I’ve always thought of productivity as one of my super powers. Up until my late 40’s, I thought the voice of my inner taskmaster was me. I thought pushing myself beyond my limits made me a badass, made me better. No one was ever going to call me lazy.
So I wasn’t too happy about menopause arriving with brain fog, hot flashes, and fatigue. I felt like I was being taken out of the game. Then my time management abilities started shape-shifting. Sovereign boundaries around claiming my own time eclipsed the allegiance I’d always had to my to-do list. I experienced an insatiable hunger for open, unscheduled spaces on my calendar.
The meno rebirthing times, which for me have spanned the decade between ages 48 to 58, seem designed specifically to bring on an identity crisis. And that’s not a bad thing. That which is unsustainable or not serving our greater wholeness must necessarily die, compost, and be empty for a time if there is hope for a blossoming bigger and brighter than what came before.
While that makes perfect sense when we see it happening in the garden, it’s extremely disorienting when it’s happening in your own body. It’s even harder when you live in a culture that worships youth, productivity, and performance above all else. One that views a woman’s midlife transformation as an embarrassment and a failing, rather than a sacred passage and a flowering.
Which is why it’s so important for us to keep talking about this, seeing it with new eyes, finding allies to link arms with who are also doing the work of claiming our wise woman power and giving her voice.
If productivity has always been one of your crown jewels and that’s changing, let me offer you this from my own midlife rebirthing: know that you’re not being asked to let go of anything that you actually need. You’re not losing your productivity, your relationship with it is undergoing evolution.
In the past few years, I pared my business down from multiple programs to just the basics: writing and 1:1 coaching. I wanted more space in my life and room to assess next steps with my work.
What I didn’t realize was that some deeply held limiting beliefs about my identity and worth would rush into the vacancy I opened up. Funny how that happens. Beliefs that we’re no longer in alignment with the emerging wise woman I was becoming. Beliefs that weren’t congruent with my values.
Maybe some of these are up for you too. Such as,
If you’re not achieving success as defined by the overculture then you are not successful.
Productivity = value. You’re not valuable unless you are being productive.
Can you still love and esteem yourself if you’re not doing Big Things in the World?
I’m still unwinding these as I craft a new relationship with the realties of post menopausal productivity. However, slowly the inner voice of self criticism, expectation and judgment is softening, lessening.
I’m committed to engaging with my business from a place of gratitude, contribution and abundance not grasping at success or “trying to make” so I can feel worthy. I know that’s not where my true value and worth live.
I find the idea of attracting exactly the right clients and opportunities by staying rooted in my sovereignty, sensuality, and soul an extremely juicy proposition. I’m in deeper trust of my natural cycles, knowing when to rest, let go, walk away or get help. Also when to lean in, catch the wave, and shine.
My guru of productivity these days is the land. The days given over to weeding, feeding, planting, and mulching in the vegetable garden are producing a veritable farmer’s market of food to share. The more we give to the land, the more she showers us with blessings. The rose garden I have steadily tended over the past two years has exploded with blooms.
Productivity for me looks like building pathways, refreshing bird baths and replenishing feeders for all the winged creatures, hanging laundry on the line, arranging flowers, planting milkweed for the monarchs, making offerings at the altars and hundreds of other sacred, simple tasks.
It also looks like being an overachiever in the realm of relaxation: making tea with freshly picked lemon balm, laying in the hammock, and being a good listener to all the songs the birds so endlessly offer.
This transition out of the mothering stage of our lives requires us to shed our attachment to being everything to everyone, ignoring our needs to serve others, multi-tasking ourselves into exhaustion, over-giving.
As we move through our meno-passage, we step away from the mothering archetype and into the stage of wise woman queen. She knows where to put her valuable energy for maximum productivity with the least amount of effort. Elegance, efficiency, alignment, impact and influence. That’s how she rolls.
I’m grateful to have coaches who hold me as whole, complete and resourceful, who have been invaluable in assisting me with excavating the beliefs and habits that no longer serve the woman I am becoming. Also the trusted elder women who have mentored me through this passage. I bow to my sisters on the path and the sharing spaces we created for rawness and vulnerability, helping me feel less alone. And colleagues committed to amplifying each other’s offers and creating opportunities to co-create in partnership. It’s the Shakti Woman Way.
Although it may not feel like it, remember that what you’re experiencing isn’t a failing, it’s a flowering. The world needs more Shakti women and you have been called, called to blossom in your utterly unique way.
If you’re ready for a guide to help illuminate the confusion, alleviate obstacles and partner with you in birthing your next greatness, then I invite you to explore 1:1 Shakti Coaching & Mentoring.
I’d love to hear how your relationship with productivity is evolving, just hit reply.
With so much love to you,