Living Fearlessly: How Midlife Women Can Live in Purpose and Freedom
This week’s podcast episode features C. Rene Washington, certified life coach, author and speaker. She has written a book called Take the Trip: Four Journeys Every Midlife Woman Needs to Live with Purpose and Freedom. To start the episode, Allegra welcomes Rene Washington to the podcast and dives into why she wrote the book and the message she hopes to send.
Rene shares that one of the main themes she wants to share in her book is the idea of creating a “safe space” within yourself. She explains that this safe space is a place where you can go to feel supported and have an honest conversation with yourself. Rene believes that this is where true transformation begins as it allows you to become aware of your thoughts, feelings, and actions.
Rene also stresses the importance of having a strong support system that can provide encouragement and accountability as you live in purpose and freedom. The conversation then shifts to the idea of making time for yourself and how it can help you stay focused on your goals. Rene believes that it’s essential to create moments of stillness and connection with yourself. She emphasizes the importance of taking time to rest and reflect in order to give yourself the space to make decisions that are aligned with your goals. Renee also shares how she created her own daily routine to stay on track and how it has helped her stay motivated.
As a master certified coach, Rene helps women gain confidence and get unstuck in their lives. In her book, she shares a story about a woman she met at an optical shop who was trying on glasses. The woman was hesitant to buy a pair of red glasses because she was afraid of what people would think. Washington encouraged her to buy the glasses anyway and to take more risks in her life. The story stayed with Washington and served as a reminder that we should all live our best lives, regardless of what others think.
In this episode you'll learn:
Why is it important for midlife women to live in purpose and freedom?
It is important for midlife women to live with purpose and freedom for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, having a sense of purpose and freedom allows you to live more authentically and to make decisions that reflect your values. This can help you express your individuality and make choices that are in alignment with your goals and aspirations. Additionally, living with purpose and freedom provides a sense of direction and helps you focus your energy and resources on what really matters to you.
Having purpose and freedom also provides midlife women with the opportunity to take risks and to explore new and exciting opportunities. The older we get, the braver we get because we realize there is much less to be afraid of at this point in our lives.
This is especially important during midlife when many women start feeling stagnant and unfulfilled at home and at work. Taking risks and engaging in new experiences can help you break out of your comfort zone and to discover new passions. Furthermore, having purpose and freedom can also help midlife women to feel empowered and in control of their own lives, which can result in greater overall satisfaction and well-being.
The steps to follow to live in purpose and freedom
Identify what you want and need to live in purpose and freedom
Identifying what you need and want to live with purpose and freedom can be a scary task. It involves looking at yourself and your life honestly and thoughtfully. It can be helpful to start by thinking about what areas of your life you would like to improve.
Do you want to make more money, experience more freedom, or take more risks? Once you identify what areas you want to focus on, then you can start to create a plan for how to achieve your goals.
It is important to remember that you are the only one who can decide what you need and want in your life. No one else can tell you what will bring you purpose and freedom. It is up to you to explore different ideas and find what works best for you. Take the time to reflect on your values and consider what truly brings you joy and fulfillment. You can also talk to trusted friends and family members for advice, or even seek out a life coach if you need extra support.
Ultimately, finding what you need and want to live with purpose and freedom is a journey. It requires honesty, introspection, and courage. But by taking the time to identify what you need and want, you can begin to make changes that will help you lead a more purposeful and freeing life.
C. Rene Washington
There is no ceiling on your life unless you place it there.
Take the necessary steps to move toward your goal
Once you have identified what you need and want, it is time to start taking action. This involves setting a goal and taking actionable steps towards achieving that goal. Rene’s story of the woman in the optical shop is a perfect example of this. When the woman was feeling uncertain about taking a risk and buying the red glasses, Rene encouraged her to go for it, reminding her that there is no ceiling on your life unless you place it there.
This story is a powerful reminder to take the steps necessary to move toward your goals, even when it feels uncomfortable or scary. To get started, it’s important to identify the goal. Once that is established, break down the steps necessary to reach it. This could include making a list of tasks, talking to people who are knowledgeable in the area, or researching online. What is important is breaking your goal into bite-sized, actionable, and measurable steps. Then you’ll want to prioritize the steps and determine how much time each one will take.
It’s also important to understand that taking the necessary steps towards a goal may involve some trial and error. It’s always important to give yourself grace. Be flexible and to be willing to adjust your plan as needed. Life has a way of throwing us curveballs and our plans will need to adapt accordingly. It’s not always easy, but it’s important to stay focused on your goal.
Finally, it’s important to keep a positive attitude and remain optimistic. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and feel like giving up, but it’s important to stay focused on the end goal. If it was easy, it wouldn’t be that valuable to you. We tend to discount things that come easily to us. Surround yourself with positive people and mentors who can provide support and encouragement. The journey may be long, but by taking the necessary steps, the goal of gaining confidence and punching fear in the throat will be within reach.
C. Rene Washington
You need to raise the price of tickets for people to have access to you.
Surround yourself with people who will support and encourage you to reach your goals
Surrounding yourself with people who will support you and encourage you to reach your goals is key to achieving success. As Rene Washington said in this episode, “when something scares me, that’s a sign. Move towards it. Particularly when it’s something that scares you, that’s not going to kill you but will elevate your life, why not do it?” It is important to build a strong support system of people who will be honest and supportive of your goals and aspirations. You can start by seeking out individuals who are living the life you wish to have. Connect with them through social media or in person. Ask how they achieved their goals and what tips they have for you.
Make sure your supportive people are not just cheerleaders, but people who will be honest with you and share honest feedback to help you move toward your goal. The trick is to surround yourself with people who are supportive but will also push you to achieve more. Also, be prepared to be a support system for others in return. Form a few meaningful relationships in which you can offer help and guidance to others who are striving to reach their goals. This will create a positive, motivating atmosphere and make it easier to stay motivated and on track.
Here is a hard truth, it is important to limit your time with people who are not supportive of your goals. This may include people who do not understand what you are trying to achieve, people who are negative, or people who do not believe in you. These people can be draining and make it difficult for you to stay focused and motivated. To keep yourself on track, limit the amount of time you spend around these individuals and focus on spending time with people who will lift you up.
Additionally, it is important to foster a positive mindset. This can be done by engaging in positive self-talk, reading inspiring books, and meditating. Taking time to acknowledge your progress can also help boost your confidence and motivate you to keep going. This is why it is important to set realistic goals and acknowledge that the journey to reaching them will take time. Reminding yourself of why you are working towards your goals and the feeling you will have when you reach them can also help you remain focused and committed.
C. Rene Washington
A decision is not a life sentence. Course correct. That's all life calls for.
