Thursday, June 20, 2013

Listen to Your Dreams, Say 'Yes,' Beware Spiritual Inflation, and Other Wise Words

Meredith Moon is a 79-year-old Jungian and transpersonal therapist based on Maui, Hawaii. She wrote to me and asked if she could share her story of spiritual awakening and perspective from her vantage point. Our 40s is such a huge turning point for spirituality, and here's just one example.

1. You turned 40 in 1974, nearly 40 years ago. What do you see as the major differences for women in their 40s then, compared with now?

The real difference is who they were at 20. When I was 20 the feminist movement of the '60s had not begun, the ads were focused on women in the kitchen, and though I and others went to college we were expected to marry early and have children and stay at home.  The culture changed and we changed with it. I find that all women at midlife who are called to deeper reflections and a search for their real Self, the seekers, those who listen to their dreams are similar when ever they were born.

2. You mentioned to me you had a deeply spiritual awakening at 37.  Can you describe it, and what was the next step? 

Since childhood I often asked adults how they knew God was real.  No one ever gave me an answer I felt proved anything. Then on Dec. 7, when I was 37, a being of light appeared in my bedroom at 11 in the morning. Within the great oval of light stretching from the floor to the ceiling the light was compressed into a human shape far more brilliant. I knew with out doubt that this was God. A channel of light came from the center of the light and surrounded me and then entered my heart filling me with love so amazing melting my very tissues. 

I was taught three things by the light: 
  1. We are all loved unconditionally by God and nothing we do or don't do can separate us from that love
  2. There is no death
  3. There is nowhere I can go to validate what I have experienced for all religions are on the level of kindergarten.  

When the light left in a vibrant stream through my closed window I ran after it and saw that every blade of grass and every tree leaf was filled with the light. I understood that every thing living was, in its essence, light. The light stayed in me about a month, when it left I was desolate and yet understood that the journey was now mine and I needed to unwind all in my unconscious that stood in the way of its return. The light had pushed all of me aside for a while and now the journey of unwinding all I carried was mine.

3. What advice would you give to women in their 40s regarding their spiritual path?

Listen to your night dreams, learn to understand them, find a depth psychotherapist that will help you look within, unwind the pain of childhood and your limiting beliefs, understand that it is a long  journey to psychological and spiritual maturity that only you can take. Be willing to not know. Do not keep looking for surety for this journey is a mystery unfolding. End what no longer serves you on this quest. Say yes!  Beware spiritual inflation for it is a long detour.

4. Shortly after you and your husband separated, you met your current partner and have spent the past several decades studying and traveling together. What would you identify as the essential elements of a long-term relationship? 

Bruce and I have been together 33 years. Whereas my first husband always said no, Bruce always says yes. Yes to who I am, giving value and respect as well as love and I have given the same to him.  We have grown together psychologically and spiritually. We both give. We know the level of our caring and deeply trust each other. We are both free to be ourselves and yet recognize the others needs. All of this is needed for a relationship to thrive.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Do Over! Becoming an Artist after 40

Rubenesque Landscape by Sharon L. Robinson
This guest post is from Sharon Lia Robinson of Port Townsend, Wash. She has inspired a new feature for this blog, called "Do Over!," stories about people who started something completely new in the middle of their lives. Thank you Sharon!

I feel that I have always been on a pilgrimage. I have been a poet and a pathfinder my whole life. My spiritual faith gave me a great deal of assistance to face various challenges.

In my 40s, I had several life-changing experiences. One is that in 1995, when I was 45 years old, I traveled for the very first (and so far only time) on a pilgrimage to visit Meher Baba’s spiritual center in Meherabad, India. I believe that the two week spiritual pilgrimage to Meherabad, India inspired me and gave me the courage and the serendipitous opportunity to begin to show my experimental art, beginning in the Metropolis Gallery in Seattle. Meher Baba’s spiritual teachings give me strength and support so that, even if my problems aren’t solved, this inner connection gives me the guidance I need to live my life and to lift my spirits.

Then, when I was 46, I showed intuitive collage art in galleries and began to sell work as well.  Although this has so far happened only in a small way, I still feel that it is a gift and an opportunity. Although unable to draw in a representative fashion, I still persisted to create abstract art, even though I did not receive support or encouragement for many years.

In 1998 I opened an alternative art center, Edge of the Sea Gallery, in Port Townsend, Wash. The initial purpose of this gallery was to give more visibility to the work of artists and poets who were not mainstream or widely known, even in their own community. Another project that I started in my forties is a collaboration with Port Townsend, Washington, photographer Steven R. Johnson; to have his photographs of me shown alongside my poems. We call this project Rubenesque Landscape. Some of the art and poetry in our collaboration can be seen on my website.

The thread in all these activities is that I find strength to be myself, to express my personal vision and to believe in my dreams. Other experiences, including the study of Middle Eastern dance and hula, which honor more diverse body types, have helped me on my journey toward wholeness. I continue to combine these forms with free form dance and poetry for my creative movement projects. I was and am an innovator, often because that is the only way I am able to find the answers I am seeking.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Women in their 40s Are "Catnip" to Younger Men

Today we're in the Irish Independent! The story is about how 40 is the new hotness.
Vanessa McGrady blogs at and regularly extols the many new-found pleasures of life after the big four-oh. She says: "The whole premise of my work on 40licious and the book I'm writing is that the 40s is really the sweet spot of our lives." She explains: "We have a lifetime of experience and lessons we can use; we are at the height of our personal power; we're earning more and we're able to walk the earth however we want. We become more compassionate people and start thinking about the legacy we want to leave." With so much to offer, is it any wonder many 40-something women are catnip to younger men?
Here's the full story.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Bond Girl Is Finally 40licious

So happy to hear this. Finally, James Bond is doing away with his 20something trophies and hooking up with someone more age-appropriate.

Here's a nice take on it from the Guardian.