The Inviting Shift Podcast

S2 Episode 23: Who Am I Now: Embracing the Midlife Transition

November 21, 2023 Christina Smith Season 2 Episode 23
The Inviting Shift Podcast
S2 Episode 23: Who Am I Now: Embracing the Midlife Transition
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Welcome shifters! Are you ready to face the question we've all been dodging: Who am I now? In the throes of midlife, with our children growing up, careers morphing, and a sudden abundance of free time, let's confront this new stage head-on. No more hiding in the comfort zone! In this episode, we'll seek answers, guided by our values, gifts, and desires. Armed with easy strategies, you'll uncover who you are beyond the roles you've known so far. It's time to embark on this incredible journey of self-discovery and redefine your identity.

In an empowering session, we'll unlock your unique gifts and cravings, aligning them to form your life's vision. Beyond the labels of mother, grandmother, sister, or daughter, you'll explore your true essence and what truly sets your soul on fire. The intentional and aligned approach will be our compass, leading us to pin down our intentions and align our choices with what we desire. The question is no longer 'Who am I now?' but 'Who do I want to become?' Let's delve into the world of possibilities and embrace this new phase with open arms and hearts. Embrace the transformation, shifters! It's time to reveal your true essence.

Join us in the Modern Midlife Mentorship.

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Speaker 1:

Welcome back shifters. I am so excited about this topic for this week because I know that we're all asking this question. I ask it of myself all of the time and it's this huge question we always want to answer who am I? And in midlife that changes a bit because we have a lot of different things going on. It's almost like adolescence, right where we're going into this huge new phase of our lives, and often it's called the second adolescence. So let's talk about some of the changes in midlife.

Speaker 1:

What might be happening is our kids are growing up and maybe leaving the house. We might be settled in our careers, maybe so settled that we kind of feel stuck. We don't really want to stay where we are. It was great because it paid the bills and now we're just kind of bored. So there's a lot of career transitions that can happen in midlife. Women might be going back to school. You might have more time on your hands, and so you're wondering what you want to do with it. Maybe it's volunteering, maybe it's just wondering like, what is it that's next? Because many of us checked all of the boxes that we thought we were supposed to check when we got grown up and now it's like we didn't even plan anything for the second half of our lives. And it's here now, and so I just want us to start thinking about this question who am I now? Because we're not the same person we were in our 20s or 30s or teens or before. We are new creatures. We have new gifts, we have new skills. We have so much more to look forward to.

Speaker 1:

We could settle into this comfort zone, which is where we start feeling stuck. This is when we have a midlife crisis, because we get stuck in this comfort zone. We're like, okay, we're making enough money, we can pay the bills, maybe we're saving, maybe we're getting some toys that we like, but I'm just kind of feeling stuck. What's next? Right. And so sometimes, when we get into midlife, we also either want to ask ourselves what's next, or we tend to get really comfortable where we are. We get into this comfort zone and our world shrinks around us. Right, because when we get into our comfort zone, we're not growing, we're usually resting and staying where we are. So we can get a. Let's just settle for this. This is good enough. I should, I should be grateful, and that's where I was about 10 or 15 years ago. I should be grateful, and yet I cried on the way to work every day because it didn't feel right for me. And so if you're feeling that, I want you to know that settling doesn't give us our best life. Settling means that if we lived 40 or 50 years already and we might have 30, 40, 50 more, what are we gonna do with that time? The first half probably had so much energy and so much stuff jammed packed into it, but we haven't planned any of this stuff. So in order to get the clarity on what we want next, we first have to get really clear on who am I, so that we can start expanding that comfort zone again into places that feel good, not to struggle, not to give ourselves humongous challenges unless that's your thing but so that we feel good about the growth that we continue to have.

Speaker 1:

So midlife is an interesting place to be asking ourselves who am I now? Because we're shifting these identities. We may have been parents for decades, right, and now suddenly our parenting identity is shifting as they leave the house, as they are more self-sufficient. Where is my mother? Energy now, right, and this can be really daunting for a lot of people, because they've built so much of their identity on being Caleb's mom or Angie's mom, and so when we get to midlife and these children start leaving, part of the grief is the grief of that identity. Not just the grief of losing them, but losing part of who we are, we know ourselves to be, and we should always be asking ourselves who am I now? Who am I now right Now that my full-time mom moming is done? Who am I now?

