“Nothing great is ever done without much enduring.”
-St. Catherine of Siena
There’s always a next level up we’d like to see in our lives.
More fulfilling career. Greater experience of relationship. Improved health and well-being. Fit finances. Ability to contribute and make a difference. Something to aspire to.
It’s the hanging in until we reach the prize that presents the rub.
A personal area for me has been the development of valuable content and offering helpful ideas to others in a social media world of lots and lots of noise.
You can’t look at Facebook without being barraged with sponsored ads. Since more people are online vs in front of the TV as in the past, the online world is busting at the seams with advertising.
So, bringing a new and innovative message out inside a room of louder and more experienced mouths presents its challenges.
We all know the story of Abraham Lincoln, and how many supposed “failures” he had to rack up before becoming President. We all know how many “failed” light bulbs hit the waste bin before one burned for Edison.
Throughout history, there are countless examples of how endurance paid off. This is what I remind myself.
Yet, when the seeming “Fail” button lights above any of our dream endeavors, what will make up the rope to keep us climbing?
Here’s a few strands of thought to consider:
One strand might be the palpable and visceral depth of the desire…which we don’t diminish just because we haven’t gotten there yet.
Can you imagine if Lincoln or Edison had made it mean something about them when they hadn’t “succeeded” yet? If either had gone the route of beating themselves up or just figuring that they are a loser, what would our lives look like now?
In The Back Forty, we say “you have yet to do what you came here to do”. If that’s the bandwagon you want to ride with us, then it means you must put all your past assessments of yourself and what you’re capable of where they belong: in the past.
A desire rooted in infinite possibility, vs already-decided determinations of our capabilities, is what will pull us.
Another strand might be the mindset that all of “this” is simply what there will be to look back upon after having succeeded. Remember: lost elections, dud bulbs.
Rather than looking at each “failed” attempt as an actual failure, what if it’s all research and development?
In The Back Forty, we actually propose that the whole first half of life is only R & D anyway, giving us laboratories and experiments so as to develop our own Formula of Unique Self Expression (FUSE).
So, with our past behind us and only research and development continuing ahead of us, we are unlimited in what we can truly accomplish.
A final strand may be the affirmative answer to the simple question: “Are you having fun along the way?”
Doing something because we love to do it, growing in the face of adversity and challenges because there’s no more fun game to play…those emotions keep us engaged.
If what we’re doing – whether we’ve found the “secret” to achieving our goal or not – is having us grow in the ways we want, there’s value. Regardless of the “results” showing up yet, if we’re whistling while we work towards our dream, the tune and tone of success is present.
So, I’ll keep enJOYing my Self as I put out my message, learning better ways to do it, and know that, if the intention to contribute is pure, the light developed in this lab will eventually burn for others too.
How will you braid your own rope to pull toward your next level up?
“I have discovered in life that there are ways of getting almost anywhere you want to go, if you really want to go.”
In The Back Forty, we say you have yet to do what you came here to do.
If you’re here to play a yet bigger game – no matter what you’ve accomplished thus far – it will take you learning, growing, enduring and enjoying in new ways and mindsets.
Our 3-Day Back Forty INFUSE Program Ignites a New Formula of Unique Self Expression within you so that you use your entire first half of research and development to point you toward a playful, passionate and purposeful second half.
Check out The Back Forty INFUSE Program and join us for our next course on August 18, 19 & 20th here in Los Angeles. Use Coupon Code “SUMMER17” at checkout to receive a $200 tuition discount before June 30.
I’ve been called a good sport, agreeable, and easy-going. All good things, right?
Wrong. For me, they are not.
I have been accommodating my entire life, starting when I was 2 or 3. I was a good girl – in fact the best behaved child around (my mom’s friends always told her so). Being a “good girl” became my instrument for being liked by others, and getting my family’s approval and love.
I’ve been a people pleaser. With a smile. Happy to oblige. I’ve thought others know better, are smarter, and that I should just do what is wanted of me. To keep this thinking in place, I’ve subconsciously surrounded myself with plenty of people to accommodate.
One example is my ex-husband of 15 years, who was scary-smart, headstrong, and had a temper. It was much easier to say “yes” and do things his way than to say “no” and stand my ground. So I went the easy route. Except it only looked easy.
The very hard costs were my respect for myself, my self-expression, and the absence of a stand for who I am and what I believe. I was lost to my Self. In the end, the marriage ended and I decided that the only way to break that accommodation pattern and allow for my self-expression was to stay away from relationships. That changed when another way of thinking and being came along, called The Back Forty.
In my Back Forty, I have no interest in being an accommodating, people-pleasing, agreeable good girl.
Change is not easy after being a people-pleaser and accommodator for 48 years. It is still much easier for me to agree (with you, them or whomever) than to stand my ground for my perspective, values and desires. Patterns of behaving and thinking are deep and well-established.
My brain has been trained for a lifetime to perceive failure to accommodate as a threat to my survival. The temptation to agree and accommodate is high. Yet I am learning to stand for my Self and my full Self-expression.
It can be messy, like a child first learning to feed herself. And while it can be easier to err on the side of continuing to accommodate and agree, I choose to err on the side of my stand, even if disagreeable. I’m ready, willing and fully able to make mistakes, clean up the mess, and move on. Change can and will only come this way.
I do this because being accommodating is deadly. It kills who I am, it kills my joy, and it kills my relationships and, interestingly, it kills other people… because it doesn’t require them to learn and deal with what they need to figure out or improve about themselves.
I choose to be a stand for my Self, as a way to honor those I love, those I care about, those relationships I treasure, and what is possible for me when I am fully Self-expressed. I choose to be disagreeable and unaccommodating when my Self is at stake and to risk argument and disapproval.
After many years of first-half-of-life research, I’ve learned that being a good girl is overrated. For my Back Forty, I choose ME – and the difference I can make – when I am true to my Self.
There is no doubt that our bodies change as we get older, and it seems as if middle age is the culmination of all of our fears surrounding aging. Estrogen and testosterone decrease in both men and women as they age and this can cause many shifts in our emotions, physical appearance, and viewpoints. It is common to experience changes in appearance, weight, libido, behavior, and sexual response. Because of this, many people end up believing countless myths about sex as they age. Well, today I am here to bust those myths!
People of every age have a desire to have sex. However, after you make it to midlife your sexual desires change. It usually just takes a time to figure out how your body and desires have changed. To prove this point, a National Aging Survey found that over 70% of people over the age of 60 who were having sex regularly found their sex lives more satisfying than in their 40s.
Aging does not cause erectile dysfunction – changing hormone levels do. As men age, they simply need more physical stimulation to become aroused. Also, women’s orgasms actually tend to increase in frequency and intensity after menopause due to the shift of hormonal ratios within the body.
Usually, the physical factors outweigh the emotional and psychological factors when it comes to decreased sex drive for women. When going through menopause, the decrease in estrogen can cause vaginal dryness. If sex is uncomfortable because of vaginal dryness, simply speak to your doctor and find a solution that works for you.
Baby boomers are reporting a surprising willingness to explore their sexuality in many different ways. They are exploring tantric sex, taking retreats surrounding sexuality, and reaching out to sex therapists and coaches.
People who are in middle-age are very interested in learning new ways to pleasure each other (since the way they are stimulated often changes due to hormone shifts). They are reading books, watching videos, and attending retreats to learn new skills.