen and stapler and file folder and…?”)

So I jumped in, rented a spot, and 2016 was my first year in my office. And it was an awesome year. I saw clients there, I meditated there, and I saw my dream of being a working coach come to life there. And by giving myself what I really wanted, I felt so empowered!

Until something shifted late 2016…

I needed space, again. But a different kind of space than before. Rather than a desire to be out and away from home experiencing something new, I craved a space that was familiar and comforting and would feel like a warm hug. And I really wanted to be with my dog. I needed to be with my dog, at home.

So this last winter saw me home, a lot. Working, digging deep into myself, working on my Pillars of Genius. Some days I would say, “Ok, today I’ll go to my office.” Only to never go. Sometimes I felt defeated and like something was wrong with me. Other days, I was ok with giving myself the permission to stay home.

But what bothered me was that I could not figure out my resistance to going to my little office, something I had been deeply excited about only a year before. I got coached about my feelings and while I found some clarity, there was still a part of this whole situation that felt unknown, unsettled, still to be determined. I wanted to want to go. But when I was honest with myself, I just didn’t want to. So I stayed home and weeks would go by as my office sat still and ignored.

Here I was, paying for a space I was hardly, if ever, using. What a waste of money, I know! But as much as something was holding me back from going, something was also holding me back from releasing it when it came time for my lease renewal in May 2017.

And that something is what I like to call Paradox: the tension between two seemingly contradictory desires or realities or situations, especially when you can’t make sense of it.

My paradox was this:  wanting an office away from my home AND wanting to stay home to work.

Huh. Now what?

Well, I did what any good coach does and I got quiet. I went inward. I sat still. I listened to my soul. I asked the advice of some friends and talked at length with my husband, François. And the answer came in a whisper, one I could barely hear, but it was loud enough to trust it.

The messages I got from my intuition were “big things are coming and you need this space away from home… for yourself, for your work, your mission, and even your sanity as an entrepreneurial mom.” Now was NOT the time to let it go. I signed my lease for another year and said to myself “Let’s just see what happens”, even though I still wasn’t sure what this all meant. 

Flash forward to recently. Remember that something I couldn’t quite identify that kept me in the tension of paradox? Wanting two supposedly contradictory things?

I figured out why I felt so guilty, confused and unclear. Because what I want is not actually contradictory, even though I thought it was. What I want actually makes perfect sense! An office space, outside the home, to go to part-time, AND an office space at home.How simple! And yet I had convinced myself that I could not possibly have both.

Why, you might ask, would I do such a thing? Well, in my mind, I had put limits on what was possible for myself. If I rent an office space, clearly I need to be there all the time. And the flip side is, if I have a home office then why would I need to rent an office space? Pretty black and white thinking.

But the beauty of paradoxes is that they don’t always have to be contradictory. In fact, they can be complementary, which I know goes against the very definition of what a paradox supposedly is, but I think the distinction I am making is important. Perhaps they are two sides of the same coin. Two sides of the same face. Two desires that can live inside one person. Who says they have to contradict each other and therefore be impossible to contain in one space, together?

The tension found within a paradox can actually help us define what we want and who we are, and the end result is wholeness. We become whole in embracing our paradoxes. 

For me, the desire to have a sacred and lovely office space outside my home while also having the desire to have a space within my home is owning my whole self. The part of me that wants my freedom, independence, need for my own private space AND the part of me that wants to stay home with my dog and sip my tea and do laundry in between emails and be home when my kids come in the door. Who says I can’t have both? Who says I can’t have TWO offices?

Unfortunately, I did.

There are so many boxes society tries to put us in; so many ways we are being asked to play small and to fit in. So many ways and reasons we find to deny ourselves our true desires. We all have paradoxes that live in us. Desires and dreams that we convince ourselves are unattainable or too far out there or just not possible. We often hear, “You can’t have your cake and eat it too”. WTF kind of comment is that anyway? You can be damn sure if I order cake that I am going to fucking eat it!

I wanted both options for myself, I just had to give myself permission to want what I wanted.

So I say, HELL YES, you can have whatever the hell you want! If you want an office outside the home AND one at home, go for it! Embracing the paradoxes that live in each of us, helps us live whole and reconnected lives. When we deny all of ourselves, we become disconnected and ultimately broken. Our light dims. Our smiles fade and we become shadows of who we are meant to be.

