Saturday, February 17, 2007

What mid-life crisis?

Saturday Cuppa: Blackberry and nettle tea

Love is like playing the piano.
First you must learn to play by the rules,
then you must forget the rules
and play from your heart.
~ Unknown

Young Love

Bethany received a Valentine’s card this week from a male friend…

After doing her initial squeal of delight, shock and total joy she kept asking why he sent her one given that a few years ago when she sent him one he was NOT happy. “Ah, honey, that’s boys for ya!” I didn’t remind her that at the time her declarations of undying love were probably not really what he wanted to hear…

The Secret

Watched a great dvd this week called The Secret. If you’re new to the Law of Attraction, or simply want a great reminder that we each create our reality by the thoughts we think (that we truly are magnetic), then try and get hold of a copy for yourself.
It’s available in the UK from


I spent yesterday afternoon with an artist friend. She’s so talented ~ painting, drawing, sculpting, anything arty, she can do it, and do it brilliantly! She never believes me when I tell her how amazing her work is. I say work, but she doesn’t do it professionally, and barely lets it out of the cupboard as a hobby.

Her husband shakes his head in disbelief too. How can she not see the talent?

She’s choosing to stay safe, rather than risk ‘failure’, and in doing so misses the chance to completely blossom. To live her truth.

About five or so years ago I came across Julia Cameron’s book, The Artist’s Way. It is designed for anyone wishing to ‘heal’ and recover their inner artist whether that art be of writing, weaving, knitting, photography, dancing, pottery, drawing, sculpting… art is about creativity and manifests in so many ways. It might even be in the way you design your home and arrange your furniture and belongings.

Both Paul and I found it incredibly transforming and it is fair to say The Mother magazine was a result of that ‘recovery’ for me. I also discovered a love of writing lyrics. Essentially the exercises strip away at false beliefs and allow us to move forward.

The course is designed to be done over 12 weeks. Paul got to about week ten and became too busy to continue because his singing took off professionally.

How often do we sabotage success because we fear failure? And what’s failure anyway? One person’s failure is another person’s success. What I have considered in my life to be a failure had others raising their glasses with complete appreciation. One of the things I considered to be a great success in my life went unnoticed by a close friend for about two years before the light finally went on and she said, “That was really a big deal for you, wasn’t it?”

My ten year old daughter Bethany has more artistic skill than I do. She’s always had an eye for detail. I can see pictures in my head, but transferring them from my brain, through my arm, and onto paper…well, it just doesn’t happen! Bethany has just learnt how to draw cartoons this past week and I’m amazed at how quickly she’s got the hang of cartooning.

My artist friend hides her talent in the cupboard and I’m desperate to shine a light there. Gifts aren’t meant to be hidden, but shared with the world.

We’re both celebrating our 40th birthdays this year ~ a time in our lives when the insecurities of childhood should be well and truly gone. A time when we stand in our true power, ready to embrace the world and display our talents. Will we or won’t we? Have we been so brainwashed by messages in childhood that we ‘weren’t good enough’ that we’ll not dare to risk?

In astrological terms, we’re both in the years described as the Midlife Crisis. They are the “shock ‘em, roll ‘em and shake ‘em” years. (It used to happen a bit later in people’s lives but hits most people now between about 36 and 44 ~ can’t remember which planets have made it so…) The planets don’t control our life as such, what they do is provide specific ‘energy’ to have us looking at particular issues which, if addressed rather than denied, allow the layers of false conditioning to drop away.

It’s a time of immense change. It hits everyone. We can’t escape it, but we can use the cosmic energies which pull and tug at our life to become more of Who We let go of inhibitions, to finally say ‘hey, this is me, this is why I’m here, and I love the dance of my life!”

It’s called waking up to our authenticity. Crisis happens only when we resist change. Of course, the midlife crisis wears different clothes for different people. It may appear in the areas of love, public life, career, hobbies, health, law, identity, friendships, communities, sexuality, affairs, children, spirituality, family, siblings/peers, money. It may be more inner change than outer change, sometimes so subtle that it isn’t even perceptible, but there’s no escaping from it. The sole (soul) purpose of this time is a second chance to make your dreams from childhood come true.

