“The days blur into one, and the backs of my eyes hum with the things I’ve never done.”
The term “radical” can raise our antennae and suspicions. It carries the energy of dramatic shift, and implies extremes.
Yet, the idea of extremities is only the word’s secondary definition. The primary definition is about going to the root of something, a fundamental shift.
Radical Forgiveness, Radical Happiness, Radical Restarts…all imply a going deeper than the surface norm by getting to the core of the thing itself.
To impact the drift of life often requires a radical wake-up, because it’s just too easy to stick to the norm. You hear of folks who took on whole new ways of living after sudden health scares, near-death experiences, etc.
The question is: do we need to wait for such an external wake-up?
I like the idea of fomenting a crisis proactively, meaning self-inflicting the urgency for shift before the shift hits the fan.
What if you knew (or could make yourself believe) that your body was about to give out next week for lack of care? How would your diet, fitness and sleep program look this week?
Alexandra and I recently looked at the logic-of-the-moment vs the generally-accepted-wisdom around sleep.
In the moment, there simply seems to be no choice but to get less sleep so that “everything can get done.” Yet, there’s the joke itself: everything will NEVER get done! And, allowing that thought pattern to continue – with sleep taking the hit from overzealous engagement – means that bodily rest becomes the red-headed, disregarded stepchild.
The generally accepted wisdom today, touted by many inspirational leaders and health experts, is that 7 hours is the minimum of sleep we need…for a boatload of reasons. So, the facts are in, and it’s just the question of “in the moment” whether we can go against our skewed logic and trust the facts. Who knows how much more alert, acute and astute we may become with solid nights of sleep under our belts?
So, we’ve taken on a commitment to our second half/best half of life including what seems like illogical sleep habits because if, as we say in The Back Forty, “we have yet to do what we came here to do”, we need the healthy bodies required to house the spirits to do that!
There can be many areas in which to foment radical change:
What if you knew (or could make yourself believe) that this job you’ve been hating will definitely end in a month? How would your career change efforts look then?
What if you knew (or could make yourself believe) that something is brewing under the surface with your mate that will have him/her leave soon? How would your efforts to communicate alter immediately?
What if you knew (or could make yourself believe) that your croaking was imminent, definitely within the year? What bucket list items or purpose fulfillment would you take on right now?
Consider this an invitation to look into your own life and foment your own crisis. It’s a real opportunity to put yourself in the driver’s seat of The Back Forty kind of life you want to live.
Here’s a few easy steps you can take to create some radical change in your own life. Start with one thing, and then apply it to others after you’ve had success.
Identify an area you’ve been nattering about, something you say you want to change but it keeps on keeping on just as it is.
Is it your work? Is it a relationship issue (either inside of one or wanting one)? Is it that “thing” you keep saying you’ll do – write the book, devote time to that charity, schedule a vacation, take that course?
Whatever it is, just find the top, most juicy thing you’re very logically convinced can’t happen yet.
Now, of course, I don’t mean to really kill yourself, but in your mind.
Consider that it’s all over now. Whatever you considered so important and critical that you simply couldn’t do that “thing”…all those reasons are now gone.
You exited the planet. Maybe you exited without having done that “thing”. How does that feel?
Maybe you exited the planet BECAUSE you didn’t do that “thing”? How does that feel?
Whoa! You just had a near-death experience! How radical was that?
Did you see light? Did you start through a tunnel? Did you hover over your body a while inside a peaceful state of ease and grace?
Well, whatever your experience, you’re back…back in this body, back in this life, and back with all of the same stuff and challenges and opportunities you left with.
What will you do about that “thing” now?
Consider that it’s time to get radical! Yes, you have all the time in the world…and yet not a moment to waste!
Frank Sinatra sings “The best is yet to come and, babe, won’t it be fine.” Let’s make Frankie right, ok?
“If you want to make any radical change in your life, then either give it a clear date and time or do it today. There is no someday.”
Today I want to share with you a company I found called Look Fabulous Forever. This company is all about “celebrating the beauty in older faces”. Their philosophy is that age is not a barrier to looking fabulous and, to prove that, they create makeup that is formulated specifically for mature faces.
