Becoming… Brilliantly Better!

Becoming: the idea that each of us is perpetually changing, that our selves are ever evolving, not stopping at some set point — with the implication that we can always become better. (Michelle Obama)

Brilliant: a diamond or other gemstone cut in a particular form with numerous facets so as to have exceptional brilliance… the cutting and polishing of a diamond crystal always results in a dramatic loss of weight; rarely is it less than 50%. (Wikipedia)

I recently had a conversation with a woman who’s been retired for a year and is floundering. She went from a long, successful career to caretaking to being at a loss now of what to do with herself. She said, ‘You’re advised to get a financial plan for retired life, but not a life plan.’ She was used to having a structure (work, caretaking) and didn’t know how to create a new one that’s internally motivated instead externally obligated.

Oh mylanta! This is so familiar and so different. After I retired, I was in burnout recovery mode, determined to never ‘work’ again. When people kept calling me for coaching, I followed through on an old desire to go through O Magazine’s life coach extraordinaire, Dr. Martha Beck’s life coaching school. I had no intention to start a business. I was keeping my skills up for ?? This is what unconsciously following your inner compass looks like. In the midst of that 9-month certification, I got a business license. A few years after receiving more coaching, I got clarity on my purpose and legacy:

helping women take intentional action in their post-retirement chapter to truly live their best life.

If you’ve been following this blog, you know I’ve been on a mini-break to become even better at serving you AND living my best life. Stepping back to move forward and…

It’s On and Poppin!

Everything ain’t for everybody. (Jill Scott)

Sooooo… in June, cReneCoach is bringing you new opportunities to drop your shxt (mental, physical, and emotional weight) and walk into YOUR Exceptional Brilliance! Becoming the YOU it’s time for you to become. Now.

If you’re scare-cited about that, that’s a great sign! If you’re just scared, then what I’m serving may not be for you. The women I serve take action through fear, invest in their change with time and/or dollars, and have a soul-deep craving to live that best life because…

“…the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” (Anais Nin) Those women!

#LetThatShxtGo! #ItsYourTime #MidlifeManifest

P.S. I want to hear from you! Respond to this email on what you need to get about living that life you’ve been craving!

  1. I’m doing free mini-sessions on practical ways to rewire your life. How to choose better thoughts that fuel better actions. How to let negative emotions work for you instead of against you. How to incorporate pleasure as a daily practice. Tell me topics you’d like addressed by sending me an email.
  2. Mark Your Calendars for the 4-Day Take The Trip Challenge, June 11-14th, 11:30am – 12:00pm CST: Kick off your summer Getting Unstuck and Moving FORWARD! Clear Emotional and Mental crap. Take life-enhancing local excursions. Plan that BIG trip you’ve been dreaming about. There will be: Fun. Prizes. Change. Yasss!!
  3. Two opportunities to travel your way to your change:
    NYC September 12-15 …The Big Bite of The Apple and Portugal September 16-20… The Midlife Manifest Retreat; only 8 spots available for each trip. Full details coming in June. Put your name on the first dibs list by sending me an email.

Money Doesn’t Guarantee Time

Ok, I’m out!

Confirmed news junkie that I am, periodically I need a break. Especially during this sunken place period of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave idiocy.

Crime, disasters, terrorism, car wrecks, fires, tsunamis, plane crashes, illness and death.

Bad as the news is, I usually circle back around to the blessings of life and what I CAN control in the midst of sometimes overwhelming feelings of helplessness: being intentional about how I spend my time.

This really hit home through one of the tragic stories coming out of the senseless Sri Lanka bombings. The richest man in Denmark, Billionaire Anders Polvsen, lost three of his four children in the attacks. Horrendous!

I respect money for ALL of the benefits it can provide. I absolutely do. But money doesn’t protect us from the arbitrariness of life and death. I believe in the omnipotence of God, while accepting that I’m not omnipotent.

So, with each moment, hour, day that I’m graced to experience, I purpose to live them as deep, wide, and gratefully as possible. Wasting time being afraid to live in and on purpose is just that… a waste of time and supremely selfish. More people benefit from our best than our barely!

I frequently talk to women who say “one day,” “someday,” “need to”, “ought to,” “should but,” etc.

I work with women who say, “ENOUGH!” “I’m giving myself,” “allowing myself,” “reclaiming my time,” “because if not now, when?”

Which one are you?

P.S. If you’re ready, let’s talk. It’s a free life enhancing conversation that will leave you in a better place. Schedule here.

