Full disclosure: on Saturday, I did not march in the biggest women’s march of my lifetime (so far). I was at home recovering from a very long bout of the flu. Still, I sent my energy out to the marchers as I excitedly watched CNN covering the speakers at the Women’s March in Washington. They sent energy back and it moved me. Gotta say, I got high from all the signs! I rocked to the beat of Ashley Judd’s recitation of the poem “Nasty Woman”, cheered out loud for Madonna when she dropped the “F-bomb” twice, and listened actively and intensely for the wisdom in the words of my hero, feminist icon Gloria Steinem.
This moment in herstory, when hundreds of thousands showed up out of concern for the future and were joined by others at home like me, is the beginning of something. To take it forward, Michael Moore’s encouragement to everyone is to run for office and to phone their senator. That idea dovetails with the email I received from Why I March entitled “10 Actions for the first 100 days” which suggests that we each write a postcard to our senator (or in Canada our MP), make them our own, and share them with the world by posting them to social media. Certainly, crafting a unique postcard to send to government expressing my position appeals to me as a midlife woman and a creative person.
And, my midlife wisdom tells me that my first step is to Pause to find clarity about what I want next. Although composed well before the women’s march, this passage, written by Leigh in our upcoming book Just Push Play on Midlife , describes this moment so beautifully:
The Pause is what Crystal and I call those moments in our lives that push us to
really examine what’s next. Markers that by Midlife, ask us to be honest about
what we need, and what we want moving forward. Divorce, deaths, dramatic big
shifts at any time in your life, can bring on a Pause, but sometimes, it just
happens almost out of the blue. Some of you may be feeling it now,
as you choose this book to read, knowing
some wish is stirring inside you, causing uneasiness, as that deep desire, that
big idea, that craving, is forced to sit quietly, waiting and watching. A
Pause that happens in Midlife, has a profound chord structure. It’s a sound that
almost always includes notes of change.
Important questions, often from seeds as younger women we were
uncomfortable with, now need exploring. Questions we left unanswered perhaps
because we had difficulties vocalizing them. Midlife is as good a time as any, to
find your voice. This moment in our life forces us, no really demands us, to ask “What’s next?”
and at our age and time , “Is that all?”, and my favorite, “Why not me?”
When I see my generation and others joining in right action for women’s rights as human rights, my heart sings the very chord that Leigh describes, and poses the question, “What’s next?”. Today and each day I will Pause to playfully invite in the many wishes, cravings and big ideas that are awaiting this playdate. I will create and send that postcard and post it here. From its content, I expect that other actions will grow. Watch for it.
Perhaps you will try your own PAUSE and see where it leads you. I believe that when we are honest with ourselves, go inside and take our guidance from a deep knowing within the truth of our bodies, our power differs and is marked by compassion and connection, promise and process. Having begun the process with the Pause, we then may proceed with connection and love, rather than from command or demand. Let’s keep sharing that energy and keep moving in the right direction to that profound tune of change.