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Embracing midlife without a crisis
Lisa Levine: Life coach
BY PETER BOWES | LOS ANGELES | APRIL 14, 2021 | 1019 PT
Turning fifty can be a wrenching experience for some people. Others discover that it is their sixtieth birthday that conjures up disturbing emotions. There is no doubt that big birthdays focus the mind on the aging process and what is often described as a midlife crisis. But should we fear the passage of time? Lisa Levine is a life coach and the author of Midlife No crisis, an insightful and entertaining exploration of the years that signpost our lives. In this LLAMA podcast conversation with Peter Bowes, Lisa explains why we should embrace “transformative” periods, instead of dreading them, and how the advancing years can propel us in a “more fulfilling direction,” with excitement and optimism.
Recorded: April 5, 2021 | Read a transcript
Connect with Lisa Levine: Website: The Audacious Life | Book: Midlife, No Crisis | Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest | LinkedIn
Topics covered in this interview include:
- When does mid-life happen and why is it associated with a crisis for some people.
- Pre-empting a mid-life crisis
- When the meaning of life becomes more important that just doing a job.
- The difference between turning 50 and 60?
- Leaving Hollywood and the entertainment business for a new calling – something deeper with more meaning.
- Becoming a life coach and “walking the talk.”
- Dealing with health obstacles and fertility issues and discovering alternative therapies.
- Do men and women face the same mid-life issues?
- How our backgrounds and life experiences mold our lives and attitudes toward aging.
- Discovering the perks on midlife, wisdom and putting space between negative thoughts.
- The value of friends and community in dealing with the aging process – knowing that you’re not alone.
- Social media – compare and despair. Avoiding the rabbit holes.
- The privilege that is aging.
- This episode is brought to you in association with JUVICELL, the all-in-one longevity supplement that contains 10 key ingredients shown to have a positive impact on healthspan, as validated by scientific studies. To find out more, visit juvicell.com
The Live Long and Master Aging podcast shares ideas but does not offer medical advice. If you have health concerns of any kind, or you are considering adopting a new diet or exercise regime, you should consult your doctor.
Lisa Levine: [00:00:03] It’s all anti-aging and I can’t stand it. It’s a big pet peeve of mine as well because there’s no such thing as anti-aging. You want to age, aging, please let me age let me keep going. It’s the getting old part that we don’t have to do. I don’t want to cover my wrinkles. I want I want to celebrate them.
Peter Bowes: [00:00:20] Hello again and welcome to LLAMA, the Live Long and Master Aging podcast. My name is Peter Bowes. This is where we explore the science and stories behind human longevity.
SPONSOR MESSAGE: [00:00:31] This episode is brought to you in association with JUVICELL, the all-in-one longevity supplement that contains 10 key ingredients shown to have a positive impact on healthspan as validated by scientific studies. To find out more, visit JUVICELL.com. That’s JUVICELL.com.
Peter Bowes: [00:00:52] Now, are you having a midlife crisis? Let’s break it down a bit. When is midlife and what happens at 35, 40, 50, 60? You choose the number. What happens at a certain point in our lives to make some of us think that we’re going through a crisis that’s related to our age. Do you find yourself Googling the ages of people on TV to see if they’re older or indeed younger and maybe compare their lifetime achievements with your own? Are they more beautiful, richer and generally doing much better than you think you are at your great age? Are they happy? Are you happy? Well, my guest today is Lisa Levine, the author of Midlife No Crisis. Lisa, welcome to the Live Long and Master Aging podcast.
Lisa Levine: [00:01:35] Hi, Peter. Thanks so much for having me. Happy to be here.
Peter Bowes: [00:01:38] Yeah, really good to talk to you. The subtitle of your book is An Audacious Guide to Embracing 50 and Beyond. So I guess there’s the answer to my first question. Fifty at least, was the age for you when all of this started to happen?
