Hitting Your Sweet Spot
Along with all the fun physical changes that come with living in our 40s, such as loss of muscle tone, perimenopause, and thinning eyebrows, also comes the sweet reward of hitting your Sweet Spot. And sweet it is! We hear so much about the pains of getting older (and, yeah, some of them are downright wretched), but what we don’t hear much about is the beauty, the freedom that is finally ours.
Serotonin vs. adrenaline
As a young woman in my 30s I’d watch these forty-something women in yoga classes working their asanas with such confidence and acceptance of their physicality as I worked my ass off to go deeper, do more, bend further. Sometimes I’d see them walking in the mornings looking all smiley and content as I ran past them, pounding my feet into the concrete, beating the shit out of my joints. I saw them in grocery stores sauntering down the aisles pondering their purchases as I made like a kamikaze hoping to finish everything on my to-do list in time to pick up the kids from school. They were all serotonin. I was all adrenaline.
We were in different stages of life in regard to our ages, careers, families, and hormones. I was of the Anais Nin school of thought: “Good things happen to those that hustle.” But these women were not hustling; they were smiling like Buddha. Maybe they were all stoned.
Whatever it was, I wanted some too
I watched this over the years, secretly yearning to be a part of their I’m-So-Happy-And-Confident Club, but I wasn’t ready to let my guard down. What would happen if I started walking instead of running? Would I get fat? Lose my edge? What if I stopped trying to wrap my ankles behind my head in yoga class and instead settled for a simple, happy supta padangusthasana? Would I blow my chances of joining the circus?
I watched in awe as these women mastered their lives. Of course I was not privy to the dirty details of their individual experiences, but whatever was going on with them individually, it was apparent that they knew how to handle it with grace. And even more beautiful was that they knew that they were their own masters. I was steeped deep in living a life of many masters, not one of which was me! I was a self-imposed slave at the mercy of my job, my family, social pressures, and unrealistic self-expectations.
And then my membership card arrived
It just appeared, or so it seemed. Over the course of about a year I was slowly being initiated into this exclusive club. I noticed that my feathers stopped ruffling so easily; in fact, I soon developed the feathers of duck—slick, smooth, and repellent. I incorporated walking into my exercise routine and cut back on my running. (And, no, I didn’t get fat or lose my edge.) I stopped playing Beat The Clock.
I had hit my sweet spot. It doesn’t mean that life’s challenges are any less (Hell, no!). But what it does mean is that life’s challenging moments are much less frantic and dramatic. It means shaking off the excess and trusting yourself to make the right choices.
Ten Signs That You’ve Hit Your Sweet Spot
1. You’ve finally decided to be nice to your thighs (or whatever body part you’ve grown up hating), and have even begun to think they’re/it’s pretty fucking awesome.
2. You stop criticizing yourself for not doing enough and start smiling at yourself for all you do.
3. You begin to accept your faults and think of them as quirky little personality enhancers.
4. You finally realize that every single choice you make is your own!
5. You come to learn that taking an afternoon nap isn’t a sign of being a complete slacker, but rather an important part of your beauty routine.
6. You are thrilled to learn that the cliché is true: You really don’t give a shit what other people think of you anymore.
7. You learn to say no with confidence.
8. Love and compassion become bigger than anger and fear.
9. You see young twenty-year-old
boys men as the beautiful objects of art that they are and shamelessly admire the view.
10. You stop asking permission. For anything.
Are you living in your Sweet Spot? If so, tell us about your awesome sweetness.