Midlife Crisis? I don’t think so.

When the proverbial brick fell on my head in my mid-thirties, I thought to myself: what the hell is this feeling? I knew that something had shifted, overturning my whole perspective on who I was. My life was forever changed, yet it seemed to happen overnight. One day I was practically sleepwalking through my rendition of life and the next I was awake with a heightened sense of awareness. It was like I was looking at myself and the life I was living from the outside. Extreme polar emotions took charge, and as much as there was some other force at play, I was now capable of seeing and observing my own life.   

While most of the time I was sorting through all the emotions and realizations coming up and clearing them out, I was also learning to pay deeper attention to my soul, it’s source, and the messages it was receiving. It was a time of remembering the forgotten and neglected parts of my true self. All of this was coupled with this overwhelming urge to run away– to just skip out on everything that I knew. I remember empathizing with those who leave one life to start another, anew, somewhere else. In this process, I was analyzing the things I loved to do; I was always a fan of running, with a strong desire to be at the track everyday. I asked my friend, who is a therapist, “what do you think I am running away from?”. She replied, “maybe it is more about what you are running to?”. I let out a literal gasp, I had never thought to think of it from that perspective. This conversation opened up a whole new way of looking at things for me– along with even more questions.

I spent time investing in myself and going towards whatever resonated within me. I was finally getting to know my divine self. Learning that time, as we understand it, is man-made helped me with the initial feeling that I had somehow wasted pieces of my life. I realized that the only moment is the present moment. You can not waste something that doesn’t exist. The powers outside that be want me to believe that I have lived the best years of my life and that all I should do is wallow in the past and spend the present moment talking about it. The truth is, I’ve felt for some time like I was just getting started. Your feelings and emotions are your GPS; they let you know what you need to pay attention to, not ignore. Our society is not set up for what we really are and I believe it is designed that way on purpose.

Every soul on this planet is meant to be here. The babies I brought into this world were a reminder that despite the feeling that I had somehow messed things up for myself, it all has gone down perfectly, the way it was supposed to. I made the right choices for myself based on my level of awareness at the time. Understanding this made it easier for me to forgive myself in a compassionate and loving way. I knew I could not be angry at my younger self for the choices I made because the two people I have the greatest love for came through at that time. I could never hate or dismiss that place in time or who I was because of them. Anger is a low vibrational emotion and is like poison to us.

I kept being brought back to God, religion and how it was all taught to me, only to realize that none of it made any sense anymore. So here the search began for what did make sense to me. Spirituality, Metaphysics, the Flower of Life, and Kabbalah spoke volumes to me. Pulling in light, raising my vibration, working with the laws of nature, and requesting alignment all made sense to me. A desire to know and express unconditional love resonated with me. I developed this greater perspective of the world and who we are on it. I was waking up and being called forth for a reason. It was time for a deeper and more honest meaning to my existence.  

Many of us live out of our emotional pain body, where fear and negative self-talk is on an unconscious loop. It saddened me that I could be so cruel to myself, and recently, a song by Marshmello featuring Khalid called Silence made it clear to me that what we do to ourselves is a form of self-violence. It was the noise and disruption that Khalid experienced, how he found peace in that place of violence with creative expression, and how that expression freed him from being trapped by the lonely silence. It is in that place of silence where all the hard work and transformation happens. You do become one again– only after realizing that you’ve been quiet for far too long.

Even if I can’t remember what I did yesterday, it amazes me that when I convey my story from my perspective I recall memories that can only be called “red flag moments.” These red flag moments are clear signs of hurt, making decisions when I knew I was not honoring my soul or my voice, even though I was well aware of it. I compromised and forged forward due to the role I was playing. While I have forgiven myself and would like to think I have made peace with all of these moments, they are still clear and intricate parts of my story. They were key moments that helped me to see what I was doing to myself, only after I had awakened.

Be careful what you build your life on. Because I was already in crisis mode, I built by default. I allowed my fear and trauma to dictate my decisions. You wind up doing what everyone else is doing, when they think it should be done, and how they did it. You’re not investing in your life but in the beliefs that have been constructed by the mind about how life should be. That is how you lose yourself and wind up lonely, bored, confined and neglected. Life is to be lived and we create it as we think, dream and believe. Never give that up.