Lisa Levine: [00:01:53] It seems to me to be the age that triggers that sort of thinking for a lot of people. To be honest, it actually started to happen for me when I was around 48, but it was the idea that fifty was on the horizon that started to trigger it. And honestly, by the time I hit 50, I was in a completely different and much better place, really just feeling so alive and reignited in all of the things I wanted to do. And I that was I wrote a lot about that. And in fact, I had written it in a blog and that’s what became this book really just tips on how to, first of all, tips on what to do when you get there, but also a reassurance to people who are in that place where they’re going, oh, my God, how did I get here? So a way to help people go. It’s going to be OK.
Peter Bowes: [00:02:41] So you really benefited from starting to think about this a couple of years earlier or perhaps in your generally in your late forties, you prepared yourself maybe without even realizing it. I’m guessing for that big five that you knew something was on the horizon.
Lisa Levine: [00:02:56] Yeah, well, it felt like a crisis at the time. So I had been working at a production company and we used to go have these group company lunches are about 12 or 15 people. And we’d all be sitting around these long tables. And it was one of the things I loved the best about this particular job. It’s suddenly around 48, 49. I started to realize I really don’t care what these people are talking about. I don’t want to talk about the equipment that we’re shooting on. I don’t want to talk. I want to talk about the universe. I want to talk about meaning. I want to talk about what what to do next. I want to talk. I want to get deeper. And that was the beginning. And ultimately, it did lead to a little bit of an unraveling. But it also led me to becoming a life coach, which was something I do talk about in the book. And what I talk to my clients about is go back and look at the things that really that lit you up, the things that you the dreams that you might have put aside and reinvent, you know, sort of reinvestigate. There was no such thing as a life coach when I was in my 20s and going back to thinking about becoming a therapist. But there was something about that connecting with people that I took with me into my future career. But it wasn’t it wasn’t deep enough.
Peter Bowes: [00:04:03] Yeah. I want to talk about life coaching with you a little bit later. Just one more thought on turning 50. I’ll turn 60 in a year’s time, just under a year’s time. And I’ve talked to other people turning 60. And what strikes me is how that produces very different emotions to turning 40 or or even 50 or younger big birthdays, that something about sixty now, which clearly you haven’t got to that point yet, but very different emotions. I think they could perhaps relate to changes in your lifestyle, because not only are you thinking about your different attitudes towards work out fifty because you’re continuing to work. Sixty is the decade or the 60s of the decade when you contemplate stopping working, at least in most societies. And it is just fascinating to me how those different emotions occur. And you’ve delved into this, how they affect people in different ways.
Lisa Levine: [00:04:57] Absolutely. I mean, I’m actually I’m going to be 58 in May, so I’m closer than you think, but I but I have not really quite there yet, I think there’s a big difference too when you’re turning 50 or, you know, when you’re hitting the big Five-O, for many people, for many women and men, you’re still have kids at home. Maybe they’re teenagers. You know, you haven’t quite launched them. And by the time you’re 60 year old, so many people are looking at grand parenting. You know, it’s it’s like it’s a really different situation, but. Yeah. So I’m not quite where you’re at. 50 50 definitely does feel like a safe middle place, especially now that we’re all living to be so much older. And so 50 does feel like the middle. And you’re right, 60 feels different.
Peter Bowes: [00:05:39] So let’s delve into that. Just before we do, tell me about what you’ve spent your first almost 60 years doing. Tell me about your career.
