Tag Archives: iinalumni

Fearless to Forty

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Tomorrow I hit a new decade, a “milestone birthday” as some like to call it.  I turn 40.  Yep, it’s my turn now as I have watched others over the years hit this number and survive the change.  So why is turning the Big 4-0 such a huge deal for our society?  Maybe because when you are entering your twenties or thirties, there seem to be prescribed “rules” as to what needs to happen for your life.  You might get a job, finish college, start a career, get married, have kids, etcetera, etcetera.  But no one really has a prescribed roadmap for your forties.  You are supposed to have already achieved all these other things in your life, right?

I look back on the last decade of my life and contemplate what I feel I have “achieved” as an individual.  And I have to give myself some space for self-reflection.  My thirties have been a ride, let me tell you.  I had babies, lost a parent, discovered friendships, and experienced quite a bit of personal heartache.  But I also learned a load about myself and the person I want to be as I enter into a new phase of life.  When I hit 39, I wanted to wrap up this decade by stretching myself emotionally, spiritually, and physically.  I called it my #fearlesstoforty journey.  Because I chose to look things I have always “feared” straight in the face, I gave myself the gift of personal growth and new relationships.  I became a part of movements and organizations that have opened my eyes and changed my viewpoints about how I see things in this world.  I grew deeper in my faith with Jesus and let go of what I thought it meant to be “religious.”   

In the last ten years I have learned to let things slide off my back more and to not try so hard to fit into some ridiculous mold prescribed by society.  I take social media with a grain of salt because I know it’s not the end-all, be-all in how I live on a daily basis.  I have learned how to listen to my body; to know when to back off and when to push harder.  I see things through such a different lens than I did when I was 29, I couldn’t ever go back in time and be the same person.  The challenges I faced in my thirties have given me a jump-start to the personal growth many people think they will have when they hit their forties.  It’s like I am painting my own canvas with as many colors and brush strokes imaginable in my mind.    

When we look at our own lives, it’s wise to not try and compare it with others around us because no one life is the same.  We all have our own battles to forage through, and we all respond differently to the environment around us.  But what we can do is look at ourselves as pieces of artwork in the making.  We are journeys of expressions and experiences, hidden diamonds underneath the rubble of life.  And one thing I want to remember as I go forward is to respect and love myself, to not let inner demons try and determine the level of my worth in this world.  Because I know what drives me, what irritates me, what makes me happy, and where I am the most vulnerable.  That, my friends, is what turning 40 means to me.

Cheers!

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Reflections in Your Rearview

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Driving home from school drop-off this morning, I was listening to Andra Day (one of my favorite singers) and her song “Rearview” came up on my playlist. What I love about Andra’s songs are how I can pull something from each one. I love this song because I feel like the idea about looking into your “rearview” is so important as part of a healthy lifestyle.

I seem to always tell people I feel it is so important to know where you come from before you can move forward with your future. Of course, this usually comes after a glass or two of wine and some deep discussions. You gotta know when to go deep with people so they don’t flee from you in the opposite direction! You can’t just randomly bust out your personal “Jack Handy Deep Thoughts” after the first “hello” in a conversation. (Please tell me you remember SNL’s “Deep Thoughts” skits…if not, go find them online and watch some because they’re hysterical.)

Although, I am pretty sure Andra was discussing a personal relationship in the song, based on her lyrics, I couldn’t help find myself connecting it with self-reflection and understanding of one’s past. I started musing to myself of how I felt so far in my own life based on how my own rearview mirror looks. Have a left an impact on society? On a person’s life? Am I leaving the world a better place than when I entered it? Andra continued to sing on as I contemplated these questions, and many more, on my fifteen minute drive back home. Obviously my coffee was kicking in full swing by now, and my brain was pulsating out my own “deep thoughts.” But I couldn’t leave the notion alone, so here we are now writing away on my laptop.

As we are wrapping up the first month into the new year, how do you feel things are going? Do you think about your 2018 Rearview Mirror? I’m almost 40, so I guess entering a new decade has caused me to really pause and think about how my own life has gone so far. There have been some serious ups and downs, there have been huge challenges and triumphs. But for the most part, my Rearview doesn’t look too bad. Can it be better? Sure, there is always room for improvement and I know areas that desperately need it. But my point I want to make here is when you want to move forward in life and work towards higher goals and aspirations, why not take a peek into the mirror of your past. Learn from your mistakes, take notes on your successes and duplicate the process, and pause for a moment to think about how life has impacted your worldview thus far.

Take a piece of paper, a page from your journal, or the notes application on your phone and jot down these things that come to your mind. I guarantee it will impact your next step today and tomorrow for the better. Living life can be a constant roller coaster, so find out how to keep your belt buckled. And do this by self-reflecting and looking into your Rearview Mirror. It can heal you from whatever pain you have, lift you up for the happiness you felt at times, and make you a grateful person for who you can become tomorrow.

Until next time,

Cheers

For more information about my health coaching practice, visit http://www.lifestylelistener.com and sign up for my free cleanse guide.