It was a Saturday evening, and my husband and I were fighting yet again. We have always fought, from the first weekend we were together. Sometimes we bicker. Sometimes we fight. And this evening was the latter.
He was frustrated. No, let’s face it - he was angry. Angry with me, because I wasn’t doing my part. More specifically, that I was no longer working. I had left my primary career as a yoga teacher trainer after 10 years and 35 200-hour trainings because I no longer felt aligned with the physical practice of yoga. And traveling 2 to 3 weekends a month didn’t feel like a great way to start a marriage. So, a few months before we got married I finished the training I led in Richmond and left it behind.
During this phase of career transition, I continued cultivating my practice of coaching/advising/mentoring that really has been the essence of my career all along. This felt right in some respects - I love helping people transform themselves, as often occurred during the trainings I led. And as much as I love working with individual clients, I know that one of my great gifts is working with groups - specifically, women in my age range (I am 55). Women who had experienced career, home, relationship, family, success and failure… who were in the phase between that phase of building and retirement.
Women in what I call their Third Act.
I was excited, inspired and motivated to put together an online program that would facilitate the communal aspect I missed and provide opportunity to potentially impact a greater group of women. I was up for the challenge of merging tools from coaching, from the book I authored on creating your life from the inside out, and from the extremely practical philosophy of yoga - into modules providing women with the space, structure, and support to allow them to consciously contemplate what this rich period of time could be for them.
I was motivated. I could see it clearly and felt the energy of creativity bubbling up inside of me.
And then, the bottom dropped out.
Chris and I had a wonderful wedding weekend. It was beautiful, with all of our important people there to witness. The ceremony was short and funny, with everyone remarking after on “how like the two of you” it was.
Fiesty. That’s us.
And yet, I lost my mojo after the wedding. I lost the drive to create and - to some degree - lost the belief that I could create something worthwhile.
Who the hell are you?, and what if you’re meant to be nothing? became fairly constant thoughts…
I continued living my life and doing other things that kept me busy, with no problem. But I couldn’t get back to the program. And my own frustration, mirrored back by my husband, led to the Saturday Meltdown.
Directly after the explosion, I poured myself a large glass of wine (note: I barely drink). Then I took two cigarettes from the pack his daughter had left behind (I don’t smoke either), took all of my supplies onto the front porch, drank and smoked.
You know I’m at my wits’ end when I smoke and yes it was gross but at that moment all rationale went flying down the hill we live on.
After a second glass of wine, Chris (smartly) knew it was best to stay out of my way. I moved my party down to his man cave, the cat following with a confused and anxious expression on her face (“why is she acting so weird and why is he upstairs?”).
I moved on to shots of Mezcal. Did I mention that I don’t really drink? I put on the dancing playlist from our wedding - LOUD - and started singing and dancing.
When Sweet Caroline came on, Chris came downstairs. I jumped on him and kissed him. He told me he loved me and went back upstairs. At some point he brought some food down but I never saw him. I felt like I was almost in some sort of trance. And the trance led me back to myself. To the part of me that has something to share and knows that it is as worthy as anyone else’s offering.
What I realized - even more truly - was that I had to create the program because I NEEDED IT! For I was still - four years in - reeling through the massive transition that was the beginning of my Third Act. Moving from New York City (my home of 28 years). Leaving my family, friends and community as well as the students that I taught for 10 years. And leaving my independent existence to truly commit to a relationship for the first time (honestly) ever… at 50?
I had experienced big transitions in my life - for example, leaving the corporate world after 20 years to teach yoga full-time - but this one? The word that comes to mind was that it was a doozy.
If I could create the program by going through it myself… and coming out the other side with a defined sense of myself at this stage, then I would really have something to offer.
And so, here we are. I am massively proud of this undertaking and equally excited for you to journey through the program. It is for you. I believe with every fiber of my being that you can be or do or have whatever it is that you desire - and these modules will allow you to begin crafting for your Third Act. To take a bird’s-eye view and create a full vision of what this phase of time will be for you. You are taking a major step in creating the next, best period of your life. How magnificent!
This program is deep, and it is a lot of work. You may be uncomfortable at times with what you discover or what those discoveries bring up… but I promise that the effort is worth the clarity, sense of self and direction that you will receive by the program’s end.
And if I might offer a bit of advice? Take a moment, put on some crazy loud music and dance for a bit. Or for a long time. Mezcal optional…