Lisa Levine: [00:05:47] Yeah, so I went to film school at NYU and I but I loved film, but what I really loved was music. And I was in New York. I was at NYU and I would be going out to clubs every night. And I was I just wanted to be in the music. So I ultimately took my love of film and music and got a job as an intern at a record company. So I worked in the music business for several years in New York and then in Los Angeles, my boss moved to L.A. So I was at Elektra Records, I was at Geffen Records. And then right around that time, I actually started to think maybe I want to go be a therapist. And I did some investigating. I was about to go forward and get a Masters and I got a job offer to run a production company in Los Angeles. And I was young. I was 26 and I thought, OK, this is a really good deal. I’m going to take this job and see what happens. And so I ran this production company and ultimately it led me. I met my husband backstage at a Pearl Jam show in nineteen ninety two, I think it was. And we moved to Seattle together in 1993. And again, I thought, you know, maybe because I’m not in Los Angeles anymore, I need to change what I’m doing. And so I again went to go look to become to get a masters and it right around that same time. I also got a job in a cooking store. And so I because they were teaching classes and I wanted to take classes and learn more about nutrition. It was something that I had not grown up with at all in the 1970s in the suburbs, you know, I ate standard American diet and living in California, I started to expand my palate and cooking was a hobby. So I started taking these classes and working in this cooking store and thinking I’m going to go back to school. And then a director who lived in Seattle said, will, you just look at my real and tell me what you think. He was really talented. So I said, I’ll make a few calls for you. Sure. And one thing led to another. And I was in the cooking store with one of those giant cell phones, with the huge antennas, you know, like the on the phone all the time to record companies in Los Angeles. So I kept going. I put my dream aside and I said, OK, I’m going to start this company and I’m going to rep independent directors. And I made a pretty great run of it. We I had some terrific little companies that I worked with and we did some huge videos. And still there was something else calling me. And so I guess it was in 96, I thought, you know what, if I love creative people, but if I’m going to hold their hands all day long, I want to hold the hands of children. I would like to be related to them by actual blood. So I went forward and became it was quite an endeavor to go through all that. But I, I did have kids and then ultimately went back to working in production. And again…
Peter Bowes: [00:08:16] Did you find it quite liberating to get out of the, I suppose you could say, the all consuming world of Los Angeles and the entertainment world that I still, to some extent live in and work in and have been involved in some time. So I kind of know what it’s like. But was it quite liberating to get out of that?
Lisa Levine: [00:08:33] Yes. And it was a thousand percent liberating, although I did have a little bit of an identity crisis, well it was not so much leaving Los Angeles. But when I decided to really get out of the entertainment business, I had about like, oh, my gosh, if I’m not doing this has been my whole career, who am I? What am I going to do? But it all turned out OK. But yes, getting out of L.A., you know, L.A. is. Is like the ultimate yin yang, you know, it’s really there’s that there’s it’s incredible and the shadow side is so dark. And I just knew that I did want to have children and I did not want to raise children in Los Angeles. I did not, especially if I had a daughter, which I do now. And I just thought I got a I’ve got to find a different place. And my husband was on the same page. He was also in the entertainment world. He was a director and a producer. And so we did give up a lot to come here, but it was worth it for sure. So I went and I worked with this lovely little production company and I worked with them for about seven years. And I found them because I was always still very involved in music. Music is really one of the things that feeds my soul, live music, going to see bands. You know, a lot of my friends were in bands and played music. And so a friend of mine here was a bass player and she I would go hear her, listen to her rehearse because, you know, with little kids you don’t get to it’s not the same. You just don’t get to go out in the same way. So I would whenever I could. So I was at her rehearsal and the singer in her band said he worked at a production company and he said, oh, yeah, the girl who I work with, she doesn’t our producer doesn’t really rap very well. And I think I’d had a beer or two. I was like, Oh, you should call me, I could do it. And then he called me and I went, Oh my gosh, I guess I need to step up. So I ended up working with them as an independent contractor, but they were really my only client for seven years. And then I had that moment. But there are a series of moments of feeling that I was this was great and it had served me so well. But there was something I needed. Something deeper, more meaning. I needed more meaning. And that’s how I ended up, so I I ended up there’s this woman named Martha Beck. I’m not sure if you’re familiar with Dr. Martha Beck, but I had read many of her books and I loved them. And I think one time I was at a dentist appointment and I was sitting there and reading an Oprah magazine and I read an article that I loved and I saw she had written it and after I read it, said she was a life coach, I was like, I don’t know what that is, but that sounds really cool. And I kind of flirted with that and found her website and, you know, went back and forth with it. And so when I hit that, you know, apparent crisis, I was like, OK, I’m going to do this. I’m going to stop flirting and I’m going to make a move and I’m going to actually do it. So I did it. And honestly, Peter, it was the best thing I did. And it was so scary because once you start to become a coach, you really need to start to walk your talk. And I found myself what my credit, my crisis felt like I was on I was in on a life raft in the fog with no oar and I pushed off from land and I knew that there was other land on the other side. I just couldn’t see it. And I really had to trust myself. And by the time I got there, all was well, I knew what I knew what direction I was heading in. And the coaching tools really helped me. And, you know, like I said, turning fifty was like a joy.It’s fabulous.
