Ep #20: Celebrating Yourself During the Holidays

The holidays are fast approaching and this is a time to be thankful. However, this is no time for complacency. It’s okay to want more out of this time of the year, and today, I’m laying out for you how you can have the joy during the holidays that you deserve.

We are at the final episode of our End Like You Want to Begin series, and as we reach the close of 2019, I hope you’re starting to piece together the life you deserve. This time of year throws us a lot of challenges, and it’s easy to lose sight of your own needs and get lost in obligation, but it does not have to be this way.

Join me on the show this week as we focus on celebrating yourself and gifting yourself the opportunity to really enjoy the holidays on your own terms. I’m sharing how I have curated my holiday season to work for me and fill my life with pleasure, and you’re going to discover how to do the same using my Midlife Manifesto

To celebrate the launch of the show, I am giving away a 90-minute coaching session with me OR a $100 gift card to the spa of your choice to 5 lucky listeners who subscribe, rate, and review the podcast on Apple Podcasts (or iTunes)! Click here to learn how you can enter.

What You’ll Learn:

  • Why we have to be mindful at this time of year about why we’re doing what we’re doing.
  • How I have changed the way I celebrate the holidays over the years to focus more on myself.
  • The importance of being intentional and discerning about how you show up.
  • How to approach the holiday season in a way that makes you feel joy instead of obligation.
  • Why it’s okay to want more.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

“I’m grateful, but I’m not complacent,” Robin Roberts.

Welcome to Midlife Woman Redefined, a podcast for women near retirement who are ready to step into a new chapter of freedom, travel, and fulfillment. If you’re ready to focus on figuring out who you are and what you really want, this is the place for you. Here’s your host, master certified life coach, travel addict, and midlife maven, René Washington.

Hello, mavens, I’m C. René Washington, your life coach and midlife maven. And we are here for a milestone episode, episode 20 of Midlife Woman Redefined. As you know, we kick off with a celebration and I am celebrating the American month of gratitude. It’s Thanksgiving month and I am so grateful for fully owning trusting myself.

And so this is where we pause for you to take a moment to celebrate something about yourself, something that’s unique to you, something you’ve accomplished, something you’ve achieved. Not someone else, what you have achieved.

I’m celebrating trusting myself. What are you celebrating? And I’ll say more about trusting yourself at the end of the show. Today, we are wrapping up the series End Like You Want to Begin. And I’m going to do a quick recap of what we’ve covered. And if you’ve missed any of the episodes, do go back and listen. They’re not long, but they are powerful, so I strongly encourage you to do this because you need to gird yourself up for this holiday season.

We started out with a little pre-work. Episode 11 was the shoulds, are you shoulding all over yourself, the shoulds and oughts that contribute to obligated living. Episode 12 was what shit do you need to let go?  What is weighing you down? Episode 13 was the official beginning of the series where I talked about your connecting to your big why.

Why do you want whatever the thing is in your life that would make your life so much better? What is your big why for going through and doing the work to get the life change you want and to live the life that you want to live? You have to know why so that you have something to connect back to when the going gets tough, and resistance will rear its ugly head.

A good question to ask yourself about a why is, what’s the why that’s big enough to move you past fear? So I know that a lot of you out there are parents, maybe grandparents, or maybe even a pet that you call your child. How far would you go to save your child, your grandchild? How invested then are you in saving yourself?

If you would risk your life to save your child, what’s keeping you from doing the work to save yourself. And then in episode 14, we talked about environmental detox. And remember, I used a lot of the work that we do in BARE, using Susan Hyatt’s fantabulous book called BARE, about losing weight without dieting. And it’s so much more than about physical pounds. And so I’ve been using that as the context for this series.

So, environmental detox in episode 14 was about looking around and assessing what you’re allowing in your life, from people in your life, the media you consume, what you’re reading, what you listen to. What’s in your environment that serves you and what drags you?

Episode 15, one of my favorites, pleasure. Midlife mavens experience pleasure all the time. We talked about ways to incorporate pleasure in your daily life. It shouldn’t be saved for some special occasion.

Episode 16 focused on attentive eating. And I talked about how we eat. Do you eat distractedly? Do you eat off of dishes that don’t light you up or paper plates even? When you eat, do you sit there and really pay attention to what’s going in your mouth and down your throat and do you really enjoy it? And I talked about how attentive eating transfers over into many other areas of your life because you start paying more attention in general to everything.

Episode 17 was who do you want to be? We’re moving into a new decade. I keep talking about it because I’m so excited about it. Who do you want to be in 2020? Who do you want to be in this next decade? And episode 18 was another milestone, the first time that I had a guest on the show, the incredible Mary Rogers, a woman that redefined herself. So be sure to check out that episode.

And episode 19 was about fear. Fear is going to be the big focus for the show and for myself next year because it is at the core of why we don’t do the things we say we want to do.

So we’re moving into the holiday season and I really hope that you take the time to listen to the series and to start engaging in practices that prepare you for the holiday season because, as women, a lot of the time, everybody’s happiness during the holidays falls on our shoulders, right?

We’re the ones planning the parties, organizing the parties, hosting the parties, bringing the dishes to work or to the gatherings or whatever. A lot of that falls on us. And I want you to really pay attention and be attentive to what you are allowing to be a part of your environment during the holidays.

This party that you’ve gone to for the past 20 years, do you really still enjoy it? Are you the one that hosts the big family dinner? Do you cook all of the food? Just really pay attention to why you are doing the things that you do because this is a time for, yes, reconnecting to people that maybe you don’t see throughout the year or you haven’t seen in a long time.

I love the holidays. I have eliminated so many things from how I celebrate the holidays. I don’t send out cards. I don’t cook the big meals. I don’t even really go to the big meals as much as I used to. You know, I have family that I connect to, my immediate family.