If you want to rock an AC/DC t-shirt one day and then pearls with a Lilly Pulitzer dress the next day, you go girl! Do it. If you want to eat only veggies one day and then stuff your face with a burger the next, go for it.  Or, maybe you love listening to super loud music when you’re in the mood for a dance party but you’re also hypersensitive to certain sounds (like me, again), and need to listen to the TV with the remote in your hand (in case it gets too loud and uncomfortable) or you cover your ears at the sound of sirens. (BTW, this is called self-care and knowing this about myself helps me live an easier, happier life.)

The point is, be ALL of you. Own it. Go for it. Get it.

I want us all to be whole, authentic, take good care of of ourselves and take charge of our lives. But in order to do that, we need to know who we are, at our core. One of the ways to know yourself is to know what your paradoxes are. What needs, dreams, and desires do you have that seem to be contradictory but are, in fact, just two different yet complementary desires? And just who, exactly, is saying you can’t possibly want or have both? Is it you? Are you standing in your own way?

Consider this an invitation to give yourself permission to really want everything you desire (instead of telling yourself you shouldn’t want this or that it’s impossible to have it all), so you get clearer on how to take care of yourself, how to set boundaries with others, and how to live a life that allows for your whole self to be in charge. Imagine how good that would feel

If you’d like support to discover your paradoxes (among many other things!) and how to take charge of yourself and your life, I am launching a new coaching program designed to help you know yourself, love yourself and live your right life. It starts soon and there are limited spots. If this sounds like something you want, email me for more details!

xo

marieke@yournovellife.com

*http://www.dictionary.com/browse/paradox?s=t

 

 

 

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*Midlife: a time when we awaken to our soul’s deepest calling to live as authentically as possible. Usually happens around 40 (give or take some years on either end).

My own midlife awakening started happening in my late 30s. On a massage table, to be exact. I’m 43 now and it’s not over yet. You can read about the details of it here. http://yournovellife.com/index.php/my-story/.

What’s so special about the awakening that happens in midlife versus, let’s say, the one that happens as we step into adolescence and make grand declarations about who we are and what we want?

Well, for starters, we’re adults now. Far from the teen angst that pulsated through our veins and left us quivering in the corner with our deep insecurity and the need to be accepted. Wait, perhaps we aren’t that far from that fragile, blossoming person after all, you say? I know, I know, adulting is hard too.

All kidding aside, the difference has to do with life experience. As teenagers, we’re still growing and transforming from a child to an adult. Our life, up until that point, has been family, school, camp, siblings, and an ever expanding and important friend circle. But really, we’re in an in-between state, hovering between childhood and adulthood. And it is HARD.

But it is precisely because of this in-between state that we are being asked to awaken. We question everything (if you were anything like me!) and dream of the future and who we want to be. We take our distance from our families, we start to develop and express our own beliefs and values, sometimes in direct conflict with those closest to us. We get in trouble, make rash decisions and piss off and worry our parents. We are in a process of becoming independent and it’s a crucial time in the development of humans that this happen! It’s exciting, confusing and trying.P I N this to pinterest

But at midlife, we’ve been adults for a while now and have already lived pretty full lives. We’ve been on this merry-go-round long enough to have really and truly gotten a taste for what it means to be ALIVE.

We’ve seen things. We’ve done things. We now know enough to know better, to do better.

We know that life can be beautiful, kind, and exciting, while still being deeply cruel, unjust and filled with hatred. We’ve experienced deep, passionate, dizzying love and then felt the comedown of it as it morphs into something quieter and more predictable (long term marriage/relationship anyone?). We’ve felt the sting of failure and the urge to bury our faces in the sand to avoid the pain and the shame. We’ve celebrated successes + promotions and felt proud of our accomplishments. We’ve had our confidence shaken, our hearts broken, and our minds blasted wide open. We’ve traveled to far off places and met fascinating people. We have university degrees, seen a ton of sunsets, and made people laugh till they cried. We’ve been to weddings, funerals, and enough parties to never have to go to another if we didn’t want to. We’ve made love, had one-night stands, and yes, we may have even broken some hearts along the way. Add in houses + bills + mortgages or rent + insurance payments + childcare, etc….we’ve got this adulting thing down! Most days, anyway. 😉

We’ve learned the lessons that life isn’t always fair and that those closest to us can hurt us the most. We’ve learned that heartbreak is real, and that death and losing loved ones is as much a part of life as anything else. We’ve learned to trust our gut and that our parents really were trying to do the best they could with what they knew. Because we’ve also learned that being a parent is really and truly the hardest job you’ll ever have and yet it’s also the most divine privilege to raise, love and honor another human life. We’ve watched our children grow, year after year, and we realize how FAST time really does go. And we understand how precious and fleeting this life is. Our lives are.

