Not having a ceremony to honor significant points in life's journey can leave a person emotionally confused, Marianne says. "If a culture or a family does not consciously and honorably mark the transition into the teenage years, the teenager will subconsciously feel the need to mark it anyway. That will often be in a dysfunctional way—body piercing, immoderate sex, drugs."
The passage into midlife works in the same way. Without consciously honoring a change, Marianne says, we'll mark it subconsciously...with a midlife crisis. Marianne says men tend to display midlife crises by acting wild, while women are more prone to unacknowledged depression.
Yet if you have a ceremony to mark the passage, Marianne says you will literally change how your mind thinks.
Follow Marianne's "Ceremony of the Elder" to honor your passage into midlife.
"If we mark [midlife] honorably, it goes from crisis to process, to honor, to ritual," she says. "And your whole spirit rises to meet that."
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