Episode 30 | (00:00):
Hey there, friend. Have you been feeling a little blah lately, a little, you know, whatever. Today, I'm gonna be giving you an easy midlife exercise to help you get clarity on what you really want. So you — yes, you, my friend — can start having some fun again.
How does that sound? Does that sound good? I love this exercise. I love this exercise so much. All right, let's do this!
Hello there, Easy Ager. I gotta tell you, my heart just fills up with so much joy when y'all send me little love notes in the form of five-star ratings and reviews over on Apple Podcasts. Here's what BHPens has to say:
"Michelle's shows are filled with great thought-provoking life tips, with suggestions on how to be aware and how to step into what you are looking for in life. Her infectious energy comes through in each episode...
I've participated in a lot of personal development and coaching over the years and listening to these podcasts reminds me of things I know and have just gotten out of the habit of doing. Great reminders and tips on how to bring things back to my awareness."
BHPens, thank you so much for that lovely review and five-star rating. I really appreciate it. Now, if you're enjoying the show and you want to leave me a five-star rating and review, here's how you do it on Apple Podcasts.
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So thanks in advance for that. You guys, that makes me so very, very happy. I'm doing my happy dance right now. You can't see me, but I'm doing it. Oh yeah. All right.
Let me tell you a little story today. When I was growing up, my mom kept a scrapbook each year from kindergarten to my senior year in high school. I don't know if you guys remember that kind. It had the pockets and you could put some souvenirs or, you know, paintings or art or whatever it was inside each one of the little pockets.
And throughout the years it would ask questions like, what do you wanna be when you grow up? Or what do you think you're gonna major in when you get to college?
Throughout the years, I kept saying three things: I wanna be a cheerleader. I wanna be a model. And I wanna be an actress. Somewhere in there I also threw in, I want to be a teacher for the deaf, probably because I thought sign language was so cool back then.
But I do have to tell you now, in midlife, I can look back and say, "You know what? I did it. I've been a cheerleader. I've been a model. And I've been an actor."
At the sweet tender age of five, I was incredibly clear on who I was and what I wanted in my life. And I can confidently say that I really wasn't that clear again until maybe, I don't know, my late thirties. ;)
What about you? I don't know about you, but I had a few of the "wandering years" in there. I mean, I laugh at it but it's true. On and off in my life, there were moments when I just felt like I was going through the motions.
I wasn't clear on who I was. I wasn't clear on what I wanted or where I wanted to be. None of that. I was totally clueless. So I just kept moving along, treading water. I wasn't getting anywhere, just treading some water.
Now on the outside during these times, things looked great. For example, I had a great paying job that I liked. I had a boyfriend and a tribe of friends and family members that I just absolutely adored. I had an active social life. I volunteered regularly at my church and in the community. And I was just having fun and enjoying life.
But I felt like I was going through the motions. You know there's more, but you're just not sure what that is. You know what I mean? And the worst part of going through the motions: you start getting used to it.
That emptiness, that void, it just starts becoming a normal part of your life. And you start accepting it. On the outside, it looks like you have everything. Oh, she's got it all. She's got it all together too. Yeah, there you go. But inside, you know something isn't right. I knew that for a very long time.
You also intuitively know there's more to life, but you just can't put your finger on it. You can't quite figure out what that is. Have you ever felt that way? Like everybody else is going about their life and doing their thing and happy, etc., and you're feeling a little off.
And if that isn't bad enough, there's this whole other part of you, that little voice in your head that keeps saying those four little words: Don't. Rock. The. Boat.
I knew if I touched the boat, if I tried rocking it or swaying it in a new direction, if I tried messing with the status quo in any way, things could really, really go wrong then.
Rationally, I knew I had a great life. I was very blessed to have an amazing life. I was thrilled with it, but I still didn't want to mess with any of it because I thought, "Ooh, what if I do something and it makes it worse?" Have you ever felt that way?
I don't know why I'm asking. I think pretty much all of us have felt this way at one point or another. I start thinking, "You know, it's not that bad." And then the other part of me says, "But it's really not that good." There's something missing. There's something going on. Something needs to change, but I don't know what it is.
Have you ever done that? Then, when it gets right down to it, you're at a complete loss of what you're supposed to be doing.
