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Episode 49: Shining Through the Cellulite (and other unwanted life events)

aging with grit and grace ask the right questions in life cellulite finding your purpose s.o.f.t. & strong pathway Dec 05, 2021
 

Several thousand women of all ages were surveyed in the UK by one of their health and wellness companies. They were asked: "At what age do you start worrying about getting older?"

Do you know what they found out? They found out that it's in our thirties where we start to notice and stress over signs of aging.

Now I think this is very true because do you remember when you were around that age - maybe you had had a baby or two, you were starting to get that mature woman body look to you and you discovered... the cellulite.

Do you remember the feeling that you had? For me, It was like, "Oh no, I'm no longer a young girl. It's happening! I'm getting old."

Now I may have mentioned this before, but it's a true observation that I have made about us as women in our forties. We not only worry about cellulite, we start to worry and watch for all the other signs of aging.

You know - the sagging chin, the jowls, the chin hair, the wrinkles, the saggy baggies... all those things that start to happen to our bodies. And we equate that with aging.

Well, unfortunately, that's not the only thing that happens in our forties. It's about that time when a lot of women come to the conclusion that the way my life is today is the way my life is going to be.

It may not be the way it was supposed to turn out but it's the way it's going to be. They settle into being who they are - as they are, in that decade because they believe that it's now set in stone. Set in cement.

The Heart...on a Path

It's easy to fall into this trap. To believe that your imprint is already set in that stone so early on. And it really is early. To believe there's not much you can do to change who you are.

Let's float up into the air above our lives for a moment and take in the Big Picture. There's the Path. See the past and how far you've come? See the future you still have to live going off into the sunset?

And there's you. On the Path. A Heart. In a body.

When you were born, you entered that path. When you die, you will leave that path. In between, now make this distinction...you are not a body walking that path - you HAVE a body - but you are not that body.

You are a heart inside that body.

 

Kaboom! Bombs, Boulders and Rocks

Now lots of stuff happens while you walk this Path.

Bombs drop on you out of the blue, right? Not in your control. They catch you off guard.

Boulders flatten you - things that surprise you in your day to day life that are very difficult to get out from underneath sometimes.

And, of course, there are the other people on their paths walking beside you who throw rocks at you. For some reason, they feel as if they have to toss their words at you to hurt you or they feel that they have to put expectations on you.  It's what they think they need to do to make themselves feel better. Safe. Secure. 

All kinds of things happen along the way. Most of it - the bombs, the boulders, the rocks - are not in our control.

My sister, Colleen, is an example of someone who recently experienced a huge BOMB in her life. Just two years ago, her husband suddenly died from a massive heart attack doing what he loved. He was working when he was just suddenly taken. Gone immediately, he felt no pain. The doctor said he didn't even know what hit him before he hit the ground.

He was gone but he left my sister behind. Soulmates, they had been married for well over 40 years. He was her rock. It was very difficult for her, of course. A shock.

She's been adjusting and adapting but, as we've talked together through the whole experience that she's going through, the conclusion we have to come to terms with is that it was simply his time to go.

And for some reason, she's still here.

She's still here to live with that. To decide, to make the decision about how she's going to handle it. Now she could have curled up and died inside, coasting along until it was her time to go, too, right?

She could have done that. She could have just given up. What quality of life would she have then?

Instead, I've been blessed to see that her philosophy is that "I have a reason to still be here."

She was already writing and learning to write better. Her mission is to encourage women through her teaching to know their God, to hold his hand through all of the tough stuff - the bombs, the boulders, the rocks that get thrown at them in this life.

She helps them to understand that pain is difficult but there is hope in the middle of that pain. And she has the first hand experience to speak to this.

The other side of this is seen in another woman I know who had a totally opposite reaction to losing her husband. He died about 20 years ago and she has not yet recovered. She hasn't healed.

A part of her, a large, large part of her - did just curl up and die with him. In her mind, she says, "I'm missing the best part of my life. It left when he left. He's gone. So my life is over. I can't live fully without him here."

I have always felt sad for her.

 

The danger that will stop you in your tracks

There is such a danger when we allow what happens to us be what stops us from living. Causes us to sit down and quit. As if we're in a mud puddle.

Looking at our bodies and seeing all the saggy baggies and the cellulite and the wrinkles, the big circles under our eyes, the gray in our hair seems minor compared to losing the one you loved most in all the world but it can nearly have the same affect.

We have to be careful that our main focus doesn't end up on aging OR we will age.
We will get old and tired and sick, lose our drive and our beauty.

I'm going to show you a better way.

The trap of thinking that "who I am has been decided" happens because we are actually telling our brains to look for proof of that. Maybe you hadn't really thought about it but you are the boss of your brain. You tell it to focus in a certain direction and it listens. It will.

We are always asking ourselves questions. The question may be, "How do I get through the rest of my life without my spouse? Or how do I get through the rest of my life when I'm so old and feeling as if it's too late for me?"

Guess what! Change the question and you change your whole life because you change your focus.

When you ask your brain a question, your brain, being the absolutely amazing instrument that it is, will go looking for the answer.

Let me explain a little scientific tidbit here. It's because of something called, "The Reticular Activating System".