Speaker 1:

And this can happen even if you don't have kids. It could be that part of you that wants to rethink career as well. So, meaning, who am I now If I don't like the career that I'm in and I want something different? Who am I now? I have different skills and gifts and callings right. So this is a big question who am I now?

Speaker 1:

And a lot of people don't know how to approach this conversation with themselves, but I'm gonna give you some really easy ways of determining who we are, what we truly are, beyond our identities, beyond the way that we have known ourselves in the past, what is absolutely true about us that we can look at in order to really start answering this question. And so there's three areas that we're gonna talk about today in this short episode is values, gifts and what we desire, and these are some of the truest factors down to who we are. So the first one is values. What do we value most? I know this can be really hard. There's lots of values lists out there that you can look at in order to just peruse them and see which ones light you up and which ones really feel true to you.

Speaker 1:

But there's also this really beautiful social media out there, which I know some of you are gonna say that's not so beautiful, but it can be, in that it shows us what's important to us. I get lots of animal videos, I get lots of crocheting videos and art videos on my timeline because those things are important to me. They might be like, well, those aren't values, but there are values underneath them, right? I have a value in creativity is a value of mine that I love to be creative. So there goes my crocheting and my art underneath those animals. It's like I really care about animals and I really love to see happy animals and I love to see how people care for animals, even though they don't have to necessarily. So there's values underneath the things that social media is actually offering us and it tells us what's important to us, because we've probably watched so many animal videos before that they're showing up now. I also have coaches that show up on my timeline business coaches and it really starts telling me which coaches are most important by the ads that are coming up. I know that sounds really strange, but I want you just to perhaps look at that. So there's a couple of ways to go over these values. One, you can go find value lists out there there's tons of them, lists of values and really see what lights you up. And two, just start looking at the things that are curated for you. You might find, you might even start wondering, like, why is this video and why do these types of ads come up? And there's probably some kind of value underneath it. So, starting to look at that, what's suggested for you? Sometimes these algorithms know us better than we know ourselves. So that's one way that, or a couple of ways that we can go look at our values. So we want to combine this list of values and this tells us a lot about what's important to us right, what's important to us. And then we're going to move on to gifts Gifts, also gifts and magic and strengths.

Speaker 1:

They all tell us a little bit more about who we are. We may have gotten these gifts and strengths from places we didn't want to get them Some trauma or bad things you know quote-unquote bad things that happened to us in the past. But sometimes we get gifts by just. You know the experiences that we have. So not only do you still have those gifts that you might have had 20 years ago, 30 years ago, but you have grown into new gifts and strengths that being a mom has brought out gifts and strengths. Being in your career for decades has probably brought out gifts and strengths. There are strengths and gifts that we have learned along the way, what we have learned right From all of these experiences. And we want to connect with that part of us, because so often we're really stuck in the what's not right yet and we forget that there's so much that we actually have within ourselves that we can empower ourselves with. So we want to look at all of the gifts, all of the experiences we have, and what are those gifts that come out of it.

Speaker 1:

And there's three ways that I have my clients look at their gifts and strengths. First, I have them write a list of what they think their gifts and strengths are, which you know. Sometimes it's really fast. Sometimes people can go on pages and pages. Either way is fine. The second thing you want to do to look for your gifts is reach out to your friends and say what are three things you love about me, what are three things that you think I'm really awesome at? And I love this part because people are always afraid to ask and yet when they get the answers back, they are like shocked and amazed at how other people see them and the gifts that other people think that they have. Some of them corroborate what they already put down on their list, but often they bring new gifts that they hadn't even thought about. So I invite you to go ask five to ten people that you know family, friends, co-workers, whatever what are some of the things that I do really well, that you think my gifts or my strengths are, and you're going to get great answers.