Peter Bowes: [00:11:51] What does it involve training as a life coach?
Lisa Levine: [00:11:54] Well, I think it’s different with every, you know, depending on the program. But with the Martha Beck program, it was a nine months or about a year of working with the cohorts. I guess we think we had 50 people in our cohort. So we would do larger group things and we had smaller group things. We did a lot of one on one work and or one on eight work. And you really learn that for her, the cornerstone of life coaching is thought work – is examining how you’re thinking. And so there’s a lot of we worked we learned a lot of the Byron Katie work. We learned how to we I wouldn’t say we learned it, but because most of the people who were called to coaching are doing it. I mean, they they want to help. They want to listen. So it’s really about learning about how to be an active listener. And coaching is very different than therapy. Therapy is really about mental health and a lot of ways and coaching is really about, OK, that happened. Now, what are we going to do and how is your thinking keeping you back? How was your thinking and your fear holding you back from what you really want? It’s it’s I never really understood that. I never looked at that. And it’s incredibly empowering. I love that.
Peter Bowes: [00:13:07] You’ve also faced up to some quite serious personal health challenges as well, haven’t you?
Lisa Levine: [00:13:11] Yeah, I did. I did. In fact, that was one of the reasons that I did stop working in the music business or in the in all of that was because when I decided I wanted to hold the hands of my very own children, I found that I actually had my husband. I had some fertility issues that we need to deal with. And right before we were going to do that, I got diagnosed with an autoimmune condition called Grave’s Disease, which is a hypothyroid. And the typical way that the Western medicine treats Grave’s disease is they have you swallow a pill with radioactive iodine to burn out part of your thyroid and then you just end up supplementing your thyroid. But because I knew I was going to be doing in vitro, that just felt really wrong to me. And so I found I basically did every alternative therapy under the sun. I did. I ended up using also beta blockers, but I did not swallow the iodine. I had two Shamanic sole retrievals. I learned about. I had acupuncture. I changed my diet. I, I mean, I did all the things I did. I did all the things – I did five element acupuncture, which is completely different than traditional acupuncture. I mean, I really it was a deep dive into all of that stuff. And the good news is, is that, you know, I did retrieve little parts of my soul back then, too, but I did also go into remission and it has never come back. And I was able to do in vitro and it didn’t work the first time, but it worked the second time. And my son Jake is now 22, will be 23 in August. And then when he was 15 months old, I got pregnant. You know, it was a freebie. I remember telling my husband I’m late and he said, Late for what? You know, it was one of those things. So, yeah. So I did. I never thought I guess what I want to also say is that whole experience with Grave’s disease and with learning about all the alternative alternatives out there really continued to spark an interest in health and really a mind body connection. But the body part being, you know, how to eat, to support your immune system and to eat to to live, you know, live long and prosper, as they say.
Peter Bowes: [00:15:12] So all of these life experiences have really molded you in terms of your perspective and perhaps your expertise in certain areas. But certainly they are the backdrop to where you are now. And when you wrote this book, Midlife. No. Crisis, and it is a book that is framed in terms of mostly in terms of women and women’s experiences, but but reading it, I found I don’t know, a great deal of it is equally appropriate for men, I think.
Lisa Levine: [00:15:41] I think you’re right. It’s funny. I have a friend here in Seattle, a man who’s just turned 60 and he bought my book and he called me in tears and he said, this is exactly what I needed. And he did a, you know, a great review for me. But I thought maybe I need to start marketing to to 60 year old men, too. I mean, it is. It is it’s for men and women. The way that I looked at it is that because sometimes when you’re in a situation where you feel like you’re in crisis, if you if you were to feel like you’re in crisis, it’s overwhelming to try to change everything at once. Our instinct is to go, oh, my God, I have to make a change. This is crazy. I got to change things. And then what happens next sometimes is like, that’s too much. I’m just going to go back to the couch for a little while and just sit. So the book is written in such a way that it feels like it’s bite, bite size. You know, it’s little little bites of of wisdom of four tall little small tools so that you can pick it up and get something out of it that is more easily digested than a huge thing, which I think is important.
