Why 50 is the new 40
In this article Yoga teacher Diana Dearle, Member of The Midlife Hub, tell us about finding your purpose in midlife.
50 is the new 40!
A sweeping statement but let’s look at how….
Midlife has a bad reputation. It’s a phase of life that shouts out “hey your best years are behind you, now it’s all downhill” This may be true but why not be open to a more updated version…”hey your youth was a blast but you were inexperienced and insecure, now you have experience and know how to reap the rewards of youth and have just as much fun” Or something like that. What I’m getting at is a change in attitude is sometimes all it needs to freshen up conditioned thoughts. 50 is the new 40 after all….
Midlife can be very challenging with all sorts of curve balls thrown at you such as divorce, weight gain, career crisis, a slump in productivity, illness or a time of contemplation which if you’re not in a happy place, can seem like you’ve messed up and didn’t get the life you wanted or planned.
Well, guess what we all have the ability to change, find a blank canvas and start again – yes even in midlife, in fact so many people reinvent themselves in midlife especially after children have flown the nest.
Instead of the label ‘midlife crisis’ how about ‘midlife – the best is yet to come” I love that.
It is what we say to ourselves that matters because what we say becomes a habitual thinking pattern and then becomes our reality. Saying I’m old several times a day is going to make you feel older than you are ! Your body holds an expression of that, your posture starts to slump, then you get lower back pain due to poor posture which makes you feel older still and the cycle continues….
Why does ageing make us feel miserable?
It’s a natural and necessary part of life which we all go through. Unfortunately we live in a world that worships youth and beauty and when that starts to dissolve, we think we have less appeal.
A good recent and relevant example for flipping that coin from negative and resigned to positive and purposeful is Captain Tom who took on the challenge at 99 to walked 100 lengths of his garden every day for his 100th birthday and raise money for charity. Well, it went off the scale as he raised over £32 million (his initial goal was £1000) He’s a national treasure, famous and is the first 100 year old to get a number 1 in the charts.
Finding purpose is important in midlife, some would say the essence and can be the difference of feeling satisfied or dissatisfied. If you were highly ambitious in your 20’s and achieved everything by midlife, this might cause dissatisfaction and an attitude of “what now….is that it ?” for others they may feel they played catch up for years but then by midlife, have a considered path and attitude of still so much more to achieve.
As a 51 year old yoga teacher, I see midlife as a wonderful opportunity to start to give back. This is my purpose and in giving back to the world will give me so much satisfaction and I will bathe in gratitude. Give back can mean many things from giving to the planet to giving to those who need help. Hopefully in midlife our spirituality can evolve as we take a step back with a wise smile.
More about Diana Dearle.
Diana specialises in yoga and wellbeing during menopause, giving women a toolbox to help in manage their symptoms. Diana also offers Yoga Nidra, also know as yogic sleep (this is a meditation and conscious relaxation practice that induces physical, mental, and emotional relaxation), basic mediation and mindfulness skills to help people relax. She teaches small groups of people of all ages, private clients and corporate companies. Diana also runs regular workshops for yin yoga and menopause.
Why is Yoga good for you?
A number of scientific trials have been published on yoga, most of which suggest it is a safe and effective way to increase physical strength and flexibility. Practising balance poses is also a great way to work on your stability – which is important in maintaining bone strength – all vital things to think about as you age.