Have Your Rituals Become Ruts?

ritual: any practice or pattern of behavior regularly performed in a set manner

rut: a fixed or established mode of procedure or course of life, usually dull or unpromising

When you see or hear the word ritual what comes to mind? Holidays? Religion? Family? Vacations?

My mom’s death in 2011 upended most of my rituals. She was the queen of ‘this is what you do when…’ and while my poor dad tried his best to maintain the ritual traditions (until his death last year), they’ve never been the same. And why was I holding on to ‘same’? Holding on to the impossible? Thankfully, I’ve finally let that shxt go!

Everything must change,

Nothing stays the same.

Everyone must change

Nothing stays the same.

The young become the old,

Mysteries do unfold.

‘Cause that’s the way of time...
(Songwriter: Benard Ighner © Universal Music Publishing Group)

It can be harrrrrd to let go of what can no longer be or what no longer serves us. The more I thought about my now being an adult orphan, the more I began to see ‘new’ instead of only loss. In examining and reassessing rituals, habits, traditions, etc., I’m struck by how close the definitions of ritual and rut are to each other. What I’m finding is that many of them are ‘shoulds’ that I’m more than happy to let go:

  • Mr. Washington and I have very different temperature preferences in hotel rooms and instead of our both being miserable, we either get adjoining rooms or a suite with multiple rooms and bathrooms so we can dress in comfort.
  • The church that most aligns with my spiritual, cultural, and political beliefs is a Baptist church in Alexandria, VA (it’s had female deacons since the ’70s!). YAYYY for live streaming.
  • I’m in the third year of renting a vehicle. Originally it was because my car died, we were planning to leave the country, and I didn’t want to purchase and then store a car. Family illnesses kept us stateside and now I do it because I LOVE driving with no maintenance accountability.

What ruts are you stuck in that are clothed in habit, ritual, tradition, or shoulds and oughts?? Make a list and assess. One of my favorite things to do with my clients is bust through one of their ‘shoulds’ they accept as fact. And let me tell you, if you want to drop some weight, release your shoulds aka shxt.

#LetThatShxtGo! #ItsYourTime #MidlifeManifest

Special Opportunity!
Be one of 50 smart women making a small commitment of time and money to reap the HUGE payoff of finally living life grounded in their priorities… not obligations. Send an email saying ‘Yes! to this blog post ASAP and get full details on the May 3rd, Retire to Thrive Workshop. We’re saving you gas (it’s online) and sending you swag (YAY!) PLUS there’s a Juicy Bonus for the first five paid participants (a TWO hour follow-up coaching session with me!). Response deadline is Wednesday, May 24th! See full details here.

Life is Not a Snooze Button

Ugh! Five more minutes. Burrow in covers. Five more minutes. Rush. Late.

“Life is not a snooze button.” My husband aka Mr. Washington dropped this pearl on me and our trainer while giving me a hard time for getting to our class late. Coach Peggy and I stopped in our tracks because we instantly felt the bigger life application of that statement.

I thought about all of the times I hit the snooze button on my life. Literally by burying myself under the covers to avoid the day and figuratively by avoiding The Thing that scared me. And every time I caved to F.E.A.R. (false evidence appearing real) through avoidance, self-sabotage, imposter syndrome, worry about O.P.P. (other people’s perceptions)… hitting the snooze button in a myriad of ways, it only delayed my growth, my expansion, my up-level.

Yes, sometimes delay worked in my favor or at least didn’t kill the opportunity but mostly, it was simply a waste of time I’ll never get back.

What desired change finds you hitting the snooze button? What opportunity are you avoiding?

Let that shxt go! Get UP! Get ON IT! Ta-day!!

#ItsYourTime #MidlifeManifest

P.S. Stop snoozing and hit the YES! button on at least one of two ways I can help you live in freedom, contribution and purpose on YOUR terms:

  1. Be one of 50 smart women making a small commitment of time and money to reap the HUGE payoff of finally living life grounded in their priorities… not obligations. Send me an email saying ‘Yes!’ to this blog post ASAP and get full details on the May 3rd, Retire to Thrive workshop. We’re saving you gas (it’s online) and sending you swag  (YAY!) PLUS there’s a Juicy Bonus for the first five paid participants (a TWO hour follow-up coaching session with me!)
  2. Do you have your ticket to the Self-Love Explosion Tour... Where Passion Meets Power on April 20th in Birmingham, AL? If not, why not?? Missing it will be an unnecessary regret. Get your ticket [here hyperlink  https://selfloveexplosiontourbham.eventbrite.com


I’m So Excited And I Just Can’t Hide It!

