This is me on my 5th birthday right next to my sister
Today I am 69 years old.
I decided that part of my birthday present to myself would be in looking back when I was 5 years old to see if I have any of the traits she had after all these years.
I wanted to get to know this younger part of myself since I have three granddaughters about this same age.
It's so important for me to be aware and guide them so that they don’t fall into the same traps as I did.
This is me at 5. I look determined and a bit defiant.
It is shocking for me now to see this photo since I grew up with a mother who didn’t tolerate any challenges to her authority and certainly not any sassiness in a little child or anyone for that matter.
When I look into the eyes of this young girl I wonder, was I really a little spunky?
So what was going on here?
Was there a moment of posing for the camera with my real true little self before anyone noticed and could say, “don’t do that?” Haha. I’m glad I had a little spark.
This is probably more the real me. The reality was that I was already unsure of myself.
I quickly learned to be a people pleaser. I figured out that if I was a "nice" girl, everyone would like me. My mother’s parting words to me as she dropped me off at school or a birthday party were always, “be sweet, Jo.”
I became really sweet. And I spent a lifetime pleasing others.
I spent way too many years thinking others knew more than I did…about anything and everything. I believed in everyone except myself.
I was filled with self-doubt.
And I second guessed myself A LOT.
Then I beat myself up when I made mistakes.
At 69, I’m proud to say that I’ve overcome most of my insecurities and that little spunky girl still gets really excited about life. It took a lot of work to get here.
There are still those gut-wrenching days when I’m unsure about a lot of things.
In my work as a psychotherapist and coach I know that most of us have these uncertainties and the inner critics emerge, seemingly out of nowhere.
And the little people we once were are forgotten parts of ourselves. Those innocent precious little selves.
What I have learned in 69 years is that you don’t do anyone any favors by beating yourself up, second guessing yourself, or not realizing the wisdom that you’re walking around with.
You are the only one like you on the planet. With your beautiful self, with all your quirks, with your little sassiness trying to emerge, it’s you.
You have a valuable gift for the world. We need more people who are authentically their true selves.
This is the reason I created Ageless Wisdom and Passion online retreat.
So that you can truly know who you are NOW.
What makes you happy? How do you give yourself permission to have what you want and to be what you want? This is the stuff we cover in Ageless Wisdom and Passion.
And that cute little kid inside is waiting.
Because you will get to 69 years old in the blink of an eye.
And so don’t loose that sassiness.
It’s not too late to join us in Ageless Wisdom and Passion online retreat,
starting March 11. Sign up here.
Fall is a time for us to slow down, to ground ourselves and to nourish our bodies. This retreat is designed to help you stop and listen to what it is you need right now. It's a fun and restorative weekend with mindfulness exercises, morning yoga, an online cooking class with the fabulous Chef Bai, healthy recipes to try at home, meditations and group calls to connect you with other women.