Two generations of multi-faceted, multi-passionate women
ENJOY THE AUDIO RECORDING OF THIS WEEK’S BLOG BY CLICKING here OR THE PINK ICON TO LISTEN:
“You really know how to live life.”
“You’re so open and vulnerable.”
“You show people there can be magic in regular life.”
These are things people say to me a lot, and I appreciate that, because that is how I see myself, too.
And it’s by design. The way I approach my life is not by accident or by waiting for circumstances to change for me.
I let go of that thinking a long time ago.
When I work with women, I love hearing about all their “parts”–– and not just the roles that they have like wife, mom, child, sister or a job title.
I like to know what they love — what ideas get them excited, curious and motivated. I love to know what they like to do with their time right now, and what they want to do in the future.
I want to know about the dreams, thoughts and actions that make up a woman’s personhood? What drives her?
What are the things she loves or that intrigue her. And does she act on them? Why or why not?
Not everyone wants to dig that deeply in life, and that’s cool.
I honor your choices if you are if you are one of the plenty of people on the planet who don’t want to rock out your passions or opportunities that feel a little frivolous, scary, time consuming or unnecessary to to get into.
If that’s you, it’s all good. You can stop reading right here and I’ll talk to the readers that want that “something more” in life.
I figure that’s why most of you are here anyway — to take a bite out of life and tap into some adventurous personal growth. That’s what I talk about, teach and live with my life.
The question I get a lot is this:
“How do I determine what those interests or passions are for me and what does it take to act on making them a part of my life?”
So this week, here are five ways I’ve tapped into doing that in my life that I hope are helpful to you in your journey.
1 – Ask and answer this: “What are the feelings I’m craving in my life?”
A lot of people think it begins with “stuff” — whether it’s material things we want, an opportunity or a general “something to happen.” If you’re a person that starts there, ask yourself why you want the things that you want.
We want what we want because of how it makes us feel.
If you want to travel, maybe you want feel adventurous.
If you want to paint, maybe you want to feel creative.
If you want new friendships, you probably want to feel connected.
Naming your desired feelings is knowing your “why.”
Why did I want to be a counselor and a coach? I wanted to feel like I was contributing to the growth and healing that I think the world needs.
Why do I teach and participate in fitness so avidly and passionately? Because I love to feel powerful, connected, playful and strong.
Why did I say “yes” to signing on with a modeling agency at age 46? Because I love to create a fantasy and a story; because I love to amplify my beauty. Because I love to play a part and act.
2 – What were some of your dreams, wishes and fantasies that you had as a kid or teenager?
Think of the things you decided to leave behind because other parts of life intervened OR because you told yourself it was too late.
These things are worthy of your attention.
Think back to the things you found engaging when you were younger.
My husband has been passionate about music his entire life. Sure, he’s always been an avid listener and collector, but he was also in a couple of fledgling bands as a kid, and he loved that.
Life moved on — he married me, became a funeral director and we had a couple of kids.
A few years ago, he also decided to act on a whim to form a “one night only” band for his 8th grade class reunion.
The whim fueled a passion to make “one night only” a “one life only” dream come true.
He’s now the lead singer for his band that practices one night a week and plays gigs regularly around our city, and he absolutely loves it.
The 13 year old self lives on with wisdom, spirit, fun and creativity in a 50 year old man.
3 – What would you 85 year old self want to look back, smile upon and say, “Yes, I did that. I swear I lived”?
I had a woman argue with me once that her 13 year old self was a dipshit with no interests worth taking a second look at (which I’m not so sure is true, but hey — it’s her life), SO — if that is you, I would ask you to consider what you want to look back on years from now and say,
“I’m so happy / proud / amazed that I did that. I’m so glad I showed myself and my kids that life is what you make it.”
It doesn’t have to be skydiving, building a log cabin from dirt and twigs or having nude photos made of yourself.
It might be spending your time volunteering for an organization that means a lot to you.
Maybe you will look back and see how the impact of your presence on the lives of others as your legacy.
Maybe you want to travel in Europe for a summer and live in different Air BnBs to take in the culture and rhythms of cities you’ve only read about.
And well, maybe you do decide to have those nude portrait sessions (my hand is raised) and you decide you will have an art exhibit of decades of your photos when you’re in your 80s to show the seasons of a woman’s life.
My 85 year old self is so excited about this!
4 – Just show up.
If there is an opportunity that intrigues you or captures your heart and you have a chance to learn more about how it can fit into your life, show up and do it.
Go to the lecture or the information session about hiking the Appalachian Trail. Imagine scaling that dream with what you learn.
Try the yoga class. Keep showing up. Let it become your new favorite thing. One year later, sign up for the teacher training. Teach your own class where people are in love with your spirit and skill.
Or, go to an open audition at a respected talent agency (my hand is raised) to answer that inner call that you always knew you might be meant to be a model. Book the show. Get signed by the agency. Get more auditions and jobs than you ever imagined in less than a month.
I got excited, but I also surrendered my attachment to an outcome and thought “why not? — why not me?”
All because I just showed up.
5 – Don’t subscribe to the line of thinking that it’s unrealistic or scattered to fall in love with and act upon what moves you in this life.
You may tell yourself that the things you love don’t make sense with the rest of your life.
You may think embracing your different passions and facets will make you feel pulled in too many directions or will diminish your main priorities.
My experience has been that cultivating my varied dreams and desires has made me stronger in my overall mission to help women grow in their fulfillment and positively impact the world.
The more I learn about myself and do the things I love, the more I am able to give my love and my best work to other women.
There’s been some chatter in my life that my passion for deeply loving and caring for the body is “over the top.”
There’s also been an eye roll or two that my new modeling gigs are vapid opportunities that take time away from my “real” work and are a distraction.
My hand is raised … and the only “distraction” you might hear is me laughing all the way to the bank while I sign my name on the tuition checks I’m writing for my precious children.
We are here for one wild and precious life. If there are longings that tug at your heart, don’t turn your back on them.
Don’t wait too long and don’t ask for permission.