Take risks and don’t be afraid to make decisions that are right for you
Want to know a powerful way to gain confidence? Get in the habit of taking risks and making decisions that are right for you, even if they make others uncomfortable. First, you have to trust that you know what is best for you. Listen to your own gut and be honest with yourself about what you want and need. Check in with yourself to find out, “Will this decision benefit me in the long run?” and “Will it help me reach my goals?”. If the answer is yes, then go for it. Don’t let fear or other people’s opinions stop you from making decisions that you know will ultimately help you live in purpose and freedom. Even if it makes others uncomfortable, be brave enough to take the risk. Know that, in time, you will be so proud of yourself for making the decisions that are right for you. #killerselfconfidence
Taking risks and making decisions that are true to yourself takes practice. At first, you’ll probably feel anxious or afraid of making the wrong decision and this is completely normal. Anybody in a similar circumstance would likely feel the same way. Start out small and gradually work your way up to bigger decisions. Even doing somerthing small like ordering a different dish at a restaurant, is good practice for trusting your own judgement. There’s no need to rush, take your time and build up confidence in making decisions that are best for you.
Finally, please remember that you are the only one who knows what is best for you. Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself and your decisions, even if other people disagree with you. Why would their opinion matter more than yours? Your dreams are only for you so don’t be surprised if other people don’t understand them. Just don’t let them stop you! You have the power to make decisions that will help you achieve everything you want.
Stay open to new opportunities and be willing to learn and grow
To stay open to new opportunities, you have to be aware of what is happening around you. You can’t just sit in a tiny box never looking at anything new or different. Carve out time to look for new ideas and experiences, and take the time to explore them. This can mean attending seminars or events in your industry, reading about the latest developments in your field, or even just talking to others who may have different points of view.
Making time to learn new things and challenge yourself will help you stay open to opportunities and be willing to grow and evolve. It is important to be proactive in seeking out new knowledge and expanding your skillset. Start by taking the time to learn something new every day, no matter how small. Whether it’s reading a book, taking an online course, attending a webinar, or even just listening to a podcast, there are endless sources to draw from.
Learning something new keeps your mind sharp and helps you gain the confidence you need to be open to new opportunities. New things can be scary so you can draw on your past successes with new things to be bold here. Listening and engaging with others will help you to understand different points of view and develop your problem-solving skills.
Celebrate your successes and be proud of your accomplishments
Celebrating your successes and being proud of your accomplishments is an important step in gaining confidence and achieving your goals. Too often we breeze past our results and just start working on our next goal. Let’s agree to stop doing that. It is important to recognize your achievements and the hard work and dedication it took to get there. It is also important to reward yourself for your accomplishments, whether that is through a special treat or taking some time off to relax.
Why is this so important? Because this is what motivates you to keep going and make more progress in the future. As a result, you’ll feel more on purpose and get more satisfaction from your life. It’s important to celebrate your successes regularly so that you can enjoy them and feel good about yourself. You deserve it! Taking the time to recognize and appreciate your successes will help to create even more confidence and motivation to continue striving for your goals.
One way to celebrate your successes is to take some time to reflect on your accomplishments and think about all that you have achieved. Take the time to acknowledge and appreciate the journey you have taken and all the steps you have taken to get to where you are today. Recognizing your successes will help you to gain a greater sense of self-worth and further cultivate your confidence.
Another way to celebrate your successes is to reward yourself for your accomplishments. Doing something special for yourself, whether it is going out for a nice dinner or taking a weekend getaway, will help to reinforce the feeling of accomplishment and will give you further motivation to continue on your journey.
Sharing your successes with others is another great way to celebrate and be proud of your accomplishments. Sharing your successes with your friends and family can be a great source of encouragement and support. It is also a great way to encourage others to set and work toward their own goals. Your success is a living example of what’s possible for them.
Finally, when celebrating your successes and being proud of your accomplishments, it is important to take the time to reflect on what you have learned along the way. Reflecting on the lessons you have learned and the skills you have acquired can help you to gain a greater understanding of yourself and what you’re capable of when you focus on your values and goals.
C. Rene Washington
Trusting ourselves is the right path. It's so powerful and it opens up so much more of the life that you are put here to live.
Give yourself permission to take action
Often, the hardest part of living in purpose is giving yourself permission to take the first step. That step feels huge! Once you have taken that step and are moving forward, confidence will follow. So take action! Be confident in your decisions, even if you don’t have all the answers. Learning while you go can be fun if you choose to see it that way.
Living with purpose and freedom is an important step for midlife women to take in order to live an empowered and fulfilling life. Through C. Rene Washington’s book, Take the Trip: Four Journeys Every Midlife Woman Needs to Live in Purpose and Freedom, she outlines seven steps for midlife women to take action and reach their goals. These steps include identifying what you want and need to live with purpose and freedom, taking the necessary steps to move towards this goal, surrounding yourself with people who will support and encourage you to reach your goals, taking risks, staying open to new opportunities, celebrating your successes, and giving yourself permission to take action. With the right mindset, dedication and courage, you can achieve amazing things. Remember, you have the power to create the life you have always dreamed of.
I’d love to hear how you apply “Raise the Price of Tickets” to get purpose and freedom in your life. Leave me a comment on how it went for you or drop any questions you want me to answer!
Who is C. Rene Washington?
C. Rene Washington is a master certified life coach, writer, and podcast host who empowers women at that midlife “What About Me?” stage to successfully navigate major life transitions.
Prior to launching her coaching business, Rene had a successful corporate career with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama, where she ran their management and soft skills training programs and provided coaching for executive and professional associates.
Who are you without role or title? That stumps so many women and brings them to tears. ~ C. Rene Washington
The source of your frustration and happiness is inside you and that's where you will find your answers. ~ C. Rene Washington @crenecoach1
"You need to raise the price of tickets for people to have access to you. Raise the price of tickets for people to access you and watch your tribe gladly pay the price." ~ C. Rene Washington @crenecoach1
Get the red glasses! You must always be ready to shine. ~ C. Rene Washington
"Don't get the fake thing. Get the fullness of the thing."
When something scares me, that's a sign to move towards it, particularly when it's something that scares me that's not going to kill me but will elevate my life, why not do it? ~ C. Rene Washington
Resources Mentioned in this Episode
C. Rene Washington, Mindset Maven
Take the Trip! 4 Journeys Every Midlife Woman Needs to Live in Purpose and Freedom
Announcer: Welcome to the Your Confidence Self podcast with Legacy Clear. Get ready to punch fear in the throat and gain confidence like never before. I help corporate women get the confidence to ask for the job they want and do the work they love. Isn't it time you got unstuck and showed the world how fabulous as you are?
Allegra Sinclair: Hey, this is allegra welcome to this week's episode of the podcast. I am excited as I always am, but this week I am super excited because fire, just straight fire is coming. My guest today is a certified life coach, author and speaker and she has written a book called Take the Trip four journeys every midlife woman needs to live in purpose and freedom. See, renee Washington is the creator and founding partner of Career Triage HQ. Her company provides coaching services to help women find the work that lights them on fire and helps them pivot when things haven't gone as planned. She's known around the world for proclaiming living and coaching women to let stuff go. She's been featured several times on morning talk show. When she's not coaching clients, you can find her hanging out with her favorite person, her hubby, watching juicy TV dramas and cooking in more ways than one. I am super excited to welcome to this week's episode of the podcast see Renee Washington. Hi Renee. Hello allegra.
Rene Washington: Oh, I am so joyfully glad to be with you.
Allegra Sinclair: I am excited to talk with you. The book, let me just say this was a little bit of everything. Everything I loved so much about it. But tell me, what made you decide to write the book and what made you decide to write the book right now?
