I had hoped that this summer, the world would calm down. Nope. For me, this has been a summer of deep joy and desolate disappointment. How's it been for you? In 2021, life itself could be described as swinging wildly between bipolar episodes. I feel like I'm being tossed back and forth, like a plaything, between Aphrodite and Ares. Aphrodite is a metaphor for love, passion, and the ephemeral beauty of high summer. Ares is the god of war. He fittingly represents the spirit of battle, brutality, and slaughter. And yet, they are among the most mythologized couples, being passionate lovers, despite Aphrodite's marriage to Hephaistos.
For so many, this hoped-for-year has been a confusion of love, joy, hope, despair, raging battles, death, and loss. 2021 has not delivered the lover's harmony. Is life becoming more ends and less middle, or has my perspective changed? Are you experiencing this year the same way? At the start of summer, I hoped that the world might “stop and smell the roses” and rejoice in a season of lush growth and promise. I hoped that Covid-19 would dimmish, and we could all take a collective sigh of relief. I hoped that I would be able to go to the beach, my favorite place or renewal, to escape the heat of Santa Clarita. I hoped that our weather here, 40 miles north of Los Angeles, would belie the merciless march of climate change with a cooler summer. Thankfully, in all the global upheaval of war, sickness, and destruction, I found some balance through careful travel and reunions with family and friends. I‘m so grateful!
It was healing and bittersweet to see my family after such a long time. When I began to slip into grief over the time we lost over the past ten years, the coordinating, organizing, and cooking for a wedding kept me busy and focused on the tasks at hand. Working together is healing. I was also blessed to see old friends. They’re the kind of friendships that pick up wherever you left off, whether it was last week or 40 years ago. Big fun, laughter, and inner renewal filled my cup during eight short hours that will last for months. It nourished my essential self, my early authentic one-in-self me, who I was before I was committed to anyone or anything, and still learning. These perspectives are the gifts and burdens of a woman’s midlife. If we listen, we become deeply aware of our changing life patterns, thoughts, and needs. Our early essential self may pop in to say, “What about me? Hey, I’m still here! Let’s do that thing we used to do.” All of the archetypes that filled our lives now flip over as quickly as a coin tossed in the air. The roles we filled for 25 years or more are shifting. We may find ourselves reassessing who we are, our goals, dreams, and what’s next in our lives. Despite the trouble of the world, we are approaching our powerful harvest. This potential is encoded in the built-in, pre-programmed midlife shift and self-reassessment. If you live long enough and you are living consciously, you will find yourself in this territory. Regent women aged 45-70 have all of their life experience, knowledge, and wisdom to gather and use to recreate our world from the inside out. After a summer of opposites, I’m back in my office creating a new group coaching program for Regent women that will reboot your mojo, get your A.S.S. (authentic, soulful, self) in gear, and make your next years your power years! Carl Jung, the father of Depth Psychology, says that once you take the time and energy to become your most authentic self at midlife, you can then, in turn, do the most to help others and the collective needs of the world. Joseph Campbell says that “ The greatest privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.” Marion Woodman says, “A life truly lived constantly burns away veils of illusion, burns away what is no longer relevant, gradually reveals our essence, until, at last, we are strong enough to stand in our naked truth.” Despite the pandemic, wars, climate change, hurricanes, floods, fires, hunger, death, and destruction or the powers of Ares, — love, beauty, wisdom, and service conquer all. The hardest work is living in the tension between Aphrodite and Ares. May you have the time to listen to your inner voice that will lead you to become your most authentic and fulfilled self. May you have the strength to endure, the courage to continue when the path is dark, the wisdom to rest when you must, and a support system of friends and loved ones to walk beside you toward your powerful harvest. Namaste,
Drop a comment below and let me know how you’re doing. How has your summer been? When you're ready, I'm here to help you tame the emotional rollercoaster of Midlife and Menopause to create your next chapter.