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, hello, hello. This is C. René Washington, master certified life coach and your midlife maven. And if you’re new to the show, a maven is simply an expert. And we are here because we are experts on living our best lives. We are in midlife, that special time, that special stage of life where we are bringing all of the wisdom that we’ve learned over all of these years to allow us to put ourselves at the top of our list now, prioritize ourselves, and finally, for some of us, live those long-dormant dreams.
So that’s what we are here for, and we are in that process of redefining because we have been so focused on other people’s priorities, children, partners, spouses, careers. And now we are moving into that phase of life where we are already there, where we can be number one on our list. And so, I’m so excited about that.
And we are here today for the second part of the René-isms; 20 lessons for the ‘20s. If you listened to last week’s show, I started out with the first 10. And the René-isms came from actually one of my clients who tagged that. She would write down things that I was saying to her. She called them, “Oh, I have this René-ism.” Actually, wrote them on a piece of cardboard and held it up for me to see so that she could stay on track with what she was learning in our coaching sessions.
I love that. And what I particularly love about it is she was actually writing down what was coming from herself. And I’ll talk a little bit more about that in a second. But I want to give you the last 10 René-isms.
So, let’s start with number 11: Self-love is not selfish. It’s high-octane fuel. Sitting on your dreams, now that’s selfish. I run into this all the time with women who, again, have been focused on everybody else and it’s hard for them to not only see themselves, but to prioritize themselves.
And what I’ve learned is loving yourself is the best thing you can do for yourself to allow you to be your best self and give your best self. So often, you’re giving on fumes because you’re giving from a place of resentment. You’re giving from, “I should do this. I ought to do this.” You’re giving out of obligation.
When you learn how to truly love yourself and know who you are, that draws some lines for you. A lot of stuff is no longer acceptable. And that’s a great thing. Not just a good thing. That’s a great thing. So, self-love is not selfish. It fuels your life. It allows you to up-level, to contribute more, to contribute better. It’s a beautiful thing.
Number 12, keep your attention on your intention. Now, we’re in this time of year where people have set resolutions. I don’t do that. I just stay tuned into my, “Who am I?” I stay tuned into what aligns with the way I want to live my life. And I try to stay out of what distracts me from doing that.
So, keep your attention on your intention. And it is hard because we are naturally resisters to what’s best for us. We’re built that way, to resist that thing that we say we want. That includes me. I am constantly fighting resistance and distraction. And the way that I do that, the way I coach my clients to do that is messaging.
What are you telling yourself about yourself? What are you feeding yourself? What messages are you feeding yourself? I spend almost two hours every morning with messaging; the scripture that I read, the books that I read, the meditations that I listen to. I spend a lot of time on pouring into myself words and messaging that is beneficial for me because we are programmed to speak negativity to ourselves. And the only way to overlay that is with messaging that works for you. So keep your attention on your intentions.
Number 13, one of my favorites; money is simply an energy exchange. God has all the money. I did a lot of work on bad money stories last year. I worked with two different coaches and one is going to be on the show in February. You’ll hear her interview, Keisha Dixon, The Tapping Queen. And the other one, Mary Houston, I’ve mentioned them before. They do amazing work in ridding you of money blocks and money shame.
And God has all the money, I got that from Marta Beck. She’s tagged as Oprah’s life coach. Now, Oprah’s never actually had a life coach, but she uses Martha Beck, Dr. Martha Beck. She writes the monthly coaching column in O Magazine, which I love. And her life coach school, Martha Beck’s life coach school is the school that I got my certification in.
And when I hear Martha Beck say that, when I heard Martha say, “God has all the money,” I said, “Wow, this is true.” You know, we tell ourselves these stories that put us in that land of lack, scarcity, that the pie has only so many pieces and if I don’t get mine then… So we do that, compare and despair, all these kinds of things that connect to how we were raised, the money story we grew up with.
We look at other people and how they have money or don’t have money, how we have money or don’t have money. We assign all these beliefs about character, who you are, integrity. Money is simply a form of exchange and we give it way more energy than it needs to have.
So, just remember that money is simply an energy exchange. Money is used to transfer one thing to something else, one person to another person, that’s it.
Number 14, when I truly surrender, my life takes flight. Do you have a word for the year? Do you do that? I do. I like it. it’s kind of like a guiding light. And because I’m a little extra, I have two words. One of my words is surrender. When I truly surrender, my life takes flight. I have huge control issues. And I’m sure many of you do too.