Bethany felt fear big-time yesterday (explained fully in a blog about a week or two from now) as a step towards a dream she has had for a little while. I explained the idea of ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’. I have my own fears around the situation she’s going into and when I was talking to Paul about it he said that he tends to ‘mentally shelve’ such fears, whereas I fall into mine (surrender/embrace) and march in whatever direction I deem to be the appropriate way. The best way around a problem (or fear) is THROUGH it… [best to take a crash helmet though!]
My mum used to encourage me that if I ‘trusted’ and jumped off the cliff, the angels would catch me. I don’t necessarily recommend having a mother who gives that sort of advice [grin], but it has helped me do so many things I simply wouldn’t have done otherwise. I closed my eyes and stepped over the edge…and you know what? My mum was right!!

A friend of ours read the book Feel the fear and do it anyway, by Susan Jeffers, several years back, and asked my husband, “Did Veronika write that book?” It made me laugh because I could have written the book! Even as a young child I’d just step right into the fear and realise ‘hey, this isn’t as bad as I thought it would be’. So things like public speaking, which have most people running a mile, I discovered right from about the age of eight weren’t so scary once you just got on and did it. I loved getting up in front of the whole school (about 300 kids) and reading out notices, sports results, etc. As a result, I rarely get nervous. And of course the more you practise stepping into fear the better you get at taking the first step. It’s that first step which is always the hardest.

About twenty years ago I did a fire-walking evening. It was fantastic. I’d be lying to say that I wasn’t scared. But you know what convinced me to walk over burning coals? Seeing a five year old girl dancing on them! I just KNEW that if she could do it, then I had no excuse. It was one of the most empowering experiences of my life. I repeated the experience a couple of years later just to make sure it wasn’t a fluke!

My guiding question when stepping into the unknown is “what’s the worst that can happen?” and things really are never that bad, are they?

Humans are such incredible creatures. We’re so powerful, capable of so much. So much good, so much evil. It’s all a choice. And so it is with letting our light shine; stepping into our power. We have to CHOOSE to do so.

I stand in awe of my artist friend, that she is so gifted. And then I get so darn frustrated that she’s not making the most of this talent. I experience a similar frustration with my beloved, a very talented entertainer (formerly a professional singer, actor, radio presenter, voice-over artist, ventriloquist). His answer is ‘I’ve had my career’.

My attitude is ‘you’re 58, you’re not dead. There’s a big difference.’ I do see his point, but I sense it isn’t to do with what he’s had, but where he’s scared he might go if he overcame his fear. And what does he fear? Probably the same as most of us. That he might get rejected, might not be considered ‘good enough’. But I wonder, if we dig deeper, is our fear really more about what would happen if we succeeded? What would happen if we lived to our full potential? Where would it take us? What life changes might happen? What are we scared of losing in the process?

And me? I’m all drive and no talent. Except… Except somewhere within must be a talent of some sort because we’ve all been gifted. Each of us possesses the spark of the Divine, and such a Creative Intelligence lingers within our very being.

I’ve always been the proverbial jack of all trades, master of none. I’ve a CV as wide as the Mississippi … Me and my lusty appetite for change, variety, experience has meant that I have a deep need for seeing new sights. I can tell you, it makes life very interesting, but it holds no appeal for employers. But guess what? I don’t care! I wouldn’t write up my CV for anyone these days. There’s only one person I need to please and that’s me. I’m here to live, not to conform.

This is my year for pushing my self to find the inner gem, the jewel which is hidden amongst the rubble of inadequate self-worth. I remember distinctly when I was seven, looking across at the drawings of Colin, a boy next to me in class, and being stunned by how well he could draw. I am sure it was the moment I *decided* that I couldn’t draw…And guess what? I couldn’t draw to save myself. I embarrass stick figures with my appalling attempts to put a few lines together.

