Lost at 40 (ish) happened for me, a few weeks before my 41st birthday. As a side note this can happen at 20 (ish) 30 (ish) etc. I had been on the path of personal growth and awareness for many years. At the time, I was working for Starbucks as a manager, I walked into the store like I had done so many times before, but this time was different. I experienced an intense feeling of anxiety in my heart and a deep knowing that I was done.... I could no longer continue on the path of working there; in an environment that I now know and understand, was completely overwhelming for my nervous system. I imagine that for others the only choice would have been to keep going, regardless of what my body was screaming. Luckily for me, in previous years I had been able to experience the contrast of following my heart vs. following a career. So when the intense feeling came, I instantly knew what it meant. My next step was immediately going to the medical clinic which was two doors down. The clinic was usually full of people waiting to see a doctor and the waits were usually quite long. The clinic was empty... I went in to see the doctor immediately and not long after, I left with a note for 2 weeks away from work. What transpired after that was what I referred to as my "Stop Therapy". The doctor said that it was quite normal to have this type of experience at this phase of life. For me, I am grateful that it was an immediately answered wake up call. I imagine for others the phone keeps ringing and causes much pain, confusion, despair and powerlessness. I used my benefits to go see a counsellor and began to explore and review my life experiences and understand my childhood experiences. I slowed right down and took long walks in nature and for the first time truly stopped to reflect. Two weeks off, became months off of work and an experience that was a real turning point in my life. I went from making $60K + / yr to less than $20K /yr but I had found a profound level of happiness and freedom. Everyone jokes about the idea of a midlife crisis. I wonder though, if it's the souls way of getting our attention at a key time in life.
A few years later I experienced the next cycle of this transformation and embarked on a Hero's journey. ( I didn't know that at the time) This journey introduced me to Men's work and also led me towards a Men's initiation weekend that deeply awakened my connection to purpose and meaning. I now know that we are quite literally searching for a "lost" or "hidden" part of ourselves and the initiation / hero's journey helps us to reconnect and retrieve this lost part. This is what we are searching for / longing for. When I found this part it shifted the trajectory of my life. Now I support others on this journey!
I've been hearing about this thing called Self Love for years and to be honest it seemed like a bit of a mystery to me. In hindsight, this makes total sense because in reality I was really just stuck in a battle with my inner critic. My Mom always said for years that it was important to love myself but what in fact did that mean. I found it easy to love others and my kids and experiences but love myself? I understood the concept but putting it into practice was a different story. Then recently I was listening to a podcast and I think it was https://www.instagram.com/adam.roa/ Adam Roa that defined self-love as; "the end result of the relationship you have with yourself".
I imagine that everyone can relate to having the desire to do something or even the inspiration to do something and yet be frozen and unable to step into action. Alternatively, there may be a difficult decision that you need to make. The common word that often shows up with either dilemma is procrastination. The moment we step into the realm of procrastination we also are inviting fear, guilt, and shame to come out and play. The other thing that happens here is a dance of extreme opposites. One side is the action steps needed and the other side is all the data that supports you not getting into action. This dance is unfortunately all too common for those of us who want to be creative and share this creativity with others.
Perhaps you can relate to trying to establish a boundary and then it gets crossed, which puts you in a position of needing to respond. As a reformed "Nice Guy" I believe I have more examples of this than I can even remember. I would put the value of preserving the relationship before my values and needs. The result would be an inability to respond appropriately when my boundaries were crossed. It also meant that I wasn't even certain of what my boundaries actually were.
Have you ever had that moment where you stop and ask yourself, "Why is this happening to me"? For me, this moment of pause would occur when I noticed that what was happening in my life had happened before, but with different characters. Why do we tolerate people, situations and things that cause us to struggle and contribute to our anxiety and stress?
I was recently reflecting on why I am a big proponent for taking small steps towards goals. When I reflect on my own life experience as well as what I witness with my clients. What I notice for myself is that as a sensitive empathic soul, I can easily get overwhelmed when looking at the big picture. While this has its benefits it can also make it challenging to step into action.
The struggle to speak our truth and share our voice in relationships is very real. When I reflect back on my early years in relationship I simply felt I could not say anything. The main reason would be that for much of my younger years I witnessed and felt just how deeply words can hurt someone. This experience created a deep fear around speaking my truth and hurting someone with my words. As we often do with our shadows, I went to the extreme opposite and suppressed my voice. When I did share my voice, I would usually share with anger just like I had witnessed.
Conscious communication is about awakening awareness of our impact on others and our relationships. The key is to become aware of ourselves and have a slow solid look in the mirror. The list below is intended to show the variety of ways that we can deepen our connection with ourselves and allow our unique voice to surface. When we truly know ourselves and love ourselves the voice begins to emerge quite naturally.
I have recently had several conversations with folks who are really not enjoying aspects of their lives. Most of the time it revolves around lack of joy in the workplace and not being treated fairly. On a deeper level, there is a gentle voice with a vision for something different, the voice of your soul calling you towards a different life. The lack of joy in the workplace is merely the symptom of a spiritual calling.
I recently went to see the Chiropractor and amongst other things she noticed that I was very blocked in my upper back and shoulders. As I physically released all the energy stored there, I was drawn to have a look at this as a metaphor for how I support others (on my shoulders). I like to think that I have developed boundaries over the years in terms of what I do for others. What I noticed however, is that I continue to hold energy for others in small ways. I worked as a Manager in foodservice for over 27 years. I excelled by putting others first and in the process I struggled to get my own needs met.