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A Wake-Up Call from Your Soul: Reinventing Your Life After 60

By Meryl Cook October 24, 2016 Mindset

Hello, it’s your soul calling. I’ve arranged a special event for you. This event will remind you to check in with me, to nourish me to see how I am doing.

What is a Wake-Up Call?

For some women a wake-up call can be a serious illness such as breast cancer. For others, it is a significant life event like the kids leaving home or a divorce or retiring from your profession. Losing a loved one can be a wake-up call. Narrowly avoiding an accident on the highway can be a wake-up call.

What do all of these situations have in common? They make us realize that life is short. Too short to waste in a job we no longer love. Too short not to buy those red cowboy boots we’ve always wanted. They shake us out of our complacency, out of our routines.

Our Reactions to Wake Up Calls

Wake up calls cause us to question everything, from the meaning of our lives and the relationships we have to how we spend every waking moment. A wake up call can feel like a shake up or a shattering. Or it can feel like a big hole where there used to be a loved one, or a career or an able body.

Some wake up calls make us want to hold our kids tight, tell people that we love them. They encourage us to make the best of every day. A wake up call makes us yearn to live life to its fullest, to reach our potential.

We all have wake up calls, but we don’t always answer them. This is where the yes – buts come in. Yes, I should change up my life but I’ve been in this job for 30 years and I don’t know what else I would do. Yes, I would love to walk every day or take that art course but I am so busy. For women in particular, the yes – buts often take the form of yes, I would love to… or I need to… but my aging mom needs me, or the kids need me, or the cat needs me.

One Wake Up Call Is Sometimes Not Enough

Some of us need several wake up calls before we respond. That would be me raising my hand. In 2015 I had a serious motorcycle accident and was off work for two months. I had been in my profession as a homeopath and Bowen therapist for 18 years and was yearning for something more.

I had been noticing nausea in my stomach as I walked along the harbour to work each morning. I knew my body was telling me I needed to change things up, but I didn’t know what else I would do if I no longer had my practice.

So I implemented a partial solution. I cut back my patient days to three instead of five and incorporated a line of fantastic products that I could retail and wholesale. But the nausea didn’t go away.

Along came wakeup call number two. In the summer of 2016 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. As a homeopath I knew that cancer was illness at a very deep level. I knew this was a call I had to answer. I decided that I would give up my practice and allow myself time to recover before deciding what was next.

My third wakeup call came on the day of my surgery. It was a slightly different kind of wake up call. When I woke in the recovery room there was a painting of a dragonfly on the ceiling above my bed. Prior to surgery I had been taking photographs of dragonflies, so this painting struck me.

The nurse looked up the meaning of the dragonfly for me. It was joy, adaptability, transformation and digging deeper into the emotions. This became my recipe for recovery and is one I am still following.

How to Answer a Wake-Up Call

Answering a wake-up call requires a few ingredients. It requires us to allow space for change to occur. Space can look like quitting your job and taking time off before jumping into the next thing. Space can look like starting your day with yoga, or a walk, or hooking a mat. Space is creating some moments of quiet to allow possibilities to emerge.

Answering the call requires we take a step into the unknown. This can be scary. It can be thrilling. And it can be both. The step can look like signing up for that class you always wanted. It can look like raising your hand to work with that business coach you’ve admired for the past three years. It can be making the decision to quit your job or close your practice.

When we take a step into the unknown the future may look a bit foggy, or it may be unimaginable or it may be a complete blank.

Answering the call requires a commitment to dig deep, to explore the unknown and to show up for yourself. To allow yourself the time and space you need to really heal, to be the woman you were created to be. Answering the call requires a promise to yourself that you will keep going, that you won’t fall back into old habits.

What exactly is digging deep? It can mean being willing to sit with uncomfortable emotions. It can mean exploring our habits and beliefs that are no longer working for us. Digging deep can also be a willingness to ask difficult questions. To spend time understanding why we have made certain choices in our life and how we can move forward from this.

Our bodies can give us clues that all is not well. We just need to listen. My body was telling me I needed to change my life by creating nausea on my walk to work. Our soul wants us to thrive, to live life fully. Lucky for us, our soul will keep sending us opportunities for true & profound healing in the form of wake up calls until we answer the call or…

Creating a Space and Reinventing Your Life

Answering the call is a pretty short recipe. The essential ingredients are: allow space for possibilities to emerge; take the step into the unknown; be willing to dig deep; and commit to making lasting changes. All it requires is that you pick up that phone to answer the call and take the first step.

If you are a woman who is ready to begin exploring a healing journey, I’d love to work with you.

Have you experienced a wake-up call in your life? How did you respond? What have you learned about reinventing your life? What advice would you give to women in our community who are facing a turning point in their lives?

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The Author

In her 60th year Meryl is delighted to be launching a new business and a new life. She is combining her love of rug hooking and creativity with her experiences as a homeopath and breast cancer survivor. Meryl Cook teaches Hook a Healing Mat workshops and works privately with women to design and hook their own healing mats. Meryl is available to speak about discovering your voice and your way forward in your third act. Meryl is the author of One Loop at a Time, a story of rug hooking, healing and creativity. Visit her website

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