What Is A Beautiful Warrior?

S2 Ep 16: When Midlife Comes Calling, Be A Diamond

aging beautifully life adventure plan midlife overcoming midlife strong on the inside Feb 23, 2023
Bernice McDonald, Women's Midlife Coach. Overcoming Midlife


Have you seen Michael Douglas lately?

 Or Meryl Streep?

 Mel Gibson?

My hubby and I have been into watching older movies in the last while for some reason. We celebrated the evening of our 11th anniversary with a double feature - “Romancing the Stone” and “The Jewell of the Nile” - remember those two?

 They were pretty exciting when they first came out. Action-packed.

What struck us both this time around was how YOUNG Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner and Danny Devito are in those movies.

I am SO glad that they are still acting. But sometimes it catches me off guard. They’re looking very much older. How did that happen?

We should all find this comforting, actually, because we are not alone in this aging thing. Brilliant movie stars who were gorgeous and trim and revered are aging, too.


Midlife is Just One Phase of the Journey

You know what’s happening, right? 

 Ok - here’s a brief summary of how I believe we ALL have to look at this life.

 You’re on a Path. When you’re born, you enter it. When you die, you leave it.

 You - a beautiful heart - are walking up hills and down valleys. 

 You go through puberty - one of those first major transitions.

 You leave home - another biggy.

 You fall in love and build a home with someone, have children and all that happens in that phase.

 And THEN you arrive at your 40’s. And the life you created over the past 20-25 years shifts. 

 Kids grow. Your career often peaks. 

 You go through the death of a spouse or a divorce or the loss of your parents either to poor health or to death.

 YOU lose your body. Your youth. And your mind and emotions in lots of ways. 

 MIDLIFE is one of the biggest changes you will ever go through.

Here’s where so many women get lost. 

You realize that your identity is changing. You’re no longer needed in the same ways.

You don’t feel attractive.

Or smart.

The life you thought you were going to have might not look as though it’s ever going to happen. Others around you might seem as if they’re doing way better.

In fact, the life, the man, the house, the job you chose might not look as appealing anymore.

How To Overcome a Midlife Crisis

Now - you could lean back into all the losses that come with this season and just let that become your identity.

Or, instead, you could choose to lean forward into creating a legacy of courage.

So the question is this: 

 Are you leaning back, letting yourself sink into all the losses as if they are weights pulling you down, holding you back.? 

Are you letting that mean that the best part of your life is done now? 

The door is closed. And now all you have ahead of you is coasting. Surviving.

Midlife is a transition

Think of it like being on the edge of a cliff. You’re somewhere in your late 40’s, 50’s, 60’s. Behind you is all the life you’ve lived up until this moment. 

Your toes are hanging over looking at the chasm below. A river - the river with the water you could just sink into because you’re weighted down with the loss -  runs below. 

 Loss always requires a time of grieving. There’s a time and place for it, for sure. 

 When we lose someone or something precious to us, we always have to take a time to catch up to the new reality. Adapt. Adjust to the fact that that part of our lives is now gone. 

 And we miss it terribly.

 What you may not have considered is that, if midlife is a time of loss, then we need to take some time to acknowledge that. 

  • The loss of the busy life we had as a mom
  • The loss of our young faces. How many times do people moan over how old they look in pictures they see of themselves?
  • The loss of opportunity. It may seem as if it’s all behind us.
  • The loss of certainty that we made the right choices, live in the life that was just right for us.
  • The loss of the love of our lives - by death or divorce or by just feeling as if we don’t know each other anymore.

These are all common signs of a midlife crisis.

Believe in yourself…or not 

My sister was just telling me the story of one of our most loved aunts who cornered her one day when she was only 25 or so, married for about 5 years with tiny kids.  My aunt told her all the woes of her terrible marriage. 

My aunt was, most likely, in her late 40’s. Midlife. In a marriage that was anything but what she thought it would be. And she was angry about that. For some reason, she felt my sister would understand and poured her broken heart out on her.

My aunt, this beautiful, loving, caring woman who my mom said would never hurt a flea when she was younger, transformed into a very angry, disillusioned, critical woman as she grew older. 

