We’ve all had those moments – catching sight of the gray hairs sprouting up, realizing your high school reunion is just around the corner, watching your kids grow up and even leave the nest. In my case, seeing my hair careen out of my head and leaving reading glasses in nooks and pockets all over the place. Suddenly you can’t help but wonder: wait, am I getting old?
Those worries creep in even though you might not actually feel “old.” But society seems to say your prime is past and relevance is waning. Every new candle on the birthday cake feels like another reminder that your vibrant, joyful days are ticking away.
But what if that was all a lie? What if aging didn’t have to be something to endure, but rather embrace? What if aging could instead be a time of continuing growth, joy, and expanded possibilities? What if stepping into “the best years of your life,” wasn’t actually a goofy TV line, but rather, a reality that you could inhabit?
My guest today, Karen Walrond, makes some pretty powerful arguments that help reframe getting older as something that, yes, comes with very real physical and psychological effects, but also with so many more experiences of grace and peace and joy and wisdom that make live so much better. She invites us to embrace a Radiant Rebellion against the pervasive ageism in modern culture with her latest book, Radiant Rebellion: Reclaim Aging, Practice Joy, and Raise a Little Hell.
As someone who has built a career around empowering people to live their best lives, Karen wasn’t willing to accept the notion that we should fear getting older. In today’s conversation, Karen shares her personal quest to understand societal views on aging, and how we can shift our mindset to embrace the possibilities of every stage of life. With contagious optimism and hard-won wisdom, she examines everything from health to beauty, relationships, purpose, and more through the lens of aging.
Imagine if we could release outdated cultural scripts around growing older and rewrite new narratives illuminated by purpose, levity, wisdom and childlike curiosity. Karen shows us how, through practical exercises, paradigm-shifting perspectives, and radically reimagining not just aging, but living itself. Oh, and also, just straight up finding it easier to be yourself and laugh at things along the way.
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Karen Walrond (00:00:00) – The idea of doing something for something bigger than yourself. That might be the secret sauce, honestly. Right? That might be the secret sauce to living. Well, that may be the secret sauce to happiness. That might be the secret sauce to aging. Well, right, is sort of figuring out a couple of things. One, what are the things that really sort of stir a passion in me? And that passion could be anger. Like, what are the causes that make me think it’s not right that things aren’t this way or it’s so great when things are this way, right? Either one of those and how can I be a part of that and coupling that with What am I really good at? What do people thank me for and how can I use that thing in service of that? Cause man, that is the secret sauce. That to me is the way you live. Well, and aging is living. That is the way you age. Well, is really sort of tapping into how can I help make the world the kind of world that I want to live in and that I want people coming up behind me, want to live in what is my small part.
Karen Walrond (00:00:55) – And that’s a really, really big part of it for sure.
Jonathan Fields (00:01:00) – So we have all had those moments catching sight of a gray hair sprouting up, realizing your high school reunions just around the corner, watching your kids grow up, even leave the nest. In my case, seeing my hair literally careen out of my head and leaving reading glasses and nooks and pockets all over the place. And suddenly you can’t help it wonder, Wait a minute, am I getting old? Those worries creep in, even though you might not actually feel old. But society seems to say your prime is past and relevance is waning and every new candle on that birthday cake feels like it’s supposed to be another reminder that your vibrant, joyful days are just ticking away. But what if that was all a lie? What if aging didn’t have to be something to endure, but rather embrace? What if aging could instead be a time of continuing growth and joy and expanded possibilities? What if stepping into the best years of your life wasn’t actually a goofy TV line, but rather a reality that you could inhabit no matter what reality you were embraced by.
Jonathan Fields (00:02:04) – My guest today, Karen Waldron, makes some pretty powerful arguments that help reframe. Getting older is something that, yes, comes with very real physical and psychological effects, but also with so many more experiences of grace and peace and joy and wisdom that make life so much better. She invites us to embrace a radiant rebellion against the pervasive ageism in modern culture with her latest book, Radiant Rebellion Reclaim Aging, Practice Joy and raise a Little Hell. As someone who has built a career around empowering people to live their best lives, Karen wasn’t willing to accept the notion that we should just fear and resign ourselves to getting older. And today’s conversation, Karen shares her personal quest to understand the societal views on aging, where they came from and how we can shift our narrative and our mindset to embrace the possibilities of every stage of life with really contagious optimism and some pretty hard won wisdom. She also examines everything from health to beauty to relationships to purpose and more through the lens of aging, with some surprising research and insights.
Jonathan Fields (00:03:15) – So imagine if we could release outdated cultural scripts around growing older and truly rewrite new narratives illuminated by purpose and levity and wisdom and childlike curiosity. Even Karen really shows us how through practical exercises, some paradigm shifting perspectives and radically reimagining not just aging, but living itself and just straight up finding it easier to be yourself and laugh at things along the way. So excited to share this conversation with you. I’m Jonathan Fields and this is Good Life Project. You and I are similar ages. We have some weird overlaps. Also, like you and I in the law. You were in the law for much longer than I was, but also having this fiercely creative side to us, like really deeply trying to see and take in and understand the world, you know, both not just intellectually, but aesthetically as well, and then really just figure out how does that land with us? How does it inform what the world looks and feels like? So it’s interesting to be having this conversation with you at this moment in time where, you know, it feels like you’re sort of on the back end of a big date or a big age for you that really led you into a questioning moment.
Jonathan Fields (00:04:34) – Should we even call it an entire season about like, what is this thing called age and how does it fit into my life? How does it fit into the cultural conversation? And it was interesting. Also, I was catching up on some of your work, and as I was doing that, I stumbled back onto your YouTube channel, which I remember first saying years ago, and in doing so, found this video that you had created about 11 or so years ago on Beauty, where you are just sort of like showing all these different women and you offered sort of like these ten different ideas or ideals around, like, can we really talk about this differently? And it was powerful because it spoke so much to what you’re talking about now. And you can see the seeds of so much of your thought process in your conversation. You’re thinking around age more than a decade ago reflected in your work. I thought it was just really fascinating to see that.
Karen Walrond (00:05:30) – Yeah, for sure. You know, it’s so funny because I decided to write this book, Gradient Rebellion, because I didn’t understand why I was supposed to be upset about aging.