Not only do they create makeup specifically for women in midlife and beyond, they also create wonderful makeup tutorials to help women who can no longer wear makeup in the way they used to. Check out the video below for an idea of what types of tutorials they create:[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JIChnFDSAOY&w=854&h=480]
Join us for The Back Forty INFUSE Program May 5-7 in the Los Angeles/ Long Beach area. This 3-day midlife makeover will leave you renewed, inspired and ready to express your playful, passionate and purposeful second half of life.
In the Back Forty, we say that you have yet to do what you came here to do. Come get clear and on track to accomplish that!
From now until midnight PST, March 31, enjoy SUPER EARLY-BIRD tuition of $597 (because we’re still picking the location). The West LA or Long Beach location will be announced soon. This discount ends when our venue has been finalized after March 31…so grab the best tuition this program will ever have!
First 10 registrants get a FREE pre-program coaching session with Darrell & Alexandra!
Did you miss the SUPER Early-Bird sale? Don’t worry – you can still get our most recent discount by clicking here!
To get this Back Forty INFUSE SUPER EARLY-BIRD Tuition, click here. After you add the program to your cart, click “Apply Coupon” and type in the coupon code: SUPEREARLYBIRD. This will reduce your tuition to $597 before midnight March 31.
The Back Forty Story
The Back Forty INFUSE Program launched in May 2015, when Darrell & Alexandra first offered their new curriculum to a small, private, pilot group over two days. The reviews and testimonials afterwards were rousing.
Inspired by this response, Darrell and Alexandra then offered the program again in July 2016, expanding it by half a day to offer even more of what participants wanted and needed for this midlife makeover.
Now, Darrell and Alexandra have expanded the course to three full days, to offer the most radical restart to a life of play, passion and purpose to be found anywhere. The program will take place May 5-7, 2017, again in Los Angeles.
Be a part of this growing movement and community and give yourself The Gift of a Midlife Shift toward being who you came here to be and doing what you came to do.
Register before March 31 and get the same tuition as those in the 2015 pilot program! Where else can you get an entire midlife makeover for the price of 100 Lattes? And this is far better for your health!
“Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.”
The human condition hungers for certainty.
Yet, nothing new or creative was ever born from it.
It’s a constant dance, in the middle of “Certainly!” and The Uncertainly, “Of course!” and off course, where anything out of the ordinary appears.
Whatever changeup from the way life is currently and/or comfortably going, whatever crazy dream or aspiration your spirit just won’t let you forget, whatever outlandish step all the pointers of your world are directing you to take…none of these can start with certainty.
For example, our initial offering of The Back Forty INFUSE Program was over a two day weekend in 2015. We had no certainty whatsoever as to how the content would be received, and were basically only putting on our first program as a pilot…to see if the message stood the chance of empowering people.
The response – and testimonials – were surprising, but we had only intentions going in…no certainty or even expectations.
Another example is our Back Forty Broadcasts, happening every Wednesday on our site live stream at 10:30am PST and on Facebook at 12pm. They started out with me in front of my computer sharing a tip or two, with no understanding of the technologies involved (YouTube Live, BeLive.tv) nor even any format. We just began as an experiment. It has evolved into an interview format, sharing ideas and great inspiration from leaders in the second half/best half of life mindset…and is both a helluva lot of fun for me as well as contributing to viewers.
No certainty going in, and even seeming certainty of unworkability many times in the midst of trying, but out the other side comes something valuable.
These are just our recent experiences in The Uncertainly. What are yours?
It pays sometime to remember the FIRST time we tried a new thing, especially if that activity has now become old hat and second nature to us. It wasn’t that way in the beginning.
Remembering these instances of The Uncertainly can support us to take risks even now, and now, and now, as we move into our greater yet to be.
The bigness of the game we want to play will determine how willing we are to reside in the not knowing.
Robert Burns said “There is no such uncertainty as a sure thing.”
That means, don’t wait for certainty…because it’s a mirage. If you see it, run away. If you don’t see it, run toward.
Where can you play bigly, even in the face of off-course-ness and The Uncertainly?
Here’s a few tips to support you to engage in and embrace The Uncertainly:
Pick an area where you have wanted to make a move, whether it be a dream you’ve wanted to pursue or simply a new habit you’ve wanted to incorporate. Just pick something to use as your test case of embracing The Uncertainly because, if your success in whatever it is had already been assured, you’d likely already be pursuing it.
