So, where you thinking of getting a tattoo? Or buying that Harley Davidson? Or maybe the Morgan (the car, not the horse) that you have put your name down for ages ago? Or is it a face-lift/tummy tuck/breast implant that you are contemplating?
Are you a bit bored with life in general and with your job and/or spouse in particular ? Are you thinking of chucking it all in : job, house, spouse, golf club membership and moving to somewhere where the sun shines year round? Are you thinking of having an affair with, oh let’s not be too adventurous, your secretary/your best friend’s husband?
Suddenly you feel old, invisible, unappreciated and unimportant.
Are you wondering who you are and what you are doing here? Are you suddenly looking into the mirror and thinking, “Is this really all there is? Is this really what I worked so very hard for – this feeling of disappointment and emptiness?”
Or are you yearning for a spiritual rebirth? Are you dreaming of getting away from it all, to somewhere else, anywhere else, whether the sun shines there 24/7 (or no)t, as long as it is peaceful and quiet there? Are you going through a painful divorce or struggling with the complexities of online dating? Or maybe you have an empty nest and you wonder what purpose the rest of your life is supposed to serve? Maybe you are desperate to bring some passion back into your boring marriage?
The thoughts racing and knocking around endlessly in your head are driving you nuts.
If this is your problem, then I now of something you may want to try. It is called mindful midlife meditation. Mindful midlife meditation can help you put your anxiety about growing older into perspective allowing you to take on board the possibility of growing older gracefully or disgracefully – the choice is yours. No use pretending that you are not feeling anxious about growing older. That is perfectly normal. Meditation can help you minimise that anxiety and reflect on where you are now and where you want to go from here.
Why bother with meditation, mindful or not? Because midlife meditation can improve your health, help you to sleep better, increase your lifespan, reduce your stress levels and make it easier to cope with the challenges of this transitional period. Mindfulness Meditation, as Sam Harris said, is “simply a state of open, non-judgmental, and non-discursive attention to the contents of consciousness, whether pleasant or unpleasant.” Below are a few reasons why you may want to incorporate midlife meditation into your busy schedule. Meditation can:
• Assist you to think more clearly (VERY useful during a midlife crisis!) and make better decisions
• Provide you with inspiration and motivation about what you want to do with the rest of your life
• Offer you different perspectives should you find yourself unnerved and uncertain
• Help you adjust to the physical and psychological symptoms of the menopause/andropause
• Substantially reduce your stress levels, lowering the risk of getting a stress-related illness
Our Mindful Meditation Midlife Renewal Retreats are designed to help you master mindfulness meditation, especially if you have never meditated before – the workshop is especially useful for beginners or for those who have meditated for a while but have trouble keeping to their practice.
Regular practice of meditation creates inner peace and a sense of well-being. When you meditate regularly it is easier to simply go with the flow and situations that once stressed you now become insignificant. As I have already written quite a bit about mindfulness meditation, I will not repeat myself here. I do want to add something that would be especially useful for midlifers. Often during meditation, practitioners are encouraged to repeat a mantra, to help them remain focused. I have included below a list of mantras that would be specifically useful for people in midlife:
- I strive to be the best I can be, but I never try to be someone I am not.
- I have a lot to be thankful for.
- I either succeed or I learn something.
- I do not use where I have been to justify where I am. I use where I am to jump-start where I am going.
- I prioritise my obligations and do the important things first.
- I will say no when I choose to.
- I make time to become conscious of life’s simple pleasures.
- I help myself by helping those around me.
- I take ownership of my actions so my actions never own me.
- I do not make decisions in a state of emotional upheaval.
- It is OK if not everyone likes me – I don not like everyone either.
- My habits define who I am.
- I cannot make someone love me. I can only be someone who can be loved.
- The biggest mistake I can make is doing nothing because I am scared to make a mistake.
- What other people think of me is none of my business.
- I believe in myself more and I doubt others less.
- I do something every day that makes me happy.
- No matter how small, I celebrate my successes, daily.
- I thank people who have helped me and I return the favour asap.
- I let the things go that are not worth fighting for. I choose my battles wisely.
- I let go of things I can’t change and concentrate on the things I that can.
- I forgive others as I forgive myself.
- I am in competition only with myself striving to be the best I can be.
The above can also work extremely well when used as daily affirmations. Choose one and stick to it for a week, preferably two weeks. The idea is to repeat it to yourself, out loud if you can, as often as possible during the day. Midlife does not have to be a crisis
Midlife does not have to be a crisis – it can be the start of the best part of your life. Imagine how different your life can be in a year’s time if you start changing it today.
Margaretha Montagu – Mpowering women to live the second half of their lives with renewed passion.
Dr. Margaretha Montegu is a medical doctor with 20 years of experience helping her patients manage stress so as to avoid physical disease and psychological distress. 8 years ago she left medical practice to concentrate on prevention rather than cure and now hosts Mindfulness Meditation Retreats, assisted by 6 super-smart horses, in the south of France.
If you are interested in attending a Mindfulness Meditation Retreat here at Les Sources Sacrées in the sun-blessed south of France, or if you would like to find out more about it, please e-mail us on firstname.lastname@example.org or leave us a message below. Goes without saying that your e-mail address is perfectly safe, we will never share it. You can find our everything you would like to know about the retreats by clicking on the buttons on the top menu bar.
- We are also on Twitter (@EquineGuidedMD), this is where I publish details of any early-bird or last minute special offers,
- Facebook (Meditation Workshops with Horses), here I publish articles about our work written by experts in the field,
- Pinterest, where we have a board that showcases everything this beautiful region (Gascony) has to offer, as well as a Midlife Blossoming board – a collection of articles about how to not only survive but thrive during midlife
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You may also like:
- A Guide to Midlife Enlightenment
- 12 Life-saving Midlife Tips
- 12 Ways to deal with Midlife Stress
- Midlife Motivation: 13 Inspiring Quotes
- Midlife Women; 10 Reasons to be Grateful