Midlife Crisis or Midlife Transition?

Midlife Crisis or Midlife Transition?

A midlife crisis can be sign posted with a loss of your confidence, feeling anxious and disappointed in the middle years, often questioning your purpose and direction. Did you know the best indicator of a midlife crisis is big lifestyle changes? Being discontent and looking for change. Often friends, family or co-workers will notice it before you do.

 

What is a Midlife Crisis?

A midlife crisis or transition is a time when you naturally change biologically and physically. It’s an active process of transformation using play, exploration and flexibility.

Did you know every 7 to 9 years we change who we are? Think of how you changed from birth to age 7, then 14, 21, 28, 35, 42, 49, 56….

Your most significant seven year cycles are adolescence & midlife. Adolescence you’re getting into society and there can be conflict about the release process of you entering into the world.

Whereas midlife is about being old enough to become your own person and the ending of reproductive years to free up energy for other things.  There’s no fixed age, rather a range often from 35-55. A Midlife Crisis can be induced by stress, death of a loved one, divorce, separation, job loss, family dramas, social circle, menopause or feeling inauthentic to who you really are.

During your midlife crisis you will have new found energy that’ll attract new friends and fuel your desire to explore life and find yourself once again.

 

11 Top Signs of Midlife Crisis

  1. Desire to run away to somewhere new.
  2. Feel like quitting a good job.
  3. Unexplained periods low mood or depression
  4. Feeling trapped in current family relationships or leaving the relationship, either physically or mentally
  5. Keep asking yourself, ‘where am I going in my life?’
  6. Feeling trapped or tied down by fiscal responsibilities.
  7. Desiring a simple life.
  8. Recent trauma or stress can trigger a Midlife crisis – Death of someone close, experiencing a health crisis, changing jobs or divorce
  9. Irritability or unexpected anger.
  10. Doing things out of character often, to mix it up a little.
  11. Sudden desire to get fit, healthy and look good.

 

Why do Midlife Crisis Happen?

A Midlife Crisis or Transition shakes things up and gets you back on track to where you really want to be in life. The more off track the bigger the transition.

In midlife transformation you are becoming two people at the one time. There’s your –

  • Mature self – dealing with job, family responsibilities
  • Younger self (8 year old essence) – exploring life, playing and growing.

Midlife is about merging your younger spirit, full of dreams and desires with your older responsible self. A midlife readjustment can be needed if you’ve got off track.

There’ll be times when you switch between your younger and older self. Your younger self often doesn’t have the words to explain what you’re doing and can often be overwhelmed by responsibility. This can be hard for people around you to accept.

Ideally, allow time for the two parts of you to integrate so you can find peace, joy and contentment moving forward.

Play, movement, experiences and flexibility are essential to test, rebalance your body and integrate emotional and spiritual changes.

This time can made painful by viewing it as a midlife crisis. Better to view as a midlife transition, acknowledging and owning your feelings and processing them bit by bit, allowing you to make a transition in steps, realigning as you go.

 

How to Make your Midlife Crisis a Midlife Transition  –

  • Graceful awareness, acknowledging and owning your feelings. Repressing and denying your feelings and emotions until you blow like a volcano, with lots of collateral damage is not a good idea.
  • Take moderate steps. Small mistakes are easier to recover from than big ones.
  • Remember the lessons are in the doing. Start somewhere, you learn by making mistakes and autocorrecting to find your way.
  • Running away isn’t your answer, rather reducing pressure bit by bit to allow the space for you to grow into a new person
  • Ideally, release in staged amounts interspersed with holding on to keep you more stable long term.
  • Embrace exercise and movement (yoga, swimming, dance, belly dancing, gym, paddle board..) as an essential part of re-integrating your life.
  • Express yourself through journal writing, art or being creative to allow you to discover new words and expand beyond your boundaries.
  • Be selective about who and how you talk about the change going on inside to others. It can scare them, elicit judgment and resistance, which can feel like they’re holding you back.
  • Release self-judgment, so you have more options to change. Beginning to change creates less conflict internally.
  • Foster opinions rather than judgments. Opinions can be changed, judgments can’t.

 

How long will Midlife Crisis Last?

Often 3 to 5 years, as you work through incongruencies in your life. There will be highs and lows, false starts and tangents before the dust settles. Roughly 30% will be disappointed with the outcome. 25% of these will often repeat the crisis roughly 7 years later, without help.

Getting help and guidance can mean resolving a midlife transition in less than 2 years with a great outcome and less traps and tangents.

Words of wisdom – release, go slow – learn, grow and thrive.

Happy transitioning!

Domestic Violence – The Silent Epidemic

Domestic Violence – The Silent Epidemic

Domestic violence is silently infecting our communities. I see many gorgeous women suffering from the effects of Domestic Violence past and present, each day in my work. I decided it’s time to speak up.

