Do you entertain?
I love having friends over and artistically arranging delicious foods on a platter for them. I love making sure to have everyone’s favorite drinks.
I want my friends to feel spoiled. Cherished.
Do you know we can do this for our thoughts as well?
If there’s something you want to believe – I trust myself. My gray hair is beautiful. I’m a leader. I'm not too old to go after my dreams. – do you make it inviting for the thoughts to stay?
Often, we don’t.
Instead, we entertain negative thoughts about ourselves.
We don’t just have these thoughts – we entertain them. We prepare food for them. We make them feel at home. We tell them to pull up a seat and tell us everything.
So we think, It's too late and then we catalogue all the ways it's too late for us to move forward. We make that thought feel at home. We spend a lot of time with it. We take it with us on walks. We give it its favorite foods. We know it’s not good for us, but we keep inviting it in.
Are there thoughts you no longer want to entertain? You don’t have to banish them (you do have a human brain, after all). It's not a problem that they sometimes show up. You just have to stop offering them so much hospitality.
I’m no longer entertaining that.
I remember the day I decided I would no longer entertain negative thoughts about my body. Imagine! For years, it felt natural to look in a mirror and hear a negative thought. (Hello, growing up as a woman in the 1980s). Until the day I decided to no longer entertain those thoughts, I didn’t realize it was an option, that I could just decide. Sometimes the thoughts still show up, of course (see: human brain) but when they do, I offer them no comfort, so they keep walking.
We often think that negative thoughts are a problem and we shame ourselves for having them. We wonder why we can’t just be more positive, more grateful. But negative thoughts aren’t a problem, as long as we don’t give them the gift of our attention. Realizing that just because a thought shows up, we don't owe it coffee and pastry, was such a big part of my own journey to not believing every thought my brain tosses up.
This week, If there are thoughts you no longer want to entertain, try affirming: I’m no longer entertaining that. But don’t put the olive jar away – Put out a charcuterie plate for more empowering thoughts. What thoughts do you want to entertain? Spend time with them. Take them out for a walk. Practice them, roll them around in your head, try them on like a beautiful piece of jewelry. Play music that makes those thoughts feel at home. Put on clothes that make the thoughts want to hang around.
It may sound out there, but it really works. Give the gift of your attention to the guests you want to return. ❤️
When I started my podcast in March 2022, I had thoughts like, Who am I to start a podcast? I know nothing about podcasting. What if I'm terrible? I decided, intentionally, not to entertain them. Instead, I invited in thoughts such as, I have good things to say; I can help people; and, It's good to be brave. And over time, I got better and my every-other-week podcast turned into a weekly podcast that has now reached 50 episodes. Along the way I intentionally did not entertain thoughts of giving up or of skipping a week (although some weeks those thoughts did ring the bell and stand on the porch for awhile!).
To celebrate episode #50, I decided to try something new -- an interview! I hope you enjoy it. I'm grateful to those of you who have listened, shared the podcast, cheered me on, and helped me to reach this milestone. It has all meant so much to me.
The midlife sabbatical: A conversation with Elana Kahn
Elana Kahn had over 20 years of important jobs with impressive titles. She had been Editor of the Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle, Director of Milwaukee's Jewish Community Relations Council, and Associate Dean for Outreach at Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership in Chicago. And then she decided, at the age of 55, to give herself a midlife sabbatical.
She left her job and decided to do less. She developed a different relationship with time and with herself. She painted and learned to throw pots on the wheel. She listened more closely to herself and others. At first she thought she should plan her sabbatical, but in the end, she decided to trust herself and the process. The results have been transformational in ways that we can learn from, even if we have no plans to leave our job.
Listen to this episode -- the first interview on Making Midlife Magic -- to discover:
🌟 How to take a sabbatical even if you can’t leave your job
🌟 Why productivity chips away at our self-trust and how doing less builds it
🌟 How to make your lunch hour a mini-sabbatical
🌟 Why the sabbatical may be especially important for middle-aged women
And so much more! This episode is filled with insights you'll continue thinking about long after the podcast ends.
Whether you want to step away from your job for awhile or just take a break while keeping your job, this episode offers so much. Enjoy!
You can find Elana Kahn's writing at Elanakahn.com.
⭐ I love having you in my world ⭐
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2023 giveaway: pages.coachingwithrachel.com/giveaway