As part of my End Like You Want to Begin series, I’m giving you one of the most important things I’ve learned on my journey as a coach. The ability to control your environment and remove the things that give you a toxic perspective is going to change your life.
Join me on the show this week to discover what might be poisoning your mind and holding you back without even realizing it. I’m sharing how I have purged my days of the things that keep me stuck, as well as where you might find these things in your own life.
“You cannot fix what you will not face. Create the life you want to celebrate,” C. René Washington.
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, sister mavens. I’m C. René Washington, your life coach and midlife maven. And we are here for episode 14 of the Midlife Woman Redefined. And today’s topic is, it’s time to detox your environment. It’s time to detox your environment.
Now, if you’ve been following the podcast, you know that I just kicked off the series, End Like You Want to Begin. We are in the final few months of 2019 and I want us to leave our crap in 2019 so that we can dance into 2020 like nobody’s business. And to do that, I am taking you through a seven-week series on what you can ditch and what you can bring into your life that will allow you to do just that.
And before we dive into detoxing your environment, what do we do? We start out celebrating, celebrating something that you have accomplished, something that you are proud of, that is specific and unique to you, not something that somebody else has done, but something you’ve done. And as I always say, this is something that a lot of women struggle with, and so I want us to build that celebratory muscle that really every day you should take a moment to say, yes, I did that. No matter how small a thing it is or how big it is, take the time to celebrate.
I’m celebrating that I am coaching some amazing women and they are making major shifts in their life. And so I am celebrating my role in them trusting me and allowing me to help them learn how to trust themselves. And they are doing some great things, being a part of a mentoring and networking group that, when they signed up for it, they didn’t think they were worthy enough to participate in it. And now they’ve made a lot of new work connections and friendship connections.
And this is really going to help propel her forward in her life and career, to a woman who is deciding to take a solo weekend, take some time for herself. And so they are very different women, different places on the continuum, but they are doing what they thought they couldn’t do.
Another woman is starting her side gig as she approaches retirement, and something that she had been wanting to do forever and just hadn’t pulled the trigger on. And so it is just so important to invest in yourself and to believe in yourself and to believe in yourself even when you can’t believe in yourself, to just start taking steps. And so I am so excited and happy, and I’m celebrating myself for stepping into my passion, which allows me to help many different women.
Okay, so let’s help some more women. And I am in this with you. I am in this end like you want to begin process too. I am not sitting on top of a mountain looking down at you, thinking oh my gosh, they need to be like me. No, because what I’ve learned and what best illustrates that is, my husband, he and I living together.
And he is always making comments on, I don’t know how two people accumulate so much garbage, because he has to empty the garbage almost daily. Where does all this garbage come from? And this is life, right? Garbage is continuously coming in and continuously having to be let out. We have to continuously get rid of garbage, just like dust, there’s no end to it, there’s always garbage piling up.
And this is a lifer metaphor. There’s always junk coming into our psyche, coming into our physical being, and so we are continuously having to purge. You know, the precursor to the series was in episode 11, I talked to you about dropping your shoulds and oughts, to be in a self-aware and a self-examination mode of questioning yourself on who said it has to be this way or it should be this way or ought to be this way, and to be very aware of these shoulds and oughts that we find ourselves taking as fact, when it’s really just somebody’s thought that worked for them and has been passed down, probably.
And then in episode 12, I talked about why we have to continuously let shit go. So you can go back to those episodes. The link will be in the show notes. And episode 13 was the kick off for End Like You Want To Begin, where I asked you to do some self-assessing on what your big why is for the change that you want in your life.
So my big why is to deepen the commitment to my passion of coaching women, and coaching women to live their personal brand of freedom, as I like to say. Because what represents freedom for me may be totally different than what represents freedom for you. But for you to be able to truly connect to what that is, and that’s coming from your internal motivation, again, not from some external motivation of what you think you ought to or have to be.
And I want women to really connect to their inner essence, and so my big why is to expand my platform in being able to help even more women do that. So that’s why I am trying to clear out my own junk, you know, and it’s an ongoing process. And so once you build that habit, as more and more garbage tries to come in, the more you practice these principles that I’m teaching you, the easier and quicker it will be for you to empty your garbage daily and to keep yourself on track and keep yourself moving forward.
The book reference that I told you I’d be using for this series, the main one, is the BARE book, BARE, by Susan Hyatt. And this speaks to how one step leads to another step, leads to another, and the more you keep moving, the more greatness gets added to your life.
I met Susan Hyatt because I said yes to going through life coaching school with Martha Beck. And Martha Beck is – they call her Oprah’s life coach. She has a monthly column in O Magazine. And I, as I’ve said before, went through her life coaching program and got certified to be a life coach. And in the midst of that, that’s how I met Susan Hyatt, who at that time was one of Martha’s Master Certified life coaches and did some of the training in her life coaching school.