 

Did you know in Australia,

  • 1 in 3 women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence perpetrated by someone known to them
  • 1 in 5 women over 18 have been stalked during their lifetime
  • 1 in 5 women experienced harassment with in their workplace? (sourced White Ribbon)

 

What is domestic violence?

Domestic violence refers to violence, abuse and intimidation between people who are or have been in an intimate relationship. The perpetrator uses violence to control and dominate the other person. This causes fear, physical harm and/or psychological harm and violates the others human rights.

Domestic violence can include:

  • emotional abuse
  • verbal abuse
  • financial abuse
  • psychological abuse
  • physical assault
  • sexual assault
  • isolating a woman from her friends and family
  • stopping a woman from practicing her religion.

To show you, here’s Sharon’s story. Sharon came to see me feeling anxious, down and overwhelmed and had just hit her 50’s. She wanted to get her health back on track, so she had plenty of energy to help her ageing parents, keep up her part-time job and support her 3 teen boys, one of which was doing the VCE that year and have energy over for herself and her partner.

As we spoke, she opened up about one of her teen boys pushing her into a metal pole and cracking her rib, after she had put a curfew on internet access.  And how her husband had felt she had provoked it. This was one of Sharon’s many stories, as she opened up more and more.

This is not OK.

It’s time to prevent men’s violence against women. And yes, men can be the victims of domestic violence but it’s usually from other men.

For me this says’s it all,

“Strong fathers, strong families”

 “Real men walk the talk”

It’s time to speak up and not just stand by. Time to prevent this silent epidemic of domestic violence from crippling the beautiful women in our society from fully participating in life. It has a huge impact on families, the community and the nation.

Oprah summed it up well in her 2018 Golden Globe speech – Me Too campaign.

Did you know on average it takes a victim of domestic violence 24 attempts before they finally leave?

Often the signs go unnoticed simmering in the background, for an extended period of time until things escalate and they say how did I get here, such as in the Rose Batty case.

Gas-lighting is common and often precedes emotional and physical abuse, since the woman is more likely to remain in, an abusive relationships.

Gas lighting is a form of emotional abuse where a person is manipulated repeatedly into distrusting his/her own memory or perception of events. Making targets question the very instincts that they have counted on their whole life, making them unsure of anything.

Here is a list of what domestic violence can look like on the everyday. If you see this happening to a friend, family member, work colleague –  speak up and seek help.

Domestic violence commonly involves many of the categories of abuse below –

  • Emotional abuse includes name calling, mind games; undermining parenting skills; criticising beliefs, criticising abilities, put downs; emotional withdrawal at times of need; silent treatment; using anger to contro; excessive controlling jealousy; stalking/harassment behaviour.
  • Social abuse includes being prevented from studying or advancing self/skills, denigration/put downs before family, friends or others, isolating by being obnoxious in front of friends and family – driving them away, interfering with car to control movements, phone calls monitored.
  • Spiritual abuse includes undermining spiritual beliefs/practices, use of spiritual/religious rituals to abuse, denial of access to religious practices/networks
  • Financial abuse includes controlling all finances and denying access to money, coercion to sign contracts without being an equal partner or fully informed; gambling all money and assets away leaving family destitute, overzealous scrutiny of expenditures, forced to hand over pay, dragging out family court proceedings in order to force all funds to be spent in legal costs, incurring debt and then disappearing leaving the debts to be paid by the partner left behind.
  • Physical abuse includes hitting, pushing/shoving, restraining, physical intimidation, use of body language such as standing over/invading personal space, damage to property or possessions, dragged out of bed in middle of night to perform physical tasks.
  • Sexual abuse includes being forced to perform acts which you find humiliating, forced to wear clothes which make you feel degraded, forced to be constantly sexually available no matter how tired, sick or disinterested, sexual harassment.

 

Increasingly I’m seeing domestic violence perpetrated by teenage boys, especially those addicted to computer gaming. Perhaps violent games have normalised physical, disrespectful behaviour and reinforced there are little consequences.

Violence against women starts with disrespect. When we make excuses we enable it to grow. Such as what did she do to provoke him or it’s not that bad or she’s oversensitive.

Violence is violence and it’s not OK no matter what. We have a choice in every moment. Walking away and cooling down is available to all of us.

Often when victims of violence look back they can see the signs were there very early on and have escalated to the mess that is happening today.

As adults, we have the biggest influence on what young people think. By calling out and challenging disrespect and recognising excuses, we become part of the solution and stop the cycle of violence towards women.