Rene Washington: So the short answer to that question is I love books. I have been reading since before I can remember and I have been a bookworm book fanatic, all the book things and I was just a consumer of books. And the past few years I started to think, I want to write a book. Why can't I write a book? I should write a book, all of those things. But then can I really write a book? And I really wanted to do it to prove that I could, to prove that I could do it. I love to test myself in different ways. It scared me to think that I really could do it. And when something scares me, that's a sign. Move towards it. Move towards it. Particularly when it's something that scares you that's not going to kill you but will elevate your life, why not do it?
Allegra Sinclair: I love that. When something scares me, move toward it. Now, around here, we talk a lot about punch and fear in the throat.
Rene Washington: Oh, I love that.
Allegra Sinclair: Which is similar though gave my mom such horror. She's like, oh, could you be a lady? And I'm like, ladies can punch people in the throat.
Rene Washington: That's right.
Allegra Sinclair: With do it with your pinky extended. Make sure your nails are done. You can punch someone in the throat in a very lady like way.
Rene Washington: Exactly.
Announcer: Hey, this is Allegra, and I have a really exciting announcement. Several months back, I was checking my analytics for my podcast and I noticed that I had passed the 100,000 download mark, and I put a note in my planner to put together some sort of celebration to thank all of my listeners for helping me reach this milestone. And then I blinked and six months had passed. Why am I telling you this? Because there are two phases to my celebration, and both of them will benefit you, my awesome listeners. Phase one. I'm going to do an all Q and A episode. So the last episode in the month of February will be me answering all of the questions that you submit. How can you submit a question? It's really easy. You can send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can go to the email@example.com QA and you can record your question right there. You can record a short question, and then I'm going to answer it for you live on the show. So that is phase one. I'm going to do an entire episode that is dedicated to answering the questions that you have. Phase two, which I'm going to tell you more about next week, is we're actually going to have a contest where there's going to be a couple of different things that you could do to help me celebrate the milestone. And then you're going to win prizes. What kind of prizes? Mugs, t shirts, books, subscriptions to Audible, and a big ol whoppin $500 coupon sponsored by one of my other clients who wants to open up the world of coaching to one of you. So how do you get started? Go to Allegrativity.com QA to record your question or send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to submit your question. I will gather up all the questions and then answer them in the last episode that I'm publishing in February 2023. Then for phase two, all you need to do is make sure you're on my email list. You can make sure that you're subscribed to the email on that same page. Allegrivity.com slash QA. You'll want to make sure you're on my email list because when I open up the phase where you can start doing little fun activities in order to get entries into the overall prize drawings, that is how I'm going to communicate it through my email.
Allegra Sinclair: But I love that when something scares me, I move toward it. That is fascinating. We're going to poke that a little bit more. But one of the things that struck me immediately in the book was a story you told about being at an optometrist and looking at glasses and encountering a woman who was trying to make a glasses decision. So what was magical for you about that story and the particular color you were encouraging her to buy.
Rene Washington: Oh, yes, my favorite optical shop that I love too much because the glasses aren't cheap, but they are flat.
Allegra Sinclair: You can never have too many.
Rene Washington: Oh, you cannot. I cannot. And I happened to be in there one day, and there was another woman in there, a black woman of a certain age like me, who was trying on glasses, and she put on these red glasses, and I said to her, I don't know where, I just said, oh, you need to get those. And she said, really? Because she had a black pair also. She had a red and she had the red pair on. And she said, really? You don't think these are too much? I said, no, those glasses are popping. Those are the ones you need to get. She said, I like them, but my friends, they may talk about me. I said talk about you. Talk about how good you look. That's what they're going to say. And she immediately went into this thing about, I do like these glasses, and I have been wanting to take some more risk in my life. She said, I used to do things and go places and do a lot of things, but lately I haven't, and I don't know why. And she just kind of went on this tangent of her life being less than what she really wanted it to be and that she had been afraid to kind of move into that. And I said to her, that's exactly why you need to get the glasses. And her daughter was with her, her daughter was with her adult woman. And this, for me, what we model for each other, particularly as black women, is so important and particularly for our daughters to not just tell them about being all that they want to be, but to show them that this is true. And I'm going to go off on a little tangent here. Allegra, I'll go with you, okay? Because this is something that has happened within the past few weeks. I am 61 years old, and there's this meme going around about, oh, I'm getting my nanny, I'm getting my chef, all these things. This is a young woman saying this in the meme. And I don't care what judgy older black women say about that or something like that. And I'm like, listen to that, going, wow, yeah. And so I responded, somebody posted this on Facebook. And I responded and I said, well, let me just tell you, I'm an older black woman, not judge because I'm living my best life, too, is basically what I was saying. And I posted a picture of how I celebrated my 60th birthday. And I went to France and Morocco for two weeks and took a crew of my girls girlfriends with me, and I surprised them by throwing my own birthday party in Paris. I hired a band. We did a second line across the Sand River. Yes. So I'm like, what older black women you talking about?
Allegra Sinclair: I am throwing shoes at the community. I'm like. Teach us, Renee. Teach us.
Rene Washington: And I'm like, you may be talking about your mama, but your mama may fool you. You may not really know your mom.
Allegra Sinclair: You knew Mama when she was trying to raise up her family. Thank you.
Rene Washington: Yes. And so I will circle back to the woman in the optical shop, because that's what I want women, particularly women over 50, to know. And I want women younger than 50 to know that there's no ceiling on your life unless you place the ceiling on it. And I was listening to a podcast the other day from another black woman who probably, I'm going to guess, is in her late thirty s, and she was talking about doing something, I can't remember what it was some goal she was setting for herself. And she said, I may do it by the time I'm 60, but I'll be really old then once again. And you know what? And I'm sure that when I was in my thirty s, I had the same thoughts, too, like, oh, my mom's so old, and that kind of thing. But I just wanted that woman, the optical shop, to know we do not have to dial ourselves out of life and wear the red glasses because we message ourselves in all kinds of ways. And so I'm huge on messaging. So wear the popping glasses because that's signaling your brain to tell yourself something about yourself. And so we need to do that in every way possible. And I left the optical shop. I don't know if she got the glasses. I hope that she did. But that story stayed with me. That story stayed with me.
Allegra Sinclair: There was so much good stuff in that I could not write fast enough. Girl, I told you I have carpal tunnel, and here you are, just drop in bomb after bomb after bomb, and my little hand can keep up. That was so delicious. So let me try to back up just to poke a couple of things, because that was a magical exchange. And I want to believe she bought the red glass.
Rene Washington: I do, too.
Allegra Sinclair: I want to believe her adult daughter looked at her mom like, yeah, get.
Rene Washington: The red glasses, mom.
Allegra Sinclair: I just want to believe with everything because just you giving her permission and she doesn't even know you, but just her you giving her permission to wear the glasses was shifting stuff for her just in that moment. Because then she went on to talk about how she felt like she was living less than or she was, like, dulling her glow or she was living a life that was less than what she wanted. That is deep. That's like goosebump deep. That pain of that not living full out was so top of mind for her that she was okay spilling that to a stranger.
