Meeting (Met’ting) Midlife
After our year and a half of pandemic isolation, the recent Met Gala offered a refreshing splash of glamour and decadence. For those of us over the age of 45 there were a few familiar faces with Whoopi Goldberg in an opulent purple frock, Iman in her lavish feathered crown and J-Lo rocking her cowgirl inspired body contoured gown. And while they offered evidence of the existence of women with a few decades under their belt, the New York Times aptly noted that, ‘while the theme was, “American independence”, the only consistently American thing about the event was its breathless emphasis on youth.’
Transitioning into midlife in a moment in history where youth is revered (more so in the west) has seen many women grappling with this natural rite of passage. With increasing emphasis on health, exercise, and nutrition, those with access to resources can live longer and more active lives. And yet, as women age, there is pressure to contort our bodies to socially defined sizes and shapes, hide our sparkling greying hair, and iron out the facial lines that tell the stories of our laughter and our worries. As my father often said, ‘the opposite of getting older is dying young.’
In September, Journeys to Remember and Painting Your Wings hosted its first Flocking Circle for Women in Midlife. Flocking circles counter our normal physiological responses to fear and anxiety which include Fight (becoming hyper efficient, prepared, controlling), Flight (hiding out, withdrawing, disengaging) and Freeze (paralysis, engaging in numbing behaviours). Flocking circles are a response where we seek out the comfort and safety of others.
Our Flocking Circle for Women in Midlife brought together a group of women who shared their challenges, fears, and joys of midlife. The women shared their experiences of children growing up and launching themselves; living with puberty and menopause under one roof; relating across generations with children growing up very differently from how we did; appreciation for the slowdown to our busy lives that has come with the COVID-19 lockdowns; fear of who will take care of our children if we are affected by COVID-19; and a deep sense of grief that has come with the losses and death since the onset of the pandemic.
With many women going through this phase of profound change in a time of unprecedented isolation, the Flocking Circle for Women in Midlife created space for new possibilities that move away from fighting ageing to embracing the shifts, redefining ourselves, and finding strategies for being more comfortable with what emerges. The sense of togetherness and realising that we are not alone in what we are going through left the group with a sense of light(er)ness and connection.
With many women going through this phase of profound change in a time of unprecedented isolation, the Flocking Circle for Women in Midlife created space for new possibilities that move away from fighting ageing to embracing the shifts, redefining ourselves, and finding strategies for being more comfortable with what emerges. The sense of togetherness and realising that we are not alone in what we are going through left the group with a sense of light(er)ness and connectioWe We look forward to seeing you at the next one…
We look forward to seeing you at the next one
Jenny & Sam
Sat Oct 2, 09:30 – 11:00 (SAST)
Our 2 for 1 introductory offer still applies!
“If you’re looking for a beautiful safe space to explore this coming of age, please join this group held with love and compassion but also very professionally facilitated. In my experience this combination is rare. My only gripe is that I have to wait a whole month until we meet again” – Flocking Circle participant
Flocking Circles can be used to address a range of issues, as well as serving as debriefing and conflict resolution platforms in organisational settings. Contact us if you would like to explore how a Flocking Circle could support your organisation or company.