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A life stage created by longevity patterns of the 21st century.

Cultural norms and rampant ageism have labeled midlife as a crisis riddled with stagnation and decrepitude. The reality is entirely different and full of potential. Old constructs no longer apply.

Enjoy the benefits of
increased longevity and vitality.

Consciously curate decades
of meaningful life.

Gain the clarity you need
to determine your next steps.

Increase your energy,
equanimity and resilience.

Live authentically, in
alignment with your values.


Noun. /mɪd.əˈles.əns/

pronounced middle·essence

A transitional period, between the ages of approximately 45 and 65, created by longevity patterns of the 21st century. Like adolescence, a term popularized by psychologist Stanley Hall, it is often accompanied by physical, emotional, social and economic changes.

adjective middlescent

circa 1960-1965: Gail Sheehy;
1990-1995 Ken Dychtwald;
2014 Barbara Waxman;

Have you bought into the myth of the midlife crisis?

You’re not alone. We live in a culture that believes anyone in midlife is on a slippery slope towards their demise. Birthday cards telegraph that the best years are behind us. Brands and companies target us with terms like anti-aging. Suddenly it feels as if our only choices are retreat or submission.

Yes, midlife can be a time of questioning many of our choices. But growth, clarity and fulfillment come with examining what changes are needed to live authentically and on purpose.

Did you know that happiness increases after age 50, particularly when it dips so low in our 40’s? No generation before us has had the potential to experience the benefits of increased longevity, sustained vitality and the capacity to consciously curate decades of a meaningful life.

We have more years of living, not dying.

"Current life structures, career paths, educational choices, and social norms are out of alignment with the emerging reality of longer lifespans."

Lynda Gratton, Fellow World Economic Forum

I’ve spent most of my career listening to people at the midpoint of their lives, helping them make sense of where they are and where they’re going. The pattern is clear: everyone used the same language and expressed the same feelings. Even those with extraordinarily high achievement, report feeling lost, and as though something was missing from their lives.

Far too often, stereotypes become ageist arrows we point at ourselves. Most people don’t understand that we continue to develop and grow as adults. Once we have the tools to harness our energy, creativity, and wisdom, we can begin to forge a vibrant, exciting path forward.

Explore the Seven Lifestyle Levers™️ that ancient wisdom and cutting-edge science that proves the moniker Lifestyle IS Medicine. Assess your current state of integrating body, mind, and spirit in ways that optimize your wisdom at every stage and any age while aligning your health span and lifespan.

Barbara Waxman MS, MPA, PCC

Barbara Waxman envisions midlife as a vibrant, extraordinary time to unearth accumulated wisdom, find joy and live on purpose. An advocate who helped redefine this period as the life stage Middlescence, she rejects the American trope of middle age as a period of suffocating stasis. Her recent TEDx talk, The Myth of the Midlife Crisis, explores the ageist origins of midlife myths and empowers viewers to join her mission to shift attitudes about aging.

The founder of Odyssey Group Coaching, Barbara works with midlife clients to empower them to thrive personally and professionally. Using her singular executive and life coaching model, Entrepreneurship Turned Inward©, and her proprietary, science-based Five Essential Elements© and Five to Thrive Quiz, Barbara is a highly sought-after workshop leader and keynote speaker. As one of the only gerontologist-coaches in the United States, Barbara incorporates cutting-edge research while employing compassion, honesty, and a light heart. She has inspired and motivated thousands of individuals and senior-level leaders to be better leaders in their professional and personal lives.

Barbara serves as an Advisory Council Member for the Stanford Center on Longevity, an Advisory Board Member for Stanford Lifestyle Medicine, a faculty member at Chip Conley’s Modern Elder Academy, and an angel investor in the Active Aging and Longevity Fund with Portfolia. She has appeared on CBS This Morning, and has been featured in Marin Magazine, Arianna Huffington’s Thrive Global, and is a frequent podcast guest. Barbara recently authored How to Avoid Burnout, Provide Exceptional Care, and Enhance Work-Life Integration, a chapter in the upcoming book The Successful Health Care Professional’s Guide: Everything You Need to Know But Weren’t Taught in Training​ (Springer Publishing). Barbara is also the author of two books examining aging including, The Middlescence Manifesto: Igniting the Passion of Midlife. Barbara holds master’s degrees in Public Administration and Gerontology from the University of Southern California and is a graduate of Colgate University. She earned her coaching certifications from the International Coach Federation and The Hudson Institute. Originally from New York, she lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, Scott, and is thankful to have her adult children not too far away.
International Coaching Federation Member Barbara Waxman

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Inspiring audiences with passion, intelligence, and humor towards clarity, commitment and action.

“I loved Barbara’s presence at the event: powerfully soft and approachable, grounded and warm, wise and on her 'edge.' She was generous, beautiful, and excitingly real and alive!”


Middlescence: New Age. New Stage. Aging and Longevity in the 21st Century

Gerontologist and life stage expert, Barbara Waxman, shares valuable insights that will turn everything you think about the future of aging and longevity in the 21st century on its head. During this dynamic presentation, Barbara distills decades of research to help you develop insights into how the aging of America and demographics of the 21st century have revealed the life stage Middlescence, creating a tremendous opportunity for communities, companies, investors and policy makers.

  • Understand Middlescence, the game-changing life stage created by the longevity patterns of the 21st Century and learn it’s application in your field of interest.
  • Debunk the midlife crisis myth and embrace the Middlescent Mindset rooted in long-life learning and growth to transform the way you live, love, and lead.
  • Lean into the challenges and embrace the opportunities of the burgeoning multigenerational wisdom economy transforming communities, companies, and leadership.
  • Understand how to extend your healthspan and sense of purpose.

The Future of Resilient Leadership

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