Rene Washington: Absolutely. Don't we find ourselves there often that when we are open and we can run into people just randomly. But yes, to be open because you never know how what you're doing, what you're saying, how you are receptive to someone else, how that can really impact and influence their lives and how you can be influenced by someone else. And so when we are sitting in our own ****, worried and worried about who we are and why aren't we this and that, all that imposter syndrome **** and feeling like not enough. All these lies that we tell ourselves, partly because our brain is kind of wired for that. But to be able to move through that and to really own the complexity of who you are and to know that we are enough and that we have so much to offer and that that doesn't end until we are dropped in the ground or however we are going to make our transition, that we don't need to take ourselves out of life.
Allegra Sinclair: That is so, so powerful. That is just so powerful. I just had to absorb that for a moment because I keep hearing in my ears. So I have a dear friend, one of my tribe who I'm always talking to on Boxer, and I can't remember what it was, but something within the last week or so, I kept hearing her saying she couldn't do this or she couldn't do that. And I said to her, I feel like you need a permission slip, so let me just be your living permission slip today to tell you go ahead and do the **** thing. She immediately voxed me back, and she was like, I love that you called yourself we are each other's living permissions. And that is so powerful because what the glasses said was, oh, are they too much? See, the question means I like them, and for me, they feel perfect, but I just wonder if the world will accept me exactly in red glasses. And then her next thought was, oh, would her friends talk about it? Well, maybe, CIS, but that gives me two questions for you. One, do you really care? And two, should they be your friend?
Rene Washington: Who are your people exactly?
Allegra Sinclair: Who are your people right now? Several months back, I just heard of those shoes crocs. I know. They're everywhere. People, don't at me. You all love me through this. Don't at me. I had never had crocs.
Rene Washington: Wow.
Allegra Sinclair: And I said, Well, I think it's like birkenstocks. Black people don't wear crocs.
Rene Washington: Yeah, okay, wait for it.
Allegra Sinclair: So I mentioned it in my Voxer tribe, and how about every other woman in there had crocs except me? I was like, Wait, is this like a secret thing where you all excluded?
Rene Washington: Hilarious.
Allegra Sinclair: Why do I not have any? So my crocs are pink with flowers all over them. So what if they talk about eggs? Gives you joy eggs. I wish I would stop doing things because I think my friends might talk about me. I don't care. At the end of the day, my friends will talk and laugh and love.
Rene Washington: Exactly. Those are your people. Those are your people. Because this is another thing we do, is that we change, we grow. And we think that whoever was on our front row 20 years ago, that we have to keep them there. They have to earn the right to stay on the front row. I have to earn the right to stay on your front row.
Allegra Sinclair: Yes.
Rene Washington: What I'm serving up no longer aligns with who you are. Okay. Because if what you're serving up no longer aligns with what I am, you moving back some roles and you might move out the building. So we have to just be honest with ourselves about that because life is difficult. Life is hard, and we need to be able to support ourselves. And part of that supporting ourselves is who are the people that we allow in our space of vulnerability?
Allegra Sinclair: That's good. In our space of vulnerability. I can't remember who said it. It was somebody on Instagram, and I think it might have been MC Light, but she said that we needed to have the randomness theme.
Rene Washington: I love that.
Allegra Sinclair: I follow everybody from real talk. Kim, she's a pastor. I think she's in Georgia. I've never met her, but she's fire. I have a very eclectic Instagram feed, but I think it was MC Light. And she said that we needed to raise the price of the tickets for people to get access to us. Yes. Do you know I printed that out?
Rene Washington: Oh, I'm writing that down because I love quotes and I love that.
Allegra Sinclair: Oh, my goodness. I am looking at it right now over the top of my computer model. You need to raise the price of tickets for people to have access to you because your tribe, your circle will gladly pay the price, and they even get a coupon, right?
Rene Washington: Yes.
Allegra Sinclair: Everybody doesn't just get to be in your what you call it? Your space and vulnerability.
Rene Washington: Yes.
Allegra Sinclair: That's not a given.
Rene Washington: It's not. Renee Brown talks about that, and she says people have to earn the right to your vulnerability. So yes, and that is so true. We're in this time of sharing every dog on thing out loud on a big platform, all these social media platforms. A lot of people share all of their stuff, and that's fine. And we also have a choice about that. We don't have to share everything with everybody, but it is good to share, but be very careful about that. Who has earned the right to your vulnerability?
Allegra Sinclair: Yes. And I also think about it this way. Who has invested in me?
Rene Washington: Yes.
Allegra Sinclair: And who have I invested in? Because once you're in my circle, that is a sacred space for both of us. That means something very specific to both of us, and everybody doesn't get that. Yeah, right. I mean, everybody doesn't understand that, and everybody also doesn't get access to that same absolutely.
Rene Washington: My best friend, when she read the book, she said she said, this is really good. She said, and you could have made it a whole lot juicier. I said yes.
Allegra Sinclair: Meaning, right.
Rene Washington: She's the person I would have to kill. Because she goes on.
Allegra Sinclair: She'S the person who got you if bail is required.
Rene Washington: Exactly. Right. We have an agreement. We don't do prison. So, yes.
Allegra Sinclair: I love that. One of the reasons why I really loved the red glasses story was I think there's something powerful about the color red. So a couple of years back, I did this podcast episode, no Light, and it was all about the power of a red bra because everything else in the world, you can be looking, quote unquote, corporate appropriate or whatever, but if you know what's going on underneath, that gives you, like, an extra boost of confidence. And I still love my sassy, unexpected bras, but I think the red glasses are even more powerful because people can see it.
Rene Washington: Yes.
Allegra Sinclair: And it is out there, and it's a signal to other people about how confident you are and who you are and how you feel about yourself.
Rene Washington: Absolutely. I'm loud. It is so weird that I own that now because as a child, I was the exact opposite. I was so shy and detached and quiet, and now I am loud. My sister and my husband, she's so loud. You're so loud. Telling me that all the time. I have stuff to say, and the loudness comes out in different ways. So, yes, I have red glasses. I have all kinds of glasses. They're bold glasses in the way that I dress. I wear big ear bangers. I just don't wear earrings. I wear ear bangers. I'm loud. I take up space. And I believe that, again, particularly as black women, as women of color, we need to claim our space and take up space. Whatever that looks like for you, it may not be speaking loudly. It may not be writing a book. It may not be but whatever your way is to show up fully as you do that, take up your space. I went on a girlfriend trip. We went to Greece. And you and your girlfriends takes for trip? We roll.
Allegra Sinclair: I'm like roll. Paris, Morocco.
