What is your story around becoming older, growing in a different way, looking different when you look in the mirror? Betsy shares her thoughts about how we perceive ourselves as we change and become older. She acknowledges that it is an act of courage to be able to step into this new version of you. And shares experiences from her own journey of embracing who she is becoming.
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Welcome to the Art of Living big podcast. My name is Betsy pake. I’m an author, a speaker, and a trainer of NLP and hypnotherapy. And I’m focused on helping you understand and design your life with the power of the subconscious. This podcast is designed to help you think differently about what could be possible for your life. Now, let’s go live big. Hello, hi, welcome to the show today. Hi falu adventures. So, all right, so I have a story today, I have a story, something that I want to talk about. And I’m going to, I’m going to just guess that if you’re listening, this is something that you’ve been through, or you’re going through currently, or you’re about to go through. And it is about how we perceive ourselves as we change and become older. So here’s how this kind of started for me, like the last few years, I think, have felt a little what I would call wobbly to me. And, you know, you may have that where you’re like, I’m not totally who I used to be. Yet, I’m not quite sure who I am becoming. And so I’m in this bit of in between. And I think that in our and I say are like in the United States, and I’m gonna guess it’s like this in other places too. But in the United States, like there is a huge marketing message, and a huge push towards being young. And that being young is really, really important. And even to go so far as to say being old is not just neutral, being old is unimportant. And being old is a negative thing. And that people that are older are often like disregarded or not looked at for perhaps like the wisdom and life experience that they have. And so and so I have struggled a little bit as I have seen signs in my own self of getting older. So back when COVID started. I you know, I heard a lot of people weren’t dyeing their hair anymore, right? So they were like, I’m not gonna dye my hair, nobody’s gonna see me. And for me, I was like, I’m still dyeing my hair. Like, as soon as I can get in and get an appointment, I’m gonna dye my hair, I have died. I’m gonna say dyed my hair blonde my whole life. I feel like I’ve gotten highlights since I was in high school. And I used to always joke that I was gonna be a blonde. As long as I lived, no matter how much it cost, I was gonna be a natural blonde. I used to say, I’m gonna be a natural blonde, as long as I live, no matter how much it costs. But what I realized was it was starting to really cost me time and emotional.
Emotionally, it was costing me, you know, so when COVID hit, and everybody was saying that they were going to, like stop dyeing their hair, and a lot of people stopped, I continued, as soon as I could get an appointment, I went. So that was 2020. Right when COVID started will by probably October, November of that year, I had gone and gotten my hair colored. And it was like two weeks and you could see the gray on my temples. And the weird thing was, if it what had been a man, I felt like we talk about how men get so distinguished when they get the gray on their temples. But I didn’t feel distinguished at all. I felt like oh my god, and I felt like I cannot go and get my hair colored one more time, like the color just was starting to look muddy. Do you know what I mean? Like, you’ve had your hair colored so many times and like, we had moved, I had gone to somebody new like it just, it just felt like awful to me. And so December of that year was like December 22. In fact, I actually remember that from my heart. December 22. I went and got my hair highlighted. And I remember leaving and going, I’m not doing that again. Like I think I’m just done. And this really interesting thing happens. I think as you start to believe that perhaps you’re done dyeing your hair, is you start wondering about what that means. Like, what are you going to look like? How is this whole process going to go? How are you going to show up while your hair is growing out? Like there’s a lot of kind of weird chatter in your mind that begins to happen. And I think that it’s an act of courage. To be able to, to step into this new version of you so. So I think there is something that happens in our world, in our environment in our society when we start getting older. And then when you start going gray, or when you start allowing the gray to show, every time you look in the mirror, you’re presented with this version of you that you’re not quite sure what to do with. And that’s how it felt to me. Like, I don’t know what to do with her, like, all I know is who I have been, but this doesn’t look like who I’ve been. And I think a lot of our identity is wrapped up in how we look. Right? It’s wrapped up in, I’m sure I’m tall, I’m athletic, I wear glasses, like I’m a nerd, I’m a whatever are perceived roles or
