Living in Autumn 2017-07-14T17:37:36+00:00

 

“What on earth is wrong with me?”

“And when will it go away? (It will go away… right?”)

You know something is off. You just don’t feel like yourself anymore. It can sneak up on you at random moments and in unexpected ways. The things you used to enjoy, that used to excite you… not so much anymore.

It’s not really about your age or your appearance, though you can go there if you let yourself. There’s something much deeper than that stirring.

If you’re really honest with yourself, you aren’t actually sure who you are anymore, and you don’t really understand why.

It feels crappy. It’s a little scary. And when you don’t understand what’s happening, you might think the solution lies in a prescription, botox, or even an affair.

But the truth is, midlife is supposed to feel crappy, because it is calling you to the soulwork of midlife: healing old wounds, reconnecting to your unique creative essence, and rediscovering who you are and what your life is about. These are in fact the major developmental tasks of midlife, and your midlife misery is your wake-up call.

So what if what most people see as something to avoid at all costs is actually an invitation? Not something to be ignored, endured or medicated away, but an opportunity?

What if it’s a  summons from your spirit to create the space necessary heal, to reclaim your true nature and realign with your purpose so you can bring ease and joy back into your life?

The Art of Midlife Renaissance is for the curious, introspective woman who longs for guidance in traversing this uncharted territory of redefining life outside of her habitual roles and identity, and creating a life of harmony, integrity and deep meaning.

It is for women who sense that they are facing new frontiers and are ready to embrace this opportunity to create real change.

The Art of Midlife Renaissance is an holistic and intensive 6-month journey of introspection, deep healing and reclamation, where the confusion, pain and fragmentation of midlife is transmuted into clarity, wholeness and fulfillment.

Crisis or invitation? The choice is yours.

A midlife meltdown is no fun. It often feels like the archetypal “dark night of the soul”.

When it’s happening to you, you may find that you:

  • Have lost your enthusiasm, feeling bored and dissatisfied with life
  • Are feeling stuck and frustrated, unsure of how to move forward.
  • Don’t know where to spend your energy, feeling lost and confused.
  • Feel unnerved by a simmering irritability and anger that threatens to blow at any moment.

 

Many women never slow down long enough to acknowledge what they’re feeling. Others choose to simply persevere and hope it will eventually go away. Some project their discomfort onto external causes and make big life changes, hoping it will “fix it”.

But when midlife women are given the chance to really talk about this, what emerges is that they actually yearn to reconnect to their passion and creativity, and to craft a life of harmony, integrity and self-care – and they are secretly hoping it’s not too late.

 

 

Embracing the call

The truth of the matter is that all of these feelings are simply your inner wisdom’’s way of letting you know you’ve got some work to do. It is your midlife “wake-up call”.

You could simply ignore this call from your spirit. You could continue to say ‘yes’ to all the demands on your time and energy, and to just push through. And eventually you’ll probably feel more or less OK again.

But here’s the thing: This is a summons from your spirit, alerting you to the major developmental tasks of midlife that you need to complete in order to live the rest of your life as a dynamic, vibrant wise woman.

Do you want to ignore that?

The good news is that when you give yourself permission to pause and attend to your midlife soulwork, you take the first step towards your midlife renaissance.

After your Midlife Renaissance, you will find that you:

  • Wake up feeling excited and energized about your day.

  • Spend more time in the present rather than regretting the past or worrying about the future.

  • Are clear on what fulfills you and what does not, and can confidently let go of what no longer serves you.

  • Make conscious choices about how you spend your time and energy, and feel empowered to set the boundaries that serve those choices.

 

Ultimately, you are able to create a life that is fully – and finally – an outward expression of your innate gifts.

 

 

I’m not sure I knew I needed a gentle push until I started working with Julie—I only knew that I needed something.  I am a musician, a poet and a college professor, and I was trying figure out which part of myself to attend to. All of them were languishing; I was frustrated and scattered. There we so many directions I could move in, but I’d forgotten that. I felt as if there might only be ONE way to go, ONE way to be, and I was afraid I would choose the wrong thing.