Karen Walrond (00:05:43) – Like I had never been a person who worried about aging. I always got excited about my birthday and I wrote it last year. Right. It takes that long for a book to come out, as you know. So I wrote it last year and I was celebrating my 20th anniversary. I was turning 55. My daughter was turning 18, my only child turning 18 and going off to college. And everybody except for the 20 year marriage, everybody, when I would say any of those things, I’m turning 55. The reaction was oh, oh, oh, You okay? Oh, your daughter’s graduating. Oh, how are you doing? You okay? And I kept thinking, isn’t this the point? Like, aren’t we supposed to be getting older? Isn’t our kid supposed to be graduating? Like, what is this about? And yeah, to your point, it’s very similar to sort of what I beauty ideals. I mean, and obviously beauty can be very tied up in aging, but I find myself sort of befuddled and I, you know, I don’t think you can have a podcast called The Good Life Project without also being befuddled at people who sort of look at these things and think, Oh, that’s too bad.
Karen Walrond (00:06:46) – That’s really tough When there’s so much real beauty out there, there’s so much real potential out there, there’s so much real good out there to be seen. All we have to do is just open our eyes to see it. And that’s really why I wrote the book. I will admit that there was a part of me that was sort of like, Well, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I’m supposed to hate this, and maybe one day it will hit me that I’m really it’s really miserable. So how can I approach my aging to make sure that I never lose this feeling of excitement and the idea of the potentiality? And so that literally was sort of the exploration that that I did in the book. And I’m still happy. So that’s a good sign.
Jonathan Fields (00:07:23) – Yeah, I love that. It’s funny as you’re sharing that I was reflecting on popped into my head, was in a past life, I was in the fitness industry and part of the sort of like the aspirational let’s go after the quote silver sneakers market.
Jonathan Fields (00:07:37) – And I was thinking to myself back then that was defined by the age cutoff of 55. Wow. And I’m thinking to myself, do I consider myself a sort of like, quote, silver sneaker? Yeah. And I’m like, no, but I’m fine with the age. But so often the language that we use built into that language itself is a set of assumptions that include limitations and assumed feelings that often just aren’t true. And aren’t there.
Karen Walrond (00:08:07) – Yeah, that probably for me, that sort of the use of language and the way we use language was probably the biggest aha moment for me because I went into this feeling a bit smug. Like I went in thinking I’m cool with aging and I will help educate all the other people who are not cool of aging. But I’m so enlightened, you know? And I had the opportunity to interview a woman who’s fantastic. Her name is Ashton Applewhite, and she’s an anti aging activist. And I was talking to her and she said to me, you know, one of the things that I wish people did more was that I wish they examined how they use the words old and young.
Karen Walrond (00:08:45) – Right? Just those words. And I thought, well, okay, what say some more about that. And she said, Well, I hear people say all the. Time I don’t feel old. And I said, Yeah, I say that all the time myself. I don’t feel old. Why is that bad? And she said, Well, I suspect when you say that what you’re thinking or what you’re saying is I don’t feel unsexy or I don’t feel irrelevant or I don’t feel invisible. And she says, I don’t know about you, but when I was 13, I felt unsexy, irrelevant and invisible. Like those words are not age related, right? And we so often use the shorthand of old is bad, young is good, and we don’t even realize we’re doing it. It was sort of this big, Oh my gosh, I am guilty of it as well. And even me, as healthy as I am around aging, like I still fall into that trap of a just language.
Karen Walrond (00:09:35) – And you know, I love silver sneakers. I think that’s hysterical. I’ve never heard that before. But we do. We just have this sort of shorthand of what all that means without even really interrogating what we mean when we use the words.
Jonathan Fields (00:09:46) – Yeah, no, that makes so much sense to me. And the language is something that I think we often it gets handed to us and we don’t ever get curious about it, but it’s the assumptions that go along with the language that I think you’re speaking to really. It’s like when we use those words and decoupling those assumptions from the language, I think it’s just so powerful. Your example right there of saying, Well, we felt a really similar way, many of us when we were in our teens. Right. And that’s the association that we have with, quote, the word old. Right? So it’s really not about that. You know, it’s about something else. It’s about a state that we’re experiencing at any given time or season of our lives.
Karen Walrond (00:10:27) – Yeah. And she was so wise. And one of the things that I’ve been so one of the things I’ve been doing is I’ve been examining my language and using, like the words older or younger. Like, for example, I’m 56 now, and to a 20 year old that may seem old, but to an 80 year old, that may seem really, really young. And so I really try to think about like how I use that language. And one of the things I learned was we have more in common. The younger we are than the only we are because we age at different rates, right? So seven year olds have more in common than 27 year olds, than 57 year olds than 87 year olds. And so that idea of if we think of ourselves in stages as opposed to ages, that probably makes more sense. If I think I shared my daughter went off to college. I’m 56. Well, there are 46 year olds, you know, there are even 36 year olds who kids are on their way off to college.
Karen Walrond (00:11:20) – I probably have more in common with those people that are in different stages of parenting than I do with people who necessarily are my age. Right. And so to think of ourselves as what stage are we in in life and who we have in common with their as opposed to, well, I’m X years on this planet, so I only have things in common with people who have similar years on the planet.
Jonathan Fields (00:11:42) – When we talk about aging, getting older, a lot of the conversation around it is guided by culture, and culture changes depending on who you are, depending on what country you are, what heritage you have. When you started looking into sort of like the conversation around aging, what did you start to see as the things that we were consistently getting wrong or misguided about? And as you start interrogating those, where does that come from?
Karen Walrond (00:12:17) – That’s a big question. Some of it is culture for sure. I think I’m originally from the Caribbean, and I think that the way that we look at aging in the West Indies is very different than the way we look at aging in America.
Karen Walrond (00:12:29) – There is more, I suspect, of people entering into their elder stages, right? They become elders in a lot of countries that you don’t see as much in the US. And that’s sort of anecdotal. That’s just sort of my my thing. What was really interesting to me, though, was sort of the history of the perception of aging in the United States, because I wanted to know, did we always hate getting older? Was that a thing? I found this really interesting academic article written by a psychiatrist and a medical historian. Her name is Dr. Laura Hirschman, and she did this research. And the way she did it, which was so interesting to me, is she looked up articles in popular magazines and how they treated aging. Right. And over time and it turns out at the beginning of the of the 19 around the 1900s, the beginning of the 20th century, most articles were written by people who were older, who were in their 80s, and they loved aging. Like generally everybody loved aging.
Karen Walrond (00:13:27) – It was like, Oh yeah, okay, I’ve got an ache and a pain here, but I just love the wisdom that comes with aging. I love everything about it. And so people really sort of loved it. Fast forward, there’s two world wars, a Great Depression, and the United States government decides, you know what, There’s a lot of people who are in the workforce that are in their 80s. We’ve got a lot of kids in their 30s who have young families and can’t get jobs. So we’re going to mandate. A retirement age, 65. Is it everybody? So we want everybody out of the workforce. So now, because these 80 something year olds are not contributing to the economy, they are now a burden. They’re considered a burden on society, which is bad enough. But then child psychiatrists and pediatricians decided to research to back up what a burden they were and the standard for normalcy as a five year old. So if you weren’t as agile as a five year old or you didn’t have the cognitive ability of a five year old, it’s sucking up knowledge just to grow, then you were impaired and they started writing articles.