For now, my artist friend is my mirror. She’s showing me what our life looks like when we deny our majesty, when we don’t step up to the plate and wear the crown. Instead of shaking her and saying ‘look at you, look at what you can do, look at what you can be’, I need to say it to myself… I need to recognise what the ‘button-pressing’ is all about and to stop looking at the mirror and look within.

I love Nelson Mandela’s famous speech, written by one of my favourite writers, Marianne Williamson ( a teacher of A Course in Miracles).

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do.

We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us, it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

This is the sort of powerful message that we should imprint into our minds. Something to stick on the fridge or by the loo ~ wherever you go to regularly (no pun intended) and will read daily. For we change our lives immeasurably be recognising the truths contained within. No longer will we be prepared to shrink back…

So silly really, when there’s room enough for all of us to play Kings and Queens, to go on playing servant to someone else’s dreams.

And you? What about you? Are you living to your fullest potential or sitting on idle?

Put on your dancing shoes syster (and bro!), slip on that crown, and live life for all it’s worth. If I can, ANYONE can!


The Scribe said...

Everyone's talking about The Secret these days. I have to say I'm skeptical...
The Boomer Chronicles

mail said...

There is the midlife crisis and there are Saturn returns, which hit around age 28 and mid-50s.
The Boomer Chronicles

Anonymous said...

Hello Veronika and friends..

I had two comments/questions, and didn't know where to go..
I'm considering cutting down on animal foods in my diet, but I don't know where to start, or how much it costs to buy and prepare vegan wholefoods.. I have £30 a week to spend on food for myself, my husband and our 16-month-old daughter. I know hubby won't allow me to totally stop buying and serving cr*p, but what CAN I do with that budget?
Secondly, our daughter has eczema and suspected food allergies (both run in hubby's family). How can I safely introduce new healthy foods to her, especially since many nuts etc can cause severe reactions? Thanks, and blessings to all

Veronika said...

Hi Alison

Although foods like dairy and wheat are common allergens which can lead to ecsema, more commonly skin conditions are 'reactions' to an emotional environment ie, stress.

Can you identify where your daughter might be experiencing disharmony?

Some people are incredibly sensitive to all sorts of things and this can manifest in the skin, digestion, headaches etc.

There is a great CD programme on Mind Body Nutrition which pretty well debunks the idea of food allergies. It is absolutely fascinating material based on many studies in the mind/body field.

You can cut down on animal foods (which is one of the bigger causes to global warming) easily but that doesn't mean you have to load up on nuts. They're a very rich food which should be eaten sparingly and not by the handful as we tend to do. A few nuts here and there are more than enough to fulfil nutrtional requirements.

If your husband wants to eat crap food, that's fine, but it his business and should NOT come out of the family food budget. Why should your or your daughter's health be compromised by a 2 second taste sensation? Really???

Nobody in Britain should be *expected* to feed a family on £30 a week. Food is our medicine and we should eat the highest quality food available.

Realistically, it would be wise to look at all your outgoings and see where else you can make changes. Many people balk at the idea of healthy food and yet seem to have the money for cigarettes, alcohol, new cds, a tv license, trips to the movies, filling the car with petrol for day trips and so on.

Funny how we feel obligated to spend a fortune on council tax for fear of being put in jail, yet we don’t think to consider the consequences of NOT investing our healthy food. But that’s ok, because the National Health Service will pick up the tab, won’t they? Imagine though, if we had a country full of healthy people? Imagine it! We could pay far less in taxes or work less. So consider it this way…What you’re not spending on food, you’re spending on your future health care.

For a family budget of £30 a week, you could comfortably live off food from Aldi such as el cheapo baked beans, nutritionally deficient white bread and loads of mass produced sugar-laden biscuits ~ and probably still have change.

HOWEVER *IF* you wish to take a far sighted approach to your family’s health, then you need to invest in it now, on a daily basis.