Julie gives me the space to say what I need to say, release what I need to release, and come through it knowing that I am wise and deserving of love, that taking up space in this world and in my work is my birthright. I love “getting there”: grounding in a meditation that helps me release the cares of the day and reminds me that this time is completely for me, my feeling, my empowerment and my self-realization.

Because of our work together, I’ve made friends with parts of myself I had long ignored.  I recognize when I need time alone, and know how to make that time for myself—even in the middle of a day when everything around me clamors for my attention. Julie helps me remember who I am, helps me to peel away old selves like the dead skin they are, to reveal the pulsing, joyful self beneath. She guides me as I come to greet the part of me who shines.

In the crush of social constructs, women forget we have the right and the ability to say what we know is true. Julie helped me recover my own lost voice. Now, it is stronger than it has ever been.

You forget sometimes as you round the bend that there is still plenty of road before you.  Julie helped me remember that. She reminded me that “your eyes are not the only way to see.”

Beki T, Columbus, OH

Encountering the “dark night”

It’s not just my training in gerontology and women’s health that brings me to this work.

Around the age of 41 I found myself alternately depressed and raging. I looked everywhere for an explanation – my work, my husband, my children – but couldn’t really figure out a “cause”. Nor could I see any way out of what I was feeling. I would find myself driving down the road wondering if it wouldn’t be easier – and if my loved ones wouldn’t be better off – if I just drifted into oncoming traffic.

I had no idea what was wrong with me.

Luckily for me, a serendipitous encounter with just the right novel was my gateway into realizing what was happening to me was classically perimenopausal, and the beginning of my own journey into the sacred nature of the midlife renaissance. I‘ve spent the ensuing years researching, learning and doing my own midlife soulwork. In fact it’s still an ongoing process, because ‘midlife’ is pretty long phase!

What I discovered in my studies, in my own process, and in supporting other women through this transition, is that the longing to rediscover your passions and vitality, and to connect to what feels true and authentic, is re-calling you to your birthright – which is life of joy, harmony and deep meaning.

At its essence, at midlife you are being asked to pause and dig deep into discerning what you most want from your life.

This isn’t something reserved for only a select few. The developmental journey is universal. The Art of Midlife Renaissance is for you if you’re an introspective woman committed to creating a meaningful life on your own terms, curious about what drives you, courageous enough to do the hard, sometimes scary, work of healing and personal growth, and willing to create the time and space to do it.

This program is the evolution of 30 years of work related to women, aging, women’s health, the menstrual cycle and menopause. My training includes:

  • a Master’s degree in developmental psychology with a focus in women’s health
  • two decades in primary care as a massage and craniosacral therapist,
  • plus a wealth of experience with holistic approaches to healing and well-being, including:
  • SoulCollage® Facilitator training
  • Women’s Quest Menstruality Apprenticeship
I started working with Julie at a very low period of my life: Our real estate investments were not providing an income, I had to work to pay our bills, and my relationship with my adult daughters was not great. I felt that not only had I not achieved my goals, but I no longer had the time to achieve them because I was in my 50’s.

Having Julie validate that my feelings were there for a reason was very comforting and uplifting. She has a wealth of knowledge to share, and went above and beyond by providing recordings of our sessions and notes on any suggested reading or processes to use on my own. Our Skype sessions were easy and convenient.

My work with her has helped me to quiet my negative mind chatter and to be more positive about my future. It helped me move forward versus getting stuck in “pity party” mode, and now I have resources to use when I need to work through an issue. Best of all, I feel like the big dark cloud is gone.

I would recommend working with Julie to everyone.  She has the expertise to help with any issue, big or small.  Her warm and caring personality makes you feel safe and secure.  She is my forever “go to” person if I need to get an objective perspective on something.  She is not only my mentor but my friend.

Judi D, Ft. Wayne, IN

 

How will this work?

