Thinking that there must be something more to it. Not recognising where you are right now. Feeling like you took a wrong turn somewhere along the way. Discontent growing into despair (often anger.)
Some folk call it a mid-life crisis. It sometimes feels like a nervous breakdown. I know, because almost exactly the moment I turned forty, it happened to me.
Start at the beginning
I was in a fortunate position. I had plenty of resources to turn to in order to make sense of things. Bookshelves groaning with personal development books. A personal network including life coaches, intuitive guides, holistic healers and psychotherapists.
To be honest, there was so much choice, I felt a wee bit overwhelmed, but I’m a big fan of starting at the beginning – and for me, that meant turning inwards. Turning to my soul wisdom and tuning into my true self.
Who Am I?
Together with PeopleMaps CEO Martin, we worked on shifting away from the forced behaviour I’d adopted as a survival mechanism (but which caused me pain) towards my actual core personality. Disclaimer: I’m married to Martin and I used to work here at PeopleMaps, so his personality shenanigans make complete sense to me.
The first time I thought of my self properly in these new personality terms, I experienced a massive flood of relief;
Hello dearest you – that’s where you’ve been all along, isn’t it? That’s why you were eventually stopped in your tracks on this beautiful journey of yours. Wow. I love you. You’re safe now.
Honestly, that’s what I said to my self! And you know what happened next? (Bear with me – I know not everyone tunes in that easily!) My self offered me thanks – and asked for more!
So I gave her more. I rediscovered my creative self. I ignited my passion for deep soul work. I turned it into a full-time job. It was the only way I could prevent myself from making choices leading to more of the same.
I haven’t looked back. I am no longer in crisis. I know who I am, what I want and have a pretty good handle on my life purpose.
Many stages, more cycles
Personality typing is a fantastic foundation for self discovery work. It provides vital clues to send you off on adventures towards your continued enlightenment. But to be honest, it’s just the beginning.
Carl Jung’s psychological theories are a vast playground for those of us at mid-life who feel that we’re on a quest towards wholeness/unleasing our true self.
My current playground started off with Jung’s theory of mandalas as a representation of self. I’ve always been attracted to the circle as symbol and was fascinated by the mandala. When I discovered that mandalas were a popular tool in the art therapy field, I was hooked – it seemed like a perfect opportunity to integrate my knowledge of Jungian psychology (including that of a PeopleMaps Licensed Practitioner) with my journal therapy studies.
The Great Round of Mandala 2013 is a self-study ecourse where we will learn about the natural cycles of personal growth and deepen our understanding of our personal symbolism through the creation of twelve mandalas. Lesson 1 : Resting in the Darkness is available free to everyone, no obligation until 17th February.
Julie Gibbons enjoys art journaling, journal therapy and mixed media. Her passion is self discovery through intuitive, creative practice, to reveal personal patterns, symbolism & archetypes of the true self.