you know, who we think we are, like how we identify as our as ourselves. It also changes like how we view ourselves and how we show up. So now I’ve gone through COVID, who were everybody else that was going Greg did it in the peacefulness of their, of their isolated home. And now it’s like, you know, 2021, and it’s like February and my gray is really showing and every time I go to the mirror, I’m like, Oh my gosh, who is this. And so over those 12 months, there has been a huge shift in me feeling very wobbly, and trying to get footing around who this new version of me is. Now I could get footing in other areas of who I was. But this felt more like all encompassing as to who I am like on a level of personality. So like in my business, I felt very content for the most part. I mean, there were dreams I had and things I wanted. But I felt more sure of myself in that environment. But this environment, this environment where I looked in the mirror, and I saw somebody that was like older. It was it was disorienting for me and I didn’t know where to go. Here’s what I mean by where to go. So you can either be Betty White, right? Where you can be like, you can say things that are funny and outrageous. And it’s funny because you’re old, right? And people see you as having like a lot of vigor and being fun. And then you could look at someone like Iris, you know, Iris Apfel, she’s that lady that has the gray hair and the big, big round black glasses. Like you could dress outrageously and be like super interesting and quirky. But who is the person that you look at? When you’re like 5055? Right? 60? Who do you Who do you look at? Because if you look at, like, JLo she looks 40 Right? And if you look at like, Jennifer Aniston like she looks 35 Like, there is there is a missing component. Right? And I don’t know if you feel that too. But I feel like Who do I look up to? That is aging that is embracing the change that they’re going through? And not trying to look like they’re 40 Now I don’t like God love them. JLo do your thing. Like I’m totally cool with that. But that felt really hard for me. Right? That didn’t feel like I know, she says she just uses olive oil. But I think she has a team. i For me that would take like a pit crew to look like that and a lot of effort. And I just I was at the point where I wanted to put effort into other things like things that really filled me up and made me happy and cause me to expand and made me think differently might my my looks the way I felt about my looks, was starting to shift but also my looks were starting to shift and they weren’t moving at the same pace. And so
this has been a really interesting process for me as I reevaluate who I am. And one thing I’ve become really sensitive to is when people say they’re old, and then people go, no, they’re not old. Because I’m like, yeah, they’re old. They’re there’s nothing wrong with being older, growing older. And yes, old can be a state of mind. That can be a mind set. But there’s also something about embracing being older. There’s a woman that I follow on Tik Tok. And I’m not saying these two things are related, but it made me think of it. To me, she’s super interesting. And she is a vegan, and she eats intuitively. And she posts all of her meals on Tik Tok. And she’s very overweight. And she starts her videos by saying hi, I’m I forget even what her name is. I’ll find it and put it in the show notes. But she says like, Hi, I’m Karen or whatever her name is. And I’m fat. And I’m a vegan, intuitive eater. And this is what I ate today. And people who don’t say you’re fat, and she’s like, Why is that bad? Like, why is who I am bad? Like, like, yes, there may be health, things that aren’t that are impacted by weight and the amount of fat that somebody carries. But that’s not what people are talking about when they say Don’t say that about yourself. That’s not what they’re talking about. And, and her point is, why is it bad? Like I’m eating vegan, I’m eating intuitively. And I’m like, This is what I’m eating, if anybody’s interested, and I am interested, because she eats really good looking things. So I feel like that sometimes about age, like why is it bad? And can’t we embrace where we are? And I feel like there is this missing component in my age group. So I was finding it really hard, because there was nobody to model. You know, we talk a lot about modeling inside NLP because NLP is simply it’s modeled, it’s excellence modeled. So we would study excellence, and then create models for that. And that’s where NLP was born. And so I think it’s kind of our natural thing to be like, How does somebody else do that? But I don’t know who else is doing that. And doing that? Like really? Well. You know, the first person that comes in my mind is like Martha Stewart, but she’s in her 70s Now, but she did embrace a bit, who she wasn’t how she was, how she was turning into the next version of herself and the next layer of of age and how that shows up. Are you looking for a speaker for your next event? Are you part of an organization or a company that holds annual sales conferences or leadership events, I’d love to talk about the path to possibility and how to use your pain as fuel for your breakthrough. I leave guests feeling expanded, inspired and ready to break through personal barriers, so that they can live big, reach out to my team at support at Betsy pake.com. or head to my website, Betsy pake.com, for all the details. Okay, so now, fast forward, like this year, I’m letting my hair grow out, you may have noticed, if you follow me on Instagram, my hair is getting shorter and shorter and shorter. Because I’m trying to cut the blonde off like I’m trying to get and I think I’m there now we’re all the blonde is cut off. And now it’s just gray. And it’s actually not bad. I had friends that were like, don’t, don’t do this. Like really concerned, like, oh my god, we can’t do this, like you got to color your hair, do not stop coloring your hair. And I always felt a little saddened by that. Because I felt like it was their own fear of what that would mean about them. Right? What that would mean if somebody their age, and their friend that they’ve known their whole life now looks like that. Why did why would you do that? Why would you let yourself go? I was stopped yesterday on the street. And a woman said and she had gray hair and she looked about my age. And she said I love your hair. And I said I love your hair. And she said When did you decide to just let it go? And the way she said it was like when did you decide I’ll just fuck it.