And what I have learned is to stay in my lane, to do the things that are truly within my control, and leave the rest to God. I leave the rest to God. You can leave the rest to whoever you want to leave the rest to. But I leave the rest to God. I divorce myself from specific outcome.
Yes, there are things I want and I desire. What I’ve found is though, when I put a box around what I want to happen or think should happen, I’m cheating myself out of the better thing because God always, always brings it in a much bigger way than I could have ever even imagined.
You’ve heard me talk about my big birthday celebration last year when I turned 60. And for me, it was a pretty simple thing. I’d never been to Paris. I wanted to go to Paris. I asked some girlfriends, did they want to go with me? They said yes.
It ended up being, I think it was about 13 or 14 of us. We were most of the group of 20. And we ended up not only going to Paris, but we went to Marrakech, Morocco. We went to Sarlat, France. I had never even heard of Sarlat, France, and now I want to live there.
So, what I thought was just going to be a simple trip to France turned into this much, much bigger dream realized that I didn’t even know I was dreaming. But it was just absolutely incredible.
So, I have learned to treat life somewhat like a driverless car, although the concept of that makes me nervous in the real life, real world. But the metaphor of it I love because you get in the car, your turn on the ignition, you set the controls, and then you take your hands off the wheel. And that’s what I’m doing with my life now.
I live mostly intuitively now. I have learned to trust myself, to trust my spiritual GPS, my intuition, my first right mind. Whatever you want to call that, tapping into that, I have found it never leaves me wrong.
And so that leads into number 15, which is what lights me up illuminates my path. I follow love. When I allow myself to tap into my internal leading and guiding, and I am a pray and step, step and pray woman, when I follow that, my path is illuminated and I am following love.
What are the things that truly light me up? Who are the people that I truly love being around? At the end of the year – and I’m still in the process of it – I have been shedding and trashing and deleting and purging in all areas of my life. I’m embarrassed to say, a little bit – I’m not really embarrassed about it, but it’s true – I had over 100,000 emails in my inbox. Can you believe that?
At one point, I just thought, what difference does it make? And then there was this other thing, like, what if I delete something that I might need later? Forget that crap. I have gotten rid of over 60,000 emails now. I’m still in the process. But I physically felt lighter just by doing that.
And I know, there’s this big discussion. We have the camp of people who are de-clutterers and the other camp of people who, “Don’t take my stuff.” And that’s fine. I truly believe though that, for most of us, that little buzz of unnecessary stuff that we keep, no matter what form it’s in – and I’m saying unnecessary, so I have a lot of books and I will always have a lot of books. But now, I also look at it as, “Who else can I bless with this?”
If I’ve read the book and it’s not a keeper, then why can’t I transfer that to somebody else? The same with my clothes. And even with the email, even though it may seem like it’s not a big deal, I really did feel like a physical weight had been lifted from me because that was just unnecessary clutter that I could look at and see. And even though it doesn’t seem like it would have an impact, for me at least – and you may be different, but for me, just seeing that number go down made me feel so much better about my life.
Number 16, a decision is a choice, not a life sentence. I can always change my mind. This is something I coach my clients on too because we get so stuck in this thing, “Well, what if it doesn’t go well? What if I mess up? What if I make a mistake?” I’ll be talking more about mistakes and so-called failure next week, but just remember this; either you’re in the game of life or you are not.
The people who are not, those are the ones, I guess, that never make mistakes. Although that’s the biggest mistake you can make is not to participate and contribute and be all that you can be. I just can’t imagine. I can’t imagine that. But I know there are many people who make that decision and that choice.
And we always have a choice. We may not like the choices, but just acknowledging that you have one is freeing. And if it’s not working out like you want it to, course-correct. It’s just a choice. Make another one.
The only choice is, let’s see, having a baby, that, to me, you want to be pretty sure about that because you can’t give the baby back. Well, I guess you can, but you know. But you want to be careful about some decisions, but most decisions are reversable. Don’t kill anybody, those kinds of things. Those are the extremes. But most of our day to day decisions, they’re reversable. Try something because I am here talking about how to make your life better. So tr the thing that you’ve been wanting to try. Follow the nudges.
Number 17, everything good to do isn’t good for me to do. So, back to the baby thing. I’ve always known since childhood that I wasn’t meant to be a parent. I was meant to be an aunt. Everything good to do – because I think being a mom is the best and hardest job that you can have. I do, I believe that.
