Embracing this In-Between Stage of a Woman’s Life

Embracing this In-Between Stage of a Woman's Life

First, I have to say that I’m grateful to be as far in life as I am. In eighteen days I’ll be fifty-four years old and I’m not afraid to say my age. 

While I love being in my fifties, there have been challenges in accepting that my mind has tons of ideas and things I wish to accomplish, but my energy level is not what it used to be. It’s funny because just yesterday I said to someone that next year I’ll be fifty-five. I equated it to being able to go the “speed limit” but how interesting it is that I no longer want that faster pace of life.

I don’t like to buy into what we’ve been conditioned to believe, while at the same time trying to honor what is truly happening with my hormones as I’m three years post menopause.

So much of life, I believe, is about acceptance and letting go…and finding a soft place to land for any given period in ones life.

And so I welcome the challenge of understanding it all. Though it does exhaust me at times, too!  😉  And I know not everything I’ll understand and must be open to the mystery of life, too.

I’ve read and heard so much about how when one reaches the age of sixty a new energy emerges. A part of me really yearns for that and this is when I struggle with what is right now. So often I find I’m always wishing I had more energy to do all the things I yet want to do before my time ends here on this beautiful planet.

Just yesterday I came across a website called Moonsong and a description of this time in life that many women are in and it made so much more sense to me. And I actually found much of it quite comforting. You may have heard of Maiden, Mother and Crone which are different stages of a woman’s life. But what about those “in-between” times?

And there it was on this website, defined as Maga or also called the autumn season of a woman’s life. I’ve always loved autumn – it’s my favorite season. Now this, this I could wrap myself up in and feel comforted by.

Here are some points from Moonsong blog post that resonated for me:

  • For those of us in our late 40’s and 50’s who’s mothers are alive, the difference between the autumn and winter life season is obvious. At 52, I know I am not yet a crone, my mother is.
  • As she moves through autumn, a woman feels a passionate connection with all life. Yet, wise in the seasons of living, she can be unsentimental, even pitiless. She does not try to nurture everything and everyone, for she knows not all can – should – survive. She becomes selective. There is enough of everything – strength, love, passion, lust – everything but time.
  • Time she knows grows short. Nothing seems endless anymore. 
  • She finds she has limits. Her energy falters, her mind drifts, her patience snaps. She begins to husband herself, to save herself for what really matters. 
  • The autumn woman moves towards dreamtime. Though she knows her limits,
    She has also felt limitless. She has known the ineffable. She wakes at night from dreams of high windy places where small blue flowers bloom, and she knows in her bones that such places exist.  Luminous beings appear in her dreams and pull her towards them. She recognises the dust of infinity in a windstorm, the fragrance of timelessness in a fire.There is a transcendent energy about her, but she remains rooted in life’s imminent realities. In her eyes you see the fire of primal knowledge: the knowledge of life and death. She knows that she will not escape this life alive. And so she embraces it, moment by moment.

And so I share my thoughts and those I found on Moonsong website about this in-between stage many of my friends find themselves in as so many others do too in hopes that it will bring you some comfort. To know this mix of emotions and challenges we can feel are “normal” have helped me to open more to the acceptance of it all, while knowing, as my mom often says, “this too shall pass.” 

Because accepting what is and learning to navigate within it is what living fully is all about. We don’t always know what is ahead, and so many dreams lie within yet, and we must trust that following the seasons of our lives will continue to strengthen us and provide just what we need.

Thank you for sharing and subscribing to my blog updates.

Life Lessons from First Time in a Kayak

Life Lessons from First Time in a Kayak

Early Sunday morning was my very first time out on a kayak. For three years I’d been feeling this nudge inside to get a kayak.

It was mid-winter last year when I mentioned this to my chiropractor and friend, Cindy. And that’s when she told me about inflatable kayaks. I never even knew there was such a thing!

As the weather warmed and the trees began to bud, I answered the call of that nudge and took a leap of faith and invested some money I was gifted to purchase an Advanced Elements Firefly Kayak (with a periwinkle dragonfly and periwinkle stripes), a life vest, a paddle, a pump and a lumbar seat.

There was a small part of me feeling a little resistance to it because I’ve never been taught to swim. In a pool, I feel okay and can “swim” as long as I’m along the edges.

But I didn’t want this fear to stop me because I really wanted to be out on the water in a kayak. Everything about it I’d seen seemed so peaceful and a way to experience nature in a new way.