And it kind of made me laugh. And so I think that this whole experience of like having your gray hair show up, right having it show up or it’s something you see in the mirror every time you look in the mirror starts to change who you are. And when you don’t have a role model to say, okay, I can be this way like I this feels comfortable. You have to invent it on your own. And, you know, for women, I think maybe that is the midlife crisis, right? That is the like, how do I invent this on my own? I don’t know how to do that. And it was interesting, because when I went to Iceland, that was such a difficult trip in so many ways. And so interesting, and so amazing. But what it did was it gave me this opportunity to be with people who didn’t know me And honestly, people who may not have the same versions of old people I use in my head version, or using my hands, like the air quotes versions of old people in, in their culture, I was the only American. And I found myself really wobbly, in trying to identify and share who I was. I’m not sure if that makes sense. But it was like I had to show up, you know, when you go to college, and nobody knows you. And then you have to, like, people, like people that you maybe you went, when I went to college, I went to college, and I didn’t know anybody. But before that I had been with the same people since kindergarten. So they knew like everything about me, and maybe had an understanding about me, or a perception about me, that felt pretty comfortable to me. And then I went to college, and nobody knew me. And the feeling of being in Iceland was actually very similar to that first time I was in college, of feeling very wobbly, and that nobody knows me, no one’s has this preconceived idea of who I am. And although that could be very freeing, it also felt really disorienting, because I liked the version of myself, as I used to know it. And as everybody else knew it, and so, you know, people that know me now, in real life, here at this age, in this time and place know me as also as my years owning the CrossFit gym, of me being an Olympic style lifter me being like they know of that stuff. But here, I was in an environment in Iceland, where they didn’t know anything. All they knew was who I was showing up as, and who I was showing up as well, I didn’t know, I didn’t know this person. Right? Because she was so different. I mean, she even looked different when I’d go in the mirror. So how do I, how do I how do I show up as a version of myself or give the impression that I want to give as the version of myself I want to be when I don’t know what version of myself that I want to be is. It was a bit of a mind boggle. And it forced me over that time frame to accelerate what felt like acceleration of me understanding myself, of me, noticing all the places where I’ve been healed, where I’ve healed myself or gotten help with healing. And all the places that were still exposed, this, I still had triggers, where I still had things left to heal. It was such an accelerated learning experience. But what it did when I left was it gives me this feeling of understanding and being in the acceptance of where I am, and where I am on the journey and understanding that just because of my experience, my interpretation of the reality of living in the United States, and being a 50 year old woman and not having representation that I could see that I could point to and say I want to be like that, just because I didn’t have that didn’t mean I couldn’t develop that, that feeling or that identity on my own. And so
and so when I got home pretty quickly, within like a week or two, I really wanted to clean out. Now I didn’t really associate these two things as going together until later. And maybe you’ve had this happen before. But all of a sudden, like my closet, I had been sort of low key avoiding my closet, my closet was so full of this old version of me. And honestly, I think I kept thinking, I will be that version at some point in the future, or I will be that and I’ll need what’s in the closet. You know, do you ever do that where you’re like, I’m going to fit into that thing again. Now, you know, most of the stuff that was purchased that was in my closet was a ton of Lululemon stuff because I used to own a gym and that’s what I wore every day. So I mean, extensive collection of Lululemon. And also, it was all like size two, most of everything was size two, I had some really cool outfits, but they were like size two, and I’m not a size two, and I think I kept thinking, I’m gonna get back to that and, and leaving that stuff in the closet. And so what I realized when I came home was that I was really comfortable with who I was now in an in a different way in a way that I hadn’t experienced before. And every time I went in the closet, I felt bad. Because I felt like I was holding that stuff, and putting it in my face and saying, but you could be this, you should be this. Great, you shouldn’t be this, that’ll come, it’s still here. If you didn’t need to be that, if you didn’t need to be that, then you wouldn’t need this stuff. And all of a sudden, I was like, all of this has to go like all of this has to go. And when I say a clothing explosion, like a world when I took everything I completely Marie Kondo to Kondo