Actions will encourage our children’s behaviour in the future. It’s vital you set standards and ensure our children understand what’s acceptable. You don’t have to have all the answers, just be ready to explore topics together and have a conversation.

Research is clear. Violence against women starts long before intimidation or a fist is raised. It starts with attitudes and behaviours in young children, attitudes that their parents held before them and so the cycle continues.

And it’s not just warning your daughters to be careful, but also teaching your sons respect and consent.

It starts with ourselves, as parents, teachers, coaches and employers, we have a big impact on young people. We can change attitudes and behaviours bit by bit. Many voices making small changes has a big impact over time, as does consistency at home, in schools, on sport fields, in communities and our workplaces.

It starts with the way we think then with the words we use. Remember your attitudes towards situations will be absorbed and mirrored by your children.

Remember children don’t fully understand the wider context so it’s up to you to explain it to them, show and tell what’s unacceptable and what they can learn from it.

If we want to change the stats of violence against women in Australia, we have to start from the beginning. Start by reflecting on our own attitudes and behaviours and where they come from, so we can break the cycle for our children and help create a future free from gender violence and inequality.

Amen.

Julie X

 

Secret to Happiness #3: Self Love

Secret to Happiness #3: Self Love

The final Secret to Happiness Tip #3 has arrived, Self Love. A word liberally used these days – “you need to love yourself more”, “you can’t love another person until you love yourself first”, “you can tell she doesn’t love herself”, “if you loved yourself better that wouldn’t have happened.”

Self love advice is given freely and copiously by friends, loved ones and well intentioned onlookers to steer us back to a happy, fulfilling life.

Self love is foundational to everything, it influences who you pick as a mate, how you cope with problems, how you look after yourself and the image you project out into the world. Self love is a secret to happiness.

What is self love? Firstly, I’ll tell what it isn’t….a beauty makeover, a new set of clothes, being inspired, falling in love. Sure they’ll make you feel good but you can’t grow your self love from here.

Self love stems from appreciating yourself, which grows from actions that support your physical, psychological and spiritual growth. Cultivating self love is a dynamic process that feeds off all the actions and events that mature us. You can tell it’s happening when you start accepting who you are warts and all and rarely feel the need to explain away your short-comings. You have compassion for yourself and others, seeing mankind collectively as on an adventurous journey to find personal meaning. When you’re getting close to real self love you’re more centered in your life purpose and values, and each day you intentionally choose to make the effort to live a full and meaningful life.

Here’s my Six Self Love Tips:

1. Own Yourself. Get clear on what you think, feel and want. Clarity allows you to be YOU regardless of the outside circumstances. You know this has happened when you’re stable, centered, grounded and can weather life’s storms in your stride.

2. Act on your needs rather than your want. You love yourself when you turn away from things that feel exciting and fun in the moment that may not be good for you, to what you need to stay strong, centered, and moving forward in your life. Metaphorically, it’s like junk food – it can taste good now but it’s bad for you long term. Automatic behavior patterns can keep you stuck in the past and erode self love until there is nothing left.

3. Practice self care. You love yourself more, when you take better care of your basic needs. Like nourishing yourself daily through healthy activities, like eating good foods, exercising, getting enough sleep, engaging in healthy relationships and interactions.

4. Set boundaries. Self love shows up in setting limits or saying no to work, love, or activities that deplete or harm you physically, emotionally and spiritually, or express poorly who you are.

5. Protect yourself by bringing the right people into your life. Frenemies says it all, it’s the type of “friends” who take pleasure in your pain and loss rather than in your happiness and success. Get rid of them, life’s too short.

6. Forgive yourself, accept you’re perfectly imperfect. Cease over punishment for mistakes when learning and growing. Ideally learn the lessons, accept your humanness and turn up the love and compassion dial and in the process master your self love.

Now ideally, pick one or two from the tips above and start cranking up your self love meter. It’s true that you can only love a person as much as you love yourself. The more self-love for yourself, the better prepared for healthy relating. And you’ll start attracting people and circumstances that support your well-being and being the best YOU.

Wishing you loads of happiness Julie xxx

Secrets To Happiness #2 (3 part series)

Secrets To Happiness #2 (3 part series)

Happiness is the latest buzz word. How’s your happiness barometer going? I’m back with Secrets To Happiness #2. Any burning questions from Secrets To Happiness #1? Didn’t see it? Click here. Next week is final secret in the series. 

Secret To Happiness #2: “A happy life exists not in the absence but mastery of hardships.” – Helen Keller

We all have the right to be happy, we just have to go out and find it ourselves.

Happiness is a way rather than a destination. Helping you reach goals faster, enjoy better relationships, do better at work and be nicer to be around.

Our happiness set point is individual and keeps defaulting back regardless of our circumstances. 50% of our happiness set point is derived from your genes, 40% from intentional activity to feel happier and 10% from your circumstances, health and social status.