Susan had a program called Clear Coaches. And I attended her Clear Coaches even in Savannah, Georgia a few years ago because I was trying to determine, did I really want to get serious about this life coaching business thing, or did I just want to keep treating it like a hobby?
And I went to her event and did get a lot of clarity, and in the midst of being there that weekend, she just happened to mention BARE. And she was just starting out talking about BARE and she talked about it as this was her program to help you lose weight without dieting. Lose weight without dieting.
And that caught my attention because, at the time I attended her workshop, I was in that tracking mode of trying to track what I ate, track my steps, all that tracking, and it was getting on my nerves. I was so tired of tracking. One of the things that I learned in my corporate career was from the management philosophy that we used is that you get what you reinforce.
And I was reinforcing this counting mentality for a numerical weight loss goal. And I saw this even in corporate when they would have these programs, lose 10 pounds in six weeks, and the companies would weigh you at the beginning and weigh you at the end. And my company did that.
And you could win, I think, $50, $100, I can’t remember what it was. But a lot of us would sign up for that. And then I observed the behavior that we were engaging in.
So then it became about meeting that 10-pound goal, not so much about getting healthy and doing it in a healthy way. It was about how can I lose that 10 pounds in six weeks? And so people were going all these crazy diets, the grapefruit diet, the tuna diet. And as I was doing the fitness tracker then and I had my fitness pal app and so, if I ate a slice of cake, then I was like, okay I’ve got to take 500 steps, you know, just that kind of thinking.
And if I left my fitness tracker that I wore, if I left it at home, now my movement is not going to count. Well, that’s a little crazy because really, all movement counts, first of all, and it should not be about – it is getting counted if your body is experiencing it. But because I couldn’t see it on my little device, then it was a waste.
And I realized, okay, this is not right. This is not getting me what I really want because what I really and truly want is to be healthy and to not have to expend a whole lot of energy on thinking how to do that. I just want it to be organic. I want to know what foods work for me and I want to know what movement works for me.
So when I heard Susan say, “I have a program that teaches you how to lose weight without dieting,” that caught my attention. And long story short, I eventually ended up becoming certified in it because I do have a practical, and I said, instead of just going through it with her, I can get certified in it and kill two birds with one stone.
And that will also be a part of the coaching work that I do because what I learned was that BARE is mostly mindset, and that is the type of coach I am. I’m a mindset coach. Because I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that if your mind ain’t right, nothing else will be right. Mindset is the foundation of anything that you want to achieve, accomplish, or experience.
You have to have the mindset for it. So the BARE work aligned with the type of coach that I wanted to be, and that’s why I am using the book as a basis for this End Like You Want to Begin series.
Some of you may have a weight loss goal. Some of you may have a life change goal, like maybe you want to start planning for retirement or you’re in retirement and it’s not going like you thought, and so you want to revise your life chapter. That’s why I call this podcast Midlife Woman Redefined, because I want women to choose how they define themselves and make the changes necessary to get you there.
And so we’re starting today with detoxing your environment. And this is so important. It connects to the subliminal messaging that you’re giving yourself on a daily basis. And this is the first chapter in the BARE book. You don’t have to have the book. It’s a good resource to follow along with me, but I’m going to give you the main tenets of each of these focuses.
And when you think about your environment, it’s about observing, from the time you get up in the morning until you lay your head down again at night, what is a part of your environment?
And there are several categories. You can look at the rooms in your home, all the spaces in your home, what messages are you getting from the spaces in your home? Are you getting a message of clutter, disorganization, negativity, less than – you know, these are all the kinds of messaging that you can be giving yourself just by what’s in your home.
And then what kind of media are you consuming, whether it’s TV, books, magazines, social media, what kind of social environment is a part of your life? And that would be the people that are in your life, your work situation, your friends, family members. Who are you allowing the gift of your time? And your time is a gift.
Other than this podcast, which is a wonderful podcast, are you listening to other podcasts? Are you reading blogs? What websites do you visit frequently? These all connect to our environment. And what you want to assess is how do I feel when I wake up in the morning and I look around my room?
Do I see clothes piled up everywhere? Even the linens that you’re sleeping in, do you have a comforter, or whatever kind of bedding that you have, how does that bedding make you feel? Does it light you up? Have you had it for 20 years and, you know, it’s ratty and needs to be replaced? What messaging are you giving yourself? Because that’s a message, if you have old bedding, scratchy sheets, you’re telling yourself that you don’t deserve to feel good when you’re resting.
