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changing the face of aging
Susan Brooks
Yea, YOU!

Are you dancing through the tulips?

Enjoy every precious moment! We know that summer sits on the edge of every beautiful Spring day!

I love coaching women. I've witnessed possibilities, small steps that can grow into a marathon, big steps that would never before have been possible. I've been privileged to witness breakthroughs, up close and personal transformations.

In my years as a woman business owner, when there were but a few of us, and then in my years as a strategic business coach to other women business owners, and now in my overt efforts to 'change the face of aging', there has been one thread that remains a constant obstacle to growth: CONFIDENCE!

Even those women who were boldly successful and recognized, there was still the doubt, suspicion, worry, and guilt that they were 'just lucky' and then worrying that they would be 'found out.' Why is that?

Disclaimer: I'm still working on building my CONFIDENCE...every day! As 'a work in progress' and with the blessing and 'privilege of aging', I'm getting lots of practice!

The good news is I have accumulated some wisdom along the way that has helped me trust the process. I've learned that confidence helps us bounce back from setbacks more easily. We start to believe in ourselves a little more. Yea, US!

I've been told too many times that CONFIDENCE is an 'inside job.' Awareness marks your first step.

Replace that self-doubt and self-criticism with more positive and realistic self-talk. Look at your history and the challenges you have already overcome! Treat your Self with kindness and understanding. My daughter, a fabulous human at 50 years of age, often (too often) asks me 'What would you tell me, Mom, if I was you right now?' That shuts me up every time! I am so much harder on myself than ever to her or anyone else!

Not easy to do when you are a PERFECTIONIST. "Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people," says Anne Lamott. Take a moment and re-view your history to count the times that Perfectionism robbed you of adventure, exploring, risking, and Life itself.

Stand tall, head up. You've been courageous and so brave, so far. CONFIDENCE feels good, so free, so powerful. You are smiling, walking taller. It's a visceral feeling, isn't it? Try it on...then practice, daily, moment to moment. You'll notice the difference. You CAN grow CONFIDENCE if you choose to.

Listen to Diane Von Furstenberg, a clothing designer whose label you'd recognize, says, "Confidence. If you have it, you can make anything look good."

Please talk to me.

Share your Confidence Journey with me.

Let me be your Cheer Leader!

"Confidence. If you have it, you can make anything look good."
― Diane Von Furstenberg

Talk to me.

Ya Gotta meet this Modern Elder
Darlene Newsom

Featured Modern Elder*

Darlene Newsom
Age 69

"A homeless child in the United States of America is 'not ok.' Why are we allowing my job to not get done...yet? It does take a village! We don't do easy, we do hard together."

Darlene has been the Chief Executive Officer at UMOM New Day Centers for 19 years. There are 390 families on the waitlist. There's always so much work that needs to get done. "This mission is bigger than me. All the awards are not about's the mission behind it! We want to motivate a collective impact more than a service. We want to impact policy to better serve the whole family doing our best to give them a better life."

Things did get done under Darlene's leadership: UMOM expanded its capacity and impact on families, single women, and youth experiencing homelessness. Darlene managed a $25 million agency budget with 280 employees. That's a WOW!

UMOM was not Darlene's first rodeo. Before UMOM, she was the Director of a homeless shelter for abused and neglected children. She has worked with non-profits for 46+ years, focused on people's most vulnerable issues, fighting for affordable rents, zoning changes, and increasing minimum wages to provide opportunities for a better life. "My work is to create initiatives that are innovative, thinking outside the box for affordable housing that will create wings for these families to fly further."

Darlene is doing her best to retire now, but she's as busy as ever, growing Newsom Non-Profit Consulting firm, volunteering, and co-chairing Boards. She IS the Expert on housing and homeless issues. She continues to hold onto the vision to one day end homelessness, she knows the policies that need to change, and she knows every person, place, or thing that needs to be part of this process to create change. She is a strong woman on a mission!

