Transformation at Mid Life
￼by Matt Sincock
Mid-Life Crisis is the popular term for a time of life when you come to realize your own mortality and how much time is left in your life.
Sometimes this time of crisis can be triggered by sudden Stress or Overload transitions, such as death of your parents or other family member, divorce, rape, unemployment, or even chemically in Menopause or Andropause (male version of menopause).
Other triggers can be more subtle – job dissatisfaction, relationship dissatisfaction, depression, or the realisation you may never achieve the dreams of your youth.
The Crisis refers to the overwhelming desperation to change the WAY you live your life (External) because it no longer matches who you feel you really are (Internal).
Changes can include career, marriage, physical appearance, moving house, new hobbies.
Unfortunately, this intense desperation to create change, any change, without any guidance or support, can create unintentional hurt for the people close to those undergoing a Mid-Life Crisis.
Love affairs, reckless spending (sports cars), wild parties, financial strain (quitting the job), and other sudden changes may unintentionally hurt others.
The need for change has become more important than anything or anybody else. ￼
Most of the time people undergoing a Mid-Life Crisis are not sure what to change, or exactly how to change it.
This may be due to unintentionally living in an ego-based material lifestyle.
A material focused life is generally resistant to change, especially the sudden changes experienced in a mid life crisis. In fact, this kind of change feels like death to the ego.
This explains why the need to create change can feel like an intense struggle between life & death. ￼
Although it is often hidden from the Ego, the wisdom to deal with change constantly surrounds us, and we spend most of our free time obsessed with it.
Old and new stories, campfire tales, books, movies, fables and legends imbedded with the wisdom of people undergoing the process of change.
Story is fundamentally describing a journey of change or transformation.
A story is about a Character encountering an Obstacle and attempting to overcome it. No need for change equals no story.
The process of change is the story.
The Search for the Holy Grail. Jesus’ Way of Love and Peace.
Dorothy’s search for a way home in the Wizard of Oz.
Frodo’s acceptance of the journey (even with little chance of success) in Lord of the Rings.
Obstacles, characters, and the Way of Change – all vary in every story.
So much sage advice for inspiration on our own personal journey… ￼
Taoist Alchemical tradition upholds the idea that a Mid Life Transformation is a positive, necessary part of life.
Alchemy symbolises changing base metals (lead) into noble metals (gold).
This is the Way of transformation. (Tao means the way)
This is reflected in the Chinese calligraphy for Crisis, which means Chaos/Opportunity.
In the midst of the intense chaos of change, is the opportunity to transform to something better. ￼
At about mid-life, Kidney Jing and Yin naturally start to decline.
Jing is the ancestral Yin fluids used to drive our physical growth and functioning.
When in decline, hormones change, and the symptoms of Andropause and Menopause emerge.
Physically the body now has less ability to cool itself (yin), resulting in too much heat in the body (yang).
This is sometimes called Empty Heat. Some women experience empty heat as sudden spikes of hot flushes.
The Empty Heat creates an upward pushing Yang heat in the body, without the ability to cool (calm) down.
All that Yang heat travels up to the head and heart, which creates a feeling of agitation, of the urgent need to be busy doing something, anything.
The compulsion to be busy is overwhelming… Yet this is the opposite of what we need to do.
The busier we become, the more Yang heat is generated, and the more we burn up our already depleted Jing and cooling Yin.
Often we feel compelled to continue in intense Yang activity until we completely exhaust our cooling Yin.
At this point, our Yang can no longer function and we collapse or have a meltdown/nervous breakdown and finally STOP. ￼
To create Balance, we need to do the opposite of all that Yang busyness.
We need to do things to support and tonify our depleted cooling Yin.
We can no longer let Yang Will dominate our life.
This is the real change we need to make.
Alchemically, we must now learn to look to the Yin of the Will.
Discovering our Yin Will is learning to work with our individual natural strengths & talents.
Working smarter, not harder.
Learning to flow with the path of least resistance Like steering the boat where the river is flowing fast because this is usually the deepest & best course.
