Monday, January 17, 2011

My "Unravelling Journey" inspired by the words of Brené Brown

The term mid-life crisis has irritated me for as long as I can remember, and yet I never substituted it with another term. I just refused to use it aloud. Until recently that is, when I understood it to be more like an awakening… or an opportunity that tends to occur in mid-life. Brené Brown’s research suggests that this opportunity or “unraveling journey” as she calls it, can occur at other times in our lives as well:
·        marriage
·        divorce
·        becoming a parent
·        recovery
·        moving
·        an empty nest
·        retiring
·        experiencing loss or trauma
·        working at a soul-sucking job

In October of my 46th year, I could only seem to cope with each moment that was before me. My life had reached an all time high with regard to how full my schedule was and what I demanded of myself. I could not even imagine how I was going to simplify everything.
Many years prior, upon graduation and armed with my BEd., I was fully immersed in my first paid teaching position, only having myself to care for. I spent one evening a week letting all of the tension drain from my being by indulging in a Reflexology treatment. At age forty-six, I looked back and shook my head wondering what possible tension could I have had then? And, how extravagant it was to put money like that just on me! It was then that I noticed a little advertisement in our local paper featuring a Reflexologist who was offering her services for new clients at half cost. I hadn’t been to one in years! I phoned and made an appointment immediately, asked her directions, made room in my schedule and set off the next day to feel miraculously better.  Better that is, if I could find the place. She had mentioned that she lived in a mobile home and the only mobile home park that I could think of was not where I could find her. Being that I was in such a dark place, I would have normally given up, gone home and put the idea behind me. But for some odd reason, I did not and instead drove to the Recreation Centre where I asked the Receptionist if she knew of all of the healing practitioners in the town and if so what their phone numbers were. She did not know the Reflexologist that I was speaking of. I was deflated and ready to walk out when I mentioned that the ad had been in the previous week’s paper of which she happened to have a copy of right there. I found the ad, called Michele and offered to rebook as I was now ten minutes late. She insisted that I come over, corrected my directions and told me to breathe easily.
I did.
When I arrived and laid my body on her massage table, I closed my eyes and felt peace - instantly. She placed her warm, strong hands on my feet and tears began to pour uncontrollably from my eyes and she said, “Oh Ellyn, I should have done a clearing on you first.” I did not even know what she was talking about and all I wanted was for her to be quiet, rub my feet and make me feel better. I lay there in silence while she worked on me for two to three hours. When it was over, I did not even know what to say or how to thank her. All I knew is that I wanted to come back for this clearing that she spoke about. After paying Michele a minute amount and gathering some literature, I got into my vehicle to drive the half hour it would take to get home. The sun shone brighter and although it would only be temporary, I was smiling - genuinely.
This was to be the beginning of my “unraveling journey”…



  1. Oh Ellyn, what a wonderful post. I am so glad that you are enjoying the work of Brene Brown as much as I am. Her words are real for me and make sense. You post is so honest, as it all of your writing. For the past year, my world has seemed out of sync. Brown's words seem to be fillin some sort of void for me. I look forward to following your journey with Brene, as I am sure I am on a similiar path.

  2. Thank you Joanne - I too look forward to travelling with you...