Midlife Transition: The Journey of Depth
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.
Four Midlife Transitions
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. To discover when these aspects are in effect you can arrange an Opportunity consultation with me.
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.
Midlife is a time when you are called to take on power while being conscious of your issues and ideas about power. This phase is concerned with with power, death, rebirth, and transformation. For most people, the mid-life phase that occurs first, between 36-38 for most people, is the Journey of Depth.
You will notice I included the word “death”. Death is a shocking word. But no, I am not saying you will keel over and perish at age 36. Inhale and exhale deeply, grab a drink and finish reading calmly.
Here in this phase you are faced with power plays from other people and situations where your power is being challenged. This is no ordinary challenge; this is strong-willed in-your-face provocation. Those challenges will affect two specific areas of your life. For example, it could be the area of security, values, and earned income being challenged by your efforts, accomplishments and desires around creativity, love affairs, children and risk-taking. This could mean that problems with your children cause you to lose your job; or taking too many risks on the stock market could cause your income to make dramatic changes; or people you supervise may criticize you so much at work that you become insecure about what you thought was your calling in life and your leadership abilities. You may deal with real situations of sabotage from people, who may go to extreme ends to try to shake you from your position.
The lesson here is to learn how and when to use your power in the areas in question. You are also faced with the fact that you DO have enemies, as we all do, whether or not we deserve them. Are you willing to admit you have enemies and to accept that some people want to oppose you out of jealousy? Your enemies are out to take you down. Yes, they are out to take you down a few pegs, or enough pegs to get you removed from a job, a group or some position. You will feel take down into the depths and wonder why some area, if not seemingly all of your life has suddenly “gone to hell”. You will be caught up in a power struggle before you realize what is happening — a power struggle where you fight for control against someone who, frankly, is much more likely to win. In their opposition to you, they will most likely criticize you and highlight your weaknesses. Can you compassionately listen, honestly assess any truths in the criticism and be willing to transform yourself?
You are not required to be what someone else wants you to be; the requirement now is that you sift through the mire, and dig through the ashes so you can discern what remains that you can use. You will lose things you thought you had to keep (a job, a membership, a bad relationship, a habit or method, etc.) but you will not be left with absolutely nothing. In some way, the people and situations that arise during this Journey of Depth are a sign of death (death of the old you) are ones for which you can be quite thankful. There is a purging happening and you are being forced to shed behaviors and attitudes that do not fit the best you that is evolving into existence. If you have this midlife phase first out of the four that characterize midlife, and take on the lessons, you will actually have an easier time with the others.
The Journey of Depth will take you to emotional and spiritual depths you thought you would never experience. You may even feel your life and purpose is dying. You may have a hard time imagining that anything in your life could be good after this period of time. Your Transformation phase involves three “hits” to your old self so there are three time periods when you will most strongly feel the emotions and actions of this transit. When it is over, if you choose to transform and face yourself, you will be even stronger and much wiser in the areas affected. If you steel yourself against it and resist making changes, you will feel physically and spiritually worn. It will be even harder to face the other midlife phases.
If you are interested in enrolling in an Opportunity program, you can enrol and begin at anytime.