Image of Rene

When you read this, I’ll either be about to leave for or I’ll be on my way to Lisbon, Portugal. In September, I’m taking the women in my Midlife Manifest Sistermind to Portugal to celebrate their courageous six-month journey to living their BEST LIFE and this trip is to complete the planning. Sweeeeet!!

Women often comment on how I live my life and the comments usually sound as if the things I do happen because I’m special. I AM special and so are you. The only difference between me (and my clients) and the women who aren’t living the life they want is that we said Yes.

Yes, in spite of misgivings. Yes, in spite of fear. Yes, when we couldn’t see two steps in front of us.

Yes, because walking THROUGH fear INTO my gift…

helped a woman start her own business…

helped a woman leave the job that was suffocating her…

helped a woman start a foundation…

helped a woman start doing her passion work as a side gig until she retires…

helped a woman hire accountability to take control of her health…

helped a woman step into her dream work without making her husband feel abandoned…

helped a woman teach her husband how to treat her with respect…

helped a woman decide not to kill herself.

The work I do excites the hell out of me (literally) because it gives me a birds-eye view of women (re)igniting excitement and passion in their lives and that cascades down to touch many others who benefit from them living in their purpose and gifts.

Helping you live your Best Life IS my best life. And that’s golden.

#LetThatShxtGo! #ItsYourTime #MidlifeManifest

P.S. Ready to stop letting fear of hard keep you from your good thing?:

  1. Sign up for the Midlife Manifest Sistermind. It’s the transformation that sticks program. If you’d like to learn how you can 180 your life in six months, shoot me an email with “I’m Ready” in the subject line.
  2. Love to walk OR need motivation to get MOVING? Walk That Shxt Out! is your ticket! Get coaching messages perfectly curated for listening to while walking, running, or cycling.
  3. Come see me LIVE April 20th, along with the three other FAB women of Living Well Woman for our Self Love Explosion Tour…Where Passion and Power Meet! You don’t want to miss this!! Get ticket and sponsorship information here.

The 3-Trip Salad

The 3 Trip Salad Rene image

You know that dish you love? The one you can always count on to taste yummy and make you feel yummy? One of mine (I’m X-tra so I have several!) is the Greek salad with shrimp, no feta from Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafe. The lettuce and vegetables are always fresh and crisp. The shrimp is always grilled to succulent perfection.

Mr. Washington picks up this salad for me at least once a week, and on a recent run, by the time I got it I wasn’t hungry and saved it for the next day. When I opened the box, the salad was covered with feta. I HATE feta!

Decision: do I scrape it out or take it back? I’m almost 60 and my ‘make-do’ button is getting weaker and weaker. I called them and went back to get the replacement. They apologized and gave me dessert for my trouble. WIN! Returned home, opened the box and NO SHRIMP! I burst out laughing. It’s 2:00, I’ve only eaten a handful of nuts and raisins early that morning, and I’m ready to eat!! I get back in my car, return, and we all crack up about it. I’ve been getting this salad for years so they have a lot of grace with me, and it also made me think about this:

Getting to your “good thing” can involve some twists, turns, roadblocks, frustration, kraziness… even some pain. And we need to remember that when we’re keeping ourselves stuck and stymied because the path is harrrrd. Because we may have to start again. And again. If what you want is truly worth the trouble…

Let that shxt go!

Get clear on what you want. (Hint: ‘who you are’ clarity helps tremendously with this.)

Create a plan for getting it.

Get IT!!

#ItsYourTime #MidlifeManifest

P.S. Ready to stop letting fear of hard keep you from your good thing?:

  1. Sign up for the Midlife Manifest Sistermind. It’s the transformation that sticks program. If you’d like to learn how you can 180 your life in six months, shoot me an email with “I’m Ready” in the subject line.
  2. Love to walk OR need motivation to get MOVING? Walk That Shxt Out! is your ticket! Get coaching messages perfectly curated for listening to walking, running, or cycling.
  3. Come see me LIVE April 20th, along with the three other FAB women of Living Well Woman for our Self Love Explosion Tour…Where Passion and Power Meet! You don’t want to miss this!! Get ticket and sponsorship information here.

Your Million Dollar Presence

Your million dollar presence image

“I changed my mind. I’m not going.” I said this to my husband about an upcoming trip to NYC. It was a solo excursion to see a play, a Frida Kahlo exhibit, and to support one of favorite business coach’s big book launch. Fun! Fun! Fun!

