I’ve been sharing with you that I am in love with my wrinkles. Here’s how I got to fall in love with them…
It all hit me one sunny Sunday morning as Darrell and I were making our way through Los Angeles traffic. I thought about how I have been transformed by the gift of my life’s challenges, wins and losses, and how much I love the older and wiser version of my Self that I have become. I saw that my wrinkles are not only part of the package that came with those life experiences, but they were the very stripes and awards earned due to them. I realized that who I am today is inseparable from the wrinkles that formed me.
Every wrinkle, every experience, every lesson I learned and challenge I faced, contributed to making me exactly who I am today. All the gifts and talents I now possess and use to create my life according to my own design, to live it on my own terms, and to contribute to others are represented in those wrinkles. Because of everything I claimed along with the territory of those wrinkles, I am now creating my own inspiring, playful, passionate, and radically purposeful second half of life.
According to the Ancient Art of Chinese Face Reading, when we erase our wrinkles, we erase our gifts. Our wrinkles show how we have lived our life and even what we are designing in our future. Horizontal lines on the face are signs of lessons learned in life when we experience challenging times. This philosophy states that, if we remove those wrinkles, we lose the lesson… which means we may encounter the same challenge again to re-learn the lesson. Now why would we want to do that!
My wrinkles remind me of my growth, the path I have traveled, and who I am becoming. They serve as road signs alerting me to utilize my choice of who I want to be. They wake me up daily to the power I have to transform who I am as a matter of my word and commitments.
In The Back Forty, we propose that we have all chosen the specific experiences and events of our lives to create a laboratory for research and development which, when assessed, allow us to discover what we are really here to do.
My wrinkles remind me of the lab experiments I chose to conduct in my life to gain the gifts, the learnings, and the growth I now possess.…which give me the keys to an exciting, joyful, and radical Back Forty – my second half – and to living it on my own terms.
I am in love with my wrinkles.
And I invite YOU to fall in love with YOURS.
“Development is an endurance exercise with incremental improvements.”
-Sri Mulyani Indrawati
Building character, confidence, a skill, a career, a business, a country all take time.
There’s the dance uphill from unconscious incompetent all the way to unconscious competent.
It requires endurance for sure, and just as much patience…for when we or it ain’t happening.
I tell my Back Forty and coaching clients that, to the degree we want to grow, it requires an equal amount of self compassion.
Without the latter, it’s impossible to hang in there long enough for the nurturing of that which we want to build.
Ever stood over a fledgling plant and screamed “Grow!!” How’s that working for ya?
Where can you turbo-boost your desired growth by directing forgiveness toward yourself today?
“Heroism is endurance for one moment more.”
-George F. Kennan
Everyone’s midlife experience is different, but regardless of the path you are following, here are 6 ways to absolutely fail at midlife!
As I said earlier, those are some absolutely wonderful ways to fail your midlife experience. If you noticed yourself as being subject to some of those thoughts or if you are just looking for a way to make your midlife better, click here and get your Top Ten Tips for a Radical Second Half of Life!
Click here to read part one.
As I mentioned before, I am in love with my wrinkles. I have shared a couple of my favorite wrinkles with you, and here are a couple more…
I earned another set of wrinkles when, at 25, I found myself in a lifeless marriage with my first husband and the father of our daughters. Married for eight years, I had tried everything I knew to make the marriage work.
The wrinkles started to appear when I felt like I had to choose between my daughters having their parents together or me being happy. More showed up when I finally chose to get a divorce.
What I learned with those wrinkles is that I deserve to be happy, and that I am the only one responsible for that happiness.
I’m keeping that batch of wrinkles for sure.
More stripes were earned a few years ago when I found myself at the end of a 14-year good (second) marriage gone bad. I had been stuck for the last three years, married to a man who turned emotionally unstable and verbally abusive. I doubted myself and my value. I questioned the viability of my gifts and talents. I forgot how capable I really was. He had me convinced that I would not survive without him…and told me so regularly.
Those wrinkles emerged as I went through the eye of a needle to find the keys to getting unstuck. Why was I staying stuck in a marriage that I really wanted to be free from? I found the answer in the process of reviewing a manuscript for a then friend of mine, Darrell Gurney. He had asked me and several others to give him feedback on his unpublished manuscript, The Back Forty: 7 Critical Embraces for Life’s Radical Second Half.
