The Third Act
by Milissa Castanza Seymour – Bethpage, NY

person on stage with bright lights

You may be in your third act, but you can still be vital and sexual and funny. Life isn’t over.
~Jane Fonda

Why is the third act so often diminished, even unrecognized? The first act is busy, filled with growth and new beginnings. Like spring, it arrives, sparkling with dew and sunlight. The potential is boundless, youthful and moves you forward to explore and grow. It’s a time for new opportunities and experiences. Everything is fresh and you’re excited about what’s to come. It’s a time of action and the lessons of love. Like spring, the lightness of being permeates the air!

The second act arrives like summer, lush and full. Days brim with ideas, activities and promise. Fiery passions fuel life’s high energy. Your roles are many and you stand in your space. Pulled in varied directions, you take it all on. Like the long days of summer, you are radiant and engaged as you build and establish who you are in the world. It’s a magical time touched by a sense of immortality.

But the third act? It comes on the heels of endings and change, as everything slows. Like autumn, it shifts your being. The sign on the shop door says “closed” and the sign posts point to the sunset on the horizon. It may give you pause as you ask yourself “what’s next?”. Its arrival is somewhat unexpected in its lack of thunder and anticipated meaning.

The first two acts naturally happen as an established part of the plan. You knew what was expected and time felt fluid. The sunset was far enough away on the horizon for it to seem unreal or at the very least undefined. Doing and planning were your reality. The comfort of that reality was feeling at home in a life that doesn’t actually end.

But most don’t think about the third act until it’s upon them. When it arrives, some go willingly into the next chapter while others try to delay it. Either way, it shows up and can feel daunting. The reality of life accompanies it, psychic pain and all. The horizon doesn’t look that far off anymore. The questions arise from that nagging space of mortality- What does this next phase hold for me? Is time running out to do everything I’d hoped to do? The bucket list is challenging you. The stress of it all overwhelms the moment.

Upon a second look, the third act is most full of potential. It drops away the expectations and responsibilities of time gone by and invites you to create and serve with the tools already honed and crafted. What a sweet challenge! An invitation is extended, encouraging your soul to step out front and center, stripped of pretense, anxiety or “to do” lists. It’s a time to enjoy the freedom that comes with unstructured time and untethered desire. The world is now a place of wise exploration not duty. Behind the fear of the unknown and the terror of a terminal sunset is a beginning. Not the fiery, novel beginning of the first and second act, but a mature, grounded beginning without expectation. By reframing the view, the “closed” sign on the shop door becomes a message of freedom, not ending. Wisdom’s ride into a glorious series of sunrises and sunsets has arrived with a greater purpose. A purpose that leads by example and inspires with limitless potential for every soul, not just your own.

So, let the third act begin! Nurture your relationship with yourself. Suspend fear when it arises by taking a deep breath, or five, and slowly exhaling the negativity. Know the fear is signaling a new era. Sit with it and explore the moment. Write down what comes up. Ask yourself, “What do I want?” without expectation. Release attachment to the outcome each time you sit and ask. The answers will come.

In the meantime, tap into your talents, hobbies, and passions. Bring joy into your day by just being. The doing will come. Let the third act carry the sparkling dew of the first and the glowing sun of the second, now alchemized by the gentle calm of the third. Do the things your heart desires. Take walks, garden, play with child-like abandon, sit on the beach in spring and wade in the water in summer. Cry, smile, laugh, write, meditate and wonder. Practice kindness. Listen. Self-reflect. Channel the energy of integrity and be mindful. The alchemy of wisdom will integrate and create a powerful force that will complete you before winter’s rest. Be an example to those that struggle. Show them how to live without fear so when they get there, they will.

Milissa Castanza Seymour M.S. is an InnerSoul Coach, professional Numerologist, and Transformational coach specializing in Stress Management/Well-being and helping clients find their life purpose. Her multi-disciplinary professional certifications and trainings include: Prana Yoga, IntegrativeYogaTherapy Holistic Health Educator, Applied Positive Psychology LifeCoach, Aromatherapist, Chopra Ayurvedic Health Practitioner/Primordial Sound Meditation Teacher/Well-being Coach.


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