What Keeps You Awake At Night?
Six years ago I was lying in bed around 2 am listening to the dogs barking. Ugh – there were so many! And as soon as one quieted down, another one would start up.
I was 53 years old, all alone in a foreign country…lying on a strange bed in a half-finished building surrounded by a stone wall topped with barbed wire and jagged glass to keep out would-be burglars and intruders.
Except—I knew for a fact that no amount of jagged glass would keep someone out who wanted in. As was evidenced on my first morning there when my keys didn’t work and some neighbor boys helpfully got a ladder and climbed right over to open the door from the inside!
I lay there wide-eyed in the darkness, heart beating too fast. Then, I might drift back off to sleep… but only briefly, because those damn dogs kept waking me up!
Or so I thought.
Or, my mind offered, maybe it’s the hormones. Menopause is a 10 year process after all. It goes on and on… and on and on.
But now I know.
It wasn’t the hormones, and it wasn’t the dogs barking from the neighboring rooftops.
It was the barking going on in my brain.
I was more than two years into my big courageous leap out of my safety zone… and I was still waiting for the net to appear. So, I just kept leaping and looking for it.
After finally getting the divorce finalized the previous month. I’d decided to spend 4 months in Mexico (which turned into 5 years, but that’s another story!)
So… there I was, wide awake in the Mexico night… with the fear barking in my brain way, WAY louder than any barking from the rooftops.
What the actual fuck am I doing? Sure, this is exciting… but what if everything goes wrong?
How is it possible that my two little girls are already grown up?
Where did my youth go?
Did I squander it?
Why didn’t I…..?
And then Brain started in on the endless mistakes, the regrets, the should’ves.
Because…. This is what brains do. At least a certain part of your brain. It ruminates, it judges, it yells at you.
And, that barking brain might wake you up at 3 AM with your heart pounding.
You don’t have to have put yourself in a questionable situation in a foreign country for that to happen!
All you have to do is be a human with a human brain.
And if you’re a human who has logged a certain amount of years on the planet, you’re probably wondering in those wee hours – just like I was – what exactly happened to your life?
How did I get here?
Is this IT?
Is it too late?
Have you proven yourself to be not up to snuff?
There’s still so much you want to do!
But why haven’t you done it yet?
I’m here to tell you that NOTHING in that variety of thinking is gonna get you back to sleep!
Nor will it wake you up to your true capacity and potential.
All of that thinking is like those barking dogs.
You have the option of earplugs… or in this case “brain plugs.” Which means moving those thoughts to the background track so that you can focus your attention on something different.
Because it’s only too late when you tell yourself it is.
I spent quite a few wakeful nights paying too much attention to the barking during that year. It was part of my rite of passage.
But once I turned down the barking, and started wondering about what’s going right instead of what’s going wrong…. That’s when I could sleep again.
That’s when people and opportunities started showing up and my new life began to take shape.
It turned out I had been sewing my own net all this time!
And, I discovered something profound:
It was never about WHERE I was going and when I would get there. It’s always been about WHO I am becoming on the way!
YOUR life is waiting for you!
As a life coach I guide midlife women to take that leap into who they know they were born to be in this second (and better!) half.
It often starts with feeling better in and about your body. Without that, everything else feels harder.
But sometimes, it simply starts with a courageous decision. You know what that is.
All of it is more fun, and way more doable with some practical tools and a guide.
Are you ready to become?
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