Rene Washington: We roll. And on this particular trip, we were going to celebrate. We call ourselves the Viva. And so the Vivas, we went on this trip to Greece to celebrate one of the Viva's birthdays. And one of the Viva husbands was brave enough to come with us. I know. He was so cool. And on the plane, he and his wife were separated. So I went back to say something to him on the plane, and I noticed he was sitting in the middle. He's a tall guy, well over 6ft, and he was sitting in the middle seat with his leg. He was doing the manspread thing. And when I saw that, I was like, look at him. He's like, he's taking up the space. This is what men did. They take up the space. You know, they you know, he said, like, this is my seat. This is where I'm sitting. And when we took this boating trip on that, on that trip, and and people had claimed these seats, and we did, they got the good seats in the middle. We were on the outside of the boat. And when they stopped and people got off, he went and grabbed those good seats in the middle. And so I paid attention to that. Yes, this is what we as women need to do to claim our space and stop being, you know, I can accommodate, but what are you accommodating say more about that. Yes, because we accommodate at the expense of ourselves. We accommodate at the expense of what we really want. We accommodate at the expense of our desires. We accommodate in the service of putting other people's priorities first. And a lot of us don't even have ourselves on the priority list because we think that it's not good to be selfish. We don't want to put too much focus on ourselves because we are here to serve others. I believe that walking and moving fully as myself is beneficial to anyone that comes in contact with me. And so what I know about women is this when we do focus on our true desires and that thing, that dream that we need to pull out the drawer, when we pull it out and we live in it, it's not a solo journey. I haven't met the woman yet who isn't bringing a crew of people with her in whatever she's trying to manifest.
Allegra Sinclair: Louder for the people in the bank.
Rene Washington: Yeah, I have not when we roll in our passion, when we roll in our purpose, oh, we bring people with us.
Allegra Sinclair: The miracle of that is that we get I'm not going to say brainwashed, but the message we get, the story that we're told, is the opposite of yes, I believe what you just said, that when women stand in what it is that they're really trying to do, that their success brings a whole village with them. I believe that because you talked about how you living full out affects every person you come in contact with, but I say, okay, yes, that and because it affects every person you come in contact with and every person they come in contact with.
Rene Washington: Yes.
Allegra Sinclair: Because if you have had a transformational moment I talked about this a couple of weeks ago. If there are some changes that happen in life that are temporary, I could lose £10. I could gain those £10. I don't know why I keep using that example. I should stop telling that story. But there are some other changes that can't be unchanged. So when you have changed someone, then they're different and then that changes the people they come in contact with. So absolutely. That grows far beyond your decision to be who you really are.
Rene Washington: It's the ripple. Ripple, yes. And I believe that. And so what we tend to do, though, is because women have been so conditioned and it's part of our nature to be the nurturers, the caretakers, the tenders, the befrienders. We know that. And we get into that looks like obligation, that looks like should, that looks like ought. And those should oughts that obligating. It becomes exhausting. At a certain point, it becomes exhausting. And in that exhaustion, we become resentful, we become frustrated, we are unhappy. And so we are slogging through all these committees, we've joined all these.
Allegra Sinclair: Groups.
Rene Washington: We lead all these sisters, so and so. We can't do this without you, really. And the flag is, are you dreading it? Do you dread being a part of it? If you love it, that's one thing. But if there's dread, if there's resentment, if you are externalized on the thing, that's a message for you, that it may be time for you to bless somebody else with that opportunity to be a part of that thing. That maybe this is the closing of a chapter. When I was in corporate, great career, loved it for many years. The last few years were miserable because and my husband, who was then fiance at the time, and I was praying and praying and praying and praying to God, please, you know, I've got a few more years before I can officially retire. Please just let me my attitude change, you know, I want to stay here and ride this out. And the more I pray, the more miserable I became. And I was god, what's going on? What's going on here?
Allegra Sinclair: Excuse me, Jesus, do you hear me? Not for nothing. Excuse me, Lord.
Rene Washington: Yes.
Allegra Sinclair: If you don't mind, sir, please.
Rene Washington: Express that to my fiance. I said, Why can't I get through this? And he said to me, Maybe God is packing your bags. And that was FAM. Exactly. Yes. This chapter was closing and see, I was working off the terms that somebody external to me had set, and I realized the official retirement criteria had changed three times during my tenure there and I'm rolling up on 29 years and they had changed the criteria three times. And so, yes, three more years was not going to happen. So then I flipped my prayer to, okay, Lord, if I'm supposed to close this chapter now, show me the way, and the path cleared for me to leave, then I retired early on my terms.
Allegra Sinclair: You rewrote it?
Rene Washington: Yes, exactly. For myself. And this is what we do. We hold ourselves in these boxes and constraints based on somebody else's determination of what we should be doing. Who said, who said it? And so, yeah, that was when that was when I really began to click into God as my source. God is my source. And so I surrender to that.
Allegra Sinclair: When you changed your mind, right? When you kind of shook off all these other people's expectations or rules or changing policies, and when you changed what you were asking, you were like, hey, change my mind, change my attitude. You said, change my attitude so that I can stay in this place where I'm miserable for longer.
Rene Washington: I'm paraphrasing, but what hysterical was that is absolutely correct.
Allegra Sinclair: Lord, give me more patience and stamina to stay in the situation that's making me miserable for a longer period of time.
Rene Washington: Absolutely.
Allegra Sinclair: And then you changed your mind and your request to oh, okay. So if you are packing my bags and just make it plain, shine a light on how I get out of here.
Rene Washington: Yes.
Allegra Sinclair: And you talked about freeing yourself from other thoughts. Now, I could be putting words in your mouth, but you know what I realized? I didn't say the name of the book yet. All right. I was so excited, I jumped in. The book is called Take the Trip four Journeys. Every midlife woman needs to live in purpose and freedom. But when you're talking about freeing your mind, I thought to myself, is that.
Announcer: What you meant by free your mind.
Allegra Sinclair: And your butt will follow?
Rene Washington: That's exactly it. Because you know what I was framing it as? This company is making me miserable. And I talk about my first marriage in the book. This marriage is making me miserable. And what I realized, particularly we're talking about the career thing was that the other epiphany I had was there are 100 people that would be glad to sit in my seat.
Allegra Sinclair: Yes.
Rene Washington: This is not about the company. Yes, some things have changed, but we can externalize a thing and find out and poke all the holes in it. But it wasn't about the job. It was about me. I had changed. I had changed. And I was trying to fit myself into a box, a paradigm that no longer fit me, that I no longer was wearing well. I had worn it well for many years. Loved it, grateful for it, blessed by it. Now it was time for me to move into a new life chapter, and I had to own that. So the company wasn't making me miserable. I was making myself miserable. And this is what I really want women to understand, is that the source of our frustration, the source of our aches, the source of our unhappiness, it shine the internal lens on it. It's always an inside view. That's where you will find your answers.
Allegra Sinclair: That's tough, and it's great at the same time. It is tough because it's hard to swallow that I'm making myself miserable or that I am miserable because of me. That doesn't feel good. Right? Our natural instinct is to point to somebody else, because why would we want to cause ourselves pain.
Rene Washington: Right.
Allegra Sinclair: But the magic of that is is if I'm doing it to myself, then I can stop.
Rene Washington: Yes, exactly.
