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Robin says giving up a high-paying job in exchange for a flower shop allowed her to express her passion. "Before, I was wearing the golden handcuffs of a big job that gave me a lot, a big salary," she says. "Once you're free of those handcuffs, you can pretty much do what you want as long as you've got the courage to do it."

Although she has always enjoyed horticulture, Robin says the idea for her shop came suddenly. "It just happened in my mind one day—'I want to garden all year round. How can I do that in Cincinnati, Ohio, where it's cold in the winter? I have to do it inside. Okay, well, I'll do flowers,'" she says.

Marianne says Robin came to this conclusion because, instead of looking outside herself to make her life better, she looked inward. "There's an emotional center of gravity inside us," she says. "What we're really seeking is a kind of gentle melting in."

In order for Robin to make such a big leap in her life, Marianne says her previous life must have created the path. "I think that at midlife, it's like God is saying, 'Okay, you've gone through everything and you have seen yourself now. You've seen where you're weak, where you're strong. I'm going to bring it all back to you,'" Marianne says.

"The Asian philosophers say life goes in a spiral—you always end up back where you were," she says. "It might be different people, different opportunities, different towns." The question is: How are you going to play it? "Where you played it weak before, are you ready to be strong now? Were you unconscious before? Are you ready to be conscious? Were you all about the outside before? Are you ready and willing to rise to the occasion? I think that's the beauty of midlife, that it all comes back around again."
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FROM: The Age of Miracles: The New Midlife
Published on March 14, 2008

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