49 is not what I expected. I started my working life as a medical professional then turned holistic and spiritual practitioner and so far this week my practice has been my saving grace. I have navigated my own selfcare treatments from Reiki to calm my nervous system to Reflexology to regulate the endocrine. It is a rollercoaster of a role to witness our elder’s needs from lightbulb changes, medication dosette boxes, emergency calls and missing wheelchairs.
I have called upon my spiritual allies to help in many varying degrees from negotiating contracts and holding space for my Mother as she feels she is losing her friends to dementia. Then there’s my Fathers loss of mobility and fragility. My faith in the wise and well ancestors have been my allies in the subtle realms only too willing to be called upon.
I lean to the ancestors, after all I am them, my bones and facial features are theirs, from them I am born. The role of the carer is a difficult one to navigate. It arrives at a time when I myself am changing. I go through a multitude of transitions being a 49 year old woman, self employed spiritual business practitioner, a wife, a friend, a listener and a menopausal shifter.
Whilst navigating the elder’s care needs in an ever-shifting NHS and social care system I am trying to figure out the menopausal fatigue and wonder if my symptoms are from too much or too little evening primrose right now. I am pulled to “clean house” of the unfinished business I have stacked up. The courses, submissions, assessments and the continuing professional development that is a feature of all our professional pursuits these days. I am always reading 4 books and far too tired to complete any. Then there is the cleaning out of the emotional and energetic baggage of old worn out perspective and my inner archetypes all shouting for some deep witnessing.
This thing they call menopause is a maturing of the old ways, the inner pathways, a realisation of what has worked well and what has not. Call it menopause, call it a life review if you dare! It is the wise one willing me to tune inwards and not be so outwards when the world is wanting me to be all things. This crone inside is trying to be birthed into a new way of navigating the here and now. So while we nurture those around us, the message deep within is “Who is nurturing you?” Birthing is painful and changeful. It can’t be pushed down or ignored. So no wonder I am feeling the fatigue of this gestation from menstruation.
It is the big gardening of mature life. Call it weeding for now, it is asking what am I keeping up and what do I need to let go? What is right for me and what is right now for me? 49 is full of loose ends, never-ends and the inevitable end. Right now the weeding is all important as I take this time to nurture the garden within. As the elders take an afternoon nap, the cat does too and the 49 year olds are discerning, weeding and regulating their nervous system with left-right eye movements in the mid-day sun. One day I will be through the change, transformed and the ancestor of my family tree.
The red tent to women like me in the middle of life, becomes a life tent. It is the anchor that sits you down and holds you in. It is a place remembered for birth and death, but it is also for the mid shifters, for transformation. It is the place to go to in pain, in need, knee deep with the earth and discerning cries, “help me transform, shift through it all”. If you have never been inside a red tent, create one, create if just for yourself! It is the resting place and the place to let it all flow.
Here in the middle we are asked to change, do work differently, parenting and elder care differently. Our loved ones change, societies views and expectations change, my hair colour has changed….and everyday the needs of those and ourselves change. My own requirements move and new boundaries need to be created, what once was ok is now far from acceptable. They call this growth in the spiritual community, with grow there can also be pain. So the message for now is take it slowly, even when there are urgent moments, walk the earth with every step at a slower pace because everything is changing.