Well, hello, hello! Welcome back the show, show, show! We have a great show today! Well, I think it’s great! You’re going to think that today’s show is all fluffy, feminine energy, because I’m going to start talking about a flower, but hang in there, we’ll bring in some macho, masculine energy to create power and synergy! Woo-hoo! ! Let’s jump in Midlifers!
So, I’ve always been intrigued by the lotus flower. At the surface, it might seem like just a pretty, little delicate flower sitting on top of the pond soaking up the sunlight. But oh contraire, it is quite a powerful flower! Let me tell ya’, the lotus has got flower power!
Did you know that every evening, the lotus flower sleeps underneath the surface of the pond in the cold, dark mud? It’s true. It doesn’t complain either. Nope. I’ve asked it personally and the lotus said it’s just fine in the mud. It just rests and sleeps there peacefully. And every morning, the lotus pushes through the cold, dark mud, and rises to the surface of the water to greet the sun. As the rays of the sun shine brighter and brighter, the lotus expands and opens its petals.
What is really fascinating is that the petals of the lotus are completely flawless with no sign of any mud anywhere! None. Zilch. Zero. There is actually a scientific term for this phenomenon, and it is called the “lotus effect”. The water droplets literally pick up the dirt when the lotus is emerging, and the mud just rolls right off the pedals! Wee! Gone! Just like that!
As the sun goes down, the lotus begins to tightly close its petals. It slowly submerges back into the cold, dark mud where it rests for the evening. The next day, it repeats the cycle all over again.
I know what you’re thinking. What in the worrrrld does this have to do with making over my midlife, Wendy? Well, I will tell you!
The mud represents, quite simply, the crap in your life. The yucky, dark, cold mud of trauma and drama. The mud is divorce, death, disease, physical abuse, mental abuse, depression, anxiety, debt, toxic relationships, bankruptcy, shitty jobs, no job, difficult childhood, addiction. Let’s see…what else? We might as well throw COVID, politics and taxes into the mudpie, too! Haha! That is one nasty mudpie folks! Yucky poo!
There is ONE thing that I forgot to tell you about the lotus and its mud. The mud provides nourishment for the lotus. That’s right. The lotus NEEDS the mud to survive! If there was no mud, there would be no lotus. No wonder the lotus doesn’t complain. The mud supports the lotus and feeds it every day to give the power to the flower! Yeah! Woo-hoo! Thank you mud!
You see, we ALL have mud. We ALL have the cold, dark crappy experiences in our lives that we have dealt with, are currently dealing with, or are going to deal with. What’s the saying? Shit happens? Mud happens. It’s life. We just have to manage our mud. We just have to appreciate the mud like the lotus appreciates the mud!
Quick story. I was teaching a weekend workshop a few years ago and someone in the audience raised their hand and said to me, “Wendy, you are always so happy. How do you know what it’s like to suffer when you haven’t even gone through any trauma in your life?”
I almost cried. Not because her words brought me anger or sadness. No. They actually brought me the opposite. They brought me pride and joy. I was proud of myself, because I realized that my petals were clean of all my mud. I had applied the Lotus Effect to the trauma and drama in my life. My mud was beneath me because I rose above it.
I wasn’t walking around in my life with muddy petals. Ain’t nobody got time for that! You can’t walk around with muddy petals! It will weigh you down and wear you down. If you are walking around in your life with heavy, muddy petals, then you can’t grow and you can’t bloom in your life. Most importantly, you can’t open your heart to yourself, to the people around you, and to the world.
So, if the mud represents the darkness and fear in your life, then what does the sun represent? Well, the sun represents the light and love in your life. Just like the lotus can rely on the sun to be there every day, you can rely on love to be there for you every day. It is always there. Fear and darkness are a part of life, and so is love and light. It is the dichotomy and duality of life. You have a choice though every day when you rise of what you focus on. Focus on love or fear. It’s up to you.
We have concluded that mud is a guarantee in life. There is no way out of it. Nope. The key is to not get STUCK in the mud! How can you be IN the world, but not OF the world? How can you be IN the mud, but not OF the mud? How can you embrace the mud just like the lotus? How can you bloom freely every day without being weighed down by your trauma and drama?
Well, you apply the Lotus Effect! Yessss! And how do we do that? Just like the lotus!