Lock yourself in to some new routine, schedule or commitment to devote time, energy or resources to whatever that thing is for you.
Is it signing up for a 3 month salsa class? Is it devoting 2 hours per week to research some subject in the library? Is it committing to send out 5 inquiries a week to ask for meetings with people doing something that you’d like to know more about, possibly a new career direction or hobby?
Whatever it is, lock yourself into engaging in that thing for at least 3 months, and get a buddy to hear your commitment. Tell them that you want their support to keep pursuing this thing for AT LEAST 3 MONTHS and, if you waver, they are allowed to beat you up to get you back onto your game.
Whatever it takes, simply do what you said you’d do and keep to your schedule for those 3 months.
And, when the voices come up to say whatever they say that would take you away (and they WILL come up) – “This will never work”, “I look stupid doing this”, “I’m not cut out for this”, etc. – just let them fall upon deaf ears because you have committed to a schedule, and you gave your word. Plus, your buddy will beat you up if you stop!
After your 3 month commitment to action and engagement on that thing ends, simply take a sober and loving evaluation of yourself and your interest and expansion into it.
Are you further along than when you started? Is there any more certainty, facility, or understanding from which you can now operate? Is it worth your committing yourself to yet another 3 months of experimentation to grow further in this thing?
Get your buddy to assist with this assessment because, if you’re like most people, you’ll discount your own growth and development. You’re around yourself all the time, so it’s hard for you to see your own expansion. But someone on the outside can see what you can’t. A good buddy will beat you into submission to have you realize how much you’ve grown, even in the face of your cynicism.
Notice that you are making a PLEA for your own courage and support to live the life that you think about but usually talk yourself out of even starting.
Just start, move into The Uncertainly, and you’ll build a muscle for more and more certainty around your second half/best half of life to unfold.
Your radical, playful, passionate and purposeful Back Forty is here for you, in The Uncertainly!
“If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts he shall end in certainties.”
Join Alexandra Levin, Co-Founder of The Back Forty and Caren Taubman Glasser Founder of The Little White Lie for a live co-creation webinar of “IMBUE Your Beautiful You”. This beauty “town hall” will take place today (Tuesday, March 21) at 2:30 pm PST on Facebook Live (you can RSVP here).
On this webinar you will learn:
On this webinar you will offer:
We invite you to join not only to hear our ideas of how to “IMBUE Your Beautiful You” but to get yours!
Come join us to co-create this work, and let’s enjoy the freedom it offers together.
Either before, during or after the webinar we would love to get your feedback on our program by filling out the survey here (we also have some freebies to give away if you complete the survey).
Today I bring you a quote from The Back Forty INFUSE Program. Take a moment to read the quote and, as always, I’ll meet you on the other side.
The first part of this quote that I want to make sure you understand is the reference to “the front 40”. It is a pretty common misconception that the “front 40” correlates to the first 40 years of something and the “back 40” correlates to the last 40 years of something. As it turns out, that is not the case. The front and back 40 are just metaphors for the first and second half of something, whether it be life or career (if you want to learn more about exactly what “back forty” means click here).
Okay. Now that we have the confusing part sorted out, we can move on to the meaning of the quote. The thing I like about this quote is that it is a reminder of how far each and every one of us has come. Think about everything you have learned in your various jobs and careers up until this point. Chances are that if you actually take some time to think about it, you have learned so much more than you usually even think to acknowledge.
What are the skills, knowledge, education, and training that you have learned along your journey? I bet that the first things you started thinking of are your formal education and training, or maybe different skills you have honed like writing skills or negotiations. But I want you to look even further beyond those “planned” skills. What have you learned that you were not planning to learn, what have your hardships taught you? Your mistakes?
If you take the time to actually catalog every single skill you have acquired – chances are you are even more skilled than you were aware of. And that is what I want you to take with you throughout the rest of the day.
You are unique and skilled in ways that not everyone is aware of and when you add up all of your skills, you are a rare individual whose unique skills are unmatched by anyone else.
Today I found a new YouTube vlogger that I have absolutely fallen in love with.