Karen Walrond (00:14:28) – So now, like if you read articles about aging, they’re mostly written by psychiatrists or gerontologist or whatever, and now it’s a burden. So now we’re starting to think of, Oh, I don’t want to look old, I don’t want to be perceived as old. Enter Clairol. And everybody starts dyeing their hair. So because you don’t want to let people believe that you’re old anymore, you don’t want to be perceived as a burden, you better hide that. And all happened in the first 50 years of the 20th century. So interestingly, it’s not just sort of a, oh, I just don’t like getting older thing. It actually is baked into the culture in the United States that we think that older means irrelevant. Older means a burden on society. And we’ve really sort of bought into it as a culture. And that, of course, affects everything, affects beauty, affects jobs, it affects everything when you start to think of it that way.
Jonathan Fields (00:15:15) – Yeah. And I mean, building on that foundation, it sounds like what then starts to happen as a cascade of industry starts to really come into the equation.
Jonathan Fields (00:15:25) – You know, hair color is the example that you gave, but I would imagine you could trace all sorts of other interventions where if the message becomes this is not the okay season of life to be stepping into. Here are all sorts of ways that you can either stop the process or make it appear like it’s not happening to others. So it’s more sort of societally acceptable wherever you are.
Karen Walrond (00:15:50) – Absolutely. And it’s $1 trillion industry, largely unregulated, and the target age is 24 years old is when they start doing that, which is bananas, right? Like it’s five years from teenager hood and you are now the target for the anti-aging industry. It’s insane. I started writing this book thinking I was just going to be like, Oh, it’s fine, don’t worry about it. Aging. And I ended writing a book like, Oh my gosh, like, we really need to rage against this. This is this is toxic and we’re buying into it and don’t even understand why.
Jonathan Fields (00:16:21) – So when you look at raging against it, I guess step one is really like just pulling back the curtain and showing like, here’s what’s really happening.
Jonathan Fields (00:16:30) – Like this is how the conversation has been controlled over a period of three or 4 or 5 generations now, because the first step is like, let’s admit we have a problem.
Karen Walrond (00:16:40) – Yeah. You know, it’s like it really felt a lot. I wrote about this recently. It felt like Neo taking the red pill. Right? Right. Like suddenly it’s like, oh my gosh, we’re in the Matrix and you can’t unsee it anymore, right?
Jonathan Fields (00:16:52) – Where do you go from there? Because for you, on the one hand, this is personal. You know, like you’re saying, okay, so I’m at that age where I’m really just looking at all these different things. But there’s a bigger thing going on here. You start to do the research and realize, Oh, there’s actually there were government mandates and there were policy, literally policy issues that completely change the conversation around aging, which led to commercial industries building up around that and now media over generations, which is sort of like reinforcing all of the messages.
Jonathan Fields (00:17:23) – How do you even begin to think about raging against that?
Karen Walrond (00:17:28) – Yeah, as with everything it takes, getting just really sort of curious and doing your own research in a lot of ways and understanding. You know, for me, the reason that I got really curious about it was because I looked around me and I saw people in my age and older who were doing great things right. They were starting new companies. They were writing bestsellers, like they were doing really good things. And it just didn’t jibe with the messaging I was getting. Like I kept seeing these ideas like, Oh, you’re in your mid 50s, so how good are you at technology really? And do you know what an app is? You know, that’s and I’m like, but Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, they invented this and they’re older than me. So that doesn’t make any sense to me that we sort of think that. So really sort of getting very curious about it. And then for me, I thought, okay, here I am.
Karen Walrond (00:18:14) – I’m in relatively good health. What can I do to see what the messages are, What is really I can expect as I get older and what are the things that actually make sense for me as opposed to what Google tells me that I should do? Like if you’re a certain age. And so I, I started like talking to experts. I started I went to a nutritional neurologist and had blood workup and said, okay, where am I really? And what are the best things for my particular body that I need to do? I talked to people who were social workers and I talked to clergy and I talked to just people who were creating really new things, entrepreneurs and really sort of went to them and said, How has aging changed? The way that you do the work you do. How is your aging changed people’s perception of you and what have you done to sort of fight that? And ultimately, it’s really about continuing curiosity. It’s about being curious about the aging message, but also being curious about what you’re capable of and what is it that you want to do and what is it? The things like if you say, I want to learn how to surf and you think, Oh, I’m too old for that, Like, what is that about? Like, what is that? What makes you think that that’s the case? And what would happen if you just tried and sort of really just getting curious and having a mentality of experimentation was really the way that it seemed to work for me.
Karen Walrond (00:19:27) – And it seems to work for a lot of people who I think age really, really well.
Jonathan Fields (00:19:31) – Yeah, that makes so much sense to me and a really great blessing of being able to do this work for over a decade now, and many of the people who I’ve sat down with are well into their lives. I remember a year or two ago sitting down with somebody who was grew up in the Bay Area. She when I talked to her, she was in her late 70s living in Maui, and she was excited for the conversation. But she was even more excited to wrap our conversation so she could go surf.
Karen Walrond (00:19:56) – Yeah, right, right.
Jonathan Fields (00:19:57) – And she has, you know, like a shock of long, curly gray hair. And before she was going to go surf though the conversation and part of that was about how she was a part of the music scene in the Bay Area in the 60s and the 70s. And she literally hired Jerry Garcia and Pigpen to play her high school graduation before they were the Grateful Dead.
Jonathan Fields (00:20:15) – And she was a part of it. And she just whips out a harmonica and just spends like a couple of minutes, like with this crazy, amazing, deeply passionate blues riff on harmonica and having those conversations, it just it wakes you up to the fact that there is no one profile here. I think it’s so powerful to think about the fact that, you know, the younger we are, the more sort of like similarly we are in terms of age biologically and as we age, part of it is determined by genetic, but so much is life. This is one of the things you write about. I think you say 80% or so of how we actually move through the seasons of life is lifestyle and not genetic.
Karen Walrond (00:20:52) – Which is bananas. And also the thing that I kept coming back to was like, for example, one of the ways that we think about things is like I woke up this morning feeling really stiff, right? And I thought, Well, I’m feeling really stiff. What’s that about? And a lot of times I think people will be like, oh, getting older, right? Until you think, Oh wait, I took a Pilates class yesterday for the first time in my life.
