How To Recover From A Setback At Midlife

Whether it’s stuff like a breakup, a job bust-up or a health reality check, there comes a time (most likely many times!) where it can feel like we take backward steps on our life’s path. But one of the many things that I love about midlife is that even a setback has the opportunity to take on a whole new meaning and in this week’s podcast, I share ways that we can reinterpret this life event and turn it from something that happens to us, to an actual gift that can happen for us.


Click to listen to the podcast

I recently fell and injured my right arm during what was supposed to be a mild, mannered day hike. It’s my first real injury and also the first time that landed me back in hospital (briefly for xrays) since the birth of my kids. While it’s been painful (getting better every day) and annoying (it’s my writing and everything else arm), it’s also been a fascinating experience on so many levels – physical, mental and soul.


This is me about an hour after the fall, wearing my husband's shirt as a sling. I was hurting!

This is me about an hour after the fall, wearing my husband’s shirt as a sling. I was hurting!


In another time in my life I would’ve seen this as a pretty big setback. For one thing, I love my yoga. I’ve been practicing for many years and I really had no idea how much it depends on the movement of my wrist and lower arm. For one thing, anything I have to use my arms to support my body weight has pretty much been out of the picture. That meant downward dogs were impossible for the first while, and then ended up being painful but doable. Lower push- ups and backbends- staple postures of a very basic practice. Fawgetaboutit!

Here’s a little vid for the yogis out there about two weeks after my fall. I took it when I was camping and you’ll be able to see that rather than doing an upward dog, I do a little back stretch standing up. It’s an example of how I modified so many things. I also finish off with my first downward dog attempt. It looks pretty reasonable watching it back, but let me assure you at the time it hurt like a “mofo”.



And then there was my work. Fortunately the fall happened during holidays when I was on my break, but I was counting on the break to work on my next book. With writing being my primary business tool, i got a rude awakening when I could not type for longer than a few minutes. I had to just relax, breathe and trust that everything would be okay. And of course, getting dressed, undressed, trying to do just plain ol’ normal life was pretty much off the table without asking for help. But as I mention in the podcast, this is where the magic happened.

During this time, besides my yoga practice, there’ve been a few key things that were and continue to be essential for helping me see this time in a whole other light. I reckon they will relate to even non-physical setbacks. Here are the links for more info:

My meditation practice

My 100 Day Reality Challenge of practicing an abundant mindset

and absolutely 100%, practicing gratitude day in day out
Have a listen to the podcast. Did it give you some insight in how to deal with a current thing you might’ve called a “setback”? What resonated? Post your comment below.

2 thoughts on “How To Recover From A Setback At Midlife

  1. Hey Susan,

    How you doing?
    Feeling stronger with each day i hope and imagine.
    I love your know you are like a good friend speaking to me.
    Just to say that your comment about going to Ashtanga class and feeling baby / newbie in class resonated.
    After both my caesareans i purposely went back to beginners class and I remember my teacher John Scott coming up to me on the mat in one of his hugely popular crowded workshops in London saying ” Kay what are you doing in beginners ashtanga ? ” ( Ihadn´t been to his classes for over a year as he moved back to New Zealand at one point ) and saying ” Well i had a baby , and i had a c-section, so i amam in the right workshop honest. “. I truly was happy there as i realised i did not look outside my mat space once…i never looked at anyone elses body or practice, i was truly practicing on the mat with my body,..not being pulled by the ego in any way, so i realised what a huge learning curve and blessing this major operation and change in my life had being. As Gurujii says ” We all learn from our injuries “.
    Hope you still keep checking out http://www.mybodyzone and you´ll soon see my first book being talked about which yet again resonates with so many of the things you talk about.
    I feel very connected to you at this point in our lives.
    Big warm hugs, Kay.x

    • Kay!

      Thanks so much as always for your awesome support and for listening. I didn’t know about your ashtanga background as well – wow girl! (Speaking of John Scott, I hope one day I can do a class or something with him for nostalgia’s sake – his book was one of the first books I bought many years ago and I relied on it quite a bit) so it was nice synergy to hear your experience.

      Speaking of which, I love, love, love that you had the wisdom to be right where you’re at. It’s such a layered thing this yoga practice, the visible just doesn’t tell the story. I was thinking the other day that my practices have really been amazing – even though on the outside it wouldn’t show. The slowness and patience of it all is something I really gravitate towards right now – such a contrast to a decade ago!

      I mentioned on my FB page today that you inspire me because you integrate your lifestyle into your business – it’s so exciting to have work that evolves and changes as we do and that’s something that you pass on to the people who experience your work. Love following you and can’t wait to read your book!

      hugs from Sydney xx


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