This blog post was originally published in early 2012. It generated a lot of interest back then, and it felt especially relevant now when I look back over the past few years.
I hope you don't mind that I share it again.
What age is considered 'mid-life'? The cookie-cut 'life stages' don't apply to me, unfortunately. I'm a woman who didn't find my husband until my late 30's, and didn't start my family until I was into my 40's. Yet many of my friends, who are the same age, journeyed a different path. They have children who are adults, and are at a completely different phase in their own lives.
But really, our personal journey's are similar. At mid-life, many of us no longer grapple with 'who we are' and 'what we want to be', instead that perpetual search for 'ourselves' has crescendo-ed into a process of 'becoming' who we are meant to be.
My own journey isn't so much about 'who am I' anymore, as it is about 'who I am'. It's about embracing all that is 'ME', and putting into motion all that I am. Age and wisdom are so very precious, and it's with these gifts that I feel able to fully embrace my life.
Still, it's a challenge when there are young children, when we are a young family still building our dreams and finding our way. The absence of time and the excess of stress are my enemies.
Over the years, my survival, and self-discovery has been fueled by art journaling. Writing my personal story through words and pictures has been an empowering experience. Weaving together the artful threads of my life has given me so much courage, especially when I look back through my books and see the depth of my endurance.
My journals have been a way of reflecting on my life and telling my story, if only to myself.
Everyone has a unique story and I wonder if it is at the mid-point in life, we find that our story must be examined? How can we live fully and authentically in the second half of our lives if we can't reflect on the journey that has bought us to the point we're at today?
When we examine our own lives, we connect to all the riches of the past, we honor all the sadness and adversity we've overcome, we grieve for the 'never to be' elements, and we are energized, ready to use our remaining years more wisely.
Art Journaling gives us permission to stop and listen to the story of our lives. It puts meaning in our past, and gives us a compass for the times when we are stuck, incapacitated, and petrified. It also gives us images and icons for our achievements. It solidifies our glories, and validates our victories.
The gift of artful expression belongs to everyone, and rich are those who embrace it.
This butterfly was done in Twinkling h2O's and ink.
Thanks for checking in. xx