Karen Walrond (00:21:14) – I just did something new. Of course I’m going to feel like. So there are so many times that even the slightest thing that we deal with, we think, Oh, it’s because I’m old, right? The slightest pain, the slightest ache, the slightest Oh, I can’t remember where I left my keys. Well, I’m the mother of a teenager. She loses things all the time. Right. The way that we think about things that are senior moments or, you know, that we label, we label so much and understanding like, oh, you know what? There’s no real reason why I can’t try surfing. I actually just did a couple of weeks and months ago. So that’s I mean, it’s amazing. You were speaking to a surfer. There’s no real reason why I can’t try that. And if there is a reason is it really about your age or is it about the fact that you might have an injury or is it about the fact that just something is not right? And so you literally can’t do that.
Karen Walrond (00:22:02) – But we dismiss things too easily, I think, for age. And I think that’s something that really it would do us all well to interrogate when we do.
Jonathan Fields (00:22:12) – One of the other things that you speak about is not just our own assumptions, not just culture, not just commerce, but also medicine. I think a lot of us would look at the world of medicine and we’re kind of like, well, they’re creating all the innovations and the things are going to help us live longer and feel better and be well, which is great. And at the same time, and you write about this, you know, you can sometimes go into a doctor and basically say, this hurts or this is going on. It’s not entirely unlikely that comments like that will be sort of dismissed as well. You’re getting older, of course.
Karen Walrond (00:22:47) – What do you expect?
Jonathan Fields (00:22:48) – Yeah. And that’s not great.
Karen Walrond (00:22:52) – No, it’s not great. You know, there’s a whole that was really, really interesting and that probably was where the anger really started to rise in me was doing that chapter on health.
Karen Walrond (00:23:02) – And one of the things that we think about is like, if you go into a doctor and you’re like, You know what? My knee is bothering me. And they’re like, Oh, well, you know, you’re getting older. Well, you know why not tell the doctor? Yeah, okay. But my other knee is the exact same age and it’s doing fine. So how about we check out what’s going on with my knee? And it turns out that that geriatric medicine is actually the least popular medicine to get into. And it is the lowest paying part of medicine to get into because there’s this sort of idea like, well, why do we study? Why why help older people? They’re going to die anyway is kind of the thing. And also the industry is such that doctors make their money getting people through their doors as quickly as possible. And sometimes with older people, you need to spend some time to really explain what’s going on. It’s just not as lucrative a practice, which is horrifying to me.
Karen Walrond (00:23:50) – You know, my parents are both alive, both in relatively good health. They’re in their mid 80s. And I tell them all the time, I’m like, if you ever hear that, then maybe it’s time to find a new doctor. Like, it’s like their job is to help you. And so don’t let them dismiss anything that you’re feeling as, Oh, well, you’re just getting older. Yes, I am getting older. And also your job is to help me feel better. So what can we do? Like, what can we do to do this? And there’s so much of this that I was like, Oh, you know, we’re really going to have to push back on what people tell us and say, Tell me more about that. Explain this to me. And, you know, of course, as we get older, of course, there are going to be things that start to wear out, Right? Your knee may hurt. I went to a doctor yesterday and for a symptom that I was having and he was like, Yeah, that actually does happen when you get older, right? And here’s what you can do about it or here’s what you can’t do about it.
Karen Walrond (00:24:39) – So there’s definitely and I don’t want anybody to think that I wrote this book to say all of the bad stuff and the challenging stuff about aging is a myth. That is not what I’m saying. What I am saying is that we spend so much time focusing on the really awful stuff. We never focus on the really great stuff that can happen with aging, right? The idea is of perspective. The fact that a lot of times in a later stage of life, you don’t have to take care of kids. And so now you can sort of have the freedom from not having to worry about parenting anymore to sort of have fun for yourself and create different relationships and start new things that you did not have the freedom to do before. And why don’t we talk about that more often.
Jonathan Fields (00:25:20) – As you start asking those questions. And for you, this sets up a bit of a quest where you go out, you start to it’s almost like it seems like there were two paths that you were traveling. One was, let me run a series of my own experiments because I need to actually, like figure out like, what’s happening with me and how will the different things affect me if I try them.
Jonathan Fields (00:25:38) – And the other one was going out and trying to sit down with people who have deep insight, who have wisdom and find the middle ground between like, how do these different paths inform each other as we move forward, as you start to travel down those two roads simultaneously, running your own experiments and talking to people about it, like one of the topics that gets centered again, we kind of touched on this earlier is the topic of beauty and how that plays into what we’re supposed to do as we age and what is acceptable. Take me more into this, and I’m fascinated by this also because your photographer and you’ve created just amazing, amazing images of many different people over a long window of time. So you have this really interesting perspective, not just as a person exploring beauty and aging, but also as somebody who has been capturing something through the lens of a device for years. And that process, I would imagine, really informed your take on beauty and aging as well.
Karen Walrond (00:26:41) – Yes, I don’t know that I’ve ever really thought about it the way you just said, but I think that’s absolutely right.
Karen Walrond (00:26:46) – And the older that I get, the more that I’ve been taking, the more experienced I am at taking portraits and that kind of thing. I am convinced that what we are attracted to in people and what we find beautiful in people when we when we see somebody and you find them really captivating, even if they don’t speak, is much more than whether or not they have a symmetrical face or, you know, sort of the the tip. To be beautiful, you have to look X, you have to be a certain height and a certain weight and everything else. There is something about the essence of a person is that really is partially confidence. I think it’s probably largely confidence, but there’s also these all these other things that when you see them, that’s when you’re like, that person is really hot or that person is really beautiful or that person is just mesmerizing or what any of the words that we describe. And I think that thing, whatever that thing is, that doesn’t really age, right? Like I feel like people who really are very, very grounded confidence in who they are and who they want to be and how they want to move through the world and have that all sort of wrapped up in a kindness and a warmth.
Karen Walrond (00:27:57) – That stuff doesn’t age like you can be that person whether or not you’re 20 or you’re a hundred years old. And that is really I’ve taken pictures of people who are stereotypically beautiful, right? Like have all the things and who are very cold. And it’s a really hard thing to capture their photograph in a way that people are really sort of interested in. And I’ve taken pictures of people who are stereotypically not beautiful, and I take the photograph and people go, Whoa, what? What is that? And I think that if anything and that was true 20 years ago when I first picked up a camera, and that is definitely true now, and it’s definitely true with all ages of people that I’ve ever photographed. And that’s kind of what I wanted to explore in the book. You know, I interviewed people who were I interviewed one woman who is a model who makes her living as a model. And she had such a really interesting take about it because she says, if I am not in a place where I feel like I am living my purpose, you can see it in the photographer takes, you can see it, I can look at my portfolio and you can see the difference and the photographers can tell the difference.