I've been in a Tony Robbins event when he demonstrates this in a very simple way. He asks his attendees to look around the room and find everything they can that is blue. Blue, blue, blue.

Then he asks them to close their eyes and remember everything they saw that was RED.

Try it with someone and you'll see that they draw a blank because they were focusing on "blue".

That's how it works in life, too. When you are saying, "How am I going to get through the rest of my life when all of this has happened to me and all of this is wrong with me?", your brain is going to look for the answer (as it always does) and come back with something like, "Yeah, your life really sucks. It's a terrible place to live. How ARE you going to survive? Tell you what... let's pull back. Let's keep you safe."

All you see is what is wrong.

You can imagine what "staying safe" involves. No risks. No stepping outside of comfort zones. No taking chances.

 

Something more to do. Shining through the cellulite.

Now. Imagine if, instead, you asked this question:  "What am I here to do?"

"What am I here to do? Who am I and what can I give?"

When we get into our forties, move into our fifties and then our sixties, many of us focus on aging. On what we're losing. On what we have lost. We focus on the flaws - the cellulite.

We start to think the cellulite we see defines us as someone who is wearing out, imperfect, getting old and useless, becoming irrelevant. And so we start to watch for proof that nobody wants to listen to us, that maybe we're becoming "invisible".

The better place to focus would be to say, "Whoa, here. I am not my body. I deal with what my body is doing but it isn't me. My age doesn't tell me who I am. Or tell others who I am. If I'm still here, I have something more to do.

So what am I here to do?"

Let me tell you about a powerful tool that will totally change your perspective as it did mine.

 

Find your 'word'.

Each of us has a 'word'.  A word that sums up what we're meant to do.

It's not a word that leads you, necessarily, to a great glorious purpose like rescuing the world or stopping world hunger or bringing world peace. (though maybe it will).

Our word gives us the permission we need to SHINE where we are.

To love, to bring joy, to help others in some way.To encourage. Our word sums up how we individually, uniquely, can do that.

My word is to 'inspire', which means to light a fire in others, to light them up from the inside out.  And I can use that word in anything I do. I can be that person anywhere, any time.

What will change your focus and, so, your life, is to find your 'word' and live it with all of your heart until the day you die.

How do you do that?

 

Three ways to find your "word".

Three ways that will help you to find your 'word' and keep growing into that word for the rest of your life...

1. Develop a strong identity. Learn about and know who you are, what you stand for, what you love, what you're passionate about, what you hate, what really burns you up.

2. Lean into the courage you have deep inside to love in the face of fear. The courage to LIVE that identity, to BE that person and make that more important than what scares you. Make it more important to live out who you are than to be afraid about what others think of you.

3. Continually be creating your future. When you find your word, then you can create your future. Come up with a plan, a strategy because, my ladies, this is essential. Your "word" defines who you are and who you want to be at 70 or 80 or 90. Your plan is how you are going to do that.

Your "word' could be to...

Love.

Inspire.

Encourage.

Comfort.

Feed.

Bless.

Create joy.

Whatever your word is, you will then be able to do what's in your heart to do using it it as a compass.

Your dream will be tied to that word. And your plan will be your dream put into action.

 

The Secret Inner Hero Society

The way I live in my 'Word" - Inspire - is helping women to:

  • create a powerful identity
  • to find the courage to live in that identity
  • to design a compelling future, complete with a plan to live until the day they die, full of life and loving their lives

This is my plan fueled by my word...Inspire.

It includes a forum for 1000 women to be a part of the Secret Inner Hero Society.

It's part of who I am and what I'm meant to do in the world.

To inspire means to light up. I want to light YOU up.

Remember the Superheroes like Batman and Superman and Spiderman? They aren't like the Avengers in the movies today. Everybody in their worlds knows who they are. They don't hide their identities.

But I like the idea of being a "secret". Of growing inside and doing good on the outside without announcing your intention to the world.

Nobody even has to know that you have this goal to be the "best you" as you approach 70, 75, 80. Nobody has to know that those are your goals except the people that you choose to share that with. It takes the expectation off of you and helps you to grow at your own pace.

What the world sees is this woman becoming the person that she's meant to be. That's you being the Secret Inner Hero who lives inside of you -  the best you. Without fear, without expectations put on you, without living up to somebody else's idea of who you should be.

It's YOU, the heart, walking on the path. YOU. Living as your Secret Inner Hero.

So how do you face the cellulite, the saggy baggies, the age spots on your hands, the tiredness and the aching bones as your body ages? The bombs that go off, the boulders that drop, the rocks that are thrown?

Find your 'word'.

Your word that talks about your heart inside and who you are.

It's not this body we live in. You could end up a paraplegic - and that's one of the biggest fears people have - but, even as a paraplegic, you could still live your "word'.

You could be that person inside. You could be heroic because you are who you're meant to be.

If you want to know more about The Secret Inner Hero Society, message me in Instagram @braveenoughforlove_ or email me at [email protected]

Become part of our community at www.braveenoughforlove.com. (sign up below) That's where it's all going to be happening. That's where you can join.

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Bernice McDonald is a Mindset Coach who  helps women beyond 50 seeing their dreams disappearing off into the distance as they age. She supports them as they step into their purpose, find the courage to make bold decisions and grow to fully love this next phase.

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