Episode 7 | (00:00):
Hey, lighten up! Has anyone ever said that to you? You're being too serious. You're being too intense.
Well, today we're going to learn three little ways to lighten up and make our days a little bit lighter and brighter and freer and ahhhhh... Know what I mean? The day will feel like a nice, deep, contented sigh of relief because your day is not going to feel heavy. Are you ready? Me too!
Hey there, Easy Ager, today we're going to be talking about upgrading your mindset so you can lighten up and have a wonderful day. Before I get started, I wanted to remind you, if you haven't gotten your free gift, go to TheEasyAgingShow.com and pick that up. And you'll learn a little bit more about how to have some fun with your bucket list during retirement, or even if you're simply planning for retirement.
Today, we're going to be talking about lightening up and ways to upgrade your midlife mindset in three simple steps. Have you ever had days when things just feel heavy? I mean, every little thing — even the simplest, most routine, most mundane tasks — every little activity just seems like it's taking forever to get through, like you're slogging through mud. I call it "fighting the tofu" because it's kind of like when you hit the tofu and the tofu hits back...
Because you're not getting through, you're not moving forward in what you want to be doing, and then half of the day is gone and you're like, "Whoa, what's that about?"
Sometimes the day feels heavy because there's a lot coming at you, right? I mean, it could be news. It could be social media, it could be work. It could be volunteer activities, or picking the kids or the grandkids up at school and trying to adjust schedules. Sometimes that's the reality of the situation.
But then there are other days when the day just feels heavy, like you're moving in slow motion. Sometimes, when those days happen, it's probably because either you're distracted by something — maybe you didn't sleep well. Maybe you're having some pain. Maybe there's something on your mind. The other option is, maybe your mindset isn't in the right place to be dealing with the day-to-day routine.
So how do we change that? How do we change our mindset so we can live lighter, easier, more freeing, more graceful lives?
Before I get into that, I want to tell you how I came to discover that I wanted a lighter life. Because it's really huge to just understanding what you want at this point in your life — It's so huge. Midlife is such a confusing time sometimes.
I was reading the Bible one day (even if you're not familiar with the Bible or you don't read the Bible regularly, this will certainly resonate with you). In Matthew 11:28-30 in the NIV version, there's a verse that's fairly well known that says, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."
And the end of the verse is, "... for my yoke is easy and my burden is light." And when I heard the word "light," I went, "Oh, light! I want light. I want to live a light life. Oh my goodness, that would be so wonderful."
Then I picked up The Message, which is a version of the Bible that puts things in a little bit more contemporary language for understanding. And here's what The Message says:
"Are you tired? Worn out? Burnt out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me — watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."
Now, when I read this, I got really excited because it really used words that were explaining those things that I was feeling...
I mean, I couldn't articulate them, but I was experiencing them inside of me. Words like "unforced rhythms of grace" and "live freely and lightly."
As I meditated on this Scripture, I said, "You know what? I'm going to come up with a life motto." I paraphrased a bit and came up with live lightly and freely in the unforced rhythms of grace.
For me, that explains exactly the type of life I want to have. And because it is a life motto, obviously I'm going to focus on this and do what I can to make sure my mindset is in the right state to "live lightly and freely in the unforced rhythms of grace."
Now let's look at three ways, three little steps, that you can take to start putting yourself in that mindset to live lightly and freely. Number one, being aware and fully present.
Oh my goodness, there is an abundance of self-knowledge that is available to you when you stay in the present moment, when you stay off autopilot, when you really start paying attention to what you're doing and what's going on around you.
Even if you're doing simple tasks like washing the dishes or cleaning up your email, being fully aware of what you're doing, what your hands are doing, what your mind is doing...
Staying aware and fully present is going to refresh you.