Peter Bowes: [00:16:42] Yeah, I totally agree. And have you equally come across some people with whom the issues didn’t really resonate and they got to that age and that didn’t happen to me. I just sailed through that decade.
Lisa Levine: [00:16:53] So many. Yes, more people that that didn’t sail through, but so many that have one of my best friends. In fact, she keeps going, ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about. This is.’ But I you know, I think that that goes back to again, there’s so many things that so many components that make us who we are. And I would say that the majority of the people that I know, especially at our age, who were raised by parents who were born in the 1930s or 40s, you know, their parenting style in the 60s was very different than the parenting style was now. So more people that I know or come from dysfunctional families than what I would call more functional families. And so I think that that when you’re examining your thinking and when you’re examining your limiting beliefs, so many of them come from the tangled crap that we are that we imprint on early. And I think that more of us are like that than the ones that, you know, then my particular friend who was like, I don’t know what you’re talking about. And when I look at her, she came from a very different background than I did.
Peter Bowes: [00:17:57] And I think that’s key that we all come from different backgrounds. Aging does affect us all in different ways. Midlife, whether it’s 50 or 60. Those lifetime experiences, I think determined to some extent how we cope with the passing years and perhaps also our perspective on what’s to come by the word daunted by the years to come, whether we’re excited or even afraid of what’s to come totally.
Lisa Levine: [00:18:19] And it’s also very much a cultural thing. I don’t know if you’re familiar with a book by Dr. Mario Martinez, which is I think it’s called The MindBody Code. One of the things that he says is, for instance, there’s a way, the word for I think it’s hot flashes in. I think it might be in Brazil, in the South American country, really are synonymous with a word that means that’s more shameful. And so a lot of times, women who are going through menopause or at the menopause, they have a much harder time going through that because hot flashes feel like something that’s shameful versus in Japan when you’re when a woman is going through menopause, it’s about entering her second spring. And so it’s very much about regaining wisdom and it’s a completely different feeling. And so at times he really talks about how the way we think in our cultural editors. That’s what it is. When he talks about our cultural editors, it really impacts how we feel and how we age. And so I think that that is also a part of this.
Peter Bowes: [00:19:10] We’re going to pause for a moment. We’ll continue our conversation in less than a minute. You’re listening to the Live Long and Master Aging podcast.
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Peter Bowes: [00:20:01] I’m talking to Lisa Levine, who is the author of Midlife No Crisis. And Lisa, I think we’ve actually just touched on this in terms of what you were saying just a moment ago about really turning our emotions. If we aren’t daunted by midlife and if we are perceiving the situation as being a crisis, we can ultimately turn it into a positive.
Lisa Levine: [00:20:21] Yes, 100 percent. And again, it’s really all about the lens that you’re using to look at. What you’re going through and so one of the things I like to talk about in the book is the perks of midlife. So when you start to realize the things that you’re gaining as you age, you know, you might need glasses, but you’re you’re you can see things infinitely clearer. You know who you are. You’ve gained a tremendous amount of wisdom. It’s really just about turning off those thought, learning how to turn off, learning how to recognize and put some space in between those thoughts that are telling you that you’re old, you’re washed up, you don’t know what you need to do. You’re not relevant. All of the feelings that can come, which is when you suddenly open your eyes after a really hard, you know, a very engaging career or raising children. And you go, hold on, where how did I get here? Like, who am I again? What am I what do I really want? And so, yeah, there’s this is this is an opportunity to turn it around. And so the book really helps people find there’s lots of different options for ways to look at it and things to do to help you change your perspective.
Peter Bowes: [00:21:28] And one of the things that you write about is the importance of our friends and sharing your thoughts and perhaps benefiting from another person’s experiences as you move forward.