Melissa is a 60-something wife, mother, and grandmother living in Tennesse. She has been posting on her Youtube channel each week for roughly 3 years with topics surrounding midlife beauty. While I was trying to find out more about Melissa, I stumbled across a quote of hers that I absolutely love:
“I feel like if we stick together in this aging journey, we can lift up each other and grow older gracefully and beautifully.”
She creates tons of wonderful content surrounding the conversation of aging and how to feel beautiful while doing it. However, my favorite video series of hers is The Aging Woman and in this video series, she covers everything from fashion and exercise to friendships and marriage. Today I am going to share a few of my favorite (initial) videos of hers that I am loving and maybe you will love them too!
This is the perfect example of what Melissa is all about. She uses her own experiences from finding her way through midlife to help other women abandon the stigmas surrounding aging and beauty and really embrace themselves. So, if you’ve watched the video, what’s your style and how has it changed as you have moved through midlife?
Craving more Melissa? Here are some of my other instant favorites:
What if development of people became our organizational raison d’être?
“He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche
What is the purpose of business?
Milton Friedman, a Nobel-prize winning economist, wrote that the purpose of business is maximizing profit for the shareholders.
Peter F. Drucker said that “the purpose of business is to create and keep a customer” and “the purpose of an organization is to enable common men to do uncommon things.”
Blaine Bartlett, bestselling author of “Compassionate Capitalism” says that “the purpose of business is to uplift the quality of life on this planet.”
This is my personal favorite:
“Business is where you practice your human skills. It’s where you grow.” Andrew Cherng, Co-Founder and Visionary, Panda Restaurant Group, Forbes’ 2015 America’s Best Employer.
Part of Panda’s expressed mission is “becoming a world leader in people development.” According to Vipul H. Shah, Regional Director of Operations at Panda Restaurant Group, “Panda exists to better the lives of people, and we build an organization to allow that to happen. How we do this is selling American Chinese food.”
Andrew Cherng has more to say about that: “I’m talking about everyone who works at Panda. They’re inspired to better their own lives. We’re not really selling Chinese food, you know. Our real purpose is about developing people. You have to grow! You grow as a person, and then you will grow in business.”
Why would we, as leaders and visionaries in Conscious Organizations, want to make development of people our raison d’être?
8 Why’s To Have People Development as Priority 1:
This sounds like an organization I want to be a part of!
Bottom line is this: if we make development of people the purpose of our business, all other purposes fall into place:
How could this apply to your organization?
“Get comfortable being uncomfortable. That’s how you break the plateau and reach that next level.”
We’ve all heard Albert Einstein’s idea that you can’t solve a problem at the same level at which it was created. His challenge was to rise up, to the next level, so as to see and deal with the problem from a higher perspective.
And yet many of us with dreams and goals ahead (a problem) can be deceived into believing that we can get to that next level easily and effortlessly, or by playing the way we have already been playing at this particular plateau.
Let’s face it: it’s damn inconvenient to take on growth and fulfillment as a lifetime pursuit!
I spent a 4 day weekend with a wise, high-performance leader 14 years my junior. I admired how he had taken on breaking through to the next level for himself as a pattern of life from the age of 19, and was apparently continuing to do so forever.
I noticed a bit of reticence at first to being open to someone who’s been on the planet less time than me telling me about how life really works. However, I quickly realized that voice was my own Back Forty Blinder, the old mindset that says “I should know all this by now.”
So, I shook it off in true Back Forty Fliers style and again affirmed that we all have our path and we all have the time and place in which we fulfill on what we came here to do…which is, according to our philosophy, always ahead of us, not behind.
I began thinking that, in my growing up and the messages I received from my own shaping cultural influences, there was this idea that you worked really hard until you “made it” to some level and then you enjoyed that “made-it-ness”, got comfortable, and at some point “retired”.
There are lots of folks who are proud to say “I retired at 30” or whatever young age because the idea of having “made it” earlier is seen as a badge of winning.
This is not knocking “made it”, as to get to those points, those individuals had to apply themselves and their wheelhouse of tools and intelligence in wonderful and admirable ways.
Yet, what about the next level after “making it”?
In The Back Forty, we say “you have yet to do what you came here to do”. This is not to knock what has already been accomplished, and yet what’s next?
