As we approach the closure of month 4, of a year that began, for me, as painful as how the previous year ended, I'm forced to reflect on how I want to exist for the next 8 months.
On December 1, 2020, I wrote a post on Instagram titled, "The Finish Line - How Will You End 2020." In that post I stated that "I plan to finish 2020 with an open mind and heart, accepting what is, learning from what was and looking forward to what will be." Little did I know what would happen the following day, something that would break my soul and make me question my existence. Nevertheless, I decided to accept, learn from it and move on as best as possible.
Fast forward to February 2021 when I felt compelled to ask my readers what they thought I should write about. I did this for a few reasons:
I wanted to know what would interest my current and potential readers;
I hoped that the topics suggested would:
stretch my imagination,
help improve my storytelling skills, and
take me out of my comfort zone and help me dish the fear factor while providing a source of inspiration for others; and
I wanted to break the writer's block that has held me hostage for a few months now.
One of my followers and avid supporter, The Beyond Woman Magazine, suggested that I write about "Ten Ways Women Over 40 Can Thrive In 2021." Can I tell you, this suggestion was an instant hit for me as I too needed to figure out how to navigate and thrive in 2021. I immediately googled what thrive meant. Yes, I knew what it meant, but I wanted the proper dictionary meaning to include here...makes me sound more brilliant you know, lol.
I was drawn to Merriam Webster's definition because of the three meanings it rendered, and more specifically the 2 words that jumped out at me - prosper and flourish. According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, to thrive, a verb, means:
to grow vigorously: FLOURISH
to gain in wealth or possessions: PROSPER
to progress toward or realize a goal despite or because of circumstances —often used with 'on.'
So how then should women over 40, like myself, continue to flourish, prosper and progress towards or realize our goals, in 2021? By the way, this article is in no way biased as it is also applicable to men, and applicable to any age grouping.
Here are my top ten (10) thoughts on how to thrive, using some of my favourite words.
Love. One of my chosen words for 2021. To love means to have a deep affection for, great interest, and pleasure in, like, or enjoy something (Oxford Dictionary). For me, thriving means I must continue to do everything from a place of love. Some say love is hard work, it doesn't have to be and in many instances, it shows up in the small things.
Inspiration. My other chosen word for 2021. Many things inspire me, however, I tend to let fear ignite a "what-if" chain reaction that halts my inspiration. Nevertheless, I am reminded of a quote by D.M. Dellinger that says, "You are unrepeatable. There is a magic about you that is all your own." We all have our own unique qualities and characteristics that translate into great work that only you can create and offer to the world. To thrive you have to be willing to embrace those things that inspire you while ditching the fears.
Faith. According to William Newton Clark, "faith is daring the soul to go beyond what the eyes can see." In today's climate, there is a need for a lot more "daring of the soul" mentality. We need to dig deeper to see beyond what currently exists. We need to develop a deeper sense of faith; faith that the end will be exactly what it is supposed to be. As Barbara Johnson said. "...there is a seed of God's love in every event, every unpleasant situation in which you may find yourself." Yes, today's current situation is unpleasant, but look at how much creativity, love, and kindness are evolving. There have been, and will be, more job losses, heartaches from losing loved ones, trials, and tribulations, but having faith that the end will be much better can no longer be a concept, it has to be a mindset. FAITH+PRAYER = MISSION IMPOSSIBLE ACCOMPLISHED⠀
Hope. We all hope for something. And I suspect more so now than before. "Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness."~Desmond Tutu. Let us all hope for the things that will enrich our lives and the lives of those around us.
Fearlessness /Courage. I'm marrying these two. To thrive one must become fearless and to become fearless one must have courage. I believe Roy T. Bennett sums it up perfectly, he says, “Courage is feeling fear, not getting rid of fear, and taking action in the face of fear.” When I want to bring out my fearlessness I draw for my playlist with these 3 songs:
Roar by Katy Perry, "I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire;"
Titanium by David Guetta featuring Sia, "I'm criticized, but all your bullets ricochet, shoot me down, but I get up;"
Eye Of The Tiger by Survivor, "Don't lose your grip on the dreams of the past. You must fight just to keep them alive."
Persistence. Be like a postage stamp, #juststicktoit, you will reach your destination. This is so true. Those stamps stick to that envelope like their life depended on it. They may get worn, torn in a few places, look used and abused, but they NEVER EVER FALL OFF. Don't believe me? Try taking one off. I have, many times over, especially when I use to collect stamps. Yes, in my younger years, I was a #philatelist aka #stampcollector (another interesting fun fact about me). To thrive you have to be persistent. 𝘏𝘰𝘸 𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘪𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘫𝘰𝘣 / 𝘩𝘰𝘣𝘣𝘪𝘦𝘴 / 𝘳𝘦𝘭𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘴𝘩𝘪𝘱𝘴 / 𝘭𝘪𝘧𝘦? I'm sure like me, many of you are more persistent with the things you love. In order to reach our goals, we also need to be persistent with the things we don't like as much. Watch the video "Hall Of Fame" by The Script featuring @iamwill
Resilience. When I think of resilience I think of a tree. No matter how battered they are as a result of mother nature, they are often left standing - some bent, some still tall. For those that may have fallen, take a good look, they start a new life right where they are. Thriving in 2021 and beyond is going to require drinking resilience like coffee - strong, multiple times per day. Adjust your sails ladies and gentlemen, it's time to thrive!
Creativity. Remember the three meanings for "thrive" listed above? Well, in order for us to achieve in this pandemic climate, creativity is a must. Continue to put your creativity to work. Someone is looking forward to it.
Excellence. Develop a Passion for Excellence. Having a passion for excellence is NOT perfection. I strive for excellence, not perfection...perfection may come along the way and so may failure. Either way, still strive for excellence.
Humor. As one of my girlfriends always says, "you must be able to laugh at yourself." And I believe Grenville Kleiser summons it best, he says, "Good humor is a tonic for mind and body. It is the best antidote for anxiety and depression. It is a business asset. It attracts and keeps friends. It lightens human burdens. It is the direct route to serenity and contentment."
I end with a quote from the fabulous Maya Angelou who said, "My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style."
As we end April 2021 and move into a new month, full of possibilities and hope, continue to thrive - flourish | prosper | progress - towards your goals. And most importantly, as Lee Ann Womack said, "I Hope You Dance."
Blessings, Love, and Light
Deon Cecile ❤
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