Yesterday I had a rough day, my body was extremely tired and I had a whole lot of things to do. I kept trying to push on through but by the end of the day I was exhausted. I lay down to take a nap and fell blissfully asleep for half an hour of “off” time. I was able to drop in to what my body and psyche needed. Despite what my mind was telling me I was able to relax and recharge my system and woke up feeling much better.
In Mid Life, more than at any other time, we are being asked to let go of the inner voices that drive us to be more and do more than we are able to do, and still stay in inner integrity with ourselves. I talk to so many women who tell me they are exhausted, tired, suffering from adrenal burn out, but unable to let go of the endless to do list. There is an inner pusher in many of us, conditioned from very early on and probably from lifetimes as women who have to care for the home and the husband and kids and also go out and earn a living. In the past we did not have a choice. That was what was expected of us and we had to do it. Now we have more freedom of choice, but that voice of the inner pusher drives us to the point of exhaustion and overwhelm. Midlife and the menopausal years are times when our bodies are readjusting to living without the hormones that have kept us vibrant and energized. Now it is our adrenals that must produce the extra energy we need, and more often than not, we simply don’t have that extra oomph.
One of the most painful things is that we also have the voice of the inner critic constantly telling us we are not doing enough, we should be doing more, berating us for wanting and needing to slow down, take it easy and relax. We compare ourselves with our younger sisters, or with our younger selves, and we judge ourselves harshly for where we are at now, adding to the stress, overwhelm and exhaustion.
What I am finding in midlife is that there are definite rhythms, not the obvious ones of our menstrual cycle but the rhythms of our body, psyche and Soul, and we have to learn to listen to a different voice within. At this time in life, when so much is re adjusting, we are re orienting our attention to listen more within to what is needed now. I find it so important to have a meditation practice, a time in the day that I am committed to that allows me to stop and listen to where I am at and what is needed now. What a gift to start and end each day by coming home to myself, to relax the inner voices of the pusher and the critic and to accept and embrace my whole experience, just as it is.
I invite you to give yourself the gift of either developing or deepening your commitment to listen to the true voice within you in meditation. It may not be formally sitting on your meditation cushion in front of your altar, although that is what I recommend (but I don’t want that to turn into another should). It may be just taking 20 minutes to lie in bed and listen to some soothing music, or a favorite wisdom teaching of a beloved spiritual teacher.. It may be journaling and letting your own inner guidance come on line. It may be walking out in Nature and tuning into the natural world. The most important thing is to get to know what nourishes and resources you, quiets the voice of the inner pusher and inner critic and allows the wisdom of your own Soul to come alive.
Many Blessings ~ Rajyo