Take a peek at what I saw:
I am 19, on that plane out of Russia… I am scared and alone… wondering if I will ever see my parents again… wondering if I am making a mistake… and I am on my way to the freedom that our family so sorely dreamed of for 13 years… yet, I am afraid of going out into this new free world by myself… I am actually afraid of freedom.
To that 19-year old, freedom looked scary. At that moment of realization, I saw clearly that what kept me stuck in the marriage was a 19-year-old, scared of the freedom she wanted so badly. However, now I was no longer a scared 19-year-old. That story was complete… so I put it back where it belonged, in the past.
Becoming freed up from this past-based fear of freedom, within a day I told my husband that we would be getting divorced and declared that it would be amicable. Within a few months, I was out of that that marriage… as well as that mindset of fear around my own freedom.
What I gained along with those wonderful wrinkles was the confidence that I can not only survive, but thrive on my own. I wasn’t sure how I would make it at first, and yet I knew that I would. Within a few short months, I realized that I could stand financially and mentally on my own two very capable feet.
“People wish to be settled; only as far as they are unsettled is there any hope for them.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson
when juxtaposed with
often create oxymorons.
Where in your work, life or purpose for being on the planet can you embrace unsettledness today…and do something about it?
Where’s the next “home”?
“It is good to feel lost… because it proves you have a navigational sense of where “Home” is. You know that a place that feels like being found exists. And maybe your current location isn’t that place but, Hallelujah, that unsettled, uneasy feeling of lost-ness just brought you closer to it.”
Today I’m on a mission. I’m on a mission to change your life (and my own)! How many times do you catch yourself saying “I wish I had time to…” or “I miss doing…”? For me, it is quite a bit. I say, I miss reading. I wish I had time to journal like I used to. I really do want to get through that list of magazines on the coffee table.
Everyone has a list like this. A list of things that you want to do, but feel like you don’t have the time. Well, earlier today I was watching a TED Talk by Matt Cutts and, as TED Talks often are, I was inspired.
What was the message of this TED Talk?
Try something new.
Now, here is the best part. You don’t try something new just once, you don’t try something new forever. You just have to try to do something for 30 days. I’m a numbers person, I survive on being organized. So when I heard this idea I immediately thought, “30 days, I could do that”.
You can do something little. You can cut your sugar intake, read for 15 minutes each day, go for a walk after work. Or, you can do something huge. Write a book, remodel that bathroom, train for a 5K. Whatever you choose to do, it is guaranteed to be memorable. And as a bonus, if you do something small, it might just turn into a habit.
What is my personal challenge for this month? I think I am going to journal for at least 5 minutes a day. But I’m already thinking, “What if I forget? What if I don’t have time?”
Well, here is my plan (and maybe it can be your plan too). I have downloaded the Morning Routine app to my phone. When you add a new alarm you can choose the “sequence” option. This way you can scan a specific bar-code (I scanned the one on the back of my journal) and until you scan that specific bar-code, the alarm will not turn off! Okay, maybe you aren’t as stubborn as me, but I need this!
So what is your challenge for the next 30 days? And how will you accomplish it? Comment below and tell me about your plan!
So this month I challenge you,
Happy Monday everyone, and more importantly, Happy National Book Month!
Books are some of my favorite things. Nothing quite compares with curling up on the couch with a good book, and I think October is the perfect month to observe this national “holiday”. October is when the temperatures start to drop, apple cider and pumpkin spiced coffee flows freely, and it starts to get darker sooner.
Is there anything better than curling up in your favorite blanket in front of a fire, feeling the crisp air around you, sipping on something warm, and reading one of your favorite books by the light of the fire? I think not.
And so I welcome the month of October with this blog post, and my list of some of my all time favorite books.
Here are my favorite (magical) books of all time:
Now, here is my bonus. Since you are reading this blog post, chances are you know about The Back Forty. And if you don’t, check it out! This is The Back Forty Blog after all. What is my bonus you ask? Co-Founder of The Back Forty, Darrell Gurney, recently published two new e-books!
If you’re still not sure, check out the eBook trailer below!