And, if there hasn’t necessarily been the sense of full accomplishment in our life as lived thus far, this mantra gives us all hope.
What will be required by both parties – those who’ve already “made it” and those who believe they haven’t – is to take on the inconvenience of continual leveling up.
Those inspired to be Back Forty Fliers must adopt a willingness, outside of their amassed “wisdom” of who they are, what they’re capable of, what they can learn, the way the world works, etc., so as to be open, fresh and available to receive new input.
When it comes to midlifers fulfilling on goals and dreams – which may be on the chopping block at this point in life – it’s important to realize that the same sweat, learning processes and jittery uncertain of growth they experienced in younger years can still take them to their next level of fulfillment.
It’s simply a question of willingness to be inconvenienced by growth and fulfillment.
Here are a few tips from my own experience of leveling up.
Get outside the box of groupthink mindset you may have surrounded yourself with – same friends, same community, same church, same avenues of exposure – and make yourself available to new people, ideas, and input.
Kids leaving home for college or going out into the world have no choice but to do this, and the process of exposure begins to point them in directions of discovery about themselves, their passions, their interests, and their abilities.
At 40, 50, 60, 70 and beyond, we can learn more about ourselves and our passions, interests, and abilities if we gain more exposure – and let go of all the “wisdom” of the comfort zone we’ve become accustomed to.
When exposing yourself, be willing to really listen…like a 20-year-old, who is taking in all new information all the time.
The tendency of the “wise” midlifer is to evaluate and assess everything as to whether they agree with it or not, whether they’re capable of it or not, whether it fits their belief system (BS) or not. Therefore, the groupthink mindset stays in place.
Often, there’s a resistance to engage and consider incorporating new ideas because the inner voice says “Well, if this is right, then I’ve been off my whole life!”…and the ego doesn’t want to consider that possibility. So, rather than try and engage in something new, it’s far easier to write off the new input as crazy or ludicrous. Admitting that one doesn’t know it all (yet) can be a big hurdle.
To listen – as opposed to hear – means to truly consider without the slice-and-dice mechanism of cynicism/resignation disguised as discernment shredding every piece of evidence that something beyond who you are now is possible.
Turn off the garbage disposal and listen.
Try some of those new ideas, belief systems and practices on.
You have survived very well to this point. Whatever experiments you choose to engage in won’t kill you for sure. You’re tried and true “knowing” of how things are might still prevail, even if you experiment. Just watch that you don’t experiment with the objective being to prove yourself right. You’ll definitely end up “right”.
Life is too short for knowing too early exactly who we are and what we’re capable of. And, if there’s something beyond what has come before for you to be and do, then inconveniencing yourself to play around with new toys might be just the shift required to take you to your next level to fulfilling on that.
You have yet to do what you came here to do.
“At the moment when you feel you have reached the point of absolute exhaustion, inspire yourself to take one last step, and that is when you have successfully arrived to the next level.”
-Master Jin Kwon
Happy Tuesday everyone!
Today I am bringing you a little inspiration from our Back Forty archives. Take a moment to read the quote and I’ll meet you on the other side.
This is an interesting viewpoint. Everyone has heard the phrase “let your light shine” but we don’t usually take the time to consider it much.
For me, the phrase reminds me of my childhood when I would sing “This Little Light of Mine”. The way I always interpreted it, the song was about being yourself and not being afraid of what other people think. But what if it means so much more?
What if your “own light” isn’t just being yourself. What if it is what makes you unique? These two phrases might seem very similar, but when we put it in the context of letting your light shine, it shifts the meaning in a pretty profound way.
You can “be yourself” every day, but that doesn’t mean that you are sharing what makes you unique with the world.
So that brings us back to the quote:
“For me to let my ‘own light shine,’ first and foremost it is important that I know what that light is.”
“It is important that I know what that light is.” I feel like that is the most important part of this whole quote. We have to know what makes us unique. Now tell me, when was the last time you actually thought about what makes you unique? About what your personal “light” is? Do you know?
Today my goal for you is two-fold. First, spend 5 minutes thinking about what makes you unique and how you can share that uniqueness with the world around you. Then, do it!
You are unique. You do have your own personal inner light. And you need to share it with the world. Why? Because, if everyone took the time to share their own inner light with the world, think about how much better we could make this world we live in.