I just always knew it wasn’t for me. And it’s the same with things that we choose to participate in. There are just so many ways that we can give, so many ways that we can contribute. And there always has been. But the difference now, I do believe, is that because of our ability to know everything about everything in real time – I don’t care where it’s happening on the planet – we have so much information coming at us about all the horrible things that are going on in the world, the good things that are going on in the world.
We know it all if we choose to. And so, you can become overwhelmed in your participation in that. Just because something’s good to do, doesn’t mean it’s good for you to do. And the way you know that is to check in, to go in. Are you feeling lighter? Some joy? Not at everything, because everything is not easy to do. That’s not what I’m talking about; easy. I’m talking about right. Or are you feeling resentful, obligated, tired, exhausted? Then that’s probably not the lane of contribution for you.
Number 18, never be afraid to seek the mirror and look into the mirror. It’s all information. Never be afraid to seek the mirror and look into the mirror. It’s all information. So, I believe that the foundation of living your best life is knowing who you are.
What’s your, “Who am I?” And as a coach, I see myself as your mirror. I hold up the mirror so that you can truly see yourself because once you know who you are, that connects you to what you want. And then you can figure out how to get it. And that’s what I do with my coaching.
I help women see themselves, truly see themselves, who you are at this stage of life. And then we figure out what you want now that you know who you are. Then we figure out how to get it. There’s nothing to be ashamed of, or to hide from. We all are living our lives. We all have done great things, horrible things, bad things, whatever. It’s all simply information that informs your who-am-I and what you want.
Number 19, I’m not privy to God’s plan, and for me, that makes life and death arbitrary because my vision is limited. I don’t know when death is coming or not. And so, I choose to dream and live in the now. If I’m not dead, it’s not too late. And I want you to really hear that.
If you’re not dead, it’s not too late. One of the things that I’m going to be doing on the show is highlighting not too late mavens. There are some amazing women out there who are in their 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, , still doing wonderful things that show that, while they are here, they are living with a capital L.
And some of you have heard me, you know, I use The Rolling Stones as the example as the arbitrariness of life and death because they all look like death warmed over to me, and they are still rocking. Mick Jagger even had heart issues and was right back out there on the stage.
So yes, we don’t know when death is coming, but I know this; right in this moment, I am living. And when I hear about a death that grieves me, yes, I am sad. And I also am even more committed to living my best life, to living deeper, to living at a higher level of contribution, to living at a higher level of joy because I still am here.
Number 20, the final René-ism is, faith, family, friends, nothing is more important. And my commitment to myself is to live that at a deeper level. Because we talk about what we value, what we care about, but do a self-check on, how is that actually showing up for you? Do a time audit. Where are you spending most of your time and how are you spending most of your time, even when you are doing the thing that you say you value? Are you truly present?
I’m committed to walking away from my phone more when I’m with my husband to truly be with him, when I’m with my friends to not pull out the phone unless we’re taking a picture together, to be present in the conversation.
So, those are the 20 lessons for the 20s. And again, these are my lessons. I hope these have resonated for you in some way. However, I’m not living your life. Take some time to sit down and write down your own lessons. And I have a bonus for you. The bonus lesson is, living in peace doesn’t negate speaking my peace.
Those of you who know me know C. René Washington is passionate about the things that she’s passionate about and will speak up about it. so whether it’s that idiot at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue or all the stuff that’s going on in the world that connects to what – let’s see, there’s so much; climate change, politics, whatever your thing is.
I have my things that I’m passionate about, you know, friendship, you know, I am a huge believer in female friendship, I’m a huge believer in women standing up for themselves, you know, whatever the things are that are important to you, speaking your peace does not negate your living in peace, and vice versa.
Both can happen. Because if I don’t speak up about the things that I care about then that is compromising my internal peace. I hope you’ve gotten one thing from this episode and I am so excited about the rest of the year. And I have declared that February, the February episodes will be dedicated to really going in on self-love, what that looks like.
I’ve got some excellent guests coming on the show to talk to us about that. As I mentioned, we’re going to be talking about money. We’re going to be talking about what self-love and self-care really looks like, beyond just a spa treatment or a nail treatment, really going deep in on that.
I’m going to talk about all the things and we will be doing that all year. And I am here for the women who are ready to live life full-tilt. I told you, I have two words for the year; surrender and adventure.
I want to have fun this year. I want life to be joyful and that is going to be a huge light-the-path for me, that it’s got to be fun, joyful, that it’s got to allow me to contribute in a way that is enjoyable and that I am going to keep stepping and praying and leaving how that shows up to God.
So, join me in this journey this year. And as you know, as I say, we are here to live our best lives because, as mavens, 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.