Lisa Levine: [00:21:40] Yes, community is a huge thing and definitely with your friends, although sometimes what you might happen is that your friends aren’t in the same place with you and they’re not there. So sometimes your immediate circle of friends are not necessarily the most supportive outlet. So sometimes looking for community, that is that is going through something similar. And I think that is one of the beautiful things about the Internet and about social media and Facebook and being able to find people who are going through what you’re going through. It’s but yes, to know that you’re not alone when you feel so lost on a life raft with no oar it’s very important to find folks who can go. It’s going to be OK. I’ve either I’ve just done this and this is what I did or oh my gosh, I feel you, sister. I’m right there with you. Let me get on your raft with you.
Peter Bowes: [00:22:29] You mentioned social media, Facebook, whichever platform you’re on. Can it also be a negative force at that time in your life? I’m assuming the answer. There’s going to be a big yes, because we’re all aware of the the issues related to friends doing things or perceived as doing things that you haven’t achieved. The photographs on Instagram that always look better than your photographs. Surely some of those issues go into exactly what you’re talking.
Lisa Levine: [00:22:55] Hundred percent. I do talk about that in the book as well. There’s this thing in the coaching industry we like to call, compare and despair. And, you know, when you’re looking when you’re scrolling through and you’re realizing, oh, my gosh, this she’s got her life together, she’s so much thinner. You know, she’s got a much more successful career than I have. And, oh, gosh, they’re all married and I’m not. And it’s easy to fall into those rabbit holes for sure. So when I tell folks that when I talk to coach clients who are going through that, I think it’s really important to notice when you’re going through when you’re scrolling through Instagram, say, or Facebook. And if it makes you feel crappy, then you need to bail. But if it makes you feel inspired, then go for it and take note. What about it is inspiring to you? What exactly is it that you like that you make? Oh yeah, I can do that. Or I never thought of that or I want to make that or I’m going to try that, whatever it is.
Peter Bowes: [00:23:46] So you’ve got to recognize and acknowledge to yourself that you’re you’re not responding well to what you’re seeing and just don’t do it. Just don’t look at it.
Lisa Levine: [00:23:54] Take a break. I mean, you know, it’s like we don’t know we humans don’t respond. Well, when you say, like, just stop it, don’t do that anymore, we’re like, well, no, I’m going to do it anyway. But you can take a break. You can, you know, set a timer. You can go change the scenery because, you know, ultimately, again, it’s about the thoughts and the thoughts create our feelings. And so when you say, you know, I’m feeling a certain way, it’s typically because you’re thinking something particularly negative, you know, if you’re feeling depressed or what is it that you’re feeling depressed about? I was just talking to my daughter about this, who’s twenty? And she was saying, I feel like I don’t belong. I said, well, that’s not a feeling. That’s a thought. I don’t belong as a thought. What is it actually making you feel? And then how can we change that thought so that you can feel differently? And so much of that change can come from how do I want to feel, how do I really want to feel? And what can I do to feel that way? What can I think to feel and do to feel the way I want to feel? I think it’s very empowering.
Peter Bowes: [00:24:53] And you you write in your book, one of the benefits of aging is recognizing that even if you can’t control a situation, this comes right to the heart of what you’ve just been saying. If you can’t control a situation, you can control your response to it.
Lisa Levine: [00:25:06] Yes, 100 percent. Because so many times I mean, here’s the thing. Let’s just I don’t know. I don’t know. But political bent your most of your listeners are in, but you know, it say you don’t like who the president is. You’re not going to be able to change that right away. So but you can control your response to it so you can you can be angry and you can walk around and you can be. Angry all the time, or you can say, I’m going to channel that feeling into I’m going to do something positive, I’m going to do something productive, you can’t change a circumstance all the time, but you can change your thoughts and your feelings about it. And you can’t change the fact that you’re getting that we’re aging. It’s it’s happening, right. We’re aging. And in fact, it is a privilege to age. It’s a gift. But we can control how we feel about it. I like to say that aging is inevitable, but getting old is entirely optional because getting old is in your mind. I mean, how many people have you known in their 20s or 30s that just felt old? You know, just, oh, God, everything stinks. And how many people have you met in their 70s or 80s who just they’re doing all the things they feel. They feel youthful. Being around them is inspiring. It’s getting old is optional.