And yet… and this is where things get interesting…we also realize that we still have A LOT of living left to do (fingers crossed!). We’re only half-way! We see our parents enjoying their lives; still working, traveling, being active. But holy shit!

There is still so much more to DO! To BE! To SEE! 

And so we find ourselves in transformation once again. We have entered into a new in-between state. A state where our cup is half-full with the lives we have already lived and also half-empty with the lives we have yet to experience.

And we start to ask questions. Is this the right relationship/career/home/lifestyle/diet (feel free to insert anything else that fits) for me? Do I want to take this with me into the next half?

Let’s be honest. Being at this unique crossroads is at once scary and exhilarating. It’s a moment when we are being asked to wake up to what remains. Wake up to what has come and gone. We take stock, we reassess, we think ahead. And this state of wakefulness (or, if you prefer, this wake-up call) often creates a deep, lustful hunger to live the remainder of our lives in a way that feels right. Whatever that means for you. We are being asked to deeply consider with what we want to fill the remainder of our cup. Do you know?

At midlife, our SOULS awaken to the call to live braver, more authentic, and meaningful lives. 

We are called for MORE because we are no longer willing or able to settle for less. We know time is ticking. Our eyes are wide open, our hearts are wide open and we are hungry for something else. We are no longer the teenager who lives for herself and yet we do feel the same need to distance ourselves so we can find ourselves once again. This is normal. Only now, we are mothers, fathers, volunteers, CEOs, entrepreneurs, doctors, professors, artists, coaches, people doing things in the world, people with massive responsibilities for goodness sakes! Yes, our lives are our own, and yet they aren’t, because we are so tethered and entangled (in the best of ways) to the little humans we have created (talk about massive responsibility!).

There is a whisper. Can you hear it? It’s an invitation to ask yourself the questions that seek answers.

We reexamine our values, our needs, and our desires. We question our relationships, our purpose, and how we contribute to the world. Who am I now, in this midlife moment? As a woman? As a mother? Who am I?

Sometimes we are on the search for more excitement, passion, something new and refreshing because life has become a routine, complacent place to be. Other times, we want everything to stay the same because we’re scared of what change may bring. Sometimes, we know the life we have built thus far, is not the life we want to take with us into the future.

Midlife is often a time when marriages implode, families break apart, careers change, and, on top of all that, our bodies start to show signs of aging (WTF!). Weird foot pain anyone? Cracking knees and random hip pain sometimes? I feel your pain!

This time can be so confusing. So what do we do?

We fret, we stress, we long for something we can’t quite put our finger on. And it often leaves us with a void, with no idea how to fill it in a meaningful way. And so sometimes we do nothing except slowly accept that life is actually “OK” (like ho-hum OK, not really OK because we ‘re secretly really freaking envious of all those other people living fabulous lives).

Or we do something drastic and impulsive that ends up being hurtful to our loved ones and ourselves as well (affairs come to mind, quitting a job without warning, buying things you can’t afford, developing destructive habits, etc.).

Or, the third option is we settle in with the questions. We invite them in. We heed the call, slow down enough to listen and we figure it out.

The awakening of midlife is a call to listen deeply, slowly, intentionally. You can either heed the call and transform or you can turn away and suffer. I invite you to heed the call. Allow yourself to be provoked by your soul’s deepest desires.

Will it be easy? Probably not. Is any kind of transformation easy? Will it be worth it to engage in a dialogue with your deepest Truth and live your life from an authentic and aligned place?

I know you know. The answer is YES.

Midlife is a beautiful time to take stock of the glorious life you have already lived, so you can plan the rest of your time here on Earth with more intention, more purpose, more awakeness (is that even a word? I don’t care, I like it!). Step into your second-half feeling confident in who you are NOW (as this adult who has so much life inside her) and in what you want so you can create that right life you seek for the remainder of your days.

My deepest wish for you is to heed the call so you can meet your Truest self, meet who you are TODAY, standing there with your cup half-full and half-empty. You are being called to transform again. Sometimes this means big things will happen (like REALLLY big) and sometimes it means only little things will shift. Either way, I invite you to make sure that your second-half feels right. However you define that. You deserve it. You deserve to live your best, brightest, most meaningful and purposeful life.

P I N this to pinterestIf this post resonates with you and you think/know/wonder if you could use some support to get super clear on who you are TODAY and what you want for your future, I’ve created a deeply insightful, wholistic, and powerful coaching program to help you do just that. This will be an exclusive program with limited spaces. If you’d like to get on the interest list, send me an email today. I’ll also be sharing more about it in the coming weeks.

xo

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