Midlife crisis or midlife awakening?
It’s your choice. Your words. Your mind.
Like with everything in life, it all comes down to perception. You can choose to look through the eyes of love or the eyes of fear.
I know which I’m going to choose every time. Can you guess?
I am the type of person who has always been curious.
Before I believe it to be true, I ask questions; I’m inquisitive about everything.
Curiosity is my best friend; it’s taught me to look beyond social conditioning, labels, and expectations.
It’s taught me to take off my rose-tinted glasses and observe life from all angles.
So, here are my thoughts on a “midlife crisis”—a term that was coined by psychoanalyst and organizational consultant Elliott Jaques in 1965.
What do you think when you hear the word crisis? Do you fear the worst?
Eliot Jaques used this word to explore. He described it as:
“Coming face-to-face with our limitations, restricted possibilities, and mortality.”
To me, the above statement says awakening, not crisis—becoming aware of who we are, understanding what’s blocking us, realising what life is all about, and learning why we are here.
Crisis versus Awakening
Have you heard of the placebo and the nocebo effect?
I’m not talking about pills and medication here; words also can have a placebo and a nocebo effect with the impact they have on you, positive and negative, good and bad.
It’s a fascinating subject, one I’m obsessed with; I love learning how the mind works.
Let me tell you a little story from my childhood that explains the placebo effect perfectly:
I was probably about seven years of age; I was on a school trip, an adventure weekend at Butlins in Wales.
My mum dropped me off at the coach, and before we had even begun the journey, I started to feel sick.
I was given a seat at the front of the coach near the teachers. All the other kids were happy and chatty, but I just wanted to go back home. The smell of the coach with its velour seating made my stomach turn.
(I’m not a good passenger at all.)
We set off, and nausea worsened. My teacher could tell something was wrong with me, so she came over and gave me a paper bag and told me to sit on it. (Huh?!)
She told me it’s an amazing cure for travel sickness, all I needed to do was sit on the bag and relax, and in just a few minutes, I would be fine.
Guess what? It worked exactly how she said it would. No more travel sickness on the way there and back!
So, was it a magic bag or the wise words of my teacher?
It was the placebo effect!
A positive impact emotionally, physically, and mentally.
However, there is always a Ying to a Yang.
The Nocebo Effect
A negative impact emotionally, physically, and mentally.
The placebo effect occurs when a placebo makes you feel better or improves your symptoms. The nocebo effect, on the other hand, happens when a placebo makes you feel worse.
So, when you are told that you are having a midlife crisis, it’s all about how you perceive it: the placebo or the nocebo.
Life is a continual journey of change.
As children, you live in an imaginary world of exploration, with make-believe friends, flying in spaceships, being a princess, and so on.
Then as you develop, you begin to be influenced by society, life expectations, study, starting a career, having relationships, getting married, and having children…
I call this the “human doing” stage. And then comes the point in life when we have completed our human to-do list, and we stop and think, “now what?” (The so-called Midlife Crisis.)
However, I call this the midlife awakening.
It’s a time when you wake up to the bigger picture beyond the hustle and bustle of daily life and realize there’s much more to living.
You are opening up your mind to limitless possibilities and acknowledging the beauty that lies within.
The only thing that is constant in life is change.
You are never stuck because you are all energy; just like nature, you flow through life cycles.
The highs and the lows are there for a reason to teach life’s lessons—so you can evolve and grow.
“Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.” ~ John Lennon.
You have the choice to embark on a midlife crisis and manifest a time of intense difficulty, worry, and upset.
Or, you can embrace a midlife awakening: looking deeper within, an opportunity for growth, a new pathway, a journey back to your truth.
Which one will you choose?
Watch out for part 2, where I share my midlife awakening experience and bestow, with you, how it has nothing to do with age and how we can turn “messy” into a beautiful experience.
Love, Mimi xxx