Welcome to The Midlife ToolBox, a very special series of guest posts written by Midlife Bloggers from all over the world. We are unique women, and even though we are all getting older, our perspective, challenges, and ways we see life are definitely unique! I hope you enjoy these wise words and gain some insight from them. I know I will.
Today’s guest is Lisa Storer of Midlife Pursuits.
Lisa is sharing the benefits of practicing mindfulness every day in midlife. She’s going to give us a snapshot of her ‘before’ life, and then her life as it is now, having learned to practice meditation and mindfulness regularly.
Let’s hear from Lisa!
When I was asked to write this post for the Inspire My Style Blog, I was so excited because I truly do have some fantastic tools and love sharing how they work for me in midlife.
Over the past few years, my life has changed, as does life for many of us in midlife. My mindset has really shifted FROM – this is my life and I try to make the most of it – TO – this is my life and I have the ability to change it however I want.
The biggest change that I’ve made is in my habits. And my habits are now focused on my new mindset. To explain this – let’s look at a typical week about 5-6 years ago.
A Change in Mindset
Every morning I felt anxious about getting the kids up and around to be to school on time. I would be feeling irritated that my son wouldn’t get up on his own. (I had to go turn on his light and then go back numerous times before he actually got up.) We were usually late (starting the day on a negative note for all of us).
The evening was always rushed as well, with kids’ activities and getting ready for the next day. After work, I’d make dinner and try to tackle the prep for tomorrow as well as any light cleanup that needed to be done, plus laundry, of course, and attend the kids’ sporting events/practices.
On the weekend, I would stress out and worry about things that needed to be done around the house and not having enough money to have it done, let alone save for any of it, because I really didn’t have much left over after paying the bills.
That stress lead to a cycle of overwhelm and guilt: overwhelm because I knew there was so much to do but didn’t know where to start; and guilt for not starting, which would just increase the overwhelm – you get the picture.
Needless to say, I wasn’t a very calm/relaxed (or dare I say happy) person.
Fast forward to about 2 years ago when I took a class online called Mindfulness for Wellbeing Peak Performance. Well, I learned SO MUCH – most importantly, I learned about myself.
I learned that I was unhappy much of the time because I believed that things in my life needed fixing and I wasn’t doing enough to fix it all. I was fighting against my circumstances, rather than accepting things in my life and working with them instead of resisting.
When I realized everything that mindfulness can do to create that calm within, and how absolutely possible it is to change our outlook, I wanted to know more. I started reading blogs and books and listening to podcasts with a focus on mindfulness and meditation.
I regularly began meditating. I think one of the biggest things that I learned by practicing meditation was to gently bring myself back to the present when I found that I was ruminating over something that happened or worrying about something that “might happen” in the future.
Read more posts from the Midlife Tool Box Series
Benefits of Practicing Mindfulness Every Day
Some other benefits I’ve found include:
- Paying attention to my body and my posture (sitting up straighter, dropping my shoulders and not holding tension).
- Paying attention to my hunger/cravings (even though it doesn’t mean I always control the munching).
- Accepting life’s challenges and when things don’t turn out the way I had hoped (like when my son quit college).
- Not being tied to a specific outcome (like wanting only sunny days on vacation).
Today, when I feel the overwhelm come on, I can pull out the tools in my mindful toolbox and immediately feel better. I am a happier person and more at peace with my life.
And, although I still worry about my kids (even though they are older and out of school), I don’t let the worry take over. I’m accepting of things the way they are and work with what is. And, I’m actually pretty grateful for “what is.”
Mindfulness is about being curious and accepting rather than judgmental. I attribute my new mindset to this practice, which includes meditation, journaling, yoga, and gratitude. It is the #1 tool in my Midlife Toolbox and I highly recommend it!
Note: here are some really helpful basic yoga poses for relaxation
Lisa Storer, founder of Midlife Pursuits
On her blog, Lisa explores the step-by-step formulas she has learned for success while traveling through midlife, including ways to get ‘unstuck’, realize your potential, and take one step at a time, whatever you want to accomplish.
Be sure to visit Lisa:
Are you interested in submitting a guest post for this series? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and include your blog or website URL. We’ll have a chat! Thanks.