Allegra Sinclair: So I thought it was bad news to find out that oh wait, it's not all these different companies that I'm going to right. I'm still me and I'm going to all these different companies and I'm doing better at each company, the last one. But I'm still miserable. Wait, it's not me. Wait, it's not them, it's me. Well then if it's me, then I can quit that. But it takes a lot of time. And one of the things I find I work with, I'll say professional women, some of them are in big corporations, some of them are in small companies. But I'll just say women who are trying to build a career outside of their home. And one of the things I find often and I work with all sorts of different women, different age groups, different ethnicities, but it's a woman thing. We are so conditioned from a young age to focus on others that sometimes when clients come to me, they won't even know why it is they're miserable. There's just underlying I'm unhappy. I'm stressed. There's just this thing they can't put their finger on that is not working for them. And then as we start to kind of unearth some things and look at some things, it becomes apparent that they aren't as in touch with who they are allegrid as they would like to be.
Rene Washington: Yes. That is probably the most powerful question that I ask clients is who are you without role or title?
Allegra Sinclair: That's good. Say that again.
Rene Washington: Who are you without role or title? And that stumps so many women it brings many to tears. Who are you without role or title? Because they don't think of themselves outside of mom, employee, volunteer, spouse, girlfriend, whatever it is. They don't think of themselves outside of that because they are so invested in, like you said, in being in service to others. And they will say, I don't know. I don't know who I am. I've never thought about that.
Allegra Sinclair: That's the deep thought.
Rene Washington: Yes.
Allegra Sinclair: And I feel that it's not a surprise that so many of us get disconnected from what we really want and who we really are. Because a lot of people just follow a path that was set before them. They do what they see, they do what they think they know, or they do what they know. They could legitimately understand that. But it is not a surprise. And one of the things in my living permission slip role that I always make sure I talk about with my clients is it's okay to not know. It's okay to have a lot and be grateful for that and want something different at the same time. Sometimes we just need anybody to reach out to us and say, hey, buy the red glasses.
Rene Washington: Yes.
Allegra Sinclair: We just need somebody in that moment to see us and tell us that who we are is okay and that they want more of us because red glasses is more of who that woman was. I hope she bought those glasses.
Rene Washington: I hope she did too.
Allegra Sinclair: Would it be a miracle if she listened to the show and sent me a note and said, I bought the glass?
Rene Washington: Oh my God.
Allegra Sinclair: Amazing.
Rene Washington: That would be amazing. And the day of reckoning comes for women and it comes in the middle years when you are moving into menopause. And that was when I learned what was going on because I moved into this space of disconfusion and wanting to disappear and just disconnect from everything. And I didn't understand what was going on. And I found out that I was in full blown menopause. And so me, I'm a reader, so there's got to be a book on this. I found the book the Wisdom of Menopause. And the one thing that I can tell you I got out of that book was because, yes, as we've said, we are just genetically coded to be caretakers and nurturers. And we do that through these early years into the middle years. But then the day of reckoning comes where you realize that you have suppressed a lot of things, you've suppressed a lot of desires, you have suppressed your needs. And what she says in the book is what has been suppressed is going to come up. And that's why I said what it has been suppressed must be addressed. You can no longer deny it. It's going to keep nudging at you. Nudging at you and sticking you and pricking you. And this is why we have this term midlife crisis, which I don't think of it, it can feel like a crisis. But really what it is is a real awakening. If you own it, it's a real awakening for you to now because all of those years, like you just said, maybe you have followed this path that was suggested to you or you were encouraged to do this. You didn't really know why you were doing it. Those years aren't wasted. I do not feel that my first marriage was wasted. I don't feel like I chose the wrong career. Nothing is wasted. Nothing is wasted. And so all that came before now is for me to what's my next? What's my next, what can I use from where I've been to get me to where I need to be? And for me, that midlife reawakening. Why am I really here? What's my purpose? What really lights me up? What do I want to pursue for these next however many years I have on this planet? And I went into coaching and I focus on women and I want to live. My top three values are faith, freedom and passion. And I want to live life as full out as possible and I want to bring as many women with me as possible because we all know what I want us all to connect to what is your personalized brand of freedom? Because it's going to look different than mine. I coached a woman who was an admin at a law firm and was unhappy because her whole life was in service to other people's priorities. She had an adult son still at home. She was not happy at work. She was really a great worker in the church, and that was starting to nudge at her because she was always there for everybody. Everybody knew they could call her and she would show up, and she said, when is it going to be my time? When is it going to be my time? Through the coaching that we did, she learned how to say no. She learned how to say no. And what she ended up doing, she ended up quitting her job and moving five states away to live in the same city as another son who had grandchildren, because that was her big dream, was to live around her grandchildren. And when I tell you she was a humble she's a humble, giving, caring person, beautiful person who her big dream was to live around her grandchildren. And she shut down and shocked me. She texted me a few months later, said, I just want to tell you how much you helped me, and this is what I'm doing. I was like, wow, she upended her whole life. And so we can think that, oh, living your best life has to be some big traveling around the world and all this kind of stuff. It could be that, or it could be that you want to live in the city with your grandchildren. What does it look like for you? Yes. You get to define it. Define it. What does that look like for you? That's what I want women to connect to, is that go in what are your deepest desires? And you just want to be sure that they are your desires. Because, like I said, see, she ended up in a city with with another one of her children helping with grandchildren. So she didn't end up in a city like, this is all about me. I'm leaving everybody behind. No. She is still serving and giving, but she's doing it on her terms.
Allegra Sinclair: Which is why it will be so much more satisfying.
Rene Washington: Yes.
Allegra Sinclair: I won't say the drama, but part of the disconnect that comes between just leaving yourself empty every day, building other people's dreams is that that never feels all the way good. It's like, not for nothing, if anybody likes this, go at me again. I'm always saying something. I'm like, yeah, don't come at me with that ice milk.
Rene Washington: I'm sorry.
Allegra Sinclair: It's not ice cream. If you want ice cream, eat the dag on ice cream. Satisfying, right?
Rene Washington: Hello.
Allegra Sinclair: When you're always making other people's dreams come true, it's not always satisfying.
Rene Washington: It's not exactly I'd rather have a.
Allegra Sinclair: Lot of ice cream.
Rene Washington: Yes. Eat the butter.
Allegra Sinclair: I don't want my dug.
Rene Washington: I have tried, too, but I mean, get the fullness of the thing. Yes. Don't get the fake yeah, don't get the fake thing. Get the fullness of the thing.
Allegra Sinclair: Here's the thing. I think that somewhere in us, it has been tamped down. It has been pushed down over the years. I mean, stuffed down. I have a dear friend, and we used to talk about how different we are now that we're women of a certain age than we were before. And it was like, before, something would just not feel right to you. But you'd stuff it. You'd get busier, you'd buy more purses.
Rene Washington: You'D buy more shoes, you'd buy bad.
Allegra Sinclair: Bunny crocs before they sold out. You would do all sorts of external things to try to do away with the fact that something just was not right, something was not working. But if you're not ready to deal with that, we can get real creative about finding ways to avoid it. Man, we are creative masters of avoidance. But I think one of the reasons why we avoid is we don't trust ourselves.