I just decided that anything to me that feels heavy and like a load that you’re carrying, I question myself now, why am I carrying this? And again, I’m not saying that sometimes we don’t do things strictly for someone else. That’s not what I’m saying, sometimes we do. But know why you’re doing it. Be sure that that’s a conscious choice and that you are gifting that person your time, your presence or whatever the thing is, and that it feels like a gift, again, not something that’s dragging you down.

And another episode that would be really good for you to go back and listen to is episode three, the body compass, because the trusting yourself piece really connects to your being intuitive, really connecting to your inner knowing. And I take you through that process in episode three.

And just go through these holidays and really take note of what does feel like love, what does feel like joy, what does make you happy, excited. And then what doesn’t? Pay attention to that and the body compass process will help you connect to that.

Then, number two, as I said, re-listen to these episodes End Like You Want to Begin. End the year like you want to begin the New Year. Start now. Don’t wait until January to make resolutions that will be gone in two weeks. Start doing this work now. There’s no better time to test it out than during the holidays when everything is hyped up.

Three, check yourself. This is what I’m saying about getting connected to your intuition. Check yourself. Continuously check in with yourself. And jump ship. You don’t have to stay and suffer through things. I attended something within the past month, it wasn’t for me, I left. It’s okay. Nobody died. Perfectly good thing to do, just wasn’t a good thing for me to do.

Four is the trust yourself piece. So the quote that I shared at the beginning of the show, “I’m grateful but I’m not complacent,” because gratitude can get heavy for some of us. Well I should be grateful, I am grateful, that’s why I should just go ahead and do this… No.

Or, I should just be grateful for what I have and not want more. If you don’t want more, that’s fine, you don’t have to want more, but if you do want more, that’s okay too. And that more can be more time for yourself, more time with people who are different than the ones you usually hang out with. It’s okay to want more. Gratitude does not mean complacency.

And finally, number five, keep asking yourself, does this feel like love? Does this feel like something that honors and respects who I am? And then, if it does, get more of that. If it doesn’t, eliminate it. Or if you can’t eliminate it based off of family connection or tradition or whatever, minimize it as much as you can.

You want the holidays to be an illuminator, not a distraction. So you want the holidays to be a time to illuminate all this good in the world, all this good in your life, and not a distraction that gets you all caught up in the hustle and the overwhelm. Ditch those kinds of holidays.

And I have a gift for you because I am really grateful for all of you who listen to the show, who let me know what you think about it, who are faithful, who share it with other people and recommend it to other people. I am just truly, truly grateful for you.

And I created a manifesto. It’s called the Midlife Manifest, and manifesting is not magic. Manifesting is taking conscious action to get the life you want. And this manifesto will be included in the show notes. I encourage you to copy it, read it as often as possible, particularly during these holidays to remind yourself and to make it your own. Feel free to tweak it and personalize it for your particular circumstances.

So the Midlife Manifest, I am a manifester. I will do the work to let my shit go, old and even false beliefs that don’t serve me, that keep me stuck; fear, false evidence appearing real, mental and physical clutter, unhealthy habits, guilt for finally putting myself first, criticism and judgment of myself and others. I will lovingly call BS when I see myself falling into those traps.

I will do all the things to keep myself encouraged and focused on what I can do, then do it. I am a manifester. I will share my truths and my stories only in safe spaces with those who have earned the right to my vulnerability. I respect my past, but refuse to remain stuck in it. I will focus on creating new stories, taking bold action that moves me into the life that I want to manifest.

I’ve gone through – and you can fill in your own blank here – I’ve gone through divorce, grief, work transition, done things I shouldn’t have done, gone places I shouldn’t have gone, said things I shouldn’t have said. No, I’m not perfect, but I walk in the divine perfection of the grace and mercy of multiple chances to get it right.

And I’ve learned to extend the grace I want to receive. I am forgiven. I forgive myself. My life moves forward through desire, reclaiming my dreams, my life, this is my time. Loving myself opens me up to give more, not less, to become self-full, not selfish, to drop the weight of false obligation and inauthenticity and get real, be real, live and love on purpose. I am a manifester.

So that manifesto is my gift to you. I hope that it resonates for you. If it does, I hope that you will keep it and read it over and over and over as much as you need to. And as we end the series End Like You Want to Begin, do take the time, as we come to the close of this year, take some me time, some self-evaluation time, some reflection time to truly connect to who you are at this stage of life and what you want. There is a path to your getting it.

Okay, I hope that there has been at least one thing that has resonated for you in this episode and if so, you know what you need to do; rate and review. And if you want to be a part of the drawing – I’m doing a giveaway in just a minute, and then I’ll have one more to give away, so get those ratings and reviews in. The instructions are in the show notes.

Do include your email so that I can identify who you are and, as you know, I am tremendously grateful for your taking the time, not only to listen, but to also leave a rating and a review because it’s so important in helping the show grow.

Okay, so, let’s do the drawing. Today’s winner is Monica Keener. Oh, I’m so excited about that. Monica did email, oh that’s excellent. And Monica’s review says, “Coach C. René Washington’s podcast is a must listen for anyone who is ready to stop simply surviving and start joyfully thriving. This podcast is like getting advice from your best girlfriend who loves you enough to keep it real and also leave you encouraged.

Thank you, thank you, Monica, I love that and I appreciate that and I’m so excited that you won and I’ll be contacting you. So, everyone, thank you. If you celebrate Thanksgiving, enjoy, enjoy, enjoy.  And if it’s not officially Thanksgiving, it’s always a good time to pause and reflect in gratitude.

And remember, we’re midlife mavens; living well is our only option.

Thanks for listening to this week’s episode of Midlife Woman Redefined. If you’re ready to learn more and reclaim your time, head over to crenecoach.com.

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