Whether you need to get unstuck from mud in your past, present, or future, use the following four steps of the Lotus Effect:
- Submerge – let’s go dark! That’s right! Dive into that mud like a boss! Remember that the mud gives you nourishment! It’s going to feed you! Don’t be scared of the mud! The mud has something to teach you, too! Love the mud!
Another quick story to share with you. A little of MY mud to share with you. My ex-husband had passed away about 20 years ago, and for several reasons, I was never able to grieve for him. I was a single mommy with two boys, and I had just started a new business. There wasn’t time for me to grieve. Eventually, after a few years of not grieving, the mud weighed down my petals, and I became stuck in a bad cycle of grief. It darkened my spirit and I ended up in a deep depression. Not good! I learned my lesson though, and that lesson is to always leap into the dark immediately and not wait to grieve.
Three years ago, I had the opportunity to apply this lesson in my life when my brother passed away. I can remember receiving the call that morning that he wasn’t going to make it. I frantically packed my suitcase for the airport, and right before I walked out the door, I got a glimpse of myself in the mirror. I looked at myself in the eyes and I said out loud, “Wendy, you are going to dive into this grief and darkness like a boss. You are going to reemerge stronger and wiser and with more love in your heart. You will not allow this to take you down.”
And I did just that. I did reemerge stronger and wiser and with more love in my heart. Hence, the reason why I was able to start my own show and share this with you. The grieving wasn’t easy by no means, but conquering it head on was better than expecting it to just go away. Because it won’t go away unless you embrace the loss with grace.
So again, submerge like a badass into your mud and face the fears. On the other side of fear is love.
- Sleep – Zzzz. That’s right. Nighty night! Rest in the mud. Relax into it. Just allow it to be what it is. There is beauty in resting. The silence, the void, the unknown, the space between your thoughts is where miracles occur. You must get quiet and ALLOW healing to take place. You can’t force healing. It takes time. Let the mud feed you and heal you. When you least expect it, you will gain peace over your darkness. You will wake up one day and think, oh! That doesn’t even bother me that much anymore. Cool! I am moving on!
Speaking of moving on …
- Salute – Salute the light in your life. I know in times of grief, loss, trauma, drama, and everything in between, it’s hard to see the light. It’s there. Trust me. You must emerge yourself from the mud and the darkness and seek the light. You must reach out to friends, family, a therapist, read positive books, get out in nature, do yoga, watch a funny movie, take a vacation. Anything! Just change it up and the light will appear. It might be dim at first, but eventually it will get brighter.
And that brings me to the final step.
- Sunbathe – Ahhhh! Sunbathe! Feel the warmth of love and light in your life. When you start to experience the light and love in your life after being submerged in the darkness for so long, you have to really turn that light on full blast. You have to discover what brings joy in your life and what helps you resolve the issues that you have with your mud. Whatever you discover, you need more of that in your life. Those are the water droplets that remove the mud from your petals. That is the love that feeds your soul. That is the love that allows you to sit on the surface with your mud beneath you, open your petals and bask in the beauty of the light. That is when someone that you barely know comes up to you and says, “You are always so happy. How do you know what it’s like to suffer when you haven’t even gone through any trauma in your life?”
And that is when you smile back and say, “I’ve been through lots of mud in my life. You just can’t see my mud. I LOVE my mud!”
I hope this helps you through the dark times and I hope it helps you appreciate the dark times. Here are a few nuggets of Midlife Wisdom from today’s show:
- The mud is the dark trauma and drama in your life.
- Your mud provides nourishment and is there to support you and teach you.
- Shit happens. Mud happens. It’s life. Love the mud.
- Don’t walk around with muddy petals! Otherwise, you can’t grow, bloom, and open your heart.
- The sun represents the light and love in your life. You have a choice to focus on the light or darkness. Focus on the light.
- Be IN the mud but not OF the mud.
- Submerge into your mud immediately and face it like a boss.
- Sleep and rest in your mud. Allow healing to take place within you.
- Salute the light and love in your life. Discover what brings you joy.
- 10.Sunbathe in more and more love and light. When you discover what brightens your world, soak it up!
Thanks again for listening, my Mighty Midlifers! If you feel ready to begin your Midlife Makeover, head over to the website at www.wendyvalentine.com and click on the Courses tab. The Midlife Makeover Method is a GREAT way to salute your next chapter and sunbathe in some yummy wisdom that will bring you joy and love in your life. This is a very popular self-study course, and right now it’s being offered at only $197! Woo-hoo!
Go out there and be bright, blooming lotuses!
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