Karen Walrond (00:29:02) – And I think that there’s something to that. I really, really do. And so if that’s true, then all the other stuff is sort of irrelevant, like whether or not your hair has turned silver or not, whether or not you have wrinkles, whether or not, like all that other stuff becomes very, very irrelevant. And if anything can help add character to whatever that essence is. Right? So that was a very interesting it was very validating to sort of find that out. And I say this as a person, I will let’s let me just be completely transparent. In my 20s, I did model, right? And I definitely have changed over the last 20 years. Right. And so not only have I been on behind the camera, but I’ve been in front of the camera and I can see it. It’s the thing that captivates the thing that really, truly captivates. It’s not physical at all. It never was. It may be really pretty to make a pretty picture of a thing, but it’s not the thing that you are viscerally attracted to when you meet someone.
Jonathan Fields (00:29:59) – And yet I wonder if when people respond to an image or to somebody standing in front of them with that, wow, something there’s something just incredible about like there’s an energy, there’s a glow, whatever it may be. I wonder if we’re even aware of the fact because maybe you’re looking at somebody and you’re saying, okay, so they are sort of prototypical beautiful. They check the boxes of symmetry and this and that. That must be what I’m responding to. But what you’re offering is you’re sort of inviting us to say, well, maybe get a little bit curious about that, because that’s the obvious thing you may be responding to, but it’s entirely likely that there’s something else going on there.
Karen Walrond (00:30:34) – Yeah, I remember once when I was in my 20s, I was with a friend of mine, a guy friend of mine and a friend of his was in town. She had moved out of town and she was in town. He goes, I want you to meet this woman. I think her name was Alex.
Karen Walrond (00:30:49) – My daughter’s name is Alex. So that’s why I remember it. And and I remember she walked in and she was she was a fine looking person, but she was short. She wasn’t like, you know, this sort of statuesque person that you would expect to be. And my friend, the guy was absolutely stumbling over himself. They weren’t dating. I don’t even think he was expecting anything to happen because she was just in town and she was leaving. And I saw it like the way she talked, the way she moved, the way she was just even I was like, Oh, yeah, this person is something and it had nothing to do with it. So just like you say, interrogate if the beautiful person if what is it really like? I think we’ve all had experiences where we’ve been in the presence of somebody and you’re like, Man, this person is just bowling me over and I really don’t even understand why. Right? And I think that’s when we’re in that presence. That’s the thing that we’re talking about.
Karen Walrond (00:31:42) – That glow, that that inner light is what I like to say. And the same is true, I think, with with photographs. I know as a photographer, I can take a photograph and know when I’ve caught the light, literally no one that that that moment has happened. And I’m like, there it is. That’s the one that everybody’s going to respond to in this portrait. Because I caught it. Right? That’s the thing that really makes them beautiful. And everybody has it. Everybody has it.
Jonathan Fields (00:32:04) – Yeah. It’s a matter of how do you elicit that. Yeah. So part of this curiosity for you around aging and beauty. Also leads you to make just some personal decisions, like to try something out. And part of that is like, what happens if I stop dyeing my hair? What actually happens if I let it just be the natural color that it is? I’m curious what that experience was like for you when you’re sort of saying like, okay, I’ve been doing this thing for a long time.
Jonathan Fields (00:32:26) – I’m making assumptions, actually, so I’m just going to quote Buck convention. You know, let me actually start to not just listen to the things that people are telling me, but what happens when I actually embody this. And one of the most observable ways to do that, if you’re somebody who colors your hair, is to start to let it go natural because everybody else can see that and can see it quickly. Yeah. Talk to me about what that experience has been like for you.
Karen Walrond (00:32:51) – Yeah, So I did dye my hair for a long time. At first when I started dyeing it, I was probably in my 20s and it wasn’t it wasn’t to hide gray, it was just I liked how my hair looked when it was extra dark, right? Like that was really sort of the thing. I was like, Oh, I love how it looks. It looks like that jet black, you know, it was this 80s and 90s and I thought it would look really cool. And so I started doing that.
Karen Walrond (00:33:14) – And then as I got older, I felt like that color was a bit harsh. So I went lighter, so sort of a dark brown. And for me, what was really interesting was because again, I wasn’t a person that worried about aging, but I thought, that’s just what you do. That’s part of grooming. Like part of what you do is you dye your hair. And I would see I started to see silver come in, but it was in like really strange places, like, you know, And I thought, Oh my God, if I let it go, it would look polka dotted and that would be really weird. And so I’m not going to do that. And then I finally was like, But what would happen if I did? And the thing is, several times in my past, I had had very short hair, right? Sort of like half an inch. So I thought, you know what? If I don’t like it, I’ll just dye it and, you know, keep going.
Karen Walrond (00:33:57) – So I cut it all off like a lot of people will just sort of let it grow out. I decided I’m just going to cut it off and start from scratch because I’m used to having really short hair. And what was really interesting was at first I was like, Oh my gosh, what if people think I’m older than I am? Like, I don’t care if they think I’m my age, but what if they think like, I think at the time I was like 53 or 54 when I started and I thought, What if they think I’m 70? Right? And then I thought, and if they did, what would that mean? So what if that’s what they thought? What did that mean? And I had decided that if I did it, I wanted to if I was going to die it, I wanted to dye it all silver. I was like, There’s no going back to black. Like, I’m going to go back to what ended up happening, which is really interesting, is people really responded to it favorably.
Karen Walrond (00:34:43) – I would get and to this day, I can go out and people will say, Oh my God, I love your hair. I love how I love it. I could never do that. People say that a lot, right? I could never do that. I love how it looks on you. I you know, and what I think is really interesting is my hair is not particularly I mean, it’s a salt and pepper hair, but there’s nothing particularly great about it. It’s just hair. But I think people are really responding to the fact that I’m comfortable with it, that I’m, you know, and I think that’s you know, we talked about that with beauty. Like they’re seeing somebody who’s like, I’m good with it, and I might as well have died at Purple or blue or any of the other things that you’re like, Whoa, I love that you did that. I could never do that. Right? And so that was really interesting to me and never had anybody say, Wow, it ages you, which I think is interesting because I did expect that nobody said that literally always been positive and often from strangers.
Karen Walrond (00:35:30) – So it’s not like, Oh, well, that’s my friend. They’re being nice. Often I get stopped, often, almost inevitably, if I’m out in public, somebody will say something about it. There are some people have beautiful silver, like that’s not my hair. And I think that’s really interesting. I think it sort of goes to what we were saying that the more comfortable and the more confident that you are in who you are and who you’re becoming. And I think if I were going to talk about what it means to be part of the radiant rebellion, it is this sort of I am really, really comfortable with who I am and who I’m evolving to be. And I don’t care really what the world says I should feel like about this. This is what I feel like about it and get really, really comfortable in that. And that is what people respond to.