Peter Bowes: [00:26:11] And that really resonates with what we try to do with this podcast. And you also talk about how reaching midlife reminds us quite simply that time is valuable and that it is a privilege. You just use that expression. It’s a privilege to get to to whatever age, to get to 40, 50, 60, 80, 90 or 100, especially if you get to those great ages and still have good health.
Lisa Levine: [00:26:33] 100 percent. I mean, I you know, I sadly lost my best friend to lung cancer when we were 37. She doesn’t get to age. She she she’s done at 37. But I do get to age. So sometimes I think about that and I think how am I going to continue to age in a way that, you know, I can age for both of us. What can I do for both of us? She’s not here any longer,
Peter Bowes: [00:26:53] Just acknowledging that the time is valuable.
Lisa Levine: [00:26:56] Yes, absolutely. And I think that is why 50 is such a big round number. And it is an acknowledgement of, oh, my gosh, yes, I get to keep going. I what do I want to do with the rest of this time? And I think that birthdays, you know, there’s so many jokey birthday cards about getting old and, you know, like how many candles on the cake. But I think celebrate it to the utmost like I got here. And where am I going to go next? It’s just to me it feels exciting.
Peter Bowes: [00:27:24] And regular listeners to this podcast will know that I don’t particularly like the expression anti or anti aging, which is used so much in the industry of aging. But I think it has so many negative connotations that aging is something, as you’ve just beautifully explained, is something to be celebrated and is something to be pursued with vigor rather than trying to. Yes, we can try to turn the clock back biologically and be as physically fit as possible at fifty, sixty or seventy, perhaps reflecting how we were at thirty, forty or fifty. But psychologically we’re still moving forward.
Lisa Levine: [00:27:58] Yes. You know, especially as women it is it’s because you can’t imagine how much we are being marketed to with anti aging products for skin care, for makeup, for hair color, for everything. It’s all anti aging and I can’t stand it. It’s a big pet peeve of mine as well because there’s no such thing as anti aging. You want to age aging, please let me age let me keep going. It’s the getting old part that we don’t have to do. And so I don’t want to cover my wrinkles. I mean, I want I want to celebrate them. I you know, I will admit to you that I do color my gray hair, but that’s OK. Like, it’s a choice for everybody. I think it’s another really important thing to recognize that especially for women, because women we get we can be quite judgy to stop judging each other, that we’re all sisters. If I color my hair, no big deal. If you don’t, more power to you. It’s all fine. But let’s just let’s just not let’s celebrate each other and not criticize each other.It’s hard.
Peter Bowes: [00:28:56] And again, that interestingly, that’s an issue that applies to men as well as men. Fewer and fewer men, well, fewer than women color their hair, but some do it. And that’s fine. Yeah. If it makes you feel good, plenty don’t. But if you do, that’s OK.
Lisa Levine: [00:29:11] Absolutely. And if you can’t, so with women, they’ll say, oh, I was you know, men have it so easy because they can go gray and they can be, you know, and it’s encouraged and they look, you know, silver fox. But as women, we don’t get that. We turn into crones and that’s not OK. I know. So I’m with you there for sure.
Peter Bowes: [00:29:28] It’s clear that you have and you I think I share this with you, the gratitude simply for being able to grow old and maintain our health more generally. And you write about this. Do you see gratitude as something that we can embrace and help us move forward in a more positive sense?