So for my maiden voyage Sunday morning my friend, Cindy, met me at a beautiful, small lake about five minutes from where I live.

With her guidance and a gentle push from behind, Cindy had me floating in the water within minutes as she followed behind. And away we went!

There was a bit of wind as we started out. She coached me to sit back and straight against the lumbar seat (just like a chiropractor, huh?  🙂  ), and not to dig my paddles too hard or deep into the water and it is all about using your core in a left to right motion that the paddling works best.

It felt awkward at first – just like anything one has never done before. A part of me was wishing we had no wind and perfect conditions for my first time out, as I felt like I was struggling to move ahead in the wind.

But then I remembered what I had taught in the Walking Sticks and Mindful Walking Meditation workshop I’d done the day before with my friend, Rachel.

In mindful walking it is about bringing your mind into the present moment – and just walking without anywhere you need to “arrive.” And when in those moments of just being, taking mindful steps of being present to what is right in front of you, letting go of worries, concerns and struggle…and simply walking with no agenda, but just to walk and enjoy being one with nature.

It occurred to me to do the same while kayaking. I was fighting and struggling against the wind, which caused my body to lean forward and I was digging my paddles into the water harder as if that would help.

But when I let go of the struggle, sat back, and paddled with ease, the ride became so much more enjoyable. I didn’t need to prove anything or strive to make it around the lake in any given time.

While I still need practice with paddling and navigation, once I let go of trying to be perfect my first time out, I simply opened to the experience of what I was going to learn…and thus ended up enjoying the ride so much!

And it didn’t occur to me until several hours later that fear of the water and my not being able to swim never entered my mind while being out on the water. What a lesson in surrendering and trusting!

When I got home about an hour and a half later I was as high as a kite! At one point John said, “You are so happy!” And I was. It felt like such a huge accomplishment to me to do this…and the new found energy had me cleaning out and re-organizing my writing cottage an hour later which I had no previous intention to do!

But time out on that kayak was another lesson about life that to follow the flow is what it’s all about…and when you do how much more your life can flow with ease.

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The Perfect Ending to a Deeply Personal Day

The Perfect Ending to a Deeply Personal Day
Visiting Frankie’s statue at Bookworm Gardens

It was the perfect ending to  such a sacred, deeply moving, magical day as I laid Frankie’s ashes to rest on the 5th anniversary of her passing yesterday morning. On Tuesday I wrote about how I came to this decision for this special day, and yesterday I shared how I followed my heart and how the timing of how this private ceremony would unfold. 

It became obvious to me as the last two days have unfolded that I have touched what my friend Diane said, as the collective heart. There was a small part of me that hesitated in sharing such a deeply personal experience because a part of me felt vulnerable. But now I have nothing but gratitude for doing so.

So many of you here, and on my Facebook page, shared so many beautiful thoughts and love that it truly only enriched this special moment in time for me. Also hearing from many of you sharing that I’ve helped you by being open with my heart about this experience, well, that means so much…and I know Frankie is so proud of that.

There are moments in life when you look back and you are able to really see the synchronicity and perfect timing of things – how life just flowed – and you were being guided by something bigger than you.

Such is the case the last two days – and really even before this. Last week I had gone to a second hand store wanting a new (or rather, I should say, pre-loved) casual dress or two. And it wouldn’t hit me as how perfect it was the one I found when my friend, Jessica sent me the pictures she took of me yesterday afternoon with Frankie’s statue at Bookworm Gardens.

I wasn’t even sure I was going to go to Bookworm Gardens on the anniversary of Frankie’s passing, but after scattering her ashes I knew I wanted to. And it just so happened I was having lunch with a lovely young lady, Jessica, who is my neighbor, and just graduated from college and will be getting married later this summer.  

The serendipity of us having lunch together near Bookworm Gardens, never really knowing each other too well all these years we’ve been neighbors… well, that is a whole other story I’ll write about some other time. But I have no doubt that God meant for her and I to be together yesterday, and for her to be the one taking pictures of me with Frankie’s statue.

While my love for Frankie and what we shared so deeply between us is something that will be with me always, being at the children’s garden yesterday, seeing her statue there, knowing her message lives on – touching new lives each and everyday – well, now I’m at a loss for words. 

The only word I can find is GRATEFUL and grateful I’ll always be.

It was the perfect ending to a day filled with such love and peace that I will carry in my heart forever. And thank you again to each of you for being a part of our journey.

When we share something from the true depth of our souls….and touch that collective heart…I truly believe we all heal.

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