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.

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Living with Change

living with change

Last month while shopping at a local vintage and eclectic shop, I gave my credit card to the woman behind the counter to ring up my purchases.

I have the new chip card, so she inserted it into her machine. She commented that she wasn’t so sure about this new “chip thing” as it seems to take longer to go through and process.

I agreed at first thinking about those times I’m in a hurry. But then I changed my tune. I said, “Perhaps it’s a way of getting us to slow down more. So many of us always seem to be in a hurry. Maybe it’s a good thing.”

She smiled. “What a great way to look at it,” she said. “I like that.”

This morning I was reading a favorite blog and the writer, Jon, talked about climate change and how he is learning to live with it and understand it. Just like we are experiencing here, they have had a hot and humid summer. Though they have had much more rain making it feel quite tropical, while here we haven’t had much rain.

I realized at the beginning of the heat wave earlier this season how I’ve been fighting with, and not accepting how I feel in the heat, which I experienced last summer also. While I once loved it and couldn’t get enough of it, my body, and really, my hormones are a changin’, so it’s made it challenging for me to be in the heat for too long. And I was fighting it every step of the way.

But I don’t want to fight it anymore. I’m plumb tired of wishing for what was. So I’ve been moving into an acceptance of this which means doing things differently – like watering my new gardens early in the morning, or later in the evening. And moving slower when I have to be outside. And guess what happens when I open to this new way? I see a sky I’d never seen before, I hear sounds I’d not heard before, I hear more silence (especially in early morning), and the best part? My mind is more at rest, instead of being in a state of wishful thinking and constant battle of wanting it be like it used to.

When I find myself trying to revisit the “way it was” I silently repeat a favorite quote of mine by author Tasha Tudor, “I don’t believe in hurry.” This is a practice for me, and one I truly want more of in my life, but sometimes old habits are hard to break. And in a world where many believe in speed, I can sometimes find myself getting sucked in without realizing it.

And my Lab, Kylie is such a great example for me. She will be eleven in two months and moves slower these days too.  Years ago she loved to hang out in the driveway overlooking the neighborhood for hours on end. But these days she is more content doing her civic duty of making sure all is well in the neighborhood from the spot inside the front door with the air conditioning on. And I’ve not once heard her complain about what was and now is! She simply adjusted and accepted.


But I’m thankful to be more open to how my mind works these days and the challenge of seeing things in a new way. And I also remind myself that I am a work in progress and to be gentle with myself. Be gentle.

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Synchronicity Chronicles: The Tree Goddess is Alive and Well in Me.

Synchronicity Chronicles: The Tree Goddess is Alive and Well in Me.
artwork by Maria Wulf

“She saw her reflection for the first time.” -Maria Wulf

Earlier today on my blog I shared my tree Goddess paintings that I completed over the weekend.

The tree Goddesses that speak to me of my feminine divine essence. They speak to me of truly embracing and appreciating all the many facets of who I am.

artwork by Barbara Techel

I was a bit nervous about sharing the paintings I did as I don’t consider myself a painter. But these tree gals are stirring things up inside of me — and it’s been interesting to watch it unfold.

And an hour later after I hit “publish” and sent my Goddess paintings out into the world, I walked to my mailbox.

I was about to discover that synchronicity was at work again. I opened a package I found waiting inside my mailbox. It contained a book called “Red Moon Passage” which I had sent to artist Maria Wulf about a month ago.

I had mailed her a copy after reading on her blog some struggles she was having around menopause. We are very close in age and I relate to so much of what Maria writes about. I thought she would enjoy the book, which had helped me and which talks much about enveloping our feminine energy.

She shared with me that she got much out of the book and many of the ideas will stay with her. And though I meant for her to keep the book, I smiled knowing there is likely someone else who needs to benefit from it, and I will pass it along when that time comes.

But it was the card that Maria enclosed that made me smile with recognition of how this universe works when we are in alignment.

It’s the image of the card I share and the quote at the beginning of this post – could it not be more fitting for what I just wrote about and my tree Goddess paintings?

The universe — always supporting us and reflecting back — this was so evident to me with the timing of my finished paintings, the post written, and the card received from Maria.

Indeed… the Tree Goddess is alive and well… and she is growing in new directions, reaching toward the sky, grounding herself in what she knows, and opening her arms to embrace all of who she is, and knowing there is nothing she has to prove — but that be-ing is where the magic and wisdom is at.

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