As I was shown glimpses of my glory, I felt pressed to write a book– but honestly, what did I know about writing anything? I didn’t have much confidence in my writing ability, and who was really going to read my story? I once had a dream and saw myself on stage speaking at a podium; my immediate thoughts were “Really? Speaking in front of people? Joanie, you’re out of your mind!” However, as I’ve transitioned and grown through this process, all of a sudden these things don’t seem so impossible. When people around you think you’re crazy that is when you know you are doing something right for yourself. Embrace it all with a smile and step into your uniqueness.

I remember one incident when my mother was hospitalized while she was suffering from emphysema, my sister and I raced to her side. As soon as I walked in it was surreal; I could hear what she was saying and I was responding but what drew my attention in was how hard her hand was gripping the rail of the hospital bed. I remember thinking, “It’s OK mom, just let go.” That evening driving home I was riddled with guilt for leaving her. Everything that my mother prepared me for from when I was younger was coming to pass. “If anything happens to me, you are in charge of the will” she would tell me since I was a young girl, due to the death of my father at a young age.

In the hospital I remember seeing my brother expressing himself to her with such love and vulnerability and I was envious of it. While she was in the hospital I wanted so bad to break down and thrust myself into her arms, telling her how much I loved her and how much I was going to miss her, and how sorry I was for things that I had said or done. That heartfelt, authentic me wrestled with the mature persona, making me shove it down and keep it together to maintain the role I had always played. While I never was able to express myself the way I wanted, oddly enough before she passed the desire to write something for her funeral was strong. I felt guilty for thinking about her in the past tense but I knew I needed to write down what was coming to me. Somehow I knew it was my chance to express what I needed to and be able to step up on behalf of my mother, to honor her life and speak. Looking back now, even as I write this, I am not surprised that I took to pen and paper to get out what I needed to at the time. What a comforting thought. Everything goes down in life exactly the way it’s supposed to.

The image of her hand white knuckling the railing never left me, and I began to sit with it and observe it in my mind. What was it about my own life that I was white knuckling? What was it that I was clinging to so desperately with fear? “Wow,” I thought to myself, “my mother is still teaching me lessons.”

What was this story leading up to? A little over a year ago I made the realization that there is no such thing as a mid-life crisis. It is just another label to box someone in or explain away the awakening process. It dawned on me that I had lived most of my life in crisis mode and then woke up. Everything that I thought I was suppressing about my childhood fears was really suppressing me! The role that I was playing in life kept me from expressing my real self, with fear as it’s driving force. The toughest part of this process is the conscious choice to stay awake; to not cling so desperately to the story you believe about yourself or the false image you have of who you really are. You also become more aware of what is happening around you and the world’s messages to you. Incidents, animals, people… everything is orchestrated by your higher self for your own growth and evolution.

I realize now that everything I was ever drawn to was teaching me what I needed to know to help with this transition. I was drawn to a holistic lifestyle which was me being drawn to a higher conscious way of living, higher vibrational foods for the body. It was also a gateway to more enlightened souls and experiences that lead me to trust more in what I know to be true for myself instead of what I have been told is best for me.

Even when you know you are awake, on some level fear can get you caught up in a pattern again. The ego is tricky and waking up comes in stages. Fast forward a little more than a decade, and here we go again. Only this time I knew what I was experiencing. I knew I was learning a lesson and facing a new step up on the stairway to spiritual awakening. My fears and insecuries surfaced. The urge to dump and wrap up my drama was quicker. As the universe and my soul conspired to thrust me in the direction of a deep purpose, more layers of who I thought I was peeled away. The urge to act has never been more powerful. Realizations I have made are followed up quicker with confirmation. Things are becoming more clear and in alignment with my higher self.

I think it is time to redefine the whole experience. It is an awakening process that is valid and the time is right for it. Ascension! Expansion of consciousness and it is all necessary for growth. Learn to be present in your life right now, make the time to tap into the very essence of who you really are, step by step. I was once told that I was trying to recapture my youth. Why would I want to recapture a time that I know went down the way it was supposed to?  I feel more youthful now than ever. The laws of humanity are meant to be broken. Who says that anything about your life has to go down the way everyone thinks it supposed to? Drop the comparing, the numbers, the complaining, the attachments– break the shell open!. Experiencing this process was not a goal that I set out to achieve, but instead a path that I stumbled on to with perfect timing from my own personal life experiences and perspective. All I can do is express myself via those experiences to the best of my abilities, bravely sharing vulnerable moments in my life, with the hope of connecting with and helping others. I am eager and excited for what the future holds. While there will always be a level of fear, I open myself up to it with confidence and courage and I invite you to do the same. Smile it’s all good!

I send great love and appreciation to you for reading part of my story.

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