In my tiny (compared to the Dalai Lama’s) world, here in Western Canada in 2017 so many of my contemporary friends are having very personal “awakenings.” Let me list their names here;
Ha, ha! Just kidding! Joking aside; this awakening, aka; mid-life crisis is exciting and frightening, but mostly confusing.
My Personal Awakening
2009 was my personal awakening. I crashed hard. I walked away from my marriage. I renounced my religion, I left my church and I purged my community and inner circle. I went in search of anyone and anything that could give me language for what I was experiencing. I was literally plunged into the depths of despair seeking medical help for serious anxiety and moderate depression. I was completely disoriented. Everything I thought I knew no longer made sense. Everything I believed would make me happy didn’t. I am still on this awakening journey.
Signs You May Be Awakening
- Mild to extreme dissatisfaction with the life that was previously contented
- Physical, emotional and/or spiritual discomfort
- Revisiting the past, especially adolescence/early adulthood, in the form of memories, friends, old boyfriends, visiting hometowns, etc.
- Desire to do something but unclear about what that something is
- Fear and a sense of immobility around disrupting the lives of loved ones
- Excessive use of the word passion
My past came back to visit me in so many forms. People, memories and situations that seemed to have time travelled to my present reality appeared. I found myself constantly saying things like “I wish I had known how talented, awesome, capable I was.” “I wish I had known that there were so many more possibilities/opportunities for me.” “I wish someone had been able to explain to me how the world really works.” This, I believe is exactly what we will be saying to ourselves 20 to 30 years from now if we do not consciously create the next phase of our lives.
Just like in adolescence, we again find ourselves facing the next phase of our lives not really having a clue what to do with what we have learned and who we’ve become. We just know that it is time to leave the life that has, up until this point, provided for us. Many of us have lives that look a great deal like the lives our parents built and we are stunned to discover we unconsciously created it – we honestly believed we’d be different.
Self Actualization, Integration and Service
We “western women” are experiencing awakening whether we like it or not so that we will rise up and save the world. The way we do that is by saving ourselves. If you are worried that you will become a self-centered egomaniac, know that SERVICE IS THE NATURAL CONSEQUENCE of self-actualization. Service to others is what happens when there’s integration of all the selves!
We save ourselves by self actualizing. This happens when;
We get clear on how powerful, capable and talented we really are.
By stepping up and no longer waiting for a sign, permission, accreditation or blessing that gives us “authority” to do what we have strong desire to do.
We forgive ourselves.
We stop hating ourselves.
We become our own safe place/cheerleader/supporter/”Hell Yesser!”
We let go of every outside and inside voice that tells us no and to stay safe and small.
We surround ourselves with only those that see us, that hear us, that encourage our greatness.
We redefine life as experience and not right/wrong, good/bad and even happy/sad.
We let go of our resistance—resistance to change, resistance to experience, resistance to desire. The very things we are resisting are the bread crumbs that are leading us to the change the world needs.
The best way forward is to first go within. Our instinct, intuition, guidance, whatever you want to call it, speaks to us in metaphor. This transition time in our lives—moving from one state of being to another (read about transformation stages here) – looks and feels very similar to past transitions. In the cases I’m surrounded by, this looks suspiciously like our adolescence.
If this is resonating with you at all; if you feel that your past has come back to you and you are remembering ‘the feisty girl’ you used to be, then this is exactly an opportunity to do this next phase of your life consciously.
How is this time in your life like that time in your life?
What do you wish someone had told you?
What do you wish you had known before?
What do you wish you had done had you known?
What do you wish you hadn’t done?
Be honest. Dig deep. Put your feet to the fire. Gather with your friends and discuss. DO NOT JUDGE yourself. The purpose of this is not to make you wrong or bad. Your life and the life you created is not a mistake. This exercise is to get conscious before you move any further. It is so that you become all the parts you may have left behind or forgotten about.
Once you have some deep insight into your past 20 – 30 years, imagine you are 20 – 30 years older than now. Look back on this life that you have yet to create. Now ask yourself;
Did I live without regrets?
Did I express my whole self even if others disapproved?
Did I live with passion? How happy was I every day? What did I create?
Did I contribute to saving the world? How do I feel about that?
I do not regret the ‘blow up’ in my life. Was it easy? Not at all. Is everything perfect now? Absolutely it isn’t. In fact, I’m very much still in transition. It is messy at times and exhilarating at others. I am expanding. I am becoming my true self. I now have tools to navigate change that I did not have before. I have a language to describe and understand what I am experiencing which is now the service I provide to others.
You expanding, integrating all the parts of yourself that are still you, dropping all that you are not and becoming your true self is what we all want. You, being fully you, saves the world.