Jonathan Fields (00:36:07) – Yeah, I mean, wrapping your head around the fact that that’s actually the more important thing, not just internally for how you want to feel about yourself, but also because I think so many people we adopt the things that society tells us that we kind of have to do because we want to be seen in particular way.
Jonathan Fields (00:36:21) – Yeah, but if we can separate that and say like the thing that lets us be seen in the way that we want to be seen is not actually just really the cosmetic facade, it’s the decisions that happen underneath that that somehow radiate out no matter what that facade appears to be. It’s a little hard to wrap your head around the fact that could that really be true? Yeah, but like, you just ran a really interesting experiment that says like, well, yeah, it could be, actually. Yeah. And what if we all stood more in decisions like that? So let me ask you a question around this, though, because there are going to be some folks who are listening to this and saying, well, okay, like I get that and that’s you. And I’m guessing you were probably a pretty confident person before this. Like you probably showed up in a room. You seem like you’re strong, like you’re aware your. Present. But what if I’m not that person? I would love to actually just accept this season of life and be and feel really good about it.
Jonathan Fields (00:37:20) – But I don’t really feel really good about myself in general. So how do I then take the risk?
Karen Walrond (00:37:29) – I think that’s a great question. One thing I also want to say, I mean just sort of as far as the silver hair thing and everything else is like there is no part of me that says, okay, everybody stop dyeing their hair. There are some real repercussions. People get fired. There was a story just this summer of a woman who was an anchor woman in Canada who let her hair go silver and she got fired for that. So I don’t mean to suggest that everybody should follow my path at all, ever. And I hope that people don’t see it that way. What I would suggest is just get curious about why you’re making the decisions that you’re making. That is the biggest thing, right? It could have been, honestly, that I was like, Yeah, you know what? I’m not comfortable yet and I don’t know what that is, and maybe I need to work on why I would be comfortable with my hair, silver and white.
Karen Walrond (00:38:14) – So I’ll just dye it back and really interrogate that. That to me is the biggest thing, is just interrogate. How does this if you sit there and you think, I hate getting older, let’s just start with it. I hate getting older. I don’t feel good about getting older. Like interrogate that. What is it about getting older that you’re disliking? And then when you figure that out, while I dislike whatever it is, then go. Is that true? Is what you believe true? Are your friends who are your age that age or older? Are they all that way? Are the people that you’re seeing doing great things out in the world? Right. We just had a spate of people in their 60s get Oscars right? 50s and 60s get Oscars like their first Oscars ever. Right. And that came into acting like, are you seeing people out there who are your age or older who are really all fading? Is that is that true? Does it have to be true? And then go see where that leads you? Because that’s really all I did with the book.
Karen Walrond (00:39:09) – I was like, Is that true? And figure it out. More often than not, it wasn’t true. More often than not, there was another thing, or at least it wasn’t universally true. It wasn’t 100% of people. Maybe it was only 20% of people. So what are these other 80% doing? That I think is the most important thing. And that’s what I hope people do when they read the book.
Jonathan Fields (00:39:29) – That makes a lot of sense to me. It’s like the invitation is just like accept who you are except where you are in your life, except whatever feels right or not right or true or untrue to you, but at least start to ask the questions. You know, one of the questions that you asked along the way also and you kind of reference this earlier when you shared about this one moment, who’s a model who sort of like stepped back into it a little bit later in life and she referenced purpose. And I think that’s a part of the conversation that often gets skipped. And I think it’s very generational also.
Jonathan Fields (00:40:04) – I’m Gen X, We were never brought up with the expectation of purpose in our lives. It was like, put your head down, you know, like do the thing that you’re supposed to do. Follow the prescribed path and eventually you’ll get to check the box that says, I’m.
Karen Walrond (00:40:18) – Successful.
Jonathan Fields (00:40:19) – Right? And for most who followed that, it hasn’t worked out all that well. But purpose was never really part of the conversation. Now, I think a lot of folks are really bringing it back into the conversation and in no small part because you’re realizing, but I did all the things that I said I wanted to do and I don’t feel the way I want to feel. And now again, you add that to entering like this next season of Life and saying, What do I want out of this? I am older now and I’m going to get, God willing, keep getting older, really inquiring into like, what is the role of purpose at this moment in this season in the way that I want to feel is so important.
Jonathan Fields (00:40:57) – And this is something that you really took a look at as well.
Karen Walrond (00:40:59) – Yeah, for sure. And honestly, it was a big part of the book that I wrote right before this, The light maker’s manifesto, right, which is about how to work for change without losing your joy. And it turns out Viktor Frankl wrote about this beautiful man search for meaning that really, at the root of true light, deep abiding joy often is purpose and meaning. And that’s not to say that there isn’t challenge to it, but the idea of doing something for something bigger than yourself. That might be the secret sauce, honestly. Right? That might be the secret sauce to living. Well, that may be the secret sauce to happiness. That might be the secret sauce to aging. Well, right, is sort of figuring out a couple of things. One, what are the things that really sort of stir a passion in me as far as it can? That passion could be anger. Like what are the causes that make me think it’s not right that things aren’t this way or it’s so great when things are this way, right? Either one of those and how can I be a part of that and coupling that with What am I really good at? What do people thank me for and how can I use that thing in service of that? Cause man, that is the secret sauce.
Karen Walrond (00:42:06) – That to me is the way you live. Well, and that is the way aging is living. That is the way you age. Well, is really sort of tapping into how can I help make the world the kind of world that I want to live in and that I want people coming up behind me, want to live in what is my small part. And that’s a really, really big part of it for sure.
Jonathan Fields (00:42:26) – I would imagine. I think related to that also, I recently heard Arthur Brooks talking about significance as one of these things, which is really critical. And my sense is that when we get further into life, also things like purpose and significance and I don’t see them as the same, I wonder if you do. Purpose to me is a verb. You know, it is something meaningful that you’re moving towards. Significance is a feeling of I matter.
Karen Walrond (00:42:50) – Oh, interesting.
Jonathan Fields (00:42:51) – And I feel like they’re related but different, but also both really important. And my sense is that they’re both they become increasingly important also as we hit a point in our lives, even if we, God willing, it’s ten, 20, 30, 40, 50 years down the road.
Jonathan Fields (00:43:07) – But we start to sense that there’s less road ahead of us than there is behind us.
