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Daina Puodziunas

Midlife Magic for
Designing a Balanced Life

by Daina Puodziunas


Once upon a time, I thought that balance referred to the number of balls I could keep in the air without having them all come crashing down on me. I was proud of my super single mom multi-tasking abilities. I thought I was living a balanced life because I was involved in my own spiritual, social, and intellectual pursuits while still managing to devote quality time to my daughters.

My body, however, didn't agree. It gave me the first in a series of wake up calls during my midlife transition. This turned out to be a gift in disguise and helped me find my way back home. But, just like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, I found out I was home all along. I had been making my decisions from an entire list of "shoulds" without even knowing it. I needed to connect with my inner Divinity, listen to my heart, and understand the language of my soul.

The funny thing was that I thought I already knew how to do that. I had been a spiritual and personal growth junkie for decades! It was only when I was willing to throw out all my assumptions about what I knew or didn't know, take the time for introspection, and rediscover what was important and valuable to me, that my body and my outer life began to reflect my inner life. Only then could I develop an inner compass by which to make big and small decisions such as what kind of work I wanted to do, or how I wanted to spend Saturday night.

A balanced life is a high quality life and we are the sole judges of what that is. For example, when I finish writing this I am going to spend tonight with my granddaughters, the loves of my life, instead of going out with friends.  This choice is based on my personal desire to spend time with family because of the way they light up my life. I've also spent a lot of time identifying the qualities I want in my friends and use this list to help decide who I encourage to come into my life.

Achieving balance in midlife begins by excavating your authentic wisdom -- the wisdom you have gained from living all of these years and by discovering what is important to you and why. There is no paint-by-number kit for creating a balanced life that fulfills each of our particular desires and makes room for what is missing. It has to come from within you. This is hard for many women, as we have been "givers" for most of our lives and being giving is where we feel comfortable. For years many areas of our lives have reflected someone else's priorities. Allow yourself the time to excavate your authentic wisdom.

It takes a lot of courage for most of us to turn inward to discover our own enchantments (those things that nourish, delight, awe, energize, inspire, and soothe us). Enchantment is the language of the soul. It is the path, like the yellow brick road, that leads us back home to a mind, body, and soul connection. It is your soul's intention for you. There is no wizard, no great and powerful Oz, to show us the way to our enchantments. But we can become our own fairy godmothers in midlife and grant ourselves permission to design a balanced, high quality life—to enchant ourselves.

I invite and challenge you to take time out of your busy life and go on a quest for some midlife magic. Reflect, reassess, rediscover, redesign, realign, regroup, renew, and re-enchant yourself. It will be the gift that keeps on giving. Here are some tips to get you started.

Six Secrets for Designing a Balanced Life

1) Develop serenity skills. What methods have you explored or would you like to explore that help you tune out the world and tune in to your inner self? Begin to recognize when you have tapped in to your inner Divinity and allow yourself to bask in the bliss, the peace, and the connection to the Divine Feminine that lives within you.

2) Set aside an hour a week to reassess what is important, meaningful, and valuable to you. Look at one area of your life each week:  work, play, relationships, finances, spirituality, social time, time for yourself, mental stimulation, physical activity, etc. What enchants, nourishes, inspires, delights, soothes, stimulates, and enhances your life in each of these areas? Be very specific about how and why. How does it make you feel? Where do you feel that sensation in your body? What associations do you have with it? Get to know your enchantments intimately. Make a huge list under each category. More information will come to you in your dreams and from many other places during the week. Record these dreams and occurrences in the same place you are writing your responses to the exercise. It is not because we don't know the right answers that we get stuck in life, but because we don't ask the right questions.

3) After you feel finished with each category, ask yourself if your responses are coming from your authentic soul or whether you are responding to something you feel you should want, do, or feel. Getting in to the habit of questioning our own assumptions is one of the best habits we can develop to guide ourselves back to our authentic souls. Be willing to be radically honest with yourself. If there is any part of your life that reflects someone else's priorities, write down the changes you need to make so that your beautifully balanced life fully expresses your desires.

4) Do some Imagineering. The mind is a powerful instrument (thoughts are things). We are always involved in creating our own reality. We can use our minds to help us design our lives in many ways. Using the mind in new and stimulating ways will also keep it sharp forever. Many adults have to learn how to dream in new realities for themselves.  This is why I suggest creating a vision board. Cut pictures and words out of magazines and glue them onto a piece of cardboard. Hang it up by your bed. Look at it before you go to sleep and as you wake up in the morning. Connect with the feelings it gives you. Bring your awareness to those sensations. Such Imagineering will help your reality change.

5) Ask yourself what an authentically balanced, high-quality life would feel and look like during a day, a week, a month, and a year so that you can create the feeling place of the rhythm of an ideal life. If you notice any judgments or criticisms coming from your inner critic just let it know that you are doing an experiment right now. You pose no threat to it and are just playing a game of What If and Let's Pretend like you did when you were a child. You are exercising your Imagineering muscles once again.

6) Start thinking of your life as a creation in progress and play with this process while you begin to implement what you find little by little into your life. Keep modifying, molding, designing like you would a sculpture, garden, picture, home, etc.

Midlife is not the beginning of loss and decline. On the contrary, if we choose to make it so, it is the beginning of an enchanted adventure into self discovery, renewal, and re-enchantment. It's your call. Often, it's not until midlife that we have the data to extract the wisdom that will give us a balanced life!

If it's true that our outer life reflects our inner life, your entire life, right down to the cells of your body, will begin to mirror the perspective you choose.

© Copyright Daina Puodziunas.  All rights reserved. 

Daina Puodziunas
Daina Puodziunas (Dinah - Midlife Fairy Godmother) helps women become their own midlife fairy godmothers. She has been passionately helping self aware, spiritually focused, fun loving women move past obstacles to an enchanted life her entire life. Midlife Magic For Second Half Bliss is a five step formula she offers through life coaching, telephone and in person workshops, speaking engagements and articles. Visit her website at www.midlifefairygodmothers.com

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