Yesterday I woke up feeling blah, and I know that it wasn’t the typical “Monday blues” because I don’t really have those anymore after I decided to follow my heart and start my own life coaching business. Not only am I doing what I love to do, but I am now finally utilizing all my skills, talents and interests and feeling like I am being challenged and living up to my fullest potential. While I always excelled at whatever I was doing in previous careers, I never quite felt like those positions took full advantage of everything I had to offer. It was as if parts of me were hidden, buried, or not allowed to come out.
In my journey of building my own business, there’s a tremendous amount of personal development that happens, whether you are consciously seeking to learn more about yourself or not. You become acutely aware of your strengths, weaknesses, fears, insecurities, sources of happiness and joy, co-dependency issues, limiting beliefs, money mindset and so much more. Some of it is a thrill to discover, and other things are uncomfortable. But it’s all part of the journey in growing as a person and becoming a better version of yourself.
If you don’t have your own business, or do not ever plan on becoming an entrepreneur, there is one thing I still recommend to all women in mid life who are finding themselves in the so-called “mid life crisis”, and that is to read. To quote Brene Brown in her brilliant book, The Gifts of Imperfection, “People may call what happens at midlife a “crisis”, but it’s not. It’s an unraveling – a time when you feel a desperate pull to live the life you want to live, not the one you’re “supposed” to live. The unraveling is a time when you are challenged by the universe to let go of who you think you are supposed to be, and to embrace who you are.”
This is exactly where books come in. If you are not sure where you are supposed to go, who you really are or what you want to do, there is enormous wisdom in books. Personal development books are great, as are inspirational autobiographies and novels. Allow yourself to just “be”, have an open mind and be receptive to the meaning the words and sentences in the book might have for you. I recommend reading at least 30 minutes every day, at a time when you feel inspired or the most energetic and open to new ideas.
This is exactly what happened to me this morning, the day after I was tempted to think all kinds of negative things about myself, I felt stuck and a little down. These days happen, no matter how ideal your life is, simply because we are human beings. Or, as I like to think now, it may have had something to do with the super moon! We are all interconnected, and the Universe has magical ways of connecting with us. Reading has this magical effect on the way we feel and the way we choose to think, which in turn improves our mood. Books often transport us to a world in which we want to live, and gives us hope and inspiration to create that life for ourselves.
I decided I was going to devote 2 hours in the morning to reading, simply because I felt a yearning to, and was desperate for some motivation. It’s a non negotiable routine I started implementing for myself last year as I was starting my business, and it has been a life line for me ever since. Well, the inspiration came after only 10 minutes of reading this morning, and I got the message I was looking for, as I’m sitting here now writing this blog post, and have materials for two upcoming newsletters and feeling much better about myself. The books serve as a reminder that we have a purpose, there is so much more to learn, and we all have unique gifts that the world needs us to share with others. And yes, that includes you too!
One of my favorite books of all time, “Women Who Run With the Wolves” by Charissa Pinkola Estes, Ph.D, was the reason why I felt called to start putting more work out there today. The book encourages women to find that ‘wild woman’ hidden inside of us, the one we are often suppressing because we are afraid of how we will be received if we allow her to come out, and because we often have been conditioned to become desperate to “fit in”. If we deny that part of ourselves, she will come out, sooner or later, in a variety of forms, because she will not be ignored. Why not choose to listen to her so you can use this power of yours to your advantage?
Are you feeling a bit unfulfilled and often think there has to be more to life than this? Then that’s a big sign that you should be doing some soul searching. If you don’t know where to start, start with picking up a book. Don’t know which book to start with? I just started a book and wine club (because those are two of my favorite things in the whole world) called Books and Barolo which you can join here, and we’ll pick a book every month to discuss and suggest a new wine weekly so you have extra enjoyment while reading. My hope is that this will grow into a powerful and supportive community of women who all want to better their lives, challenge each other’s thinking, all the while remembering to have fun and insert enjoyment in their daily routine (hence the wine).
Don’t hide who you really are anymore. The true you is so much better, and you will feel an enormous relief in just letting go, and in turn you will be able to indirectly give others permission to live the life they would love to lead as well. Start reading daily, and watch your life transform!