Living in Autumn is currently being re-envisioned and revamped, and the sales page will be ready soon. It’s new incarnation—The Art of Midlife Renaissance—is still an in-depth and intensive program that embraces the midlife passage as a developmental journey to be navigated, rather than a crisis to be managed.  Within this model, the midlife passage becomes a process of sifting and sorting through the stories, personas, roles and coping strategies you’ve accumulated over the years, with the goal of harvesting what is true and useful and releasing what no longer serves you.

It’s not a quick-fix, “wham-bam thank you ma’m” approach. It is a process of becoming. An unfolding. And I’ve found that one of the best ways to undertake this process is to have safe space, ample time and supportive guidance for your journey. To have, in essence, both a sanctuary and a mentor.

Each mentoring relationship is tailored to the unique needs and desires of the woman seeking support, yet each explores some (or all) the six essential elements of the midlife renaissance:

  • Relaxing into an understanding of the mysteries of the midlife passage
  • Embracing the sacred – sometimes scary – work of healing and reclaiming your lost, wounded and forgotten parts
  • Learning to follow your own natural rhythms and cycles
  • Allowing your innate feminine wisdom to guide your steps
  • Envisioning your unique, soulful and ever-evolving Life
  • Grounding your transformation in your physical being

 

It is an integrative approach that honors head and heart, body and spirit, and the unique context of each woman’s day-to-day life, helping you forge an everyday connection to your innate Feminine Wisdom.

 

What we’ll do

This program brings you the best of both worlds, combining the ease of an online course with the additional support and healing space that comes with a personal mentoring relationship.

The course material, which includes an assortment of handouts, worksheets, guided visualizations (recorded on downloadable MP3s) and video, resides on a lovely, easy-to-navigate website. Each of the six modules has two lessons exploring essential elements of midlife soulwork, which you’ll delve into at your own pace.

In addition, we’ll have monthly private mentoring sessions which can be done in person in my office, by phone or by videoconference. Working with me one-to-one, we’ll hone the work you’ve been doing in each lesson, taking deeper dives into places where you want more support or need to explore further. In this way, you will have not only information but  an opportunity for healing work, guidance, support and accountability—factors that can really make the difference in effectively creating lasting change.

 

What you’ll get

  • Six monthly modules, each consisting of two lessons that explore essential elements of midlife soulwork, which you’ll delve into at your own pace. The course material, which includes an assortment of handouts, worksheets, guided visualizations (recorded on downloadable MP3s) and video, resides on a lovely, easy-to-navigate website.
  • Six 75-minute private mentoring sessions held in person (in my office), by phone, or by videoconference. Working with me one-to-one, we’ll hone the work you’ve been doing in each lesson, taking deeper dives into places where you want more support or need to explore further. In this way, you will have not only information but  an opportunity for healing work, guidance, support and accountability—factors that can really make the difference in effectively creating lasting change.
  • SoulCollage® Starter Kit. All the supplies you will need for using SoulCollage to “Discover your wisdom and change your world”™.
  • Targeted support calls. When something unexpected or difficult arises and you want to check in, we can arrange a brief (10 minute) support call.
  • Unlimited email support. Need to make sure you’re using a process correctly, have a question or an insight you want to share? I’m always available by email, and I do my best to respond within 24 hours.
  • Private and secure file-sharing for notes and records.
  • Recorded sessions. An MP3 recording of each mentoring session, so you can focus on our session without worrying about taking notes. These recordings are yours, and you can listen to them as often as you wish at your convenience.
  • Priority enrollment and special offers for other programs and offerings, such as SoulCollage® Gatherings, online and local classes and my fall retreat for women.

With your commitment, at the end of six months, you will have made major strides in being solidly grounded and clear about who you are, who you are not, and how you want to show up in the world.

You will feel a genuine, stronger sense of confidence in your ability to create a life that is in alignment with your heart. You will have tools for self-care and for continuing to create your life.

