Midlife Myths & Realities: Andrea M. Slominski, Ph.D.
Hi everyone, I’m so happy to be joining such a dynamic community of women!
I thought I’d start writing about who I am, what I do, and what I’ll be sharing with you. I’m a women’s life coach, focusing on women ages forty-five to seventy.
“The following eight years were an unending rollercoaster ride due to menopause and the added stress of a midlife identity crisis.”
My Midlife Rebirth And Myths:
My midlife rebirth began with the onset of instant menopause after my OBGYN took me off birth control pills at fifty. (I had been taking them for twelve years to prevent ovarian cancer, which runs in my family.) The following eight years were an unending rollercoaster ride due to menopause and the added stress of a midlife identity crisis.
At fifty-five, I decided to go to grad school to figure out what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I received my M.A. in 2015 and Ph.D. in 2019, from Pacifica Graduate Institute, in Mythological Studies with an Emphasis in Depth Psychology.
Recreated Myself And Myths:
My studies put me on a path that transformed how I see and understand myself and the world. I went back to school searching for the self I felt I had lost. Those years of caring for everyone and everything but myself, putting my creativity and my psyche on the back burner, had left me bone dry.
Since returning to school, I’ve recovered and recreated myself and learned some inspiring and creative ways of helping other women do the same. During my Ph.D. research, I made three discoveries that became the foundation of my coaching method.
The 3 Discoveries That Changed My Life:
1.We Are The First:
There’s a historically powerful reason why many women feel so lost and alone during the changes of menopause and midlife. We are the first women in the history of humanity, to live past menopause together as a cohort.
“We are the first women in the history of humanity, to live past menopause together as a cohort.”
Since ancient times, there have always been individual grandmothers and wise women, but never an entire generation living past menopause. We are the first to enter it together. There are no models, maps, or well-trod paths to follow into this new life stage; it’s uncharted territory. We’re breaking new ground.
Boomer and late Boomers are the first to have the years from fifty to eighty to use our collective knowledge, career experience, and personal wisdom to recreate ourselves and change the world. By 2027 there will be over 87 million women in the US over 45. Imagine what 87 million women can achieve working together! Anything we want.
I was so excited by this discovery and what it could mean for women that I expanded my research to include the changes women would face living a post-menopausal life.
It was then that I made my second life-changing discovery.
“The potential within this new stage of life, which I call Regency, is unprecedented. It’s a gift.”
2. Women Go Through A Triple Transformation From Roughly Forty-Five To Seventy:
We go through the physical changes of menopause, the psychological shift of Midlife, and the internal spiritual shifts caused by their entanglement, all at the same time. These changes can take us on a journey from the underworld of loss to the creative heights of a personal renaissance. The potential within this new stage of life, which I call Regency, is unprecedented. It’s a gift.
3.These Changes Are Preprogrammed Into Our Bodies, Psyches, And Spirits.
No one warned us about all of this. Not our mothers, aunties, grandmothers, doctors, teachers, or spiritual leaders. No one teaches us what we’ll encounter on this part of life’s journey.
The transformations that women go through during Regency are not optional. If a woman lives long enough, she’ll have to navigate through them.
I chose Regency for the stage and Regent for the woman living. Since antiquity, a woman’s life has been understood in three stages, Maiden, Mother, and Crone. Because we’ve added thirty years to our lives, we have to add another part to the metaphor.
I use Maiden, Householder (because not all women have children), Regent, and Wise Woman. A Regent is a woman who rules, has sovereignty over her life, and holds space (the throne or seat of power) for another yet to come, just as we hold the space for our Wise Woman to come.
“Using metaphors and stories to understand ourselves better is not a new idea.”
Myths And Tales:
Mythology is at the heart of what I do, so the myths I share with you won’t be the current expression meaning “myth as a lie” but a myth as a guiding tale. The myths and tales that I use in my coaching are a living library of the experience of life as a woman. Using metaphors and stories to understand ourselves better is not a new idea. It’s the way we have understood ourselves, the world, and our place in it, from before recorded history.
I invite you to discover the power of myth in your life; it can help you to find the courage and strength to embrace your life’s journey and help you create your most authentic and fulfilled life. We’re all on a Heroine’s Journey, hearing a call to adventure that is ours alone.
To answer that call, you must be willing to walk your unique path. If you follow another’s path, you’re choosing someone else’s myth, someone else’s story, and refusing the call to your life. Regency beckons you to become fulfilled in your deepest self. It’s a call to bring your unique gifts to the world. And we need them now more than ever.
About the Author:
Andrea M. Slominski, Ph.D., is an author, speaker, and women’s midlife coach. During her dissertation research and study, she explored the new life stage for women that has emerged over the past 100 years.
Naming this new life stage, from ages 45-70, Regency, Dr. A. has spoken at conferences, published articles, and coached women to make the most of their emerging power years. Dr. A. guides women 45+ through the often-tumultuous transformations during perimenopause, midlife, and menopause. She uses tools that include creativity, story, mythology, imagination, ceremony, and ritual.