The Midlife Passage: A Summons to Larger Life

June 16, 2024

The Midlife Passage: A Summons to Larger Life

May 29, 2023

Chip’s Note: Adrian is a talented filmmaker, partly due to his background as a psychologist.

Here’s a two-minute video he made of me about how a question can illuminate a life. If you’re in the Portland or Seattle area, I highly recommend you reach out to Adrian.

I’ve followed the work of Jungian analyst James Hollis for years. He said something at a talk he gave to the Jung Society of Vancouver that instantly made sense of why my overseas teaching career ended the way it did:

“Something within us knows us better than we know ourselves. It knows what is right for us. It speaks by silently withdrawing energy from things that are not for us. It doesn’t care about our comfort; it cares about our growth. Something within us is always trying to summon us to a larger life.”

I remember well that ending. I was standing in front of a whiteboard in my classroom at the Singapore American School. I’d worked hard for years in the hopes of getting to this Ivy-league institution one day. At 29, that day finally arrived. I’d spent seven years there building a sterling reputation as an educator. My future there was bright and secure.

Suddenly, the marker I’d been writing with stopped mid-air. I was gripped by a visceral sensation I could not ignore. Words from one of Rilke’s poems sprang to mind:

“You must change your life.”

It was true. I knew, deep down, that I’d stopped growing and that a major change was due. But I shrank from that knowledge that day. I buried myself in an avalanche of work. When that failed, I moved to Cairo, Egypt, hoping that a change of scenery would silence my unrest.

But psyche, or the soul, had spoken. It became harder and harder to muster enthusiasm for my work.  Slowly but surely, I entered what I now understand was a chrysalis. Inside it, the identity I’d worked so hard to build gradually melted away. It was profoundly disorienting. It was also, I understand now, an ending that needed to happen to make space for the new me that was waiting to be born.

I am now a freelance filmmaker. One who is fascinated by the deep dynamics of change at midlife. 

Film Project: Portland and Seattle Alumni

I’d like to invite a small group of people from the Seattle/Portland area to be interviewed on camera on the last weekend of June, 2024.

My goal is to create a library of short, carefully-crafted film portraits that educate, illustrate and illuminate the mysterious inner workings of the midlife passage.

When did your passage first begin? How did it announce itself? What form did the first summons take? In what ways did you resist?  What led you to yield to change in the end? Is the process now complete? Who are you now? 

These are the kinds of questions I will be asking on camera.

The process I use is relaxed and informal. We sit facing each other as we would over coffee. The camera is set up beside me. I listen quietly as you tell your story. From time to time, I’ll ask questions like the ones above.

When we finish, I’ll turn the interview footage into a short, 3-7 minute film portrait. It will capture the essence of your passage in your own words.

You’ll get a free copy of your film as a keepsake. 

Your portrait will then become part of a special collection housed in the library of my film website. It will be viewable by the public. It will inspire and reassure those who watch them, help them gain a little more insight into the deep dynamics of their own midlife change.

Interested in sharing your story on camera?  Contact me at adrian@adrianjuric.com. I’ll send you more details.

-Adrian

Adrian Juric is a two-time MEA alum who is leaving the practice of psychotherapy for a specialized kind of filmmaking. He never ceases to be amazed by the power of the right question. The right question, asked in the right way at the right time with the right kind of attention, can call out hidden knowing from within, knowing that can light a new way forward for a person or an entire organization. Adrian is delighted with the way the camera is able to capture and preserve these revelations so they can be shared with the world. 

Go deeper with a workshop, in person or online.

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