The Second Journey is a lifeline for women coming of age in mid-life—a memoir with a message that gives the reader permission to break some rules and leave behind what is outlived in order to embrace what remains unlived. No matter how many accidental journeys she has embarked upon which have led to counterfeit destinations the reader will eventually garner the sustenance and inspiration to move away from the predictable and redesign her life in her own image… to become not only her own best friend but the heroine of her life story.
What The Second Journey is all About…
Most of us, halfway to a hundred, confront a need for great self- awareness. We reach a point when the power of youth is gone, the possibility of failure first presents itself, and the dream of earlier times now seems shallow and pointless. And then we find ourselves asking the tough questions: What am I meant to do now? What really matters? Who am I?
For many years I had ignored these questions because I had too many responsibilities—too many other lives to consider. But all of a sudden, there were no more excuses. Old truths and ideals no longer served me. I was restless, unhappy, and full of an undefined ache, standing at a crossroad with no clear idea of what path to follow. I only knew that I needed a change. So I took a leap of faith, walked away from the mainstream of life and dove headlong into the unknown.
My first book, A Year By The Sea, chronicles the “awakening” I experienced when I let instinct and intuition lead the way. It is a very personal memoir that has helped hundreds of thousands of women wake up as well. But the itinerary I designed for myself during that year alone proved difficult to hold on to once I returned to living with others. It was one thing to hear my own voice while I was living a solo existence; quite another to do so once I resumed my place in the web of family and friends. It was one thing to live a simple life, guided by the cycles of nature and my own inner tides while I walked the beaches of Cape Cod and cooked dinner for one; it was quite another once I discovered an unexpected passion for my career and tasted the thrill of success.
The Second Journey chronicles the ten years from that time of “awakening” to the more recent past when I finally began to feel settled into my own reality. In the process of eliminating illusion, I was able to once and for all embrace what is simple and true. By looking back at the roads I chose to travel, I came to see how many were valid and how many were not—those that I happened upon quite by accident where lessons were learned and hardships endured, and those which led to counterfeit destination which in the short term seemed attractive but in the long term proved catastrophic.
It is my hope that in sharing the pitfalls and triumphs, you will be encouraged to create your own itinerary, knowing all the while that detours, back roads, and slippery terrain are all part of the journey as well as its lessons. But how do such journeys begin?
The call to a second journey usually commences when unexpected change is thrust upon you causing a crisis of feelings so great that you are stopped in your tracks. Such personal events as betrayal, a bad diagnosis, the death of a loved one, loss of self-esteem, a fall from power are on a few of the catalysts. A woman caught thusly has no choice but to pause, isolate, even relocate until she can re-evaluate the direction in which she should be headed. Should she stay the course or choose another path?
But alas, many of us inhibit our capacity for growth because the culture encourages us to live lives of uniformity. We stall, deny the ensuing crisis because of confusion, malaise, and yes, even propriety.
Yet, more and more, I come in contact with women, particularly in mid-life, (that uneasy, ill-defined period), who want not merely to be stagnant, but rather generative. Today’s woman has the urge to go against the prevailing currents, step out of line, and break with a polite society that has her following unwritten of relationship, accepting the abuses of power in the workplace, and blithely living with myriad “shoulds” when she has her own burgeoning desires.
This book will help you navigate through change—from being merely awakened to being a determined, impassioned pilgrim on her own individual path. This does not mean giving up family and friends—it simply means integrating the web of family into your world so that they are a part of your life but know your entire life.
During my “travels” or life experiences I was made to account for that which was outlived in my life and that which was unlived. By gradually letting go of that which was finished and outlived, I was able to make room for and welcome new endeavors and unlived possibilities.
We are born to be ourselves—in need of upgrading the gene—to look back again and again and befriend that person you once intended to become. Life, like a beach, is always rearranging itself. The trick is to welcome and then work with, not against the changes. We are in a constant state of metamorphosis, experiencing conflicts for which we must find resolution and in doing so deepening our innate strengths. Knowing, acknowledging and celebrating the phases all women go through—how we’ve risen above our angst—respecting our very determination—that is the fodder needed to continue our independent journeys. The goal is to come of age in the middle of life rather than live out our days lacking purpose and energy. It’s all about rearranging our lives in our own image.
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