I was fortunate enough to be able to offer a local adult class recently that focused on finding your path in mid life. I was grateful that a group of friends joined me for two sessions of mini retreat activities where we could explore our unique pathways together.
I was struck again by how common our paths as women are. Our stories are unique, where we find ourselves at any given moment may be vastly different than the woman we pass by as we navigate our way, but there are so many similarities that bind us together. As women, we share the urge to nurture our relationships (children, partners, parents, friends), often at the expense of ourselves. If we take a breath and think about what we would like for ourselves, we feel selfish and undeserving. If we are asked what we want or need, it is more likely than not that the question will be met with confused silence.
Sometime in midlife (which I’ve expanded the definition to be between 35 ish and 90 ish:), it seems that women get the opportunity to take a breath and look around. Perhaps their children are more self sufficient, or they are empty nesters, or they have cut back on work responsibilities or retired….in any case, they have an opportunity to take a deep breath and take a look at where they find themselves in life. This can be both a confusing and an exhilarating time. Often, it is a period of questions that don’t seem to have ready answers. Sometimes, it can feel like a period of just unrest and unease as you search for the questions themselves…
It is a gift to get a group of like minded women together with the common goal of sharing their experiences and the questions that simmer beneath the surface of the mid life path. Some women might be called to a workshop or seminar, some to a weekend retreat, some to a solo journey of self reflection. Whatever calls to you, I urge you to find a group of like minded women to share part of your journey. I promise you that wherever you find yourself, if you take the brave step of opening up and sharing your questions with other women, you will be amazed at the nods and looks of recognition that will greet you. Just the act of sharing with someone else can help you not only identity the questions that you want to ask yourself, but help you find your answers for your own unique path.
As women, we are more the same than we are different. I was reminded of this with my recent gathering as we shared stories, tears and laughter. I am grateful for my collective sisterhood in life that stands ready and willing to share the wisdom and life lessons they have learned through the years. Here’s to sisterhood!