Each week, spiritual teacher Deepak Chopra responds to Oprah.com users' questions with enlightening advice to help them live their best lives.
Q: I have been a stay-at-home mom for the past 25 years. God gave me the gift of creativity. My youth was filled with projects and creations. After having children, my creative interests became skewed toward my family. I also became an amazing cook. Now, as I strive to be a good wife and mom by keeping my family healthy and active, I have no time for myself. As the years go by, and my children grow, I find myself no longer eager to create as I was in the past. I long for the excitement generated by a new idea. How do I get my mojo back?
— Maggie D., Duluth, Georgia
This is your midlife crisis. Whether you call it betting your mojo back, finding a new vision or figuring out who you are, a crossroads appears in everyone's life some time after age 45 or 50. The journey of life isn't a straight line from birth to old age. It's more like arrows you shoot into the air. The arrow flies as high as it can go and as far as it can reach; then it falls back to earth. When that happens, your old way of life has lost its energy. The natural response is to shoot another arrow and see how far it can go.
My metaphor applies to the various stages of life: infancy, childhood, adolescence, young adulthood, full adulthood and maturity. You shouldn't try to repeat a past stage. As you adapted to being a wife and mother, the years of adulthood changed you. I don't mean that your creativity went away. It was absorbed and transformed. It waits to be transformed again. But it won't take the form it had in the past. Your creativity wants a new birth based on who you are today.
In practical terms, this means taking a close look at who you are, assessing what you really want based on your vision of life at this moment. Do you want money, fame, excitement and appreciation? These are very real needs for many people, but they are secondary. They come after you take steps to fulfill a vision. They also come from outside yourself, whereas the rebirth of creativity begins with an inner spark. Take small steps. Explore in many directions. Look upon yourself as the chrysalis from which new life wants to emerge.
If you take this orientation, you won't be as tempted to repeat your youth as I sense you are right now. A new future is always better than a futile attempt to recreate the past.
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Deepak Chopra is the author of more than 50 books on health, success, relationships and spirituality, including his current best-seller, Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul, and The Ultimate Happiness Prescription, which are available now. You can listen to his show on Saturdays every week on SiriusXM Channels 102 and 155.
Published on February 17, 2010