By saying yes to the call of your own renaissance, you are declaring that you want a more fulfilling, heart-centered and joyful life. You are committing to the evolution of your own spirit and taking serious steps toward creating a conscious, balanced future where you are clear on the gifts you have to give the world and know how to make it happen.

 

I am currently accepting new clients for The Art of Midlife Renaissance.

Get in touch today to schedule a free, no obligation conversation so we can make sure we’re right for each other.

Frequently Asked Questions

This is the work of a lifetime. We’re talking major shifting in consciousness and your way of being here, creating new patterns.

The pacing is actually pretty fluid and set by you. Some people move a little faster and can be complete in less time, other times it takes a bit longer than si months. I’m not the kind of person who gets caught up in “shoulds” or in the promise of fast, explosive transformation. I believe that for real and lasting change to occur we need to honor each woman’s timing and there needs to be time for integration along the way.

This is not counseling or therapy. My background is in developmental psychology – specifically the study of adult development and aging. I am not trained or licensed as a therapist or counselor and I do not treat people with clinical disorders.

I consider this work more in alignment with coaching or spiritual direction, designed for women looking for support but not necessarily therapy. Our time together will not be spent delving into your past or trying to figure out the “what ifs” of your life.

This program is designed to help you see your stories, create new awareness, and implement meaningful change so you can live your life at its fullest and most vibrant. That’s why I call it mentoring.

I know it can be intimidating to try new technologies, so I do my best to make sure everything is straightforward and easy to navigate. The program portal is just like any other website, and you’ll have clear instructions on accessing the materials living there.

I use Skype or UberConference for calls. You will have clear instructions on how to connect and can always call or email me if you have any questions. Most importantly, nobody has broken anything yet!

The first step in the process is a free initial call to ensure that this program is a good fit for you, and that we are a good fit for each other.

No hard sell, no obligation. Just a chance for a good gut-check.

If at the end of our first session you do not feel that this work is a good fit for your needs, I will gladly refund your money. Simply send an email request.

You may also want to switch into the shorter-term Embracing Change program.

You’ll be eligible for special pricing on mentoring packages available only to women who have done mentoring with me.
If at the end of our first session you do not feel that this work is a good fit for your needs, I will gladly refund your money.

Simply send an email request.

 

Before I began working with Julie, I was feeling bored and tired with any type of “talk-therapy” or support group. I was all talked-out! I felt like I had said all there was to say and I was ready to give up on my self-improvement and personal growth path.

Julie has a fresh and creative approach that has helped me move my life forward in a positive direction. My favorite part is doing the SoulCollage® work and also the guided meditations. I like being able to tap into my own intuition with her wise guidance. As a result of our work together I am more able to accept all aspects of myself.

I was able to make a career change AND more importantly, for me, to view my work and career as more fluid and changing. Rather that see myself locked into the perfect career, I am able to see how some jobs are a stepping stone for some clearer work that has not yet revealed itself to me. Before, I was trying to fix the “problems”. Now it’s like I am working with a clearer reflection of myself.

I am getting comfortable with the pieces and parts of my personality that were always there, including those with which I’ve been the least comfortable. This has enabled me to grow at a faster rate than other modes of self-healing because I am looking at the whole me, rather that just pumping up the happy parts!

Michelle K

 

Don’t just muddle through this alone

Please don’t fall victim to the “just push through it” mentality, or to the “this too shall pass” school of thought. Because I promise you, either approach will at best extend your misery longer than necessary, and at worst lead to even bigger problems.

Remember, your discontent is a wake-up call from the wisest part of your being. Ignore the call and you run the risk of living into old age not as a vital, dynamic wise woman but a woman plagued by bitterness, resentment, and thoughts of what might have been.

In essence, this is the journey that must be taken to keep you from dying before you actually die.

There’s no need to simply “carry on”, and no need to go it alone.  Reach out now.

 

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If this feels like a more in depth process that you need right now, check out my Embracing Change programs for similar, but shorter-term options.