Personally, I’d find it impossible to feed a family a nutritionally sound diet on this income because you simply can’t stock up on the foods the body needs such as fruit and vegetables. What you could do in the short term is start stocking up on filling foods to use as a base for your meals, such as lentils, brown rice, quinoa, millet, passata (sieved tomatoes), dried herbs and natural seasonings and with a pantry full of healthy whole foods acting as staples you can then add loads of leafy greens to your diet.

One of the consequences of our modern diet is that most foods are heavily processed. Combine this with the fact people speed eat (gulp food with no chewing or thought) and also, when you eat nutritionally empty foods the body wants more food in a tireless search for nutrients…we need loads of empty foods to feel any sense of satisfaction. Exchange all this for nutritious wholefoods and a conscious approach to eating where you are chewing slowly and deliberately, and you’ll find you need less food.

Try to make meals based on raw foods and you’ll feel fuller quicker and more satisfied because the body has actually got nutrients out of it.
For example, grate 2 carrots, add a handful of sunflower seeds (ideally soaked first in water), some finely chopped parsley, a drizzle of flaxseed oil (for your omega oils) or cold pressed olive oil, and a squeeze of fresh orange juice. You can’t just gulp a meal like this down, you have to chew! Serve it with some quinoa. Add a spoon or two of red vegan pesto to the quinoa for a yummy treat.

If you are cutting out animal foods (meat, fish, chicken, dairy, eggs) then simply use the money you would have spent on that to buy grains, legumes, seeds, nuts etc)..assuming you were spending money already on fruit and vegetables.

If you find it to stressful to create a vibrant, rainbow-coloured, nutritious diet, try sending your husband out with the shopping list ~ and the £30 ~ and let him prepare the meals for the week. It’ll work a treat! The secret with men is to let them think something is their, let him go shopping for a while (with your shopping list) and watch him raise the food budget... good luck!

Veronika said...

angela ~ i forgot to say ~ it is very helpful to start or join a food co-operative. I do one with Suma Wholefoods and it means about 30% off the price you'd pay in shops. Over time, with regular orders, you can build up a good amount of pantry staples. They even do bulk loo paper! and various cleaning products. They specialise in things like allergy free foods.

We buy brown rice and pinhead oatmeal in huge sacks. It costs next to nothing compared to buying 'little' containers in shops. love, Veronika

Anonymous said...

Hello again Veronika. Thanks for the comments..
My husband decides what money is spent on. I buy very little for myself (phonecards to phone home, rarely an item of clothing from a charity shop, etc), but my hubby buys large amounts of booze and tobacco, petrol etc (I walk, or, rarely, take the bus, or get a lift).. Hubby will not cut down on his personal spending, or on tv/ phone/ internet and other unnecessary things. He doesn't eat much at home, since he cooks cr*p for a living he usually eats at work, but he is against anything natural or healthy (veggies, non-medical treatments, spiritual things). He resents what I already buy/read/do that conflicts with his views, and he isn't likely to budge. I have asked him to do the food shopping, but he refuses. He complains no matter what I buy..
Sorry if I sound negative. I do believe my daughter's eczema is mainly emotional (I was very stressed during pregnancy, and my husband continues to stress me out)
but I also believe it is possible to be allergic to certain natural substances. I appreciate the input.
Thanks for letting me vent.

Veronika said...

Alison, rant any time you need to.
You could look at taking wheat and dairy out of the diet and seeing how the ecsema responds ~ they're usually the two biggies! Best wishes ~ keep your chin up! ~ Veronika

Casey Kochmer said...

I like what you wrote about mid life crisis.

I just wrote and I am editing this article about Midlife crisis. I would love to get your feedback as I add , refined and further polish the material.



Veronika said...

hi Casey ~ I thoroughly enjoyed reading your article. Thanks so much for the link to your great blog. So inspiring.
Your article is perfect ~ everything I feel about the midlife transformation. Best wishes, Veronika

Casey Kochmer said...

Thanks Veronika.

If you think of anything I should add or change let me know. I am updating it tomorrow to include a list of signs of when a person is going through a mid life crisis, since that seems to be a common question for those starting to experience one.

peace :)