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Is This All There Is? Maybe

February 22, 20234 min read

For a while now, I've sensed something shifting. I mean obviously, the planet is shifting, careening even, but I mean internally, for me and us in this little community. 

Midlife is often marked by a yearning for something undefined. Know what I mean? It sounds like "I just know there has to be more than this." Is this all there is?

The honest answer is maybe. It's up to you. 

if you always do what you've done

Two Things:

#1 - I talk with my staff and clients all the time about the second mountain, a concept I learned from author David Brooks' book by the same name. If you've watched my latest training, you've heard me talk about it.

Midlife feels disastrous because people are usually coming off a successful climb up life's first mountain - kids, career, family, education, etc. At some point though, they hit the summit and then kind of wander off the mountain or fall off it and find themselves in the dark valley below.

That’s midlife.

It doesn’t feel good, but it’s not the end of the story as some people assume. The malaise, the restlessness, the big feelings of rage or confusion, IT’S NORMAL! It's not a crisis, it’s a summons from your soul to become something else.

The mistake people make is trying to scramble back up their first mountain, attempting to recreate roles that have long since expired. They ignore the summons because it's scary and wind up stuck and frustrated.

Others decide they’re willing to drop their old roles and stories and the bags that come with them and grab new tools for their second mountain climb - which in my experience is nearly always about love, belonging, and service.

You get to choose.

#2 - Purpose Anxiety is a thing. I used to think the point of the second mountain was to get to the summit, but now I'm not so sure. I think the second mountain is more about defining our soul’s calling (or at least the shape of it) and setting out, not to achieve or conquer it, but to dwell in it. To be absorbed by it. Having the courage to climb into a meaningful life - as defined by you - and being ensconced in it as you go is the point.

But if we climb the second mountain still looking for trophies or awaiting the applause to prove we’re good enough, we're approaching our second mountain in a very first mountain way. That doesn’t work, which is why I hear people in midlife say things like:

  • “I'm filling my time with volunteer stuff."

  • "I keep trying things but nothing inspires me."

  • "I just don't know what to do with myself and my time."

Our biggest job in the midlife valley is to deconstruct who we were on the first mountain while imagining possibilities for the second. The deconstruction will invite you to abandon or redefine roles, stories, and behaviors that, while perhaps useful on your first climb, aren't relevant or helpful on your second. 

That is what we do. We are the sherpas of the second mountain. (Although we really aren't going to carry your stuff - Sorry, that's where the metaphor fails.)

love yourself

If This is Ringing Bells, Here’s What to Do Next:

You can book a free breakthrough call with my team to discuss where you are and if you’re a good fit for what we do. I will tell you now, we only work with women who are committed and prepared for the work of a second mountain climb. You have to be ready and resourceful. If that’s you, click here.

A similar and even more fabulous choice is to come with me to France in June and do this live! We will spend six days together talking and plotting what we know about your second mountain, while also resting and enjoying the French Alps. Plus, you’ll do it with a dozen other women aka: new friends. The spaces are filling, so don’t wait.

If you have questions about either of those things you can shoot us an email here or just reply to this one.

So I guess the big question I have for you is:

Are you willing to do something different
to get something different?


chamonix 2023

February 22, 2023

Erin Kirk

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