Glimpses of her kind heart always surfaced now and again but her health and, even worse, her spirit broke. She died in her 80’s a woman who, I believe, lived in oppression most of her life.

As a Coach, I have seen far too many women stay stuck in situations because they are more afraid to take steps out of a hurtful situation than they are of staying in what they know.

We are living in a time in history when we have more opportunity than ever to do that. - not just in relationships but also health, career, family, finances, addiction. 

We have options. You, walking your Path, make the decisions about what you do at any stage, in any situation. 

The Antidote to the Fear of Aging

As I have walked along my own path, the one thing that has stayed consistent for me is seeing what I see in you.

Life is tough. I had to find a way to come to terms with that. And the only one that made sense for me is to go back to ‘simple’. LIfe is about: 

  • How I see myself
  • How I see others

I love the story of a diamond. 

A diamond is formed from a kind of igneous rock called “kimberlite”. 

Deep in the earth, two tectonic plates of rock collide, applying incredible pressure and heat on the igneous rock caught in between. 

It’s so intense that the kimberlite undergoes a transformation. 

From igneous rock comes beautiful diamonds.

Guess what brings them to the surface? A volcanic eruption.

Guess what reveals the diamonds once they are on top of the surface? Weathering, erosion.

It’s a tough life for a diamond. Remind you of anything? Maybe a human life?

I love how there is so much in nature that copies our experiences if we look closely. The difference is that we have choices about how we turn out.

When I see all the women who are coming through that middle time of life, I see DIAMONDS. 

Life, with all its bombs that go off unexpectedly. All the boulders it drops on us, flattening us for a time. All the hurtful rocks we get hurled at us from others on their paths - words, expectations, assumptions. 

Even with all of these horrific experiences, we can choose to be diamonds. 


Find Your Passionately Personal Midlife Mission

You get to choose how you see yourself.  

When you come to me for coaching, I help you to see yourself as a diamond in the rough. Every woman is. We go mining for the diamond and hold that strong beauty up to symbolize your midlife self. 

I call it the ‘Meaningful Midlife Process” because it bridges your past chapters with, basically, the rest of your life. You can do this on your own, too. 

    1. Build a bridge
      • Find all the strengths that you have grown as you’ve walked through the life you’ve lived up until this point.
    2. Create a Mission for yourself
      • Something good that resonates with your deepest heart. 
      • A passion that excites you. There are so many ways this can take shape. 
      • This is a combination of who you already are and who you want to become. 
    3. Map out a Life Adventure Plan.  

Look into the future and decide the steps you will take to put the mission you’ve chosen into action.

Describe the thoughts you need to have to bring about results that are over-the-moon fulfilling, joyful and create an energy in you that is not about having physical stamina. 

It’s about having a life - THE LIFE - that makes you laugh easily, dance often, and distracts you even if, heaven forbid, your health disintegrates. 

Or if life sends you one of its great challenges.

It’s a life that requires you to train in courage, focus and love. 

It’s you showing up in the world as the diamond that only you can be..

What I want you to do is lean forward today into THIS future. 

Be a diamond. Every diamond is unique as are you.

If this is resonating at all with you - if you feel that pull inside to know what the diamond in you looks like, then start leaning into finding out. I’d love to help you with that so let’s talk. I’ll put how you can reach me in the show notes. 

You can also download the Free very short Guide I have created to help you define your own passionately personal mission.

You know, looking back, how crucial the decisions that you make are. They always lead to a result.

So think ahead. To next year. 5 years from now. 10 years from now. 

Imagine if today, right now, you made the decision - no matter how angry or depressed or hopeless you’ve been feeling - you made the decision to accept the challenges that life - and God - send your way.

To let yourself become a diamond. 

To then take your diamond self out into the world and encourage others to be strong. To be courageous. To be happy. To see what’s light and good and precious about life.

 Your mission - should you choose to accept it - will do this in some way, my beautiful Warrior.

A Legacy of Courage

Yes, you could lean back and sink into all the losses that come with this season of midlife. 

But instead, why don’t you choose to lean forward into creating a legacy of courage?

Start pursuing your diamond self. And find your mission. 

Coach with me by clicking this link. Let me help you get clear. But just get started in some way! The clock is ticking!

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