Published April 13, 2019 by Carole Dupré
Celebrating my birthday this week got me thinking—and feeling.
I’m at this weird point in my life where I struggle to admit my exact age. Instead, I find myself saying, “I’m 50-something.”
It’s not that I’m trying to hide how old I am. It’s just shocking to hear the actual number when I say it. And while I don’t feel my age, I do feel like the past year has been one well-lived with many lessons learned and unlearned.
Tipping the Relational Scales
My most powerful “aha” this past year happened through soulful conversations with my friend, client and author Diane Burden Cox. Diane recently published the book Resilient Americans, and we’ve been working together to clarify her personal brand.
The book’s theme, “If it’s not relational, it’s not real,” has tipped the scales for me when it comes to re-imagining how I relate to everything and everyone in my life.
Denying old labels
After one of our talks I jotted down this quote, which I have worked hard since then to address:
“When I live in my head, it’s difficult to say what’s in my heart.”
I’ve been known to lean into my intellectual side more often than I need. And yes, I’ve been labeled as “methodical” and “exacting” in performance reviews during my corporate days. But it wasn’t until my discussions with Diane when I saw clearly how living in my head was so much more than how I processed life.
Up until a year ago, living in my head had been my go-to survival technique, handed down through my southern Louisiana upbringing. My parents (love you, Mom) were from the suck-it-up and get-over-it generation.
Thinking trumped feeling in most cases. It made challenging times easier to bear. It helped blocked the pain when I didn’t want to hurt.
On the other hand, overthinking and making sense of senseless events often hindered me from making real connections—the very thing that makes life worth living. Worst of all, it fostered my perfectionism, which has no place in my life today.
So what did I do about it? I unlearned the old technique handed down to me and replaced it with a new one.
Today when we connect in a conversation, partnership, friendship, no matter what the situation might be, there’s a mind-to-heart shift taking place in the background. (It’s like my own guided meditation loop.)
While we’re interacting, I’ve learned to engage my senses and imagine my thoughts as iconic text bubbles, floating down from my brain to my heart. There, those bubbles lose their shape, fuse into my emotions, and I can relax and say what I’m feeling, not just thinking.
I don’t twinkle my nose as this all takes place. And feel free to call the whole thing new age. But the visual works for me and helps me operate from a place of love instead of fear.
Who knows? Something similar could work for you.
Better late than never
It’s tough to admit it’s taken me until I’m 50-something to figure this out. Allowing my heart to play more of a role in my daily interactions with people as well as ideas has been a transformational experience.
Am I better for it? I feel so.
Have my relationships improved? Overwhelmingly so.
Will you get the best I can be when we connect? Undeniably so.
When I stop analyzing what’s in my head, and start feeling what’s in my heart, I give you the best part of me. That goes for my business and personal relationships.
What about you?
Have you been operating solely from a rational and sometimes fearful place as a career professional, too? Have you been told you should leave your emotions out of your work? Or that you need to think more and feel less?
Well, I’m here to help you unlearn those techniques and reconnect with who you were before you rationalized yourself into a perfect spiral.
It’s time to experience life in a more balanced way. The path to being fulfilled in your work and life is by being true to your fundamental nature.
Here’s how we work together.
P.S. Do you have a technique for consistently showing up as your best self in both your business and personal relationships? Please share at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo: Joyce Wildlife Management Area, Ponchatoula, Louisiana by ©Carole Dupre LLC. All rights reserved.
Carole Dupré has worked as a brand marketer, entrepreneur and executive manager for 20+ years. She guides women professionals in clarifying their niche, landing their dream jobs and launching businesses that honor their true nature. She is a certified personal brand strategist, resume writer, social brand analyst, 360Reach survey coach and digital marketer.