When I turned fifty I started to feel differently about my life.
Unlike Shirley Valentine who woke up one day, and decided her little life had been a crime against God, mine has been quite the opposite. I spent 20 wonderful years in Dubai with my husband, raising my two children, running a home and managing a corporate career in marketing. Why on earth then should I have become dissatisfied with it?
Midlife is a time of shifting sands - our values, our passions and our purpose.
We need less things but crave more experiences - real experiences - or at least I did.
I had always thought it rather cliche that midlife women wanted to travel alone, volunteer or take up new hobbies, until it happened to me. I also realised that I wanted to go forward alone.
So I left my old life, but after years of running a busy life on auto pilot, this chance to shift into manual, throw away the road map, go where I choose and do what I choose, was overwhelming. That's the sad paradox of choice - too many options can be paralysing. My intuition had deserted me, and I made some not-so-great choices. In fact, it was a disaster and I ended up homeless, jobless and broke. At the same time the menopause hit me like a train and I found myself living in my sisters spare bedroom feeling pretty sorry myself.
But, as Henry Ford says "Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently", and that's exactly what I did.
Following the concept of the tarot that we all have many life journeys treating each new beginning as a rebirth, I decided to view life with fresh eyes. To be curious about everything around me. To start again and experience a whole other life.
So I made a vision board of all the things that appealed to me. I became spontaneous, hopeful and quite brave - travelling to Mexico alone for six weeks, entering temples and chanting with monks - I warned you it was cliche - and finally moved into my new home - a narrow boat on the river.
Rediscovering my intuition, and accepting that 'not having a purpose' didn't mean I was useless, were the most powerful lessons of all. Surprisingly these lessons were taught to me by engaging with tarot cards and creative journaling.
Both of these activities draw out insights with such clarity - it's fantastic - like free therapy! They shine a light on all that's out there in your universe waiting to be discovered. Think of it like electricity - it was always there, it just needed someone to invent the light bulb and switch it on.