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Madeleine Eames

- Psychotherapist
- Mindfulness Teacher

Awakening Aliveness at Midlife: Key #4

So far we have been diving in with the first 3 keys to see that our aliveness lives deep inside us, in our own alive bodies.

The first 5 keys take us inwards to see what has not been allowed to surface in our external lives so far and has been held buried alive, ready and waiting. 

We have seen that (1) your aliveness has never been done before and that (2) you don’t have to worry about difficult emotions or (3) parts of yourself because you are everything, all of it and all of it is passing. 

Midlife is often a time of great uncertainty. It can feel like chaos and confusion in this time of transition and we might see the habitual safe reactions that we have relied upon so far to feel safe and needed. These are the younger parts of you that lie below the mind. 

However, a lot of these responses to life are now outdated and actually cause disharmony and anxiety because they are based in old fear. Fear is never expansive. It keeps you stuck. So we must tread the new waters of refraining, pausing, and stepping back from patterns that we might feel are our identity. 

The caregiver, the mother, the one who knows, who provides, who is the nice friend, the good girl, how many of these are old and actually… exhausting?

One way I recommend to return to the baseline of the natural self is to take time alone without demands or routines and see what impulses arise in you. 

Take some time, a day and a night if you can, to simply be yourself. I go to my old cabin to do this and I was surprised by the natural routines that arose. I like quiet in the morning, walking, writing and then in the afternoon I tend to feel more social. I also noticed how much energy I spent on things, small things, that a) were not aligned and b) were totally unnecessary. 

Sometimes when I hadn’t spoken to anyone in a few hours I felt panicky. A part of me that needed social interaction was leaving.

Sometimes when I felt I wasn’t doing anything, I saw how much I relied on doing to feel worthy and valuable. It  was through these moments where I saw I could survive and feel worthy even when I was simply being. 

And that is where all new ideas and inspiration arrived.

SO many times I wanted to reach out to my kids and give advice, know what they were doing, see if they are ok? Sometimes I did, and other times I saw it was simply based on fear and served no-one. It only gave me a temporary feeling of being connected and feeling needed.

(Of course in my daily life I love being in regular contact). 

But when we stop certain automatic reactions, we see what we were avoiding. Loneliness, guilt, fear… will everyone be ok without me?  What if I dared to do nothing today?

This is a deep connection with your primal self, and a releasing of your younger child self that was still stuck inside your body. 

The part that needs something (what is your something?) to feel worthy or safe.

Take time to notice what your habitual nervous system reactions are. Fight-flight-freeze-fawn are the channels we move through in old fear patterns. 

Pause when you feel one rising in your body and see what it feels like to refrain, even just for a few minutes or an hour, or 24 hours. 

Notice: what came up in you? Did everyone or the world continue to live without your pattern? 

The key #4 is: Grow out of these habitual patterns to heal what is underneath and open to the empty aliveness where new things can arrive. 

This is where there are infinite possibilities available to you outside of the old. 

Practice this in small bits, as our next keys in this journey will take you even farther on this path. 

You are alive. 

An expanding, fully alive, creative expression of yourself exists under your conditioning that is totally free. 

Your purpose at midlife is to uncover her.

The next key #5 is a turning point. Stay tuned. 


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