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Tips: Women in Midlife - Beginning the Process of Change
Dr. Dale V. Atkins, July 2005

There seems to be a common trend today for women at midlife. More and more women in their 40's and 50's and 60's (notice how the parameters of midlife are expanding) are reexamining their lives and making lifestyle and career changes while exploring new possibilities.

Some have been thrust into self discovery by a specific event in their life (divorce, illness, death of a loved one, loss of a job, empty nesting) while others intuitively know they need to embrace change and grow. Whatever the reason for their new focus, women are finding satisfaction at midlife by following their passions, joys and dreams.

Here are a few TIPS for beginning the process of change:

1. DeClutter Your Life - To allow for growth, women especially have to feel their home is in order. Take care of the "externals" (home, finances, loved ones, and other relationships) so you're not overwhelmed with sundry concerns while you're starting the "internal" process of change. This is the time to clean those closets, simplify your daily routine, let go of weighing relationships and make sure those that you're responsible for (children, spouses, parents) are taken care of so you can make room and space for the new.
2. Listen to Your Internal Voice and Face Your Fears - Self confidence and self esteem build as you listen for your true calling. Focus on what YOU know you are meant to do rather than what other people think you should do. But, listen to others because they may have some good insights. This is a process and does not happen overnight. Visualize being the person you truly know yourself to be.
3. Give Yourself Time to Transition - Learn what is motivating your change and what you need to move forward. This may be the time to take a class or study with a mentor to develop your abilities in a new or dormant area. Find the path that works for you to accomplish your goal.
4. Discover What Gives You Meaning and Purpose - Ignite old passions or explore new ones. What have you always wanted to do or gave up doing that you're still longing for? Find your passions by examining your talents, skills, interests and unique gifts which will undoubtedly lead you to your life's purpose.
5. Allow for Spiritual Growth - Opening up to your true essence and authentic self connects us to our spirituality. Try and take time to quietly reflect and "let go" by meditating, praying, journaling and inviting nature into your life. Find the time for solitude to really inquire of yourself what is next for you in your life.

Remember as you change, so may your relationships with loved ones, friends and colleagues. You may welcome new people in your life who share a similar focus as old relationships wane or improve. Embrace the change and spend time with people who support you and have walked this path.

By welcoming change into our lives, we have the opportunity to dream and make those dreams come true!




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