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Mid Life Initiation & Rites Of Passage

Thinking about Midlife as a Rite of Passage transformed my emotional experience on my own Midlife journey.

Pre-perimenopause, I believed I would sail through the process like a sailboat on a lake.

So when I found myself being sucked into a vortex of emotional turbulence, darkness, isolation and unexplained grief, I did not attribute it to anything to do with my life actually changing,

I just thought that all the situations and circumstances in my life were conspiring against me.

In white Western culture, we have been socialised to downplay the significant transitions a woman goes through during her perimenopausal menopausal phase.

Even the language available to describe what we are going through is significantly void of any real description or sensitivity to the process we are going through.

Women are shamed into talking about the experience at any level other than hot flushes, night sweats and a giggle about a piddle when we laugh.

But the truth is, the transition from our second age - the Mother phase in archetypal language, into our third age, the age of the Crone, is a most significant and final Rite Of Passage.

Seeing our transition as a Rite Of Passage means that we are reframing the experience to embrace the journey.

It allows us to find acceptance and open up to the process.

Rites Of Passage acknowledge the period of time when we shift from one group to another.

In broad terms, in our Midlife rite of Passage we are separating from one age bracket to another.

Western culture may discuss Rites of Passage, but in truth, it misses the important structure and function of true Rites of Passage.

A Rite of Passage is the process of being called away from something familiar to something unfamiliar and unknown.

It's like leaving the bank of the river to swim to another shore.

We go through uncertainty and resistance. The mid-current fear.

We feel the desire to turn back and the internal conflict to stay and weather the storm.

When we stay and weather the storm, we are in the realisation, this is the initiation.

This is where we do our work; this is where we transform.

I feel very strongly that as we get older, we are here to honour the process our life gives us to live.

Take a moment to think. Whatever situation is presenting to you right now, what can you see if you look at it through the lens of your Rite Of Passage, the lens of initiation?

The very thing you are facing will be the very thing you need to see.

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