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A Midlife Reinvention Requirement

April '13

“You must have chaos within you to birth a dancing star.” — Friedrich Nietzche.

Chaos inevitably accompanies a metamorphosis because the old form must be destroyed before a new form can arise. Before the caterpillar becomes a butterfly, it dissolves into a formless goo within the chrysalis. So when your familiar world begins to fade at midlife and a new one has yet to emerge, chaos may describe your world.

When your life begins to shift in major ways in the middle years (emptying nest), or when an unexpected event propels change (restructured out of a job), it’s time to develop your own cocoon to foster an amazing restructuring process. The personal metamorphosis that characterizes midlife requires a nurturing environment.   

So how to create that environment? Since the world around you consists of people, places and things, you can spin your own protection by giving your attention to these three areas. This issue of Midlife Discovery will focus on “things.” Next month’s issue will support you in attending to people and places.

Things How To

Begin by taking a moment to simply pause and look around you as you sit on your couch, or chair at home. Concentrate on the items in the room around you – one by one. For each item, ask the question, “Do I love it – am I happy it’s here?” If your answer is “Yes”, that’s great; enjoy it! If your answer is No, the time has come to clear what has now turned into “clutter.” If you don’t love it any more, but it’s useful – like a lamp. Keep it; you may want to consider buying a new lamp, but that’s a job for another day.

Or, if you prefer, start with one of your clothes closets. Simply go through your wardrobe and pull out any item you haven’t worn in the last two years. (Experts usually suggest one year, but two years makes it easier to say good-bye.)

Or if time is limited, that overloaded kitchen drawer is begging you to cast an eye on its contents and dig out the utensils you never use. Once you’ve identified those things (clothes, household items, etc.) that no longer serve you, your next step is to remove this clutter from your life. Why not give it away to a charity, or bring it to a consignment shop, or use whatever approach works for you?

This kind of clearing can also help you learn more about the woman you have become and what she wants. Perhaps you’re tired of those neutrally colored clothes and crave more color in your life. Or perhaps you’re weary of all those loud, bright colors and seek a more neutral and peaceful palette. Good to know!

As you clear this “clutter” from your life, be sure to observe and acknowledge that surge of energy that arrives when you let go of those objects that no longer make meaning in your life.

If you begin to clear some of your clutter in the months ahead, do let me know if you encounter that surge of energy, or any other reward.

Happy Spring Clearing!

P.S. In the weeks ahead, look for a surprise offer that will help you put your own midlife reinvention into motion.






  1. Rosa Sutcliffe said on April 30, 2013:

    Thank you for your insights and support at a time of great turbulence and loss in my life. With love and light Rosa xx

  2. Bonnie said on May 1, 2013:

    Hi Rosa!
    You’re more than welcome – so glad my words could be of help. May the light at the end of your tunnel become brighter and brighter.
    My heart is with you,

  3. Jean McLevedge said on May 1, 2013:

    Chaos gives it a name, thank you. I can actually feel it in my head when my thinking is undergoing major change. Like white noise for two days, then clarity. XO J

  4. Bonnie said on May 3, 2013:

    Hi Jean!
    Love your white noise analogy.
    So glad there is clarity after two days,

  5. Helga said on May 7, 2013:

    I enjoy the wisdom in your newsletter. Thank you for sharing.

  6. Bonnie said on May 8, 2013:

    I appreciate this kind comment, Helga.

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