But then, inexplicably, I stopped feeling excited. I thought my body compass was signaling that there was a reason for me to cancel. And I’ve learned (the hard way!) to not ignore my body compass. It wasn’t a definitive no go, though.

Body compass is our internal GPS that signals our truth even when our brains may be lying to us. The brain lies to protect us, not harm us. It’s our original coding that was needed to prevent imminent death from lurking lions, tigers, and bears (Oh my!). While most of us no longer live in that kind of ever-present danger, the brain still has that wiring and what happens now is that everyday stressors are magnified to Danger! Danger! Level. Did you know that we experience negative emotions at a rate of about five times that of positive emotions?? This is why insecurities and anxieties can derail us for no good reason, other than internal wiring.

And it hit me. I wasn’t being warned away from some potential ‘danger.’ I’d come down with a case of the ‘insecures!’ I was going to be in the room with a group of kick-ass million dollar business people (mostly women) and who was I to be in that room?

Oh, MYLANTA!! Who was I??? THIS is the kraziness we put ourselves through… even sometimes a kick ass coach like me!

We discount the totality of who we are: I’ve got over 30 years of coaching experience between corporate and running my business and have already earned over a million dollars.

We believe value = stuff: I have a MILLION DOLLAR PRESENCE. When someone engages with me, I leave them better than I found them. When you’re coached by me, your life improves exponentially.

Positively impacting the lives of others in whatever way you do is priceless. Choosing NOT to show up fully in your gift is a tragedy.

Soooo… I flipped my faulty script, took the trip, and had an incredible time! I gave and I received.

What faulty thinking is holding YOU back from showing up in your million dollar presence?

Let that shxt go!

P.S. The world needs your million dollar presence. Here are three paths to FULLY showing up in your gift and purpose: (Serious action-takers, go straight to #2!)

  1. Join The Midlife Manifest Group and connect with other women who are in midlife transition. This is my Facebook community where successful retire-to-thrive women learn how to get more ‘who I am’ clarity, stop living hijacked lives, and live in purpose with passion. Click here to join.
  2. Sign up for the Midlife Manifest Sistermind. I just kicked off my transformation that sticks program. If you’d like to learn what you need to do to make serious life changes in 2019, reply to this email with ‘I’m Ready’ in the subject line.

Work with my team and me privately. If you’d like to work directly with my team and me to help you live a more passionate and FREE life, simply reply to this message and put “Private” in the subject line. Tell me a little about your life and what you’d like to work on together and I’ll get you all the details!

Be Careful What You Ask For…

This is always spoken in a tone of foreboding, right? Patience, more money, new love. Be careful, because the troubles will come in order for you to receive it. It’s a feast or famine mentality that keeps us living small and supposedly safe.

I chose ‘systems’ as my word for the year because I ended last year on fumes and needed better organization for the back-end of my business. Whew! I hired a kick-A online business management group (The Launch Guild), and while transferring everything over to them to set up new work structures hasn’t been fun, I can already tell a difference in HOW I work. Their structures are forcing me to be more structured.

Schedules. Structures. Routines. I ran from these words because they didn’t represent freedom to me. I left the corporate grind to do what I want, when I want. As with most things, it’s the happy middle that wins the day! Yes, in corporate, I was under someone else’s dictates. Now, CHOOSING the schedules, structures, and routines that work for the way I opt to live my life IS the path to freedom. I didn’t hire a new hammer. I hired accountability to help me get what I want.

So, yes … I’m careful in what I ask for, not out of fear of the path to getting it, but in the assurance that it’s truly what I want. It’s this same kind of accountability that gets my clients what THEY want.

#LetThatShxtGo! #ItsYourTime #MidlifeManifest

P.S. Ready for what you’re asking for? Here are three paths to getting it: (Serious action-takers, go straight to #2!)

  1. Join The Midlife Manifest Group and connect with other women who are in midlife transition. This is my Facebook community where successful retire-to-thrive women learn how to get more ‘who I am’ clarity, stop living hijacked lives, and live in purpose with passion. Click here to join.
  2. Sign up for the Midlife Manifest Sistermind. I just kicked off my transformation that sticks program. If you’d like to learn what you need to do to make serious life changes in 2019, reply to this email with ‘I’m Ready’ in the subject line.
  3. Work with my team and me privately. If you’d like to work directly with my team and me to help you live a more passionate and FREE life, simply reply to this message and put “Private” in the subject line. Tell me a little about your life and what you’d like to work on together and I’ll get you all the details!

