Four Early Midlife Transitions
When you reach your late 30s and early 40s you reach a significant turning point in life where you are given the opportunity to evolve further into your own authentic self. Having completed your entrance into adulthood between 28-30, you are now facing your midlife transition. Midlife is hallmarked by four significant phases.
For each person the specific phase can occur at different times than for others. General observation is that they are occurring as early as age 37.
The four phases will take you through approximately ages 37-44. They are:
- Journey of Depth
- Journey of Change
- Journey of Spirit
- Journey of Time
To summarize the nature of these phases and their midlife effects:
The Journey of Depth is one of transformation, destruction and control in order to create something authentic. Where you have been playing around and not being serious, you will get serious now because everything will come to ashes around you and you will need to rebuild.
The Journey of Change is marked by surprise, sudden shocks, changes, upsetting issues situations, eccentricity and the unusual. Two areas of your life will experience pronounced change by showing you where you need to exercise more individuality and independence.
The Journey of Spirit heralds a time of confusion and the obscuring of reality. You can end up feeling as though your existence and accomplishments up to now are worth nothing. You are faced with questioning yourself and working through things an emerging with a new spiritual connection – or you could escape reality buy delving into obsessions and addictions with sex, drugs, alcohol or lying.
When these three phases have finished their wild ride with you, the final and serious Journey of Time joins the fray for the final lesson around the age of 44/45. The nature of the Journey of Time is limitations, restrictions, structures, discipline, reality and resistance. These are challenging, difficult and often painful situations in our lives. We may suffer from depression, repressed anger, physical illnesses (especially bones and teeth) due to the heavy responsibilities we are carrying in life – family relationships, work situations or attempts to pursue an authentic life. Mental illness is possible if a stable base cannot be formed in life. By being conscientious you can make beneficial changes.
Midlife phases mean major re-evaluation of the value and meaningfulness of our lives. Have we achieved the goals and dreams of the past? Are those dreams still relevant? Are our current circumstances serving us? This re-evaluation is much like a birthing process, transforming life from one phase to the next and defining how we are going to live the second half of our life. At times the changes can be so profound we hardly recognize the person we were before. This process, both excruciating, and exhilarating, is a re-birthing, a redefining of who we are that brings us into profound communion with our spirit. And just like being born, this phase can be marked by alternating periods of tremendous pressure, turmoil, and intensity (the contraction), interspersed with calm (the relaxation) and, finally, the excitement as something new and promising comes into existence.
If you want to coach with me on one or more of these transitions, book a session.
If you want to read more deeply on this early midlife transition, you can read this book I wrote on it