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Barbara Biziou

Redefining MidLife
by Barbara Biziou


"Since you don’t know when the end is going to be how can you figure out what mid-life is." --Julia Riva

We, as a culture, worship youth. We try and tighten our abs, botox our faces and dye our hair all on the eternal quest to stay young. Looking good is not a bad thing, but dismissing the wisdom of experience because of our fear of aging is destructive and sad.

Moving into midlife (whenever that is) can be a freeing and exhilarating experience.

Around the age of 45 we begin to move into the halfway point of our lives. For some of us it is closer to 50. The actual chronological age is not important, what is important is the feeling that we have come to a turning point in our lives.

The essence of mid-life change is the reevaluation of the present with an eye toward an uncertain future. It represents both the end and the beginning of a cycle. Some of us may recall forgotten dreams and wonder whether it too is late to realize them. Many of us have to give up our fantasies of how we thought our life would be. Facing this reality may leave us feeling vulnerable and unsure of ourselves.

The Joys of Everyday Ritual by Barbara Biziou

Those who have the hardest time with mid-life are usually those who realize they have lived a life programmed for them by others rather than the life they wish to lead. It is common to see them begin to search for satisfaction in different ways -- possibly pursuing their "life's work" or looking for some larger "purpose" to their life. Many times, people get a wakeup call when faced with a personal crisis that prompts them to look deeply at their life (sudden loss of job or home, death of a loved one, illness).

This time is a gift for it allows us to correct the flow of emotional energy in our life. It is important to acknowledge any grief and sadness that we may have so we can become more available for joy in our life. This is not about regrets -- everything we have ever done has added to who we are today. It is important to take the time we need to retreat from our daily lives so we can heal. Be prepared to encounter resistance from others who are used to us always being available. Building strong relationships of mutual trust and caring will play an important part in this healing journey.

Whenever we start something new we may feel uncertain. We no longer know what is expected of us and we can lose the self-confidence and certainty that we have built up over years.

The good news is that we can take this opportunity to look at life in a new and fresh way. This is a time to reinvent ourselves and make new choices based on what we truly want. It is time to take stock of our lives, reevaluate our dreams and goals as we make peace with what we haven’t done and take steps towards our new expanded vision.

The challenge is to look at the changing energy with anticipation. We can throw away the roles that do not serve and open to ones that contain more freedom to be ourselves. Time to set our house in balance.

Many women find themselves moving into new careers or careers for the first time. Power may be an issue. For men and women who have worked in the world this may be a time for more fun …freedom from the old roles we took on.

Our bodies too are changing. We become aware of our mortality. Hormones play havoc with our emotions.

For women, this is a time of menopause…an ending of our fertile years.

As my friend Donna Henes says, "midlife comes into ourselves after we’ve done our parenting--actual children or careers, community, political or whatever we’ve birthed and grown".

The Joy of Family Rituals by Barbara Biziou

If you are between 40-60 you are in Midlife… 


Living together and having a new baby
Raising an adopted child as a single mother or father
Starting a new relationship
Developing same sex relationships
Beginning a new career
Going back to school
Retiring after 30 years of being at the same job
Practicing Yoga
Riding a motorcycle
Looking great
Being comfortable with who you are
Letting go of control
Acknowledging your discomfort
Laughing at yourself
Becoming an emotional yo yo
Accessing your wisdom
Taking care of aged parents
Spending time with yourself
Taking up a new hobby

Real old age begins when one looks backward rather then forward, but we can look forward with joy and excitement to the years ahead and especially to the contributions we can make to the world.

Psychologically this is a new time of preparation for elder hood. Yet, there is a lot of time between midlife and elder hood and we need to discover language that speaks to this new era.

Donna Henes, Urban Shaman, calls this feminine archetypal the Queen…

"Today’s new generation of women-of-a-certain-age is hungry for assurance that their mid life transitions might bring about a period of positive change and growth for themselves as individuals and for the world around them. They crave role models, examples, and teachers to help them create actualized, fulfilled, and joyful ways of being. In the absence of affirmative guidance, this pioneering sixties generation of women can and must create their own roles and ideals, compose the scripts, and author the sagas of their own futures.

In The Queen of My Self, author Donna Henes, articulates an original and well-defined paradigm that puts a contemporary woman’s personal aging process into the perspective of a larger-than-life archetypal frame-work.

Henes expands the age-old archetypal paradigm of the Maiden, the Mother, and the Crone to include a model for today’s modern middle age women: The Queen. The Four-Fold Goddess of Maiden, Mother, Queen, and Crone is a much more accurate description of the current Way of Womanhood (for more information you can reach Donna Henes at www.donnahenes.net)


1.Recommit yourself to speak in your own voice-unhampered by expectations or fear of what others will think.
2.Support causes which show respect and reverence for the earth
3.Be wild
4.Take time for yourself -- slow down -- transitions take time.
5.Cultivate a belief that it is safe to move forward
6.Give up "being perfect"
7.Develop a consistent spiritual practice
8.Feel the intensity of your emotions -- seek professional help if needed
9.Decide to have a positive attitude
10.Clean house of negative people
11.Continue to learn new things
12. Travel -- expand your horizons
13.Be physical -- touch, hug, have sex
14. Laugh, have fun
15. Let yourself be supported by others in a healthy way


© Copyright 2003 Barbara Biziou.  All Rights Reserved. 

Barbara Biziou
Barbara Biziou, author of The Joys of Everyday Ritual and The Joy of Family Rituals, is an internationally acclaimed teacher of meditation and a life-strategy coach. Her new DVD program Momentary Meditations is the first guided meditation DVD shot on high definition video. She is president of Blue Lotus, a multimedia production company specializing in spirituality and personal growth. As one of America's foremost ritual experts, she teaches us how to restore ritual to its rightful place as food for the soul through practical, easy to use ritual recipes that are inspiring and fun. Email: britual@aol.com


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