Did Someone Throw Me In The Path Of An 18-Wheeler?

Recently, my back was giving me fits. A simple turn on a flight pulled a muscle that threw me into tremendous pain. After rest, home remedies, and even a muscle relaxer from the doctor didn’t completely rid me of the pain, I decided to try one more thing: more movement. I returned to my strength training sessions and went to a new class called POUND.

POUND is “the world’s first cardio jam session inspired by the infectious, energizing and sweat-dripping fun of playing the drums.” Had a blast! The instructor warned us that we’d be really sore the next day, which only slightly registered with me because beating sticks to movement didn’t seem that intense. WRONG!! The next morning, places in my body that I didn’t know existed hurt like hell! And it was strength class day! I made it to class that day and the life metaphor was clear to me:

Good pain squashes bad pain.

By the end of that week, I was still exercise-sore, but the pull in my back was gone. Yessss!! And this is what I also experience … what my clients experience with life change.

Deciding to leave that long (and ‘safe’) career, eliminating toxic relationships, starting a business, drawing strong boundaries, taking a chance on new love … these are HARD decisions and transitions. And when I say good, I don’t mean feel good, I mean necessary pain. Because on the other side of good pain…

FREEDOM!

When my clients struggle with making the tough moves, I ask, “Are you suffering now?” The response is always, “Yes!” And my response is always, “Then stop suffering for more suffering and make your suffering count for your good.” Creating a strategy for living life on YOUR terms is the best thing you can do for yourself. This quote from an 86-year old trapeze artist I saw featured on the news keeps bubbling up: “I do what I love and I do it TOTALLY.”

For me … for my clients, it’s TOTALLY from here on out! What about you??

#LetThatShxtGo! #ItsYourTime #MidlifeManifest

P.S. If you know the value of good pain, here are three ways I can help you get you to your TOTALLY:

  1. Join The Midlife Manifest Group and connect with other women who are in midlife transition. This is my Facebook community where successful retire-to-thrive women learn how to get more ‘who I am’ clarity, stop living hijacked lives, and live in purpose with passion. Click here to join.
  2. Sign up for the Midlife Manifest Sistermind. I just kicked off my transformation that sticks program. If you’d like to learn what you need to do to make serious life changes in 2019, reply to this email with ‘I’m Ready’ in the subject line.
  3. Work with my team and me privately. If you’d like to work directly with my team and me to help you live a more passionate and FREE life, simply reply to this message and put “Private” in the subject line. Tell me a little about your life and what you’d like to work on together and I’ll get you all the details!

My Dating Profile

A lot of people have mixed opinions on dating profiles and I’ve admittedly been on the ‘not for me’ side of the equation. Recently, my opinion evolved … not to start dating. I’m married to the incomparable Mr. Washington, so that’s out. LOL! A dating profile is all about distilling your amazingness into a few questions to attract the right one for you. It can feel like a lot of pressure, but after seeing some friends experience success with it, I now find the process can be a cool way to get clarity on what you want. For fun, I decided to create a little dating profile here but with a twist. It’s my “dating profile” for the type of women I LOVE working with the most. I guess it’s my “business profile.”  

Here we go:

Name: c.Rene Washington aka The Mindset Maven

Occupation: Life Coach

Self-Summary: I help successful midlife career women let their shxt go and rock their retirement years by living in their purpose and passion!

I’m a kick-ass master certified life coach who helps women flip their ‘everybody else’ script to one that prioritizes their dreams and desires because I believe midlife years are the best years for women to fully step into their power and passion.

I’m Really Good At: Giving premium support to women who want to maximize their post-career years by getting rock solid certainty on who they are, what they want, the plan to get it … and keep it.

Interests: Broadway FAN-atic. Hubby road trips. Girlfriend excursions. Books. ALL the arts(dance, great t.v., movies, art exhibits). Coaching retreats. Jigsaw puzzles. Shaking my groove thing. Dessert.

What I’m looking for: Midlife women near the end of successful careers who are ready to focus on themselves and want more than a financial plan, you want a life plan OR you’re already retired and need a pivot plan

Favorite quote:  Let that shxt go!

You should message me if… you want to create a life strategy that frees you from living other people’s priorities and lets you FINALLY live that life you’ve been craving.

(P.S. — You really can message me here or here)

#LetThatShxtGo! #ItsYourTime #MidlifeManifest