Less chance of hitting bottom in the rapids. It is looking back and seeing the path you have been on all along.
It is a checkpoint to make sure you do what you were born to do, before it is too late.
To create balance is a two stage path of Alchemy:
- Hold still in the dark
- Become the mountain ￼
This is when we rely on the wisdom of the Yin within the Yang.
We use our Yang will to deliberately not do.
We do nothing, except find a point of active stillness, even though part of us is screaming to take action.
We sacrifice the rational ego (death) and plunge into the unknown, the path of Yin.
And wait to see what, if anything, comes to life.
We must be willing to let go, wait, trust, and surrender.
To engage with your Yin Will is to reflect on yourself and your life.
To discover your true talents and strengths: Meditate, journal, fast, retreat, go bush, travel, and mindfully learn art/music as a method of self expression. ￼
2) Become the mountain
The stablising of the will. This is when we discover the Yang contained within the Yin.
As we consciously extinguish the light of our ego, we become aware of another light shining from the darkness.
This is the Yin light from below, the light of essences, of embodiment and matter.
We can not see this Yin light unless we deliberately stop focusing on the Yang light.
The Yin light is like a glow worm in a moist underground cave.
The yang shines now from below your belly button (kidney) rather from above.
It is no longer our Yang Will driving us.
A new illumination enlightens us and leads the way back to our right path.
It is our Yin Will.
We align our individual will with God/universe and attain wisdom.
To hold still in the dark, to help create the balance we seek during a Mid-Life Transformation, many cultures throughout the world have developed various techniques…
Transforming Body & Mind
There are many ways to drop into the stillness of Yin… Here are a few ways…
BREATHING PRACTICES Retained Full Breath, Mixing Fire with Water (increases Yin & Jing), Pranayama
DIET Creating Yin/Yang Balance with Food as Medicine, Fasting SKIN Skin brush, Cold Showers/Baths, Saunas
BODY ALIGNMENT Yoga Stretches, Acupuncture, Massage, Shiatsu, Qi-Gong, Tai Chi
DELIVERANCE (AWAKENING) Self reflective retreats, Discovering One’s True Nature, Spiritual Revelations, God MIND Zen Meditation, Prayer, Silence, Guided Meditation, Purification of Mind
PRACTICE OF LOVE Serving God, Chanting, Gratitude, Repentance, Self Restraint, Zen Shiatsu
ASCETIC TRAINING Qigong, Tai Chi, Mantra chanting, Meditation, Purification. Martial Arts
If you would like more information, or help during your Mid Life Transformation, I can help support you through your journey…
Or I may be able to put you in touch with other people to support you…
Contact Matt via email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone me in Australia on 0427 539 382 or visit my website, www.lifeyoga.com.au ￼
Matt Sincock is a professional acupuncturist, yoga teacher, remedial massuer and zen shiatsu therapist. He runs a busy practice specialising in treating people suffering chronic health problems. Matt began his studies with an okido yoga teacher, Michael Wynne, in 1991. The natural simplicity and wisdom of oriental medicine was the first thing to make sense in Matt’s life, and he studied with Michael for three years. Michael’s style of teaching involved trekking deep into the wilderness for 7-10 days at a time, carrying only a yoga mat and a backpack full of macrobiotic food! It is during this time he began in-depth studies of yoga, zen shiatsu, and qigong. Matt went on to professionally study remedial massage, zen shiatsu, advanced neurological acupuncture, martial arts, and qigong, In 2010, Matt became one of the founding members of a Community Acupuncture and Shiatsu clinic in Bellingen, offering low cost treatments to the community. In 2012, he established the Australian College of Eastern Medicine in Bellingen, a registered training organisation teaching Diploma courses in Remedial Massage and Zen Shiatsu. Matt teaches regular yoga classes which help to create the space to feel a joy for life and an opportunity for self-healing – drawing on his experiences of okido yoga, oriental bodywork as well as deep wilderness experiences.