Darlene loves her blended family of 5 kids and 7 grandkids. She works out before everyone wakes up "at 5:30 with the chipmunks. I don't have the same level of stress about HR, budgets, galas, and fundraising activities now that I'm retired. The one thing I miss is having an executive assistant to set up Zoom and set up appointments. I've been blessed for so many years. I remain humble and kind...and relevant!"

Taking trips with girlfriends is pure pleasure. Darlene is especially proud that walkers or cruisers in her neighborhood stop in awe to take in the beauty of her garden!

When I asked Darlene to share her perspective on aging, she fondly remembered Toby Keith's song from the film The Mule with Clint Eastwood 'Don't Let the Old Man In.' I could hear her mind trying to sing the tune, but just in case, Darlene quickly gave me its meaning: "You can be 65 or be young. It's up to me! I say to myself and everyone around me, 'don't let that old lady in... don't let that old lady in!"

Darlene Newsom is Wonder Woman. She'll never be 'that old lady!' She's a force to be reckoned with, resilient in every challenge, and has the courage to persist until the work is done.

I say THANK YOU, Darlene Newsom, for your service, leadership, and role modeling what's possible for the rest of us!

I look for Modern Elders wherever I go. They are everywhere. Their 'aliveness' is what I notice first. It's a man or woman 60+ that is living their best life. They inspire us. Modern Elders are our teachers, our role models to Change the Face of Aging! Share them with me, please! Enjoy previous Featured Modern Elders here.

If retirement or the next chapter is calling your name, if I can help you realize your vision in business and lifestyle, email me. Let's make it happen now!

*Chip Conley, best-selling author and speaker, hospitality entrepreneur and leading thought leader, created The Modern Elder Academy's mission "to inspire the ability to reframe a lifetime of experience and recognize one's mastery, relevance, and value in the modern workplace." The Modern Elder* is Conley's term and effort that "liberates and inspires us to embrace wisdom as a path of growing whole, not old...The Modern Elder marries wisdom and curiosity."

Every month this newsletter will Feature the stories and wisdom of Modern Elders.

Share your Modern Elders with us...maybe it's you!! Please send in your Modern Elder Story along with a one-line Wisdom statement plus photo to be featured. CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT.

Susan Brooks

Today, I am 77 years old, and proud of it! Paul Simon, who is now in his 80's said it best years ago: us boomers were BORN AT THE RIGHT TIME!

Yes, I was born at the right time! I'm still a hippie from the 60's, I Apriled for civil rights for all humans, equal rights for women, waving my bra with the best. I am proud to be living and growing in a robust marriage of 57 years. I survived motherhood, and so did my now-adult children. I was an award-winning woman business owner when there were but a few of us. I've learned a whole bunch of lessons, and more importantly, I've earned my fair share of Wisdom, too. I am Pro-Age!

According to Chip Conley, one of today's leading thought leaders: "Experience is making a comeback. Wisdom never grows old." Chip created the hallmarks of the Modern Elder*: "learning to marry wisdom and experience with curiosity, cultivating a beginner's mind so that learning never ends, exemplifying a willingness to evolve both as a student and sage." Research shows that shifting our mindset about Aging can add 7.4 happy years to a person's life.

Proud to say I am a graduate of the Modern Elder Academy as well as an active participant in Wise Aging: Living with Joy, Resilience, and Spirit programs. As one of the creators and hosts of the Thrive@55 event, we celebrated our female community leaders who were 55+.

As long as I'm able to see the sunrise every morning and keep a curious mind, there's more living to do, so much more to learn, and so many new ways to serve. Trailblazer that I am, and always will be, I recognize my next mission: by example and demonstration I am committed to Changing the Face of Aging: One Modern Elder* at a time!

I welcome both local and national speaking engagements as well as one-on-one coaching opportunities to delve more deeply into navigating life transitions. Email me Here.

Juicy ways and energizing action steps: how to soak in the wisdom and energy of becoming your own Modern Elder*
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