Make Your 'Mid-Life Crisis' Transformative, Not Destructive

 
"The spiritual path wrecks the body and afterwards restores it to health. It destroys the house to unearth the treasure, and with that treasure, builds it better than before." ~ Rumi~


The Persian Poet/Philosopher known as Rumi wrote these insightful words over 800 years ago. What this tells me is the struggle to gain wisdom as we age is nothing new. Even though it may be a normal human experience, big changes can be scary and difficult. So how can we not let this time of life destroy us, when our lives may feel like they are being torn down around us? Those of you who are in your 20's or 30's may think this time is a long way off, but the process often starts in the late 30's and can go on into the 50's.
Here's some basic tips on avoiding self-destructive meltdowns to get through the 'crisis' with grace and style.
Be Honest & Aware: Know that this is a transformation, not a loss. Like a snake shedding it's skin, a caterpillar to a butterfly or a hermit crab changing shells... I don't know if those creatures suffer during that time, but for humans, it can be a slow and painful process. We can spin out of control if we do not stay aware and acknowledge our true feelings.
Honor Your Body: Now is the time to break those bad habits. Take whatever steps you need to eat healthier, be more active and not indulge so often. Try to eat whole foods (preferably organically grown) and ditch the processed foods and restaurant fare. Start an exercise program with whatever method best suits you, be consistent and dedicated to the cause. (YOU!) Your body will thank you.
Quality Over Quantity: Keep good friends/partners, lose the bad and strive to learn to know the difference. This is an important step of reassessment, as many of us keep friends or partners in our lives even though they may be detrimental to our state of being. If you decide to let someone go, do so with kindness and diplomatic honesty; no nastiness or name-calling allowed. Even if they have done you wrong, they are still worthy of respect. You dishonor yourself otherwise.
Honor Your Spirit: Try to understand what's happening and try to accept change with grace, instead of panic or mania. Remember to take care for your spirit, in whatever way works best for you. If not sure, try different things that soothe your soul, relax body & mind and get you connected and centered. Seek advice of those who have already moved through this time. It helps to not feel alone or like you are going crazy. Respect others who are on the same path, especially those not as far along as you.
Focus On The Positive: Acknowledge, but do not dwell, on negatives. Even when "bad' things happen, there are often many good things that come from it. Look at all you really have. Focus on filling your heart & mind with gratitude. For negative occurrences, focus on seeking solutions.
Do you have a story to share regarding this Rite of Passage?  I'd love to hear it.

6 comments

  1. I love Rumi. There are many of his poem that are just so beautiful.
    I love your points especially at times like this. It is a wonderful reminder.

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  2. Thank you YogaSavy. I am glad if it helps at all. I think you are a great example of how one can be empowered by change and do it with grace.

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  3. Your words are filled with kindness and grace. I thank you for that gift.

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  4. thank you for that! -it is my pleasure
    ...as I feel the same of your words.
    namaste~

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  5. My mid-life crisis is here and now. What shall I do- will I do the right thing? What shall I say - will my words gently convey what is in my heart? Will those who hear me at least listen before they speak? Your points are insightful, and I especially like Honor Your Spirit.

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  6. @ Mike: thank you! note Rumi says 'wrecks', 'destroys'. These are violent words, expressing the harshness of this process, a falling away of all you (think you) know. He then speaks of 'treasures', which the process reveals. If you can see this time as a ship weathering a violent storm at sea, you know you will eventually see the sun again and reach a safe harbor, and it will be all the more welcome, having come through the storm. Be patient, stay aware, and trust in your true feelings to find the answers you seek. This is one of the ways to honor your spirit.

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