Karen Walrond (00:43:12) – Yeah, I think that’s what I love that I have not considered that. I think that’s right. I think significance and purpose are different. I think that in many ways maybe I’m showing myself out that significance can feel potentially more elusive sometimes. Like I think that that can be harder to get to, but I feel like purpose can lead to it, right? So I think that as you seek out purpose and seek out how to serve and you start to see I’m making a difference, that feeling of significa can tend to grow is what what I feel like happens. And yes, I think as you get older you start to think about both of those things more. But I don’t think that there’s an age you should get to before you start thinking about them. I think that the sooner that you start thinking about them, you know, my daughter’s 19 and we talk about it all the time and we talk about how also you don’t have to have the answer to both right away either, right? Like, I think the goal is to keep experimenting and being curious about what it might be.
Karen Walrond (00:44:15) – That is a lot of it is. You don’t have to know. Well, my purpose is this right away. You don’t have to feel like if I haven’t found my purpose by X age, that somehow you failed or that you’re insignificant. I think it’s really the curiosity and seeing what feels right and I’m going to serve in this way. And how did that feel and what gifts did that tap into with me that make me feel like, Oh, I actually made a difference here? And if that didn’t work. Then you just pivot and you start keep doing that. And I think that might be the gift of Gen X, because I think possibly that, you know, those of us who are in Gen X, we grew up with our boomer parents who probably had a job and stayed in that job for decades until they got the gold watch right as sort of the thing. And we Gen Xers are sort of like, we’ll try this, right? Like let’s try this next and let’s do that.
Karen Walrond (00:45:03) – So I think that’s sort of been the gift of our generation. And I hope, I hope that happens that for the generations coming, that they take the lessons from that because I think that’s really quite a gift to be able to do that.
Jonathan Fields (00:45:14) – Yeah, I agree. We have daughter similar ages as well. And I look at that generation and I feel like there is such a focus doing things that matter. Yeah, at that age that I didn’t have none of my peers when I was in my late teens or even 20s really had any strong sense of. And yet I feel like the generation that’s coming up now, it’s so centered in their beings in the way that they make decisions about what they say. Yes or no to or invest energy in or completely reject that. It gives me hope. And if those seeds can be planted, you know, like decades earlier in life, imagine how that feeling will manifest and show up physiologically, psychologically, in terms of impact you make in the world and just passion that you bring to relationships and communities.
Jonathan Fields (00:46:03) – I think it’s astonishingly optimistic and hopeful about that. It’s not really the flip side to the conversation around purpose and significance, but one of the things that you sort of explore in the way that we think about aging is the notion or the role of adventure, the role of discovery. And again, I think it’s one of these things where we’re so often we’re kind of like, Oh, I left that season of life behind me. But it’s so important to the way that we step into the later seasons of life.
Karen Walrond (00:46:32) – I will say that I’m very lucky that I have a dad who actually makes an appearance in this book, who has been a great model for me about curiosity and trying things. He’s in his 80s. He rides his bike 20 miles every, you know, every other day. And sometimes I want to tell him, Dad, I wish you would slow down like you’re scaring me, right, with all of these risks that you’re taking. But, you know, even as I say that, like, I laugh because I’d rather live that way right.
Karen Walrond (00:47:01) – Than any other way. Right then timidly and that not trying like I think it’s such. So I am a little spoiled that I’ve had that model for me already. But for me, the thing that I think is really interesting is let’s just talk about this podcast. For example, when 20 years ago, if somebody said, Hey, you know what? I think, Jonathan, that you’re going to have this thing called a podcast, you’d be like, What the hell is a podcast? Right? Like, what do you. It’s like radio. Like, I’m not going to be a radio journalist. There are so many things that have changed just in our lifespans that we wouldn’t have ever considered would exist, right? So why should we stop trying new things? When things change, the world around us changes so rapidly and the opportunities that the world creates for us just changes so rapidly. Why would you stop that? That to me is like, that’s not fun. You know, like like, like that’s where the fun is, right? Is like sort of seeing how things are morphing and changing and being a part of that.
Karen Walrond (00:48:04) – If you had told me that I would be a writer like I was an engineer 20 years ago, like if you told me I’d be writing books, I would have said like, okay, why would I do that? I have a job, right? Like that would have been sort of my thought. And my life is so much richer for having tried these things that would have seemed so weird. So why would I stop doing that? And why should anybody stop doing that? Like, the worst that’s going to happen is that you aren’t interested in it. So then you move on to something else, right? That to me is just so much of what brings moments of joy that play, that experimentation. Like those are how you cultivate moments of joy. And if there’s one thing, one learning I think I’ve had in doing the work that I’ve done for the last 20 years, it’s that joy and happiness I think. I used to think that you live your life and hopefully joy and happiness will find you.
Karen Walrond (00:48:55) – And what I have learned is that joy and happiness require work. Like you have to work for it. You have to work to create those moments that really light you up. And as we get older, why would we ever say, I’m not going to try something and deny ourselves a potential moment of joy and happiness? The world is a dark place. We need to cultivate and create as many moments of light as we can just for our own sanity, far less for making the world just better.
Jonathan Fields (00:49:24) – And I think there’s a sort of like two lines of self talk that I wonder if often stop us from just playing or trying new things. One of them is, But what if I don’t get really good at it or what? I’m not good at it, you know, because there’s a storyline that we tell ourselves that like, only things that we’re capable of. Being really good at or accomplish that are worthy of our energy, which is absurd. I mean, like as a kid, when you’re six years old in an art class, everyone’s just messing around with everything, having the time of their lives.
Jonathan Fields (00:49:55) – Nobody’s thinking like, I need to be an accomplished artist or this is not a worthwhile pursuit. And yet as adults, we have that absolutely absurd overlay. And we we just we stop ourselves from doing things purely for the feeling that it gives us while we’re doing it. And I feel like the other overlay that often comes and cures how you feel about this because you have made really interesting career shifts, too. Is this feeling that if it will not in some way allow you to contribute to the way that you support yourself or your family, then it is not a valid use of your time. And I feel like that’s a message that we get too often. It stops us from just doing and drawing so many things.
Karen Walrond (00:50:37) – Well, it’s funny that you’re asking these questions because this is actually the subject of the book I’m currently writing. Is it is is this idea of what would it mean to instead of seeking mastery, is we sort being an amateur? That’s it. Because you’re right, there’s this sort of idea that why try anything if we’re not going to be good at it.
Karen Walrond (00:51:02) – Right. And I think probably social media feeds into a lot of that. You see a lot of people who are excelling on social media, so why even bother? Because it’s not something I would ever be good at, which is a strangely prophetic thing to say. Like if you say that, that’s probably true. The flip side of that is, okay, you’re trying something, you get really good at it. How are you going to monetize it? How are you going to make it to be? How are you going to become famous with it? Right. And to me, what is wrong with trying things just because they’re fun and maybe other people don’t have to see it and maybe it just brings you pleasure. It just brings you joy. One of the things that I do a lot on social media, I have started as part of my the health chapter of this book is I started hula hooping and so I hula hoop several times a week. I am not a good hula hoop. Like I can keep the hoop up, but I’m not doing tricks.