Speaker 1:

The third thing is to look at our golden shadow, and I've talked about this before in the podcast, but often when we think about shadow work, we're thinking about all those things that we don't like about ourselves because we're repressing and denying them, but the other golden part of that, the golden shadow, means that I admire people, right. I see women that I admire in my life and there's certain qualities about them that I'm like, oh, I wish I was that graceful. Well, the thing is about shadow is, if we recognize it in someone else, we also have that within us, good or bad. And so when we start looking or thinking about women or men whatever people that we really admire and we start breaking down the qualities that we really really like about them, we can write that down on our gifts and strengths too. Because we have that or we wouldn't be able to recognize it, we may not be bringing it out the way that they are. We might have passed wounds that say no showboating or no showing off to other people. So maybe we've hid those gifts because we don't want other people to see them or criticize them. But there's some reason we're not bringing them out. And yet if we see them in other people, they are definitely ours. So we can write them down on our list and we can figure out how to bring them out more when we want to right.

Speaker 1:

So our gifts and our strengths are unique to us. We have we each have this different mixture of gifts and strengths that I think are really important for us to acknowledge, so that we're not always in the I'm not enough and comparing ourselves to these people that we admire and then telling ourselves that we'll never be as good or we'll never be able to shine like they do, and the reason we aren't is because we're not focused on these gifts and strengths. So I want us to do that. So so far, we covered that you're gonna look at your values and then you're gonna look at your gifts okay, gifts and strengths.

Speaker 1:

And the last piece is what I think is most important is what we desire, and I think Danielle LaPorte says something like desire is the closest truth we have to who we are. So desire like a vision board, right, like, if you've ever put together a vision board, it's a picture, a board of all the things that I really want in my life, my goals list, basically. Well, desire, this want of these things, is telling us a lot of truth about who we are and to me, because of my intentional online program, I believe it's the most important part of who we are. So that vision board, all the things that we want that are on that vision board, are there because we want to feel a certain way and we think, if we get that house, if we get that car, that vacation, that we are going to feel that way when we get there. And that doesn't always work right, because I got to tell you when I was young, my mother said here's a list of the things that you need to check. You check the boxes right. Your college degree, getting a good job, being able to pay your own bills, buy a house, get a husband and a child right All of those things did not make me happy, and the reason that is is because we can't wait to be happy when we get there.

Speaker 1:

So a vision board is like it's great to strive, or even sacrifice sometimes, in order to get what we want, but we also should be bringing that with us, meaning if I want to be happy when I get there, I need to infuse happiness into my life. Now I can bring happy into my everyday choices. I can make sure that the choices I'm making are aligned with happiness, not just my old defaults of ways of doing things. And so desire tells us who we are and what's most important to us. So if we can get to the feelings that are behind that vision board, that those feelings are the truth of who we are. I want to feel passionate, I want to feel love, I want to feel compassion, I want to feel excited, I want to feel radiant. Whatever it is, we have to make choices for that now, and that really tells us who we are and what we want. So when you think about this beautiful life that you want, maybe even do a visualization around the perfect life and this could be imaginary as well there's often flying zebras in my imagination.

Speaker 1:

But it's not about the things. It's about reaching for those feelings that we want to feel, and I know that we all can say that we want to be happy. But I want you to go deeper, like what does happy feel like for you? Is that feeling passionate? Is that feeling creative? Is that feeling confident? What is that happy for you? Right, and that will tell us a lot more.

Speaker 1:

So now we have these three lists. We have our values, what's important to me, we have the gifts, what I bring to the table, and then we have our desire, which is what we truly crave underneath those feelings, and if we put those together, this now becomes a really good picture of who am I without the identities that we can fall into like old woman or mom or grandma or sister or daughter, without all of those labels. This is going to tell us the true essence of who we are, and I would love to hear how yours turns out. So I would love you to go do the values, figure out what's really truly important to you, do the gifts really find out what's so special about you, what you bring to the table because you bring a lot, I promise and then what we desire, the truth of how we truly want to feel, and if we can bring all of that together, we start getting a clearer picture of who I actually am without all of the labels, which is so, so important.

Speaker 1:

I also just want to mention that we do have the intentional and aligned method, which is the way to get the clearest on these desires and then create intentions from our desire so that we can align with them, meaning we make all of our choices that are just going to bring us more of that feeling, and I can teach you how to do that in the intentional, aligned method. I hope that you'll check it out. That's all I have for you today. It's a short one because I want you to go do the daying work. Go, spend five or ten minutes at least getting started on your values, your gifts and your desires so you can do that internal work of figuring out who am I now. I hope that was helpful. Shifters, have a great week.

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