A personal example for me is making the bed. There is a general – I can’t think of his name right now, but I think the name of the book is Make Your Bed, and it’s a book on leadership, I think, and the habits of great leaders. But making the bed is a huge message for me because if I get up and rush out, don’t make my bed, then I’m telling myself that I’m behind the eight-ball before I even get started in my day.
So making my bed, taking the time, taking that few minutes to make my bed sends a message to me that I am in control of my day, you know, to the best that I can be, that I’m starting out my day with the intention of I am taking a stance for myself to say I’m not rushing around, I’m not going to leave here scattered. I’m going to stop, make my bed, and have a sense of order to my day.
I have purged a lot of stuff form my home, from furniture that connects to my first marriage, you know, I think I’ve mentioned, I gave away some really good furniture simply because it connected to a different time in my life. I have given away a lot of stuff because I want to see more space around me. I don’t want to see something taking up every space in my home because I want new things to come into my life and I believe that we have to create space for that.
I recently took a mini-break from social media. And mainly, I’m on Facebook. And I’ve curated my Facebook page to be really positive. I only have people on my Facebook page that I truly am connected to in some kind of way, and it’s a positive way. I just don’t automatically accept somebody’s friend request. It has to be either somebody I know and want to be connected to, or somebody that is connected to somebody who I do know.
But I’m very intentional about who I say yes to on my Facebook page. And you may be somebody I love, but you connect to a lot of other people that I know are just going to, you know, put me in a different space. And so I’m not going to accept your friend request.
However, time, you know, social media can take up a lot of time, so that was what I focused on, was spending less time on it. I don’t want to feel like anything controls me. I watch a lot of television. It’s something that my husband and I connect over, and so we love to watch television.
And this is the golden age. I think it’s the platinum age of television. However, I am paying more attention to what I watch and it’s got to add something to my life, even if it’s just strictly entertainment. And again, what is entertaining to you? Because if you are entertained by something that also has somewhat of a negative impact on you, pay attention to that.
And I’m not judging what you watch. I’m just saying, pay attention for yourself. I don’t watch reality TV, but if you do, that’s fine, I just know how it impacts me. It impacts me negatively, so I choose not to watch it. Some people don’t watch crime shows. I love crime shows. But if crime shows terrify you or keep you up at night, then you probably don’t want to watch those.
What kind of books and magazines are you reading? Are you reading things that are telling you what you’re not, how good you’re not, like a lot of diet books can do? So start examining everything in your home. And I’m saying detox, the word toxic, the definition is acting as or having the effect of a poison or causing unpleasant feelings, harmful or malicious.
And as we know, poison can be slow-acting. So these things that I’m talking about can be a slow-acting poison because they are sapping your energy dimming your light, or even adding unnecessary weight. So, start being aware of what you are surrounding yourself with. Are there people in your life, so called friends, that they’ve been in your life forever so you don’t know how to ditch them?
But this is a time to assess because if you’re talking to someone you’ve known, and maybe you’ve done a lot of self-growth and they have not and they’re still stuck in old crap that they revisit over and over that just saps and drains your energy, talking about people, putting you down slyly. If you leave a person and you don’t feel good or you don’t feel better, then you really need to examine why that person is in your life.
And if it’s somebody that has to be in your life because of work or biological connection, then that spoon handle needs to get real long and you need to really limit your time and connection to that person.
So, your assignment is to start out with one small area. It could even be – Susan mentions in the book, start with your bedside table. Or you could go look at your bookshelf. Or you could make a list of all of your friends and categorize them. This person really makes me feel good, this person makes me feel light, this person doesn’t. Your volunteer list, you know, what are you signing yourself up for, what are you giving your time to?
Just start with one small area of your life and start detoxing that, and then take another area. This is a process and a very worthwhile process. So that’s environmental detox.
And reach out to me if you have questions about this. I’m happy to help you with this. Don’t hesitate to reach out to me and ask me questions about how you can detox your environment. And I want you to think about one thing from this podcast, one thing from thus podcast that you can share with a friend. Because, as I’ve said before, friends share great things with their friends. And this is a great process for you to go through.
So, one thing, was it the quote, was it that I did that I talked about or a suggestion that I gave you, what’s one thing that you could share with another woman from this podcast? And send this to them.
As I do every week, I ask you to rate, review, and now I’m including your one thing. What’s your one thing that you can share that really was beneficial for you today? And to rate and review, you go to crenecoach.com/podcast.
So, to rate and review, you will find instructions in the podcast show notes, so take a few minutes to do that, and absolutely take a few minutes to come up with your one thing and share that with a friend and tell them, “Oh my gosh, I heard this on the Midlife Woman Redefined podcast today and I thought it would benefit you too.”
We are here to live our best lives because living well is the 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.