Looking back from this midlife point I can say with authority, living without clarity isn't living, it's just existing. Don't you agree? Now y'all know I talk about clarity a lot, and there's a reason for it because we have to have clarity on who we are, what we want and where we're going.
That helps give us purpose. That helps give us excitement about life. That helps us get out of bed in the morning. Brendon Burchard says, "Clarity is the child of careful thought and mindful experimentation." That is a beautiful and brilliant description of what clarity is. So let's take a look at that for a second.
Careful thought, mindful experimentation, okay? The careful thought part of that means, if you wanna get clear, you're gonna spend a little time thinking about it, right? And for you to spend time thinking about what you want and who you are at this point in your life, come closer. I'm gonna tell you a secret:
You're going to have to put down the remote for just a few minutes to consider the possibilities. Because stepping into possibility means you're opening yourself up to a number of options that you weren't even considering even five minutes ago, right?
So you have to spend some time with it. Not massive amounts of time, just little bite-sized nuggets of time. You know, we do fun-sized actions here so we're not gonna overdo on any of this. That's the careful thought part.
When you get these options in front of you, then you can move into the mindful experimentation part of it. That means you get to experiment. You get to try new things. I mean, not necessarily willy nilly, random things, but things based on the careful thought you put into this.
I'm gonna give you an exercise in a second to make this all a little clearer for your clarity. When you open a space to allow your mind to just run free and consider all those options, then you gotta try some of them. You can't just sit on your hands at that point, right?
So you can choose some of those options. You get to choose them, and you get to try different things. And that's what clarity is all about. It's about the careful thought and taking the time to open up that space.
It's about the mindful experimentation and just trying new things to what you like, see what floats your boat, what makes your heart sing. Because if you didn't experiment with all these different things, how would you ever know what makes you happy? How would you ever know what brings you joy?
So here we go. Grab a pen and paper. We're going to do a two-minute exercise. Yes. Only two minutes. You know me by now if you've been listening. I'm gonna try to never, ever give you anything longer than two minutes, okay?
I've seen this done a few different ways. I'm gonna give you some options in a second, but here's what you're going to do. Set the timer for two minutes and finish this sentence: Wouldn't it be cool if...
Finish the sentence. Wouldn't it be cool if I wrote a novel? Wouldn't it be cool if I learned to roller blade? Wouldn't it be cool if I took an art class? Wouldn't it be cool if I felt confident when doing presentations at work? Wouldn't it be cool if everyone in the world had access to clean drinking water? Wouldn't it be cool if I lost 10 pounds?
Now you don't have to use the word "cool" here. You could also play with other words. Wouldn't it be wonderful if... Wouldn't it be lovely if... Wouldn't it be amazing if...
Use some different words. Wonderful, lovely, amazing, incredible, these are the types of words you can play with.
The bottom line here is to keep writing for two minutes straight. If you start repeating, that's okay. Your hand just needs to keep going for two minutes straight. No limitations. Literally, the sky's the limit.
When you're done, you're going to go through your list and pick out a few of these things that you want to try. (There you go: mindful experimentation.) If they seem really big, break them up, figure out how to get to the same goal in small steps. You don't have to eat the entire elephant in one sitting, right?
Another part of this is, you don't have to stop at these two minutes. What I do sometimes is I'll leave the list out. And if I think of something else when I'm in the shower, I'll write it on the list. And I'll think of something else two days later, I write it on the list. So you can keep adding to this list.
The initial two minutes is just to get you to write everything that's in your heart, that's in your brain, and to dump it onto the page so you don't overthink. Because when we start overthinking, that's when we start saying, "Oh, I could never do that." And we start backing off.
So we're not putting ourselves out there and not thinking big enough. Sometimes we just start limiting ourselves without even knowing, so don't overthink when you're writing your two-minute list, but add to it as needed.
Well, my Easy Agers, that's pretty much it for today. Pretty simple, huh? I don't know that it gets much simpler than this, y'all.
Once again, I would be thrilled if you would take a moment to leave me a five-star rating and a review over on Apple Podcasts. Just go to TheEasyAgingShow.com and scroll down. There's going to be a section on that page to give you instructions on how to make that happen, all right?
Thank you so much in advance for doing this. I really appreciate it. Until next time, peace, love and blessings to you and yours. Take care, bye-bye.