Rene Washington: I've got four journeys, right? One is surrender. One is trusting myself. One is loving myself, and one is passion. And, yes, surrendering to trusting yourself. Allegra it is so powerful. When I moved into entrepreneurship, this is something that I had never done before, didn't have a family history of being around people who had done it, and so it was totally new to me. So what do I do? I go seek experts who can show me how to do it. And I sought so many business coaches that I lost myself in it. I lost myself in it. All the different communities do this, do that, do this, do that. And I stopped listening to myself, and I almost gave it up. I almost said, oh, this is not for me. I can't do this. And when I clicked into Listen to the Inner Compass, I'm a huge believer in the body compass and how we have that intuitive inner knowing, that internal compass that will guide us and lead us down the right path for us. And I stopped listening to that for myself. And once I clicked back into that, then the first journey in the book is surrender. And I learned how to surrender. For me, I'm a person of faith, and so for me, it's surrendering to God's will and to let God stay in God's business and me stay in my business and trusting myself that nobody knows what's best for me other than me. And since I'm connected to my faith, I know that I'm being directed and really had to circle back around to, what do I want to do? How do I want to show up as an entrepreneur? What does that look like for me? Yes, there are ways to do things. Separate the wheat from the chaff, keep what works for you, and go your own path. And so I just so believe that trusting ourselves is the path and it's so powerful and it opens up so much more of the life that you are put here to live. You may get an opportunity may be presented to you that looks wonderful on paper, a job opportunity. This promotion you've been wanting, here it comes. Oh my gosh, you're going to double your salary. You're going to get this big title. And so the brain is like, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding. But while you're listening to them tell you about the job, your stomach might start jumping, your back might go out on you, your neck might start hurting or your shoulder or whatever because your body is saying, danger, danger. This sounds good. I'm telling you, this is not the right path for you. And your brain is like, this is what you wanted, go for it. What do you do? And so it's learning how to key into your body messaging. And when you are keyed into that, that helps you make decisions for yourself that work for you. Because now that I'm so keyed into my body compass, I will change my mind about something that I have done. I'm not in a flaky kind of don't honor commitments kind of way, but in a way that if something no longer is good for me to do, even safe for me to do, then I may cancel it and say, no, I'm not going to do that thing after all. Or, no, I'm getting messaging that it's no longer a good decision or wasn't a good decision. Maybe I wasn't tuned in when I made the decision. So just being very tuned in to what the internal messaging is that you're getting from your brain and your body compass and learning how to marry those two together to make them work for you instead of against you is hugely powerful.
Allegra Sinclair: I think the other thing that's important is just like you trusted your business coaches, why did you trust them? You trusted them because they had some credibility about them and you invested with them, but also because you spent time with them.
Rene Washington: Yes.
Allegra Sinclair: So the other thing that I see women do is we'll decide that, okay, I'm going to start listening to myself. And you'll try that one time and you'll decide in your head, oh, that didn't work out. So then you go back to what you did before and maybe it didn't work out, but my question is, how.
Rene Washington: Do you know exactly?
Allegra Sinclair: You only gave it five minutes.
Rene Washington: Okay, it might have worked in minute six. Yes. And this is what I tell clients. A decision is not a life sentence. A decision is not a life sentence. And we make them like this decision. If I don't get it right, if I make a mistake, all is lost. No pivot. Course correct. That's all it calls for. Now you have information. Oh, I thought that was it. Now it's not. Or like you said, maybe I have not given this enough time. I love the cooking analogy or the cooking metaphor, because as a cook, I love to cook. And I was very recipe driven. And when I say recipe driven, I had to follow the recipe to the letter.
Allegra Sinclair: Okay?
Rene Washington: Yes. And I did that for years until.
Allegra Sinclair: The office hanging up. I'm like, we don't usually do that.
Rene Washington: Yeah, I know, right? And so then eventually because that's a lack of confidence. That's a lack of confidence. I don't know how to cook. Whoever wrote this recipe, they know how to cook, so I need to do it exactly. I need to get the exact ingredient. And then I realized, I do know how to cook. I can put my stamp on this. If I don't have that particular ingredient, what else can I use? Let me reneify this recipe.
Allegra Sinclair: Renee, how do you spell renefi? I love that. Renee.
Rene Washington: Yes. And now I'm cooking with gas. Now you know what I'm like. Yes, but that's what we do to ourselves if we think that we aren't the experts, if we think that we don't know well, okay, yes, there's learning something, and then there's living something. And when we are in the learning phase of things, yes, there's a protocol for how to do this or that, but then when we start living in it, we change up the recipe. We make the recipe ours. And that applies to anything. There's rules on how to be married. There's rules on how to raise children. There are rules on all these things, and everybody does it differently.
Allegra Sinclair: And everybody tries things.
Rene Washington: Yeah.
Allegra Sinclair: And then to your point, they were not fatal. So then they cross corrected, and then they tried something different. I loved that cooking analogy, too, because I was like, okay, so I never cooked until, like, five years ago. I had always been told I could not cook. I know how they knew when I didn't do it. But anyway, so now people who knew me when I was younger are like, Wait, you home cook everything. I was like, Even make my own ketchup and mayo. Don't play with me. I will not stand. But it's a great analogy because I have had some catastrophes in the kitchen. Sometimes I take pictures and I share with my tribe because I'm not scared. I'm like, oh, this went terribly wrong. So what did I learn? And I send them the picture of the mess. But you know what? I also send them off the picture when things just turned out so well. And I'm always putting my name in the meals. So, like, spinach lalegra or I made a shrimp south the other day that I said I had allegrified. That's why I giggled when you said naifi. I said, oh, look at this shrimp. I allegrified, there's something magical in trusting yourself.
Rene Washington: Yes.
Allegra Sinclair: There's also something okay. About trusting myself and then not turning out that, well, I have garbage bags.
Rene Washington: I know, right?
Allegra Sinclair: I can try again.
Rene Washington: Exactly. I told you I love quotes. And so one of my favorite quotes is about Thomas Edison creating the light bulb. And when you said that about being told that you couldn't cook, he was told that he was too stupid to learn anything and lost jobs, all this stuff. And so as an inventor, they said he made 1000 unsuccessful attempts to invent the light bulb. And when a reporter asked him about that and asked him, well, how did it feel to fail 1000 times? And he said, I didn't fail a thousand times. The light bulb was an invention with 1000 steps. I love that. So these mistakes, failures, whatever, no, it's just another step in the process. And those steps are going to get you to either, well, you know, this wasn't the path. This isn't my thing. Or those steps will get you to, oh, now I know how to do this. Now I know what works for me in getting to what this thing is. Now I know how to create this. Now I know how to be in this. Now I know how to do this. Steps, 1000 steps. Keep stepping. I'm just a huge believer in keep stepping.
Allegra Sinclair: I love it. And it harkens back to what you said earlier about his first thousand attempts were not wasted. No, that was magical. I just want to put that on a T shirt.
Rene Washington: Yes.
Allegra Sinclair: What you did before was not wasted. It is now that as a foundation to form whatever it is that is your next I love that.
Rene Washington: Yes. It's just as powerful to know what you don't want as it is to know what you do want.
Allegra Sinclair: Yes. I'm not going to try to read your whole book on this show, but I do have one other question because people need to go get it. It's on Amazon. It's everywhere. But there was one other story in the book that I don't think I said it took me out, but it just grabbed me and shook me a little because you said and I think I connected with it because I had a similar experience. But you said that after your mom passed suddenly, that you wanted to be much more intentional. And I wondered in the moment that you were making that decision, shortly after your mom passed, what did that look like being more intentional? They talk about that?