Variety is one of the secret spices to happiness, as is nature.

Did you know you lose your happiness and pleasure chemical, dopamine if you forget to seek out new experiences?

Don’t forget our brain is like a muscle. Being in flow is fantastic for brain health and happiness. That is being present, forgetting your problems and enjoying the journey of life. Studies have shown those in flow on a regular basis are happier.

Integrating and accepting all parts of your life, the good and the bad is healing. You become grounded, centred, connected and grateful for who you are.

Adversity is good. Your recovery muscles develop and you bounce back to baseline quicker.

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.” – Helen Keller

Interestingly, we are taught unconsciously in society that money solves our problems.

Did you know that once our basic needs are met, more money does not dramatically increase your happiness. There’s minimal difference between happiness levels of those earning $50K year to $5 million.

Happy people have things in common –

  • Close supportive family and friends
  • Value intrinsic goals such as personal growth, making their community a better place, close connective relationships, aligned values.
  • Less emphasis on extrinsic goals, such as money, status, image.
  • Foster interdependence with others and natural environment
  • Practice laughter, compassion and gratitude often.

Did you know Denmark is the happiest country in the world? Free education and medical, co-housing communities where twenty families can live together, sharing cooking, meals. Children are surrounded by elders and there is a real sense of belonging.

Happy people function better, they’re more productive and live longer.

Research has found Islanders in Japan live the longest, where there are rituals of regular contact and gatherings between different villages and generations. Social bonding, interaction, collaboration, sense of community and belonging are highly valued. Did you know co-operation causes a huge release of dopamine (your happiness neurotransmitter)?

As Helen Keller says see with our hearts.

Joy also comes from connection with others.

Be authentic to you. Happiness is a skill and the formula is not the same for everyone.

Things you love to do are the building blocks of a happy life – new experiences, play, fun, friends and family, doing things that are meaningful, appreciating what we have.

So, go out there and blaze your path of happiness.

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.” – Helen Keller

Keep smiling,

J xx

 

Secrets To Happiness #1 (3 part series)

Secrets To Happiness #1 (3 part series)

One of the most asked questions of late is what are the Secrets to Happiness. So thought I’d oblige and give you my take on the Secrets to Happiness. Here’s #1. Each week I’ll go down the list…..

Secret to Happiness #1 : “Love people and use things, because the opposite never works” – the Minimalists

Came across a fascinating doco ….Minimalism: A documentary about the important things on Netflix. Recommended by a friend. Worth a watch.

Great message and concept that I wanted to share as a Secret to Happiness – Quality over quantity.

In Western society we’ve got the best standard of living we’ve ever had, yet we have this auto-craving, longing for more. And yes it’s a great survival mechanism to keep us alive in harsh conditions but now it’s creating disconnect.

We’re filling the void with lots of stuff, which is keeping us in the earn/spend cycle, trying to buy our way to happiness. Mass media brain washes us into the need for more, the latest, the biggest, the dream life, you’ll be happy when you have…….

Wouldn’t it be great if you could live a life that is good for yourself and the people around you.

Decluttering is an important aspect of Secrets to Happiness – simplifying, focusing on what’s important. Surrounding yourself with things you use and have meaning.

If you did a heat map of how you used your house. What rooms do you use and which ones lay idle day after day?

Today, we have a throw away culture. Our fashion is now 52 seasons rather than four. If your clothes are over a week old, we’re made to feel you’re outdated. Children are constantly bombarded by ads for junk food, toys, games and latest crazes from corporations touting their wares.

You get indoctrinated into the rat wheel of earning more and spending more. Yet few of us consciously realize you have a choice to step off – spend less and increase the meaning of what we do.

Ideally honouring our material possessions rather than fueling mindless materialism that’s stripping our planet of all it’s resources. At the current rate of consumption, what will our planet look like in 50-100 years?

Time to think mindfully about the choices you make, rather than impulse buys? Time to focus on relationships, experiences and connections that have more meaning and leave less of a footprint.

A key element is surrounding yourself with people with the same values and being deliberate in your decisions. Knowing this life is yours and your one and only. Your mission being to get the most amount of good and value out of your life with exactly what you need, no more and no less.

An intentional life is a Secret to Happiness. It’s not perfect or easy, but a simple one.

4 Energy Suckers That Aren’t Diet Related

4 Energy Suckers That Aren’t Diet Related

Energy suckers that aren’t diet related is a biggie for many people. You know it’s there when you’ve tweaked your diet but you’re still dragging your exhausted body through the day. Is it time you did an energy suckers that aren’t diet related audit?

Here are 4 energy suckers that aren’t diet related:

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