Mom made is look so easy. She never complained. I never saw a hot flash and at 86, she still sleeps through the night…Kids were born, kids did stupid things, they left for college, she took it all in stride. She cherished her free time. I have no idea what she did with it while I (and my siblings) were in school, but she stayed busy and seemed happy. None of us were her center of attention. At some point in my middle or high school period she started leading tours at the museum. I often found her buried in the history of some part of the world. She loved to travel and my parents took a trip every year. She learned Spanish.
Transitions are part of the natural flow of life. We experience them many times in our lives. During our younger years, we seem to celebrate them. During our midlife years, they may be intensely poignant. And during our later years, acceptance, regrets and even sadness.
I want to celebrate all of my transitions! When you’re a kid, you celebrate getting older, taking on responsibility, getting to college, getting a job, a house, married, kids…And then you think that’s it! I got it. Here I am and Here I go!
And then the kids leave home. If you have a strong sense of center, if you really know yourself, if your kids, spouse and family are not what identifies you, then transitions can be and likely are, celebrations.
However, if you’re like most women, you may have lost yourself in the lives of the family, the children and the partner. And transitions are…a huge loss. You’re not just losing the kids to college or a job, you’re losing part of yourself. And you have no idea what to do. Who or what will fill the hole? You may not want anything or anyone else to fill that hole. This leads to dis ease, maybe even illness.
Who are you? More than the physical bag of bones, who are you? Now is the time to find out. Here are 6 strategies to get you started.
Introduce yourself to You! Look in the mirror and say “Hi, my name is…”. Talk to yourself as if you’ve never met before. Learn everything there is to know about You. favorite color, outfit, activity, food, time of day and time of year, movie, TV show, book…And tell yourself why you like it.
Explore you town/city. Pretend you are a tourist in your own town. Go, alone, into every store and restaurant, explore the public parks, museum, grocery, rec center… Notice how you feel in each place. Don’t leave a place until you can determine what characteristics disturb you and or which ones please you. Create your own opinion of each place. This will likely take weeks, but that is okay. You need time to learn you can have opinions and no one else needs to know about them until you have filtered through all the fluff.
Try new activities. Or old ones if its been a while. What do you like to do? What did you do before you had kids? Is there something you’ve been wanting to learn? Now’s the time.
Get active, daily. whether you like exercise or not, the body was made to move. You need to move your body daily, beyond the couch and refrigerator. The best exercise for you is the one you’’ll do, regularly. Find something you like to do, then keep it going. Zumba, dance, hike, ski, bike, run, walk, jump rope, weights, swim, yoga, tai chi, qi gong, martial arts, archery, horseback riding…it doesn’t matter, find it and do it!
Meditate. Sounds dull, you can’t sit still…there are lots of ways to meditate: concentrative, mindful, and active. Meditation will show you where You are. It will take you places you’ve never been before and it will get you in touch with your own higher intuitive consciousness.
Spend time alone. Make yourself the priority. Its not selfish. Its what you were meant to do. You cannot learn who you truly are when other people are tossing their opinions of you into your head, or when others are demanding you to do this and that…. Step into the arms of mother nature, alone, let her embrace you. Breathe in slowly, breathe out slowly and then when you are centered, when you come from a place of relaxation, balance and grace, you’ll know who you are.
Transitions flow naturally throughout life. Embrace them. Celebrate them. This is your time!
Here’s to your health & wellbeing!