More About Midlife

bonniehomepage5a.jpg Midlife presents you with an amazing opportunity to reinvent your life. It’s time for a true adventure, where you say good-bye to the “shoulds” and shape your life in new ways to reflect the woman you are becoming. With an inward focus and some serious support, plus the courage to take action, you will reap the benefits of a profound and life-altering journey.


Like all good stories, the midlife passage has a beginning, a middle and an end. In the early stages, deep, inner psychological forces go to work pressuring you to grow and change. You may get little pings of restlessness, or wake-up calls, reminding you “there’s more inside you” yearning for expression. With a natural human preference for the familiar, you may ignore these pings for a while. And so does the caterpillar, when it receives notification that its metamorphosis is on the horizon – as if to say, “Who needs this?”


Then some event, usually pretty close to you, triggers a greater awareness on your part that the old ways really aren’t working any more. When I was Dean of Continuing Education at Wellesley College mentoring return-to-college students, I often heard such triggers:

  • I saw my daughter heading off for college and I asked myself, why can’t I go too?
  • Now my kids are in school all day, I have time to focus more on what I want to do!
  • My real estate business was highly successful, but I was seriously bored until one day, last summer, a friend told me she was going back to school.

Middle bonnieleonardaboutmidlife2b.jpg
Almost without warning, your usual rules for living are no longer valid. You may feel set adrift, but unable to develop a new game plan for the rest of the journey. In this middle stage, disturbing questions begin to bubble up like: “Is this all there is? What’s missing? What’s next? Where do I go from here? Why haven’t I found my passion by now? Is it too late for me?” The secret to navigating this middle or liminal (threshold) stage successfully is an intense, impassioned exploration of your inner world. There is much more inside you yet to be discovered and lived.

At this point, the caterpillar has spun a chrysalis. And you, too, need to create a safe container for supporting your morphing self. The coaching structure can provide just such a container for you, as you make this life-changing transition. In the chrysalis. the caterpillar actually loses its form and turns into a gelatinous substance. During your own metamorphosis, you, too, may feel a bit formless, as you release old ways of being in the world and begin to uncover old dreams and articulate new desires.

End [New Beginning]

Finally, you emerge into the light from what can feel like the end of a dark tunnel. The caterpillar has become a butterfly! This last stage brings its own vulnerabilities, because you are in new territory, exploring a new life and discovering a new you.

As you may have surmised, these stages are a bit arbitrary, and you will probably go back and forth between them, but they pretty much describe the very natural process of change – a change that can herald a truly meaningful and fulfilling life, as you find that “more inside you” and bring it into the world.

30/30 Consult

Get a free consultation with Bonnie LeonardWhy not schedule a 30/30 Consult to gain some professional expertise and start constructing a life where you wake up every morning, inspired and excited – knowing you’re on the right path?