I am in the middle of the developmental stage when most Americans hit their “mid-life crisis.” This generally occurs between the ages of 35 – 45 (I am 42). And yes, there is something to the mid-life crisis. Obviously, it isn’t universal, but most people experience a big change or the urge to make a big change during these years. From buying the clichéd red Corvette to changing careers to marriages and divorces, big transformations are often afoot.
I am currently assisting several clients with break-ups of all sorts (marriages, engagements, relationships), total career changes, and a few that are focusing on their “bucket lists,” experiencing now what they said they would, “some day.” The last category is especially exciting to help with, as the client is generally joyous and looking forward to each day, planning travel, visiting family, etc. The break-ups are tough, but on some level, each person knows that what’s happening is for the best in the long run, even though it’s painful now. I can personally identify with the folks making career changes because I am, too!
Don’t worry – I am not going anywhere! I am actually transitioning from counseling to exclusively writing and designing websites. It’s strange to think of “retiring” from a profession at age 42, but the inner voice that Diane referred to on Monday has been directing me to do this for quite some time. I have been listening and stopped taking new clients months ago, but only lately have I started making some real changes, such as designing a website (caution: under construction!) for my new business, updating things on my LinkedIn profile and researching ways to market my services. I’ll admit that it’s a bit scary, but since these actions are aligned with my inner voice, I am confident that I am following the “right” path.
This has happened to me once before, back in 1999 when my daughter was born and I was working in computer science. I had gone through and recovered from postpartum panic disorder and anxiety and felt something tugging at me. After feeling frustrated for a while, knowing I needed a change but not knowing how or what, I had one of those “spiritual experiences” that people talk about here and there. All of a sudden, I had visions of my future flash before my eyes – going back to school, working with addicted persons and then sitting across from a new mother, counseling her as she went through a postpartum mood disorder. These visions lasted only a few seconds, but it felt like longer. Even though I had been shown the path, it took me a while to find the school (I got in by the skin of my teeth because someone turned down one of the 20 spots offered per year). I got a job immediately after school working with drug trials to help addicted people stop using. And in 2004, I opened the doors of my private practice, where I specialized in postpartum mood disorders.
Here it is 10 years later and my inner voice is telling me what my next move needs to be. My mid-life crisis may involve a big change, but I am confident that I am doing what is best for me. The good news for YOU is that you have an inner voice, too! You don’t have to meditate or chant to hear it, though those things work for some people. There are simple techniques you can use to “tune in” to your intuitive self and have major questions answered!
- Use the breath. Breathe in slowly and ask your question silently. Breathe out and listen for your answer. Make sure you are in a quiet, peaceful environment and are as relaxed as possible. You may have to repeat this several times, but the answer will come if you’re listening!
- Trust your “hunches” and “gut feelings.” If you have a vague, bad feeling about something, then that is your inner voice telling you that is not a good choice for you! Conversely, if you feel “right” about your decision, path or choice, then it is a good thing!
- Use a pen and paper or computer. Start writing about the situation you are in and then let go of controlling which words you write or type. Just write down whatever comes to mind. Journaling can take you from Point A to Point Z in a few minutes!
- Work in your sleep. Before going to bed at night, take a few minutes to think about your situation. Then tell yourself that you intend to work it out in your dreams. When you wake up, immediately write down anything that comes to mind.
- Do not listen to your ego-driven thoughts. These are the thoughts that cause confusion instead of clarity. Anything that is judgmental or starts with, “What if…” is definitely an ego-driven thought! Intuitive messages usually appear in your mind as images or you feel them in your gut or heart.
I hope that you’ll find one or more of these suggestions helpful! If you’re facing a “crisis” and have always wanted to try meditating, this would be a good time to start. For more information on meditation, visit http://www.how-to-meditate.org/.