Lisa Levine: [00:29:45] Well, yeah. I mean, the reason I think the reason that gratitude and, you know, a quote, gratitude practice having are so, so spoken about. You know, there there have been trending so hard in the last ten years is because they really do work. It makes a difference when you’re in a state of gratitude. You’re not in a state of stress and distress. I mean, you are you are at gratitude. I think for me, my gratitude practice. And I don’t always have like a I would say that I don’t regularly I go on and off of it, but I use it when I need it. And when I do, it just helps me to be more present. It reminds me of the things in my life that I want more of it on. And it’s like writing a thank you note to God when I. That’s what I look at when I. Journal in my when I journal about it, when I’m really in deep into my gratitude practice, I feel like I’m writing a thank you note to the universe and you know who doesn’t like a thank you note? You know, it’s like I feel like the more you do that, the more you get back. I think that that’s one of the I don’t know a lot about about about law of attraction or manifestation. I mean, I know a little bit, but not a lot. And I think that the idea is that, you know, to create more of what you want, you have to kind of get in those feeling states. And it’s only like when you write a thank you note, like when you get a thank you note, aren’t you always touched and think, oh, I love that? Well, I kind of like to think that the universe is appreciative of the thank you notes that I’m writing in my journal. That’s the way I look at it.
Peter Bowes: [00:31:06] It’s a funny emotion, isn’t it, that when you when you do get it, especially handwritten thank you note. Apart from being touched by it, you think, or I sometimes think, I should do that more often. And I think you benefit as much as perhaps even more than the person receiving.
Lisa Levine: [00:31:21] You know, that is something that I do recommend to clients sometimes when they are feeling disconnected from themselves or they’re feeling somewhat lost, it’s like sit down and write actual handwritten thank you notes. Like you pick, you know, 30 days, like each day you’re going to write a note to somebody because it really helps you to get out of that space and into a place of gratitude for the people and the things in your life. Very it’s also very powerful.
Peter Bowes: [00:31:45] Let me ask you and this is a familiar question for me to my guests on this podcast in terms of looking ahead to your life in the next 20, 30 years, we talk a lot about longevity and achieving a great healthspan the number of years that we enjoy optimum health. Life span is is a different matter, but just enjoying the fullness of our lives. From what you have learned by researching this book and your own lifetime experiences, how do you live your life today with the next few decades in life?
Lisa Levine: [00:32:16] Well, there’s a couple of there’s two I really kind of divided into two bits, which is mind and body. And so the mind part is all about, again, your attitude and the lens that you’re looking at it through. At the body part, though, I just did this really cool epigenetics testing and counseling with a coach that I met, that I met. And I’m going to start referring some of my clients to her as well, because, you know, I think that really is the future of medicine and aging, aging healthfully. And healthspan is knowing what you are genetically wired for and being in the wellness coach, because I’m also a certified health coach and being in that there’s so much wellness advice that we give and people get really confused because they think it’s for everyone and it’s not. So, for instance, collagen, collagen powder, collagen peptides. I talk about them all the time. Well, it turns out as of last week, they don’t really it’s not really good for me. My gut doesn’t like things with too much. I’ll l-glutamine in them. And that is a genetic thing. And so, you know, it doesn’t mean that I have to never eat them again. Like, it doesn’t mean I can never have bone broth and I can never have soup, but I don’t need to add more in all the time. So Healthspan, I think is really interesting to look at to start paying attention to what works for your body. So together with my healthy body and my healthy mind, my goal is to have as many adventures as possible. My kids are now, you know, almost finished with college. And once that’s done, I’m going to start looking for some new adventures. And of course, we want the pandemic to be over as well. That would be helpful. But I feel like there’s light at the end of that tunnel. And so I I’m going to start cooking up some adventures. My husband and I are going to I don’t know what we’re going to do or thinking about it, but yes, body mind. It’s too they go together.
Peter Bowes: [00:34:03] Well Lisa whatever your next adventure is, enjoy it. It’s been really fascinating talking to you. Thank you very much indeed.
Lisa Levine: [00:34:09] Thank you so much for having me. I appreciate it. I love the podcast.
Peter Bowes: [00:34:12] Thank you. I really appreciate that. And your book, Midlife No Crisis: An Audacious Guide to Embracing 50 and Beyond. I’ll put a link to it in the show notes of this episode, along with Lisa’s pages on various social media platforms. You’ll find us @LLAMApodcast podcast. I’m @Peter Bowes and the Live Long and Master Aging website is at LLAMApodcast.com LLAMApodcast.com. This is a Healthspan Media production. A quick reminder that we’re now also available at Audible.com. You might listen to books there. You can also download this podcast free of charge wherever you find us. Take care. And thanks so much for listening.