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Life Struggles For Women In The Second Half Of Life

Nancy Candea Images October 2022

Mindful Breathing Thought Leader: Nancy Candea

I am passionate about working with women in the second half of life.

“Early on, I learned to process my thoughts, confusion, and challenges using my body.”

Range Of Life Struggles For Women:

I have worked with women my whole adult life, as a dancer and choreographer, and as a yoga therapist. I have been a single mom and married three times. Moreover, my sisters, daughters, and I all identify with the Me Too Movement. Now at 61, I can see the range of the life struggles we have faced as women. 

My bachelor’s degree in dance fostered my ability to see the world through the lens of an artist. Early on, I learned to process my thoughts, confusion, and challenges using my body. I also learned how to connect emotionally to an audience. My work as a choreographer saved my soul in my younger years.

My personal experience of recovering from depression and drug use—that caused me to be treated for an attempted suicide when I was 19—working on bulimia in a 12-step group in my twenties, and being in some sort of therapy on and off throughout my whole life, helps me to understand the need for more compassionate licensed therapists and social workers. Exactly like the ones that I received help from throughout my life. 

Struggling With Ageism:

Furthermore, throughout my dance career, I worked with many other women who were performing artists and witnessed the rawness of our struggles as women. Like the rest of the population, we were plagued with eating disorders, body image challenges, feeling inferior to men, and struggled to create an income.

“Women of color had all those issues but magnified.”

We felt we had to play dumb or act like a man to be a professional. We felt bad about our desire to stay home with our children. And we felt bad about our desire to go back to work. Women of color had all those issues but magnified. Now I see women in midlife and beyond struggling with ageism issues on top of any emotional, physical, and financial issues they already had.

Above all, I feel like women have not gotten the information they need to combat the myths of menopause and are scared of aging—it looks like a medical condition and a series of unfortunate events. 

Women Feel Invisible:

In my work as a yoga therapist and yoga teacher trainer, I have helped many women through transitions like divorce, empty-nesting, addiction awareness, and illness. I talk to women over 45  and, even if they are still in successful careers, they feel invisible, even though we are one-quarter of the US population.

In addition, they feel like they are failing and flailing through this time of their lives when they could be living the wisdom that they have gained from years of managing hormones that can create human life. I want us to feel whole during this whole round trip of life. Underneath the lack of confidence, I see depression, anxiety, unprocessed anger, and regret. 

Three Questions To Ask Yourself Now:

I have a few questions for you now that you are GROWING older!

  1. Are you choosing how you live your life?
  2. Have you consciously decided what is important to you now?
  3. Are you making choices that reflect that decision? 

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Nancy Candea

About the Author:

Nancy Candea is a life coach and yoga therapist who helps women make peace with their past, find self-acceptance, and step wholeheartedly into their purpose. Nancy, who specializes in yoga therapy for trauma, addiction, and chronic pain, has led trainings and retreats in Greece, Uganda, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, upcountry Hawaii, Detroit, and Newark. She created 2017’s social justice summit on the Navajo Nation in Arizona. She has brought her personal trainings to the Boulder Women’s Shelter and to seven-figure households. Nancy’s articles have been featured in Elephant Journal and Purpose Fairy. Check out her freebies at NancyCandea.com.