Most of my friends are in their forties and therefore hitting hard (in some cases very hard) their mid life crisis. It is fascinating to watch. Sports cars, scuba diving holidays (taken alone), clothes that would look (and fit) a twenty year old better, and many more visits to the gym.
They are all going through very different stages and a bit like in my novel (THE YOUNGER MAN Mira) where five women were either getting married for the first time, divorced for the first time, having a baby, breaking the glass ceiling or realising having ticked all the boxes they still didn't know it all, my friends are all at different stages - but none of them feel their age.
I am still twelve although having a lot more fun than I did at that age. And having done the marathon this year am off to St Vincent to do a triathlon with my eleven year old (he doesn't know yet) and then off to India where we will do some trekking and get in touch with all things spiritual and zen. Point is, too much activity or spirituality for that matter can actually make you feel much older and inadequate but getting the right balance - work life balance always helps.
Sometimes you don’t need a life coach, a mentor, a spiritual healer, a counselor perhaps just one of them - you just need the right holiday. It's a rediscovery of your youth, or a youth you never had. Here are two of the best ideas I've come across for those who are growing younger...
UP AND AWAY
A contradiction in terms I would have thought but Heli-Yoga is the in thing amongst the ‘must get away and do something original’ sort. This product is organised by a company cal led Icef ield Hel icopter Tours www.icefieldheli.com/adventure/yoga.htm and what better way to reconnect with yourself than by saluting the sun in the pristine surroundings of the Rocky Mountains with a helicopter standing by! I am trying it next year so will let you know.
THE COMPLETE CHILL
This place is heaven. Ulpotha is a traditional working village in Sri Lanka whose focus is to restore the area's ageless agricultural way of life including biodiverse organic farming and reforestation of the land. Ulpotha also funds a free Ayurvedic clinic for the surrounding villages. It is a beautiful private hideaway open to guests for part of the year; a place of total peace, where one can experience the warm, generous and gentle hospitality which Sri Lankans love to offer, as well as yoga classes with internationally acclaimed teachers, massage and traditional Ayurvedic detox treatments. It is a retreat in every sense of the word...a time and place to enjoy life and health, and live by the natural rhythms and ancient rituals of the land. There is no strict regime here, it's all about what you feel like doing.