When I turned forty, a slightly older co-worker and friend told me that forty was the best year of her life because she finally started to give fewer f*cks what people thought of her. (I’m exaggerating a bit here. She’d never use the f-word, but I would.)
She said it in passing. In fact, she didn’t remember having said it at all when I told her almost two years later how much I’d taken it to heart. Somehow in saying it, though, she gave me permission to do the same, and I’ve spent the last two+ years shedding expectations and embracing what intuitively feels right.
I gave up twenty years of dieting, and like most people who diet, bingeing, (because dieting causes bingeing, but that’ll be another post on another day). I started getting more comfortable with my post-diet body. I took a meditation teacher training course so I could better help others find the benefits I’ve experienced. I committed to a regular yoga practice, and when the perfect yoga teacher training opportunity arose, I decided to stop joking that I wanted to be a yoga teacher when I grew up, or when I retired, and just do it now. Much of the inspiration for starting Fully Myself stems from wanting a place to document and share my upcoming year-long yoga teacher training journey. And the biggest change in my life was a reduction in the habitual reactivity that so many of us struggle with. The stressors that used to decrease my quality of life became increasingly less impactful. For most of my life I believed the empathetic stress I felt whenever the people around me were stressed was something I couldn’t control. As I gained resilience, I realized that not only could I better maintain my own sense of peace, but that by maintaining my calm, I could have a positive impact on the people around me.
Most of us have a picture in our mind of what a mid-life crisis looks like, but the shift in thinking I’ve experienced over the last few years has led me to wonder if it’s sometimes more of a crisis for the people around us as they’re forced to adapt to the changes we embrace, even good changes. Maybe for some of us it’s really a mid-life awaking to who we truly are.
Fully Myself is aspirational, not assertive. I’m still working on it. I’m frequently not sure exactly what I’m doing. I’ll share that as it comes up. But I am increasingly becoming a more authentic and connected version of myself where and as I am. I hope to share that here, as well.