Ten Ways to Use Your Mid-Life Energy for Good
I know mid-life is transitional in many ways, especially when your period starts changing and you realize that life is, in fact, changing. And it’s going to continue to change until we’ve made post-menopause our new normal. But I’m definitely getting to the point in my journey where some days feel a bit chaotic, like I’m juggling plates and really, really have to keep them all in the air, despite feeling like crap, or having the weirdest period ever, or having my emotions be all over the place, or having no mental capacity whatsoever.
There’s no way around this, nor do I want there to be. I am not a big believer in the kinds of “love and light” sentiments that don’t actually help people or acknowledge where they are. This stuff is technically called ‘toxic positivity’ or ‘spiritual bypassing’ because it ignores the problem (because problems are difficult and negative- ew!) and uses positivity as a way around the problem, rather than working through it. At mid-life I think (hope!) we know there’s no way through, but through.
That said, I do believe we can make the best of where we’re at precisely because when we accept that things are difficult or frustrating or whatever we sit in truth. And it’s a whole helluva lot easier to move forward when you’re in the truth of things, even if that truth is ugly, than to deny reality through false positivity. It looks like this in real life, “I feel (fill in the blank- and feel it), but after the emotion passes a bit, I’m going to take some action and do the best I can with what I’ve got.”
Here are some ways to make the best of what we’re handling at mid-life.
Anger. Anger is a fair bit more common during mid-life because of the downward shift in estrogen. It doesn’t mean we’re suddenly ‘mad’ or ‘controlled by our hormones’ it just means we’re less likely to set it aside in service of something else. I highly recommend clearly focusing your anger on the change you want to see in the world. What are you upset about? Use your anger to make changes there.
Frustration with your partner. Mid-life can bring some clarity about what we want and need in a life partner- and to what extent our current partner is helping us achieve those desires or not. If you’re in a rough patch (perhaps more often now than in the past) use it as a doorway to building better relationship skills. If you’re very brave, channel your frustration into telling the truth. It might be painful and ugly, but it also holds the possibility of moving us forward rather quickly.
Feeling sexy (due to the Surge or whatever). Use this particular energy to let yourself be lit up. If you’re full of the life force known as libido, let it shine straight out of you. Smile, flirt, dress in ways that make you feel alive, laugh, seek out experiences that allow you to be free. Make the world a better place by showing how sexy you find it all.
Short term memory loss. Ugh, this is sometimes the worst. My kids are already learning that I don’t remember things for very long and they may need to repeat their story or request at some point. This is, however, a great reminder to ground ourselves and be in the moment. Our mind can go flitting all over when we’ve forgotten something- trying to find the lost thing, feeling frustrated. Instead, take a breath, get centered in yourself, and be where you are.
Tired of the bullshirt. When you find yourself in a situation where you’re just SO. DONE. this is another great place to point that energy in a useful direction. Yeah, get angry and yell, but then donate or volunteer in some place that helps get rid of the BS you’re tired of. If you’re feeling like you need an immediate fix, go to a room that needs to be pared down and ruthlessly throw some shit out.
Insomnia. I know insomnia is a special kind of hell. You need to sleep, you really want to sleep, but you can’t. It’s peri-menopause’s cruel joke. Instead of getting mad, which just raises your stress and blood pressure, try to accept that it’s happening. Maybe even see it as a time to have space for yourself. At the very least, try to remain ‘soft’ with your energy, hold on to a sleepy kind of energy. Try to relax and be gentle with yourself. Hang out with yourself and what you love.
Hot flashes. I truly believe that some symptoms of peri-menopause are here for our spiritual development and this is one of them. Use this energy for good by imagining that you’re burning away what is no longer useful or needed in your life, psyche, and/or spirit. Burn, baby, burn. I know hot flashes can be unbearable, but perhaps making them meaningful will make them empowering.
You know shit, dammit. Woman, that is called confidence. Stand tall in it. Seriously, when you’re feeling like you know some things because of your age and experience, that’s good stuff. Dare to hold on to it, stand strong inside it, and make use of it wherever you’re feeling it’s needed (needed, not wanted). Be full of it.
Sick of doing shit for everyone else. I know that there are some responsibilities we can’t let go of, but if you’re feeling like you do a lot of shit for other people and you’re kind of sick of it, that means you need some boundaries. So practice that: learn boundaries, delegate, empower people to take care of themselves.
Low libido. This is the flip side of the Sex Surge, and far more common at mid-life. So what do we do when we’re feeling down about it? Dare to trust the aliveness that is more inwards, in the depth of your self (not necessarily in your body). Begin to explore where the life force does come through for you. And if what makes you feel alive is crying and getting some decent sleep, that’s okay, too.
Mid-life is full of many transitions and changes. But it also full of so amazing and beautiful things: wisdom, clarity, grounding, self acceptance, and letting go. I believe it is a time when we can thrive, perhaps more than we ever have before. So, feel your feelings, do the work of the journey, but then consider that you can point your feet and heart towards finding something useful and empowering in whatever is going on. You’re amazing- dare to believe it.