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:
· becoming a parent
· an empty nest
· 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.
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”…