Rene Washington: Yes.
Allegra Sinclair: Because what did that look like for you? Being more intentional?
Rene Washington: Yeah, because we say these things life is short. We say all these things about life. After my mom died, and because she died unexpectedly, it was just totally out of the blue. We had no clue. It just shifted everything. It shifted everything. And I started thinking about how arbitrary life really is. Because now, ever since my mom has died, I pay attention to death, not in a morbid way, but just in an awareness way. So I pay attention. It is different. And I pay attention to who dies and who doesn't die, who dies and who gets to live, because it is so arbitrary. I see people who come through things that absolutely. You would say, oh, I know they didn't survive that, and they did. And then I see people who are gone and you're, what? How did that happen? I've had people like I said, I'm a woman of faith. And so I've had Christians say, well, life is not arbitrary. God knows everything that's going to happen. Okay. But I don't, because I'm not God.
Allegra Sinclair: So it appears arbitrary to you.
Rene Washington: Absolutely.
Allegra Sinclair: Here's the other thing. Dealing with someone's passing is very personal.
Rene Washington: It is.
Allegra Sinclair: And so your perspective on it is all that matters.
Rene Washington: Exactly. So my favorite example of the arbitrariness of life is the Rolling Stones. Look at them. They all look like death warmed over, and they are still here. Not only are they still here, before COVID they were still rocking the house, going out on tours and everything. They have lived hard lives of drug women, all that stuff, and they are still here. After my mom's death, I started thinking, okay, I don't know how many more years I have. What do I want to do with this time? And this was brought to me again with the recent death of Chadwick Both. Oh, my gosh.
Allegra Sinclair: I think that is weighing on all of us in a way.
Rene Washington: Exactly.
Allegra Sinclair: I don't know if it's because 2025 it is. I don't know if it's because of COVID but that has taken the legs out that I didn't expect it to.
Rene Washington: Absolutely. And a couple of things, and it really brought me back to my mom's death in that thing that's just so out of the blue, so unexpected. And my mom died. She was 74 years old, and all the people who knew her, though, would say, wow, she did not live the stereotypical life of a 74 year old woman. And they were just shocked because she was active, vibrant, all of that. And then I look at Chadwick Bothman, and at I think he was 43. Yes, and but but what? He lived in those 43 years. And you talk about being intentional. He would that that diagnosis that he got, that he lived with for, I think, four years, slowly but surely deteriorating, embody, and still doing amazing things, living fully in his purpose, putting out work that will last for generations. So I look at that and that intention became for me, what am I really doing with my life? And almost a year later, after my mom's death, is when I left my corporate career, because I said, part of that epiphany of, okay, it's time to end this chapter. God is packing my bags. And my mom's death really brought it to me that, yeah, I could stay here three more years and walk out this path that has been set for me by this company, and then I could be dead in three years because I had had a mini stroke years before my mom's death. And so all of that came together for me to say, live now. Live now. Whatever I can do now, I need to do it now. I don't need to put off anything that I can and that I'm able to do, that I'm blessed to be able to do. Do it now. What are you waiting for? What am I waiting for? Stop it. Stop it. And so that is how I try to intentionally always reassess. Am I living in the purpose that I believe I was put here? I do believe that. I think we are all people of influence. What am I influencing? How am I influence? Influencing? Who am I influencing? Did I try to stay cognizant of that and aware of that and live in what I believe is my purpose on this planet? And I do believe that loving to live the blessings of this world, this life, there's a lot of things wrong with it and bad with it, and they are all glaring in our faces right now, for sure. And there is still a lot of beauty in the world, a lot of opportunity in the world. And I believe as much as possible, we should move toward that light and shine that light on as many other people as possible to join us in that. And so for me personally, yes, I love living life joyfully. In fact, I did the book. I said the book is Four Journeys. It was supposed to be five. But I'm going to do another book. And the fifth journey is black women's. Joy. I want that to be the the fifth journey because as black women, we carry so much. We carry so much as women. We do, but particularly as women of color, we do.
Allegra Sinclair: And we wonder why we're exhausted.
Rene Washington: I know, exactly. And there's so much for us to be worried about and concerned about, and I don't negate that. And I also believe that we get to be joyful too, that we get to walk in joy too, that we get to access moments of joy on a daily basis. And I want to explore that and have that be the fifth journey. So my intention, yes, is to I'm.
Allegra Sinclair: Writing it down is to live.
Rene Washington: To live as purposefully and as passionately as possible. To live in ways that my mom didn't even believe she could. She was a strong woman, a beautiful woman, a woman who would always remind me, you are my daughter. You are a child of God and you are barbarian's daughter. And I cling to that as a place of power. And I want to live on her behalf and in my own behalf and to help as many women as possible, live in their own purpose and passion. That is my intention. That is my purpose. And that is why I believe I am still breathing on this planet. And so I don't want to get sidetracked from that. And anytime I start to veer off, I reel myself back in and remind myself when I start doubting myself or questioning myself or wondering if I'm good enough because, yes, I have my moments too. And then I remind myself who I come from. I come from my parents. My dad and my mom were middle class working people who their purpose was to raise me and my sister to be independent women who are women of faith and who respected their parents. That was their goal and they did that well. I want to honor them by showing up in ways that they believed that I could do anything, but in ways that they thought they were kept from. So I want to move past their ceilings. I have two nieces and I want them to see that they can be anything, that they can do anything. Their old aunt is going to keep living life as large as possible and whatever that means for me and whatever it means for you, I want other women to do that and to find that for themselves and live that every day.
Allegra Sinclair: I would be a fool to try to add anything to that. I think that is the perfect, most powerful way to end this episode. And I thank you so much for everything and especially for the call on all of our lives. It was so powerful to hear how your parents gave you this great foundation and how part of what moves you, what motivates you now as you live with more intention, is to go beyond where they thought even they could go and just give that to the next generation. It's breathtaking and it's really powerful. So thank you so much for sharing that. I know everybody who listens to this is going to be like, okay, who, where, how do we get more? Renee.
Rene Washington: So I'm on Facebook. I am on Facebook. See? Renee Washington and my company is Careertriage Hq.com and we believe that women should love their work and so that is what our purpose. Me and my partners, Gwen Hall and Tanya Allen, we believe that you should do the work that lights you up. And so if you are particularly in corporate America, we work with companies and we want people to connect to what is that thing that can support the life you want to live? So we do that through career. Triage HQ.
Allegra Sinclair: Thank you so much for being here today. I already feel like, yes, when the fifth book is written, yes. You just need to go ahead and come back. You have an open thank you. Come back. I cannot wait to get this into people's ears so they can be transformed by this time that. We have spent together. Thank you so much for being here. I appreciate everything that you've brought.
Rene Washington: Thank you.
Announcer: And thank you for joining us for this episode. You can get the full show notes at allegrativity. Comrenne that's rene. And don't forget to visit allegrativity. Comc to ask your question for a special Q and A episode coming up in just a few weeks. We'll catch you next time.
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