MEA’s “Life Begins at 50” Contest.
Our lives are filled with rituals in the first thirty or so years. Baptism. First Holy Communion. Bar and Bat Mitzvahs. Graduation. Marriage. Bridal shower. Baby shower. These beautiful rituals act as a rest stop for the soul—an opportunity for your community to hold a mirror to you and say, "Hey, you're going through a big transition, and we're here to support you."
Yet, while our 40s, 50s, 60s, and beyond are filled with monumental transitions, we have no rituals to mark them. Women go through menopause. Men go through andropause. Our kids leave home, and we become empty nesters. Our parents get sick, and we become caretakers. Big, scary health diagnoses start to happen for us and those we love most. Unfortunately, we have nothing in the way of rituals or rites of passage to help us feel seen and held during these tumultuous times. It's no wonder people have characterized midlife as a crisis—there's so much to process but no ritual to support us.
It's time we change that! And we can start by celebrating 50. Why 50? As I wrote in yesterday's post, there's social science evidence that we're more reflective and open to change the year before a milestone adult birthday. 50 is the culmination of this reflection. Additionally, the U-Curve of Happiness shows that our adult life satisfaction starts to rise at about the age of 50, after a long, slow decline from our early twenties. For more of my rationale for why 50 deserves a ritual, you might enjoy this past blog post of mine.
So, now that we understand the Why, let's talk about the What and How. I'm honored to announce we're creating our first "Life Begins at 50" essay contest, with the prize being a free, 3-night "Life Begins at 50" workshop birthday for someone turning 50 and seven of their friends at MEA's new Santa Fe Ranch campus between March 2024 and February 2025. The winner and their friends will receive some specific MEA content (including a collective ritual of the "Great Midlife Edit") plus everything else that makes MEA a premier transformational travel experience (luxury accommodations, three gourmet meals a day, alcohol at night, equine assisted learning, mindfulness programs, and access to our 2,600-acre campus for hiking, biking, horseback riding, stargazing, and lounging).
How do you enter the contest? Here are the rules:
- Applicants must be celebrating their 50th birthday between March 2024 and February 2025. Feel free to share this blog post far and wide so people can know about this opportunity. And yes, we will consider doing this for those turning 40, 60, and 70.
- Applicants must write a blog post of 500 words or less on why Life Begins at 50, with the winner appearing in this Wisdom Well and in the press. They also need to explain why they deserve to be the potential winner.
- We welcome video blogs (in addition to the written ones) that could be uploaded to applicants’ social media with a #lifebeginsat50 tag.
- All applicants should apply at https://mea-website-2-0.webflow.io/life-begins-at-50-contest by February 15, 2024. We’ll announce our selection by March 31.
For those of you who don’t want to compete or aren’t exactly age-appropriate, you might consider attending the 'Life Begins at 50' workshop at MEA Baja, led by one of my co-founders, Jeff Hamaoui. This workshop, scheduled for April 29 to May 4, is ideal for anyone aged 45-55. Yes, you have to pay for this workshop—but as with almost all of our workshops—we have financial aid options as well.