Let’s start with the easy one – home baking, have you noticed the photos and posts on social media sharing people’s favourite sourdough bread recipes, cheese scones, ginger crunch, chocolate cookies, caramel square delights and if you live in my house raw carrot cake and more?  Maybe this has come around because of boredom and a means to an end, however I think home baking is also comfort food and it helps us feel safe. I actually Googled the reasons behind home baking and this is what I read:

 

“Spending time in the kitchen can ease stress and restlessness, and enhance mindfulness, not only does the process of baking improve moods, the feeling of satisfaction gained when seeing the end product naturally enhances happiness.”

 

Hard conversations after lockdownAnother post read: “The act of baking is a form of self expression I create what I want to create and not only does it make me happy, baked goods make everyone happy. Spreading joy is immensely powerful. It is me time and my medicine, I’m really grateful I’m able to bake.”

 

So we have decided in our house to bring on the chocolate and baking as long as we balance it out with daily outdoor activity. There have been some really funny photos going around post Lock Down. Hopefully this won’t be me in the middle.
 

 

Now what about Hard Conversations? Yes, there has been some dialogue that has needed to happen within the family and also everyone has rightly so had an opinion of CV19, conspiracy theories, truths and untruths and also opinions on how every country and government is dealing with this issue. All these conversations need to happen but I want to touch on what I have also noticed and I wonder if you have too.

 

One of the conversations happening has been around how our world will be different once we return to normal. Will there ever be a normal like we knew before CV19?  If not, how will our new normal look? I hope that having more down time has brought some new clarity and stillness to your life and perhaps moving forward is learning how to maintain the balance of the calming quiet and the busy noise.

 

What I am excited about though is there seems to be a rise in women speaking up and sharing their own story to encourage us to do the same. Funnily enough this seems to be a coincidence with the timing of CV19 however on another level maybe not. Every day I have been following three of my favourite inspirational mentors and what they are sharing is hitting me right in the solar plexus. Their brutal honesty and courage is frightening and unleashing at the same time. Who am I talking about?

 

Glennon Doyle has just published her new novel called Untamed. She was just about to go on book tour, however for now she is sharing stories revolving around the book on Instagram. She is so real and I love her for this – even the way she pulls faces online is inspiring. The book is about her story of walking away from a lifetime training that kept her small, quiet and afraid and how she has learnt to embrace her wild, brave heart. This mornings share had 123,926 likes and 1116 comments. We are ready to hear this stuff!

 

Elizabeth Gilbert did a powerful Ted talk at the beginning of CV19 called Its OK to Feel Overwhelmed – another very powerful share. She is so articulate and her words wrap around my heart like a soft blanket but also have barbs that can stab my heart at the same time. Once again her wisdom comes from her own journey. I am now reading her book Big Magic for the second time which is a welcoming gentle relief from Brene’s talks.

 

Brene Brown has started a podcast ‘Unlocking Us’ and the first series was released the week the US went into semi lockdown. Coincidental perfect timing once again. Every interview she has done is so piercingly harsh and certainly ticks the box of hard conversations. At the end of every podcast I realise I have been holding my breath and a huge release of air escapes my lungs and phew I survived another episode and didn’t wimp out and put it in the too hard basket. Have a listen and see what you think – last night I listened to her talk to Alicia Keyes who coincidentally has also published her book over lock down ‘More Myself’ – she shares the quiet, subtle experience that fuels her need to armour up and self protect and the courage behind owning her worth, listening to her own voice and now living her own ‘girl on fire’ energy.

 

Can you see the themes – midlife (not that Glennon is really a midlife woman yet) is a call for women to step into who they really were meant to be – a woman who wants more self love, more self expression, more energy, more fun, more joy and more fulfillment. The need to Up Your Purpose, Pleasure and Play. This does not mean the life you have lead is wrong or imperfect, however at midlife do you feel unfinished?

 

You know I felt I worked really hard in my forties and fifties to sort my shit out, I even gave up drinking, the hardest lesson of all I tell you, and the sixties was going to be the icing on the cake. What has occurred to me through this ‘Keeping Safe’ period and finding these amazing women’s stories literally land in my lap, is I have been forced to step into the -hello – you still have more shit to sludge through! Double SHIT!

 

I still emotionally eat, I still stuff feelings down, feelings that I am still learning how to navigate. If I am not feeling the classic sad, glad, mad or bad then what am I feeling? This seems to be part of the journey, I am needing to actually get out of my head and ‘feel’ but then I also need to name that feeling. Think about it – how does being happy feel? How does being joyful feel? How does being inspired feel? How does success feel – is it even a feeling? The list goes on – feelings that are expansive seem to still trip me up and listening to these hard conversations has made me realise there are courageous conversations I need to have to unlock the key to experience more of who I am. This feels so incredibly scary and definitely the ‘good girl’ in me wants to run and hide, so as I say these words to myself I also say them to you – be gentle, be loving, be kind and be real and be ready. 

 

I believe the world is ready for some divinely feminine energy and I don’t know about you but I feel a responsibility to be part of this shift for myself, my daughters and globally. I know people are hurting, the earth was hurting too and maybe one of the many lessons around CV19 is to do with healing. 

 

I started a closed FB group called Midlife Conversations at the beginning of CV19 – another weird timing thing. I called it Conversations because I wanted to create a community of midlife women who are ready to change the narrative around midlife. It is for women who are ready to speak up, to be heard and held in a safe and uplifting space. If this is you and you haven’t joined already then click here and come on over. Everyday there are themes and tete-a-tete with inspiring and extraordinary women who embrace their age as a means to truly grow into their brilliance. There are also giveaways that you won’t want to miss.

 

Be Brave, Be Bold and Be Bright and Shine
Sharleen x