Through this next episode of The Midlife Reinvention, Kavita Ahuja speaks with Maria Leonard Olsen, who discusses how she navigated her way through a very difficult youth, to now, after 50, where she has fully embraced life and all its beauty. Her story and guidance will sure to inspire you to take the time to re-evaluate your life, and think of ways to reinvigorate it to become your best self.
Maria Leonard Olsen is a biracial woman whose parents were forbidden by law to marry in the early 1960s. She is an author, attorney, recovery mentor, writing/empowerment retreat leader, and co-host of D.C.’s Inside Out radio show. Maria graduated from Boston College and the University of Virginia School of Law, served in the Clinton Administration’s Justice Department and on numerous charitable boards, and has fostered newborn babies awaiting adoption. Maria has spoken at the Pennsylvania Women’s Conference, the National March to End Rape Culture, L.A.’s Mixed Remixed Festival, FierceCon LA, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Asian American Month Celebration and as a corporate motivational speaker. Her latest book, 50 After 50–Reframing the Next Chapter of Your Life, has served as a vehicle to help people across the country reinvigorate their lives and become their best version.
Here are some of Maria’s Key takeaways:
- Asking for help is not a sign of weakness in fact it’s a sign of courage and strength
- Be responsible for your own life and your own happiness
- Don’t set goals which are too big for yourself. Maybe even tell yourself, “I’m going to do one new thing a month”
- If we don’t keep learning, then we start dying
- Courage isn’t the absence of fear but moving through your fear and doing things anyway
- Take time for meditation which encourages you to be more mindful about how you spend your time in general, and makes you feel more centered.
- Schedule play, fun and creativity into your life – laugh, Enjoy nature around you, walk wherever you can possibly instead of driving, open up your life to what’s around you.
- Sign up to volunteer; go hiking; visit parks, museums even virtually. Become a local in your nearby town. Ride a bike, travel by train, dance, visit temples, embassies, steep yourself in another culture
- All of us should take the time to re-evaluate our lives and not just be stagnant – it doesn’t have to be a crisis.
- Bloom where you are planted
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