it, and I took everything out of the closet, you know how she says, just like, remove everything, and then put back the things in the way that you want. And there was a very little left, I mean, I think I hung up, like maybe six or seven things, everything else went to Goodwill, or I was going to sell it, but I ended up sending a huge box of stuff to my cousin, like, just get rid of like, bags and bags and bags and bags and bags and bags and bags of stuff. And then I went shopping. I don’t know who I’m yet to become, because we don’t know, what will my body do in five years? What will it do in six months? I don’t know, Will I lose weight, maybe I don’t know. But I wanted to close the version that I had, I wanted to celebrate this version that I was in right now. And treat her with the most respect. And with the worth and buy. Because so many times I would do this, I don’t want to spend a ton of money on that, because I might lose weight, right? I mean, even unconsciously, I would think that, but I was like no, I’m gonna buy really nice stuff, so that I have really nice stuff for this version for this body, because she’s worth that. And if she changes, then that body will be worth what she needs. And so I cleaned out. And then I went shopping, and got the things that I needed in order to, like celebrate this, this age that we don’t see as being unique and amazing and expansive, and growth growing. And like this age of being like 50, I would say like 45 to 55, I’m gonna say that range that you might be out of this range. And you might have associated with this. So whatever you think, but this age where like your kids are leaving, and you get to expand into the next version of you. Like, it’s an amazing thing. It’s so cool, because all of the ideas or interests or hobbies or things you wanted to learn like you finally have, like the income to be able to do stuff that you maybe couldn’t do in your early 20s. But you still have the desire, like you have the capability to see things different and to support yourself in the ways that you need to in order to expand into this next version. But instead, we’re so focused and drilled with the guilt and shame about our gray temples. Like it just almost seems funny to me now.
And then within about a week, I wanted to do it for my business. I went through like Dropbox, all the places where I keep all my business assets, my Google Drive my Dropbox, and I mean, cleaned and organized and made it work for me. Now I know this might seem kind of silly, because you’re like, how is that related? Or how does cleaning out your Dropbox? Like what is that there was something I was avoiding, by not having total control and having a system in there. And it was the same thing I was avoiding by not taking control of my closet. And when I shifted, I couldn’t not do it. And once I took care of my personal life immediately went to my professional life. And that began to shift and change too. So I wanted to share this because I think this is like an interesting take on who we are becoming and how that’s showing up. And what the story is around it for you. What is the story around becoming older, growing in a different way looking different when you look in the mirror. And if you color your hair like that is 1,000% Okay, because you got to do what feels really good to you. And what felt really good to me was to to be super authentic with myself. And you can do that even if you color your hair you can be authentic. This is just how it showed up for me, but was to really get a look at her and say what do I really think? What do I really think about becoming older changing how I’m supposed to act. The things that I think right now, today, as I’m recording this are totally different than what I thought in January. So many things came into perspective, as I tried to establish myself and a group of people that I didn’t know. So I wanted to share that with you. Because I can feel a totally a huge shift and a totally different momentum towards my future, towards the things that I want the things that I’ve been dreaming about. And I think when you get really real with yourself, and you really look at all those things, and who you’re becoming and what you think about it. I think that is how you live a big life. So thanks so much for listening. I will see you next week. Hey, thanks so much for listening to today’s show. And thank you for sharing the show with your friends. I love when you guys do that. I appreciate it so much. And thank you for leaving me a review on iTunes. I know that it matters because when I go to find a podcast, I always look to see what the reviews are. So it really means a lot to me that you take a minute to like figure out how to even make that happen. Now, if you want to find me find me on social media, I’m usually on Instagram, starting out on Tik Tok. It’s just my name. Betsy pake, and that’s my website to Betsy pake.com. And you can find out all about the work that I do. having me speak for an event that you might be hoping to plan or getting trained inside my alchemy Institute. But to make it really easy, if you want me just shoot me a DM shoot me a direct message on Instagram and I will be at your service. Thanks again for listening. And I will see you all next week.