The Best Thing About Turning 40 That No-one Has Told You Yet!

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Neroli Makim

When I was approaching 40, no one told me that some kind of magical thing kicks in around this age. Although I did notice it happening to my friends who turned 40 before me. For some inexplicable reason, when we turn 40, we all get magically up-leveled in our badassery. I don’t know why no one is telling women in their 20’s and 30’s about this and why no one is saying how fucking awesome it is to have this happen! So I’m putting it out there for the team!

(Writer’s note – Badassery, technical term taken from Shonda Rhimes, diva extraordinaire and the epitome of badassery. Do yourself the biggest favor in the world and get her book, Year of Yes. She will rock you world in the best way possible)

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Anyway, I first noticed this happen to one of my best friends who I’ve known since I was 14 and shared some amazing life experiences with over the years. At her 40th birthday celebration that stretched over a weekend, my other bestie and I noticed that her number of fucks given had dropped to almost zero. We even started hash tagging the event with #GAF? in reference to how little she suddenly stopped giving a fuck about care taking or people pleasing and followed her own groove instead. Care taking and people pleasing is this niggling thing that we women seem to fall over ourselves doing so much of. These thankless traits tend to melt away significantly around the magical 40 mark.

Somehow, by the time you reach 40, you’ve lived long enough to just back yourself and trust in your own value. You just know it and you just live it. You stop worrying what other people think. There’s no need to try to prove yourself to others or seek external validation or approval anymore. This magical up-leveling of your badassery is essentially about you finally relaxing into your own, authentic self expression and letting your internal compass guide you instead of being directed by external concerns.

I’ve got to say, it’s pretty damn cool, and it TOTALLY changes the way you experience life. This totally changes how and what life shows up for you too.

In my own case, I found myself completely shredding the somewhat pedestrian life I was living in a very beautiful, but very small, quiet rural town in Australia to head for a way bigger adventure in Mexico. Just 2 months before my 40th birthday, I packed up my life, sold all my stuff and got a one way ticket to Mexico to follow an invisible thread. This thread was dragging me across the ocean to learn more about a specific type of shamanic work. This invisible thread also lead to me live in a beach house in the jungle at the edge of the Caribbean ocean on a private beach. I never knew how insanely good it was to go skinny dipping in the ocean every day – now it’s become one of my all time favourite things. The same invisible thread lead me to begin co-creating and facilitating retreats in the US and Mexico.


Right now as I write this, I’m in New York, having just completed facilitating a retreat and I have started working on creating the next one back in Mexico in a few months time. This time last year, I was sitting in a very, very, quiet little town, doing some very, very, quiet and uninteresting work. Then the magical, badassery of 40 started kicking in! Nowadays, I’m on a grand adventure that has me flitting between Mexico, the US and Australia and has no final destination or determined ending.


The point of the adventure is in living it and finding out where it leads to next. The best part of this adventure is that it is so open ended. The overarching theme of the magical, badassery of 40 is that the adventure unravels more and more of what it is like to live a life derived from following your own, inner compass. Living like this is very different from being directed by external concerns or influences.

You have your own, freakishly well tuned, inner guidance system and it’s been there all the time. For some reason, we spend a lot of time ignoring it or dismissing it…until around the age of 40.

I can’t say exactly how or why this happens, but it has something to do with trusting yourself. It has something to do with knowing your own value and worth instead of trying to prove yourself to others or seek external validation or approval. When this kicks in, this internal guidance system finally gets to be heard loud and clear and FINALLY – you find yourself following it. Life begins to open up for you in the most amazing ways imaginable when you begin to trust your own intuition.

The best news is, you don’t actually have to wait until you’re 40 to experience this. If you decide to start operating from a place of believing in your own, innate value and worth and trusting then following your own guidance, you can kick off this gig anytime. So, don’t wait until the magical age of 40 to do it for you, do it now! What are you waiting for? It’s game on sisters!

Discover the Author: Neroli Makim

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