Karen Walrond (00:51:49) – I’m not spin it over my head and spin it off my leg and doing dances and like, I’m not doing that. And it’s so funny because people keep saying like, Oh, I couldn’t what they say, I could never do that. Which I’m like, Clearly you can because I can. And I’m the most unathletic person on the planet. And two, well, can you do tricks? Can you? And I’m like, I don’t want to do tricks. Like, I just want to sit in my garage, listen to some music and have 20 minutes of like my time, right? And sort of like, what does that mean that we don’t do that anymore? And what would it mean if we decided to do that? Like, it’s not about being great. It’s about just playing like just let’s see what happened. And what was really interesting in writing this new book that I’m doing is how very little research there is about it. It’s sort of like, yes, you should be an amateur because that’s how you’ll get good.
Karen Walrond (00:52:36) – You should have amateur mindset because that’s how you’ll end up being perfect and the best at what you do. And I’m like, But maybe that’s not the goal. What would happen if that’s not the goal? And I think if we did more of that play and sort of experimentation and curiosity and keeping our ego detached from it, from the outcome, I think the better will age, I think the better life will be. And I hope I never stopped playing. And I think honestly, I spent too much of my life already not playing because I was so focused on all the other stuff that you’re supposed to do. You’re supposed to go this far in your career and you’re supposed to be this type of person as a parent. And and I don’t want to spend another day wasting on what supposed to be. That’s that’s boring. No, you know.
Jonathan Fields (00:53:24) – Right there with you. And it doesn’t have to be a binary thing. Also, like you can you can have a serious career. Yeah. And hula hoop and do all the fun things on the side and just do it purely because you love doing it.
Jonathan Fields (00:53:36) – It’s fun and it’s like, you know the association well, you know, I’m too old to do that. Maybe the reason you feel that you’re too old to do that is because you haven’t been doing it right.
Jonathan Fields (00:53:47) – Right.
Jonathan Fields (00:53:48) – You know, it’s like maybe we’ve got it reversed.
Karen Walrond (00:53:50) – Yes. Yes. Like I want that tattooed. Maybe the reason you’re feeling old too old is because you’re not doing you spent too long to do that. That’s absolutely it. And, you know, in a lot of ways, that’s sort of how I felt about. You said that you were had a fitness career like I am basically the anti Jonathan I, I of like if you see me running I clearly have to go to the bathroom and I’m looking for one like that’s like I just am not that person and it took for me sort of switching switching the reason that I did it because for me exercise was all about having the perfect body. And if the perfect body didn’t come fast enough, then why am I even doing this right? And it was really through the writing of this book because I decided I was going to do this because movement is what they say you have to do and I’m going to do this for the length of time that it right.
Karen Walrond (00:54:42) – And suddenly I found out that I was moving. And I call it my movement practice. I don’t call it exercise because that’s really hard. But I was moving five days a week, but I was doing it and just things that I wanted to do. It wasn’t like, okay, I’ve got a jog, a five minute mile or, you know, like that was never it. It’s like, what happens if the reason that I haven’t been an athlete is because I never tried. And the reason I didn’t try is because I had this sort of preconceived notion of what that was supposed to look like. Right. And, you know, I mentioned I took a Pilates class yesterday for the first time. And the instructor, she said, do you exercise? And I said, Yeah. And she goes, Well, what do you do? And I said, Well, I jump rope several times a week and I walk a few miles a day and I hula hoop and I also have a rowing machine.
Karen Walrond (00:55:24) – And she was like, Oh my God. And I was like, I know.
Jonathan Fields (00:55:27) – Like, who would have ever thought?
Karen Walrond (00:55:28) – And but it’s because I never really thought of it as my workout. It’s like, this is how I exorcise the demons from my head. This is how I make myself. This is how I, I have stress. And so I need to move to work the stress out of my body and that’s it. And I never think about it anymore as it means that I have to look perfect anymore. And the minute that I start to do that again, I promise you I’ll never do it again. Right? Because that’s hard if you cheat, if that is my motivation for me, it’s never going to work. Now, for some people it may work that it’s never going to work. For me, it’s really interesting how you say that some of those self limiting thoughts might be because you’ve never tried to play with Why do I believe that about myself and how could I do what I’m just saying in a way that that detaches from whatever that idea of perfect is supposed to look like for sure.
Jonathan Fields (00:56:17) – It’s almost like, yeah, walk around asking yourself, how would I would I say yes or no to this if I were six? Yeah, yeah, sure. You know, it’s like if. Yes. All right, let me give it a go. You know, rather than judging ourselves, like, for all the different reasons.
Jonathan Fields (00:56:33) – But yeah, for sure.
Jonathan Fields (00:56:33) – I’m super excited for people to be able to, to dive into reading Rebellion and, and spend some time reimagining and asking a lot of questions. There’s a whole by the way, there’s a whole toolkit, just a lot of great stuff. So everyone listening in, like there are granular things built into this book also that you can really dive into and prompts and tools and things that you can explore. So please check it out and it feels like a good place for us to come full circle in our conversation. So in this container of Good Life project, if I offer up the phrase to live a good life, what comes up?
Karen Walrond (00:57:05) – To live a good life.
Karen Walrond (00:57:07) – Remember what’s already good. And stay curious about what could be good. And don’t be afraid to try. That’s what comes up.
Jonathan Fields (00:57:19) – Mm. Thank you.
Karen Walrond (00:57:21) – Thank you. It’s always such an honor to speak with you. Too much time passed since the last time I’ve seen your wonderful face. So I’m just really, really honored that you had me.
Jonathan Fields (00:57:30) – Hey, before you leave, if you love this episode, say that you’ll also love the conversation we had with Tara Brock about making peace with the truth of our lives. You’ll find a link to Tara’s episode in the show notes. And of course, if you haven’t already done so, please go ahead and follow Good Life Project in your favorite listening app. And if you found this conversation interesting or inspiring or valuable and chances are you did. Since you’re still listening here, would you do me a personal favor, a seven second favor, and share it maybe on social or by text or by email, Even just with one person. Just copy the link from the app you’re using and tell those you know those you love, those you want to help navigate this thing called life a little better so we can all do it better together with more ease and more joy.
Jonathan Fields (00:58:14) – Tell them to listen, then even invite them to talk about what you’ve both discovered. Because when podcasts become conversations and conversations become action. That’s how we all come alive together. Until next time, I’m Jonathan Fields, signing off for Good Life Project.