7 simple tips for women seeking authentic happiness in their 40s.

Kathy* is an active mom of three with a successful career and, by all accounts, a good life.

Shortly after her 46th birthday, Kathy found a lump in her breast. A biopsy was done and she was waiting for the results. Kathy is one of my personal life coaching clients (her name has been changed to protect her privacy and keep our work confidential).


She came to me in the thick of midlife and, as many women her age do, was reassessing everything she'd done up until now.

The moment she walked through the door, Kathy announced, "It’s benign!" Her relief was palpable. As we sat down for our session, we got quiet. Soon, she began to cry.

"I am relieved, of course," she said," but all I could think about before they called me with the results was, 'What if this is it? I mean, my life — what am I really doing with my life? Am I really living it how my soul wants me to live it?!'  And I answered, 'No, I’m not.'"

Here, I thought, is a woman about to gain clarity on what matters most to her.

Maybe you’ve had a health scare like Kathy. Maybe one evening, late at night, when everyone was asleep, you admitted to yourself that you aren’t satisfied — in the bedroom or the boardroom. Maybe you find yourself dreaming about going on a retreat or taking a vacation — by yourself. Maybe, one otherwise ordinary day, you had enough of being ignored and putting everyone’s needs before your own, and as you are unloading the dishwasher, you pick up a plate and smash it on the floor.

Image via iStock.

"It’s not a midlife crisis," my older and wiser friend once told me. "It’s a midlife awakening."

Women in midlife aren’t looking to "get back the joy" of their twenties. We are looking to name, claim, and embody authentic joy now as wise women, who want to live according to what is most sacred to us.

It's not an easy or neat process, but there are simple ways a woman can own her space as wise, independent, and happy. Here are seven suggestions:

1. She can practice radical self-responsibility.

She does away with the "blame game." Yes, she has been hurt, rejected, and dumped. The actions of others weren’t her fault, but she recognizes how she responds to what happens in life is her responsibility.

She owns her healing and thrives by treating herself with gentleness and kindness. She commits to self-regard.

2. She can clear out the clutter to enjoy empty space.

She might go through the whole house and ruthlessly get rid of anything that doesn’t bring joy. But beyond that, she starts to give up negative beliefs about her self-worth that have taken up too much space. She stops devoting time to relationships that don't nourish her and focuses on the people who do.

3. She can forgive her parents.

Her parents are human, and whether they're still alive or have passed away, she starts to let go of what she held against them.

Image via iStock.

4. She can set healthy boundaries.

She recognizes that it’s time to stop sacrificing her self-care and consider her needs — before work, family, and friends that might drain her. She starts to say "no" to what depletes her and "yes" to what is vital for her to thrive. She stops justifying her response.

5. She can stop comparing herself to other women.

When she sees another woman standing in her brilliance and power, she sees this as inspiration for her to risk living, loving, and expressing herself. She decides to be bold.

6. She can name her deeper longings.

She may go on retreat or check into a local hotel room so she can have space to listen to her heart. After decades, she knows that if she keeps pushing away her heart’s longings, she is going to turn bitter.  She follows her gut and takes the "right steps" for her.

7. She can decide to honor her longings.

She is OK with others questioning her bold moves.  She is no longer basing her life on what others think. She operates with wisdom and clarity.

Kathy’s health scare spurred her midlife awakening. She began to take responsibility for her joy and claim the second half of her life with boldness.

It was not a tidy process. Kathy’s journey of finding her joy — like all of ours — is ongoing and both messy and miraculous. As women in midlife, we claim our joy by being tender, clear, bold, and true to the longings of our heart. And we decide to thrive.

*The author works as a personal life coach and has permission to share stories of her clients under confidentiality agreements. For this reason, Kathy's name has been changed to ensure her privacy.

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Should a man lose his home because the grass in his yard grew higher than 10 inches? The city of Dunedin, Florida seems to think so.

According to the Institute of Justice, which is representing Jim Ficken, he had a very good reason for not mowing his lawn – and tried to rectify the situation as best he could.

In 2014, Jim's mom became ill and he visited her often in South Carolina to help her out. When he was away, his grass grew too long and he was cited by a code office; he cut the grass and wasn't fined.

France has started forcing supermarkets to donate food instead of throwing it away.

But several years later, this one infraction would come back to haunt him after he left to take care of him's mom's affairs after she died. The arrangements he made to have his grass cut fell through (his friend who he asked to help him out passed away unexpectedly) and that set off a chain reaction that may result in him losing his home.

The 69-year-old retiree now faces a $29,833.50 fine plus interest. Watch the video to find out just what Jim is having to deal with.

Mow Your Lawn or Lose Your House! www.youtube.com

Cities

The world officially loves Michelle Obama.

The former first lady has overtaken the number one spot in a poll of the world's most admired women. Conducted by online research firm YouGov, the study uses international polling tools to survey people in countries around the world about who they most admire.

In the men's category, Bill Gates took the top spot, followed by Barack Obama and Jackie Chan.

In the women's category, Michelle Obama came first, followed by Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie. Obama pushed Jolie out of the number one spot she claimed last year.

Unsurprising, really, because what's not to love about Michelle Obama? She is smart, kind, funny, accomplished, a great dancer, a devoted wife and mother, and an all-around, genuinely good person.

She has remained dignified and strong in the face of rabid masses of so-called Americans who spent eight years and beyond insisting that she's a man disguised as a woman. She's endured non-stop racist memes and terrifying threats to her family. She has received far more than her fair share of cruelty, and always takes the high road. She's the one who coined, "When they go low, we go high," after all.

She came from humble beginnings and remains down to earth despite becoming a familiar face around the world. She's not much older than me, but I still want to be like Michelle Obama when I grow up.

Her memoir, Becoming, may end up being the best-selling memoir of all time, having already sold 10 million copies—a clear sign that people can't get enough Michelle, because there's no such thing as too much Michelle.

Don't like Michelle Obama? Don't care. Those of us who love her will fly our MO flags high and without apology, paying no mind to folks with cold, dead hearts who don't know a gem of a human being when they see one. There is nothing any hater can say or do to make us admire this undeniably admirable woman any less.

When it seems like the world has lost its mind—which is how it feels most days these days—I'm just going to keep coming back to this study as evidence that hope for humanity is not lost.

Here. Enjoy some real-life Michelle on Jimmy Kimmel. (GAH. WHY IS SHE SO CUTE AND AWESOME. I can't even handle it.)

Michelle & Barack Obama are Boring Now www.youtube.com

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via EarthFix / Flickr

What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

Planet

The world is dark and full of terrors, but every once in a while it graces us with something to warm our icy-cold hearts. And that is what we have today, with a single dad who went viral on Twitter after his daughter posted the photos he sent her when trying to pick out and outfit for his date. You love to see it.




After seeing these heartwarming pics, people on Twitter started suggesting this adorable man date their moms. It was essentially a mom and date matchmaking frenzy.

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