Over 40 and Going Through Major Life Changes
No…….. I'm not talking about menopause, although that's a major life change too and it might be part of it. What I’m interested in is what happens when; the kids are moving out of the house, the husbands might be too, maybe a family member died……………… we might be unhappy with our career, or we remember this one thing that we wanted to do for a long time………
It’s the time in life when spirit knocks and is waiting for us to change gear and take a different path. It’s very important to listen to this. We all know that life is short and that it can be over at any minute. Two of my friends just died one was younger than me, one was 63. So we better be happy and do what we love to do……
Below is how my life changed direction when I turned 50
“God gave us all a gift, Using this gift is our gift back to God.
~Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way
In June 2004 my twenty-year-old daughter begged me to participate in a seminar called the Forum. It was about the last thing, I wanted to do, to spend three days in a basement somewhere south of Market Street in one of the worst areas of San Francisco, where you fall over homeless people when you enter or exit and we’d only see daylight at lunch or dinner breaks. But because my daughter begged me, and my friends paid for my ticket to the seminar, I agreed to attend.
That seminar was my ALL IN moment, and it completely changed my life.
Prior this event, my daughter and I didn’t really have a good relationship. In fact, I didn’t have much of a relationship with anyone. I’d grown up believing that I was a victim. It is something that had been modeled throughout my life, especially all the women in my life. I met my husband at 21, and I stepped into this role despite the fact that I had my own dreams and desires. I just let them go by the wayside.
I have always been a creative person and I wanted to be an artist. My husband was an artist, studying at a great school in Berlin. He worked with all the important artists and I thought that by being around him and those other artists it would feed my desire. So I stayed in the background, supporting him, not pursuing my career.
We left Germany and came to the States and even when we started having a family I continued to step into this role of just being there for other people, supporting my husband, my children and not pursuing any of my dreams anymore. My unhappiness came with me, it’s just that the surroundings were prettier, but all the underlying patterns of the way we worked together, the ugliness, the emptiness were just the same.
I was totally unhappy.
I’ve spent the last twenty-five years not expressing myself, not expressing my creativity, which really was my passion. My family life deteriorated and none of us were happy. For a very long time, I blamed everyone around me for my unhappiness and my pain. I kept thinking that if they would just change, my life would get better. I was the victim and the whole world was against me.
On my fiftieth birthday my daughter came to me saying, “Mom, some of my friends did this seminar and it made such a difference in their lives and their relationship with parents, family and friends. Would you please do this for me?”
Really, this was about the last thing I wanted to do, but because she wanted me to go, she was willing to do something to improve our relationship, I agreed to go. I went with resistance in my heart, but when I got there, it was like a magical environment. It was about getting in touch with your blind spot, how to see the things you don’t realize are in your way.
All along, I had been thinking that other people were in my way. As I listened to other people sharing, I realized that I was the one getting in my own way. At first I was very shy and stayed in the background, trying to be invisible. But by the second day, I actually started sharing, in front of 200 people, and for me that was a huge thing. I started to really get in touch with myself, and the moment I learned to share from the heart was the moment that my entire life changed.
I’ve spent all my life looking for something, probably me…my real self. I’d never been taught about that so I was never able to get in touch with it. That is where all the unhappiness, emptiness, and frustration came from because I didn’t live my life; I lived somebody else’s life. The unbelievable part is that I lived fifty years like this.
The moment I got in touch with this realization, I became a powerful being. I do have my life in my hands. I am not here to manage other people’s lives, but to live my own life. I am here for a reason. I have a gift, and my gift is creativity. I need to use this gift to help empower other people.
I left that seminar wanting to make a difference in the world. I’d never wanted to make a difference before. I thought I had enough to do with myself; I really didn’t want to do anything for others. Once I took that first step into my own power, I knew I would help others do the same, especially women.
Let me warn you, though, just because you have an epiphany like that, it doesn’t mean that your life is magically fixed. There is all that old patterning that still jumps in the way. It took seven years to leave my dysfunctional and unhappy marriage. We sold our family home, and I got out of a business that did not work.
I got my Real Estate license and started working in real estate instead of waiting and agonizing about my life. I had never before had any experience with human potential or self-help before this experience. It was the most important experience of my life. I had always thought life was in the way and I could do nothing about it. I just suffered through it. I had very little joy in my life because I was trying to play it safe, never venturing out of my comfort zone. Now I do scary things and I trust that it will pay off.
I try new things. I get scared, but I act anyway. I do things now that would have terrified me a couple of years ago. I look for opportunities to interact with other people, something I never did before. For most of my life, I had given away my power. It was easier to be a wife and mother than to be out in the world. I was the one who made the choice to be the supporting role, not the lead.
I had given my power away.
Now I know that I am not a victim in this world. I create my own life. It is my responsibility what I do with it. Any challenge that I’m presented with is a new opportunity to learn. I now love and accept myself, and this is critical because when I don’t have compassion for myself, I can’t be open to the needs of other people.
I had a voice in my head that said, “Marita, you have to be creative and your life will work out.” I listened to that voice, and in 2009 I took a class on meditative painting and I was hooked. From there I took more art and drawing classes. My new business focuses on the importance of creativity and that we can create our own lives.
I use vision boards or dream boards as a tool. It is about inspiring women to step into their own power, to share what I have learned in my life. Where there is a will, there is a way and we have to trust that things will work out when we are following our passion. We have to have a plan. We have to put it into action. We have to be willing to do what it takes to achieve it.
It doesn’t matter what happened in your past. What matters is what you do to create your future.
What’s your moment when something big happened that changed your life? Please leave a comment, we want to know 🙂