* The Change
Until recently, I thought the term “change of life” meant menopause and the physical and emotional changes that come with it. I believed that menopausal woman act erratically, if not practically insanely. Perhaps as a young girl I was influenced by an episode of the popular 1970s television show, “All In the Family,” during which Archie Bunker’s menopausal wife, Edith, changed from her normally submissive behavior to unusually bitchy outbursts within the blink of an eye. Comical is it appeared on television, it left a mark in my mind and caused me to dread my fate as a woman.
Fast forward 40 years and I’m beginning to understand what ‘the change’ really is. I’m discovering that it surpasses physical changes and emotional expressions due to hormonal fluctuation, and realizing that it can encompass and total transformation of life as influenced by the soul. In some way, ‘the change’ cracks open our hearts and minds to enable us to hear our soul’s voice and empower us to take action in response to its messages. I now see “the change” as a change of a woman’s entire being on the planet, and an initiation from woman into Wise Woman who maintains a deeper, richer perspective of life.
This year I am experiencing “the change.” Amid hot flashes, sensations in my muscles and swelling breasts and hips, I’m keenly aware of the changes of my attitude about my life. In topsy-turvy fashion, the things that were once important to me suddenly fell to the bottom of the heap, while other things that before held lesser significance have catapulted to the top. My career as a video and television producer, which has been one of my greatest joys and primary focus throughout my adult life (not to mention my means of making a living) now feels overly demanding, shallow and an obstacle to balanced life. My constant quest for the next production gig, and the long, demanding hours of my “living” has over-ridden my life’s work. I’ve been neglecting my mission to support women, my friends (all of them positive, loving and deeply important to me), spiritual practices, writing, exercise and time in nature. I’ve been feeling “fake”, not walking my talk. I constantly try to convince myself that, “part of being sexy, spirited and strong is surviving and thriving,” but it’s not working anymore. My life in Los Angeles, where I’ve lived joyfully as a single woman for the past for the past 10 years, now seems superficial and meaningless. Gratefully, during this time of slow awakening, I’ve felt waves of sadness for the slipping away of youth and anxiety about the economy and other national/global issues, but I haven’t felt or behaved hysterically, as Edith Bunker did.
More than anything, I’ve been experiencing awe as I receive my soul's messages. And it’s been calling me to follow an new path. It’s urging me to abandon production and return to my mission to empower women, and start a new career in non-profit or education. It’s reminding me to feel the love of my sweet, aging parents and siblings on the east coast, isnpiring me to move back east. And I'm joyfully saying YES, as I make plans to return to the richness of family life and create a lifestyle of balance, writing, teaching and supporting women. I feel strong, courageous, and conscious of my life in a larger context, knowing my decisions are the right ones.
Change of Life, indeed! My whole LIFE is changing, not just my body! I believe it’s because of my changing physicality that I’m able to more clearly hear my soul’s guidance toward what is meaningful. I’m learning lessons and embracing “the change” of my entire existence. I'm becoming a Wise Woman and embracing my new status, knowing that as long as I listen, I will always live a meaningful and rich life.