Shaken Not Stirred

art of encore living personal development Aug 17, 2022

When I hit bottom in my "all is lost moment" in midlife, the famous line from the Bond film Goldfinger neatly summed up my experience.

"Shaken, not stirred."

This, of course, was Bond's preferred martini preparation. But I wasn't asked how I wanted my midlife crisis cocktail prepared and presented.

And my experience is not unique.

We get "shaken" in midlife because our role in making a living and raising a family is winding down. Our identity is in transition, and we're not sure who we're meant to be next.

And we're "not stirred" because traditional schooling and occupation encouraged seeking external rewards and validation. Our life's next act requires paying attention to an internal calling we have little practice hearing or heeding.

For me, the antidote for the "shaken, not stirred" midlife crisis cocktail came in three doses.

First, I sat with the tension of the anxiety, and uncertainty of my situation until I could also see the silver linings and possibilities.

The flip side of every obstacle is opportunity.

Even if the "opportunity" is to cultivate acceptance, patience, humility, and resilience.

Second, I had to slough off the certainty and overconfidence with which I had navigated life up to this point.

Embracing curiosity and consideration helped me explore the edges of my understanding and abilities, develop my potential, and step into possibility.

Third and finally, guides and fellow travelers appeared, which lightened the load.

Being lost is less of a burden when we no longer feel lonely.

"Shaken, not stirred" slowly gave way to "stirred, not shaken."

It took time, but eventually, a new way of being and becoming emerged.

What about you? Have you experienced moments of dislocation or disturbance in midlife or any other time? How do you navigate these times of transition?

Scott Perry, Encore Life Coach at The Art of Encore Living

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