Midlife Myths & Realities: Andrea M. Slominski, Ph.D.
It’s so tempting at the beginning of the year to leap forward into January with enthusiasm, determination, and energy. Why not make New Year’s Resolutions?
“It is so tempting because we are at a new beginning!”
We arm ourselves to the hilt with mighty resolutions that often revolve around unmet goals from other times in our lives. We proclaim, “This year I’m going to do it!” I’m going to accomplish this or that! I’m going to lose weight or get in shape, or eat healthily, become vegan, read more, be more loving, compassionate, and giving, and, and, and . . . .
The Start Of A New Year:
It is so tempting because we are at a new beginning! The start of a new year. Out with the old and in with the new. What a better time for New Year’s Resolutions?
Yet, for better or worse, wherever you go, there you are! And so are all the experiences and patterns of your life. We bring all of our, accomplishments, victories, faults, and failures with us across New Years’ Eve into the New Year. That is not to say that you shouldn’t have goals and desires for the new year, of course, you should; goals are essential! But let’s pause for a minute.
For many Regent women (ages 45-70+ ) the end of the year is filled with hectic holidays. Our platters overflow with packed schedules, travel, shopping, caregiving, cooking, working, cleaning, mothering, spousing, partnering, daughtering, and more. Because of all this, I encourage my clients and loved ones to slow down and take a break after the New Year.
I call it, After the Solstice, Rest.
The winter solstice usually falls during or near many cultural holidays. For thousands of years, people across the globe have celebrated the Winter Solstice as a time of sacred pause and celebration.
Night Of Solstice:
For three days—the day before, the day of, and the day after the solstice—ancient peoples believed that the sun stopped moving and stood still on the horizon. For them, the cosmos paused, the great wheel stopped turning. They knew that the night of solstice is the longest and darkest night of the year.
“Thanks were given for the harvest, and the larder was prepared (as best it could be) to survive the long cold winter ahead.”
In some mythologies, the sunrise after the longest night symbolized the rebirth of the Sun itself as it began its travels toward the spring. In others, it represented the Great Mother giving birth to a new son/king. He would grow to become her consort and lover, to be defeated in battle at the summer solstice by another king, who then becomes her lover. This summer king dies at the winter solstice, and their offspring is born as the new king. And so it went year after year.
This was a sacred time of the year. There were celebrations, rituals, ceremonies, and feasts to honor the sun, the great mother, the old king, and the new. Celebrations continued for weeks. In the Germanic tradition, Yule celebrations lasted two months. Thanks were given for the harvest, and the larder was prepared (as best it could be) to survive the long cold winter ahead.
Dream About The New Year:
Even though the rebirth of the Sun was a promise that spring would come again. The long dark of winter was not the time for plowing, sowing, planting, or tending. The earth and the fields lay fallow, resting. Winter was the time for spinning, weaving, and storytelling.
Like our ancestors, whose lives were more directly tied to nature, this is what I recommend for us, at this time of the year. When the celebrations are over, and we, too, face the long dark of winter, it is time to rest and let our inner fields go fallow.
It is time to dream, spin, weave, imagine and rest. Get some deep rest. Dream about the new year, imagine, and consider all that happened in the year that just passed. What did you learn? What do you need to let die and leave behind in the dark cold places?
Spinning Of Your Imagination:
The dreams you dream and the spinning of your imagination, desires, and goals will weave together soon enough into a new cloth for a new year. Taking some time to get some deep rest will help you make better decisions about which goals will become seeds to plant when we get just a little closer to spring.
“Don’t rush your dreams because it’s New Year.”
No seed will germinate into a strong seedling unless it has first spent some time in the cold, dark ground waiting for the return of spring. Don’t rush your dreams because it’s New Year. We have a lot going on. No need to make a ton of New Year’s Resolutions on day one.
Women go through three transformations during midlife. These huge shifts are pre-programmed into our bodies and psyches. My coaching is for women who want to do the deep work that is rooted in their story, hopes, and dreams.
Using the tools of Psychology, Archetypes, Dreams, Mythology, Fairytale, Tarot, Creativity, and more, I guide women through the often dark and confusing maze of their midlife experiences. I mentor women to discover their unique midlife perspective, who they are now, and how to live their most authentic and fulfilled lives.
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. If you need support for your Regency years, including all the changes of midlife and menopause, I’m here for you. Email me at [email protected]
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