And at the end of the day, you're going to have some energy left. You're going to feel refreshed. You're going to feel a little more awake and alive than you have in the past, because going on autopilot is just a complete and total energy drain. There's nothing like it, you know. We numb ourselves so much and then we wonder why we're tired. We wonder, "Why, oh, why did this day seem to go on and on?...
Why did it take so long?"
When you're in the present, you're alive and awake. So your goal here is to stay focused on being present as often as possible, because this is one of the best ways to live lightly and freely every day.
Number two, stop beating yourself up, stop judging yourself. Beating yourself up and being judgy about what you're doing or who you are really doesn't make things any better. So why are you wasting your time? That's just a waste of energy and a waste of time.
Take a deep breath, focus on what's going right, even if it's just for a few minutes at a time. If you can only hold it for a few minutes, that's okay. Remember fun-sized actions. We start with two minutes and we expand the time as we go along.
Maybe your day isn't going perfectly. Maybe you made a mistake. Maybe you just woke up on the wrong side of your bed and your hair looks bad and you've got bags under your eyes. I could go on and on about everything that I wake up with sometimes. But the goal is, when you go to that place, it's important to bring yourself back simply by finding the good.
Actively look for all the good things in your life, the blessings, the things that you're grateful for. For me, one of the things I'm grateful for is having a cute little baseball hat to put on my crazy hair. So it's small but you know, there are some days when it absolutely works. ;)
The more you practice number one, being aware and fully present, the more you're going to become aware of your self-talk. For a lot of us, our self-talk is so negative.
Basically, we're being a bully to ourselves. If we can become more aware and fully present, we're going to become aware of the self-talk and then at that point, we can change it. We can make it into something very powerful, very positive for our lives.
Number three, accept and offer help regularly. Oh my goodness, my Easy Aging™ friends, this is one of the most beautiful things ever. Let's take it from the accepting part: Humble yourselves. You're not an island, and here's the deal — Nobody wants you to be an island.
I personally don't like being an island, but I was brought up thinking that we've got to be independent and we've got to persevere and we've got to make our own way. We've been told many things as we were growing up. But friends, it's time for us to just let down some of those defenses.
If you're struggling and you need help and someone offers, by all means, take it. Hopefully we've hit an age where accepting help isn't that big of a deal anymore, and we don't view it as an act of weakness. Instead, we view it as an act of acceptance of where we are at this point in our lives. Wherever you are at this moment in time is exactly where you're supposed to be. It's not good or bad or up or down or any of that. It's a very neutral place to be.
Sometimes, someone can offer to help even though they can't actually do anything. It's just the fact that they offered that lightens your day.
Recently, I was having a number of tech issues with my email and I had asked my small group to pray for me. One of the ladies from my group, she's just so beautiful and so lovely...
She sent me a text that said, "Hey, Michelle, I'm really good at this and this and this. I don't know if that helps you, but can I help you do something?" My eyes were tearing up, just feeling so grateful that someone was kind enough to reach out. She lightened my day just by offering, and that's the beauty of accepting or offering help.
It's a two-fold blessing. Number one, you will be blessed when you humble yourself and you accept the help, but also know that the blessing is on the other side when you offer.
I mean, just the thought of lightening up someone's day with a simple offer...Doesn't that make you feel good? It makes me feel good when I know that I sent a message, "You know what? I may not be able to help you directly, but you're not out here alone...
I'm here for you. I'm here to support you and I've got your back." And knowing someone is supporting you and they've got your back, that in and of itself will lighten your day dramatically.
So that's it for today. Three little steps to help you lighten up and upgrade your midlife mindset. The first step is to be aware and fully present as often as possible during the day so you're not feeling exhausted and the day doesn't feel quite so heavy.
The second one is not beating yourself up and being judgy with yourself. Please stop that. That's not right, and that doesn't do anyone any good.
And number three is to accept and offer help regularly so you cannot only be blessed, but you can also be a blessing and lighten someone else's day. Until next time, peace, love and blessings to you and yours. We'll see you then, bye-bye!