The Mindful Midlife Crisis

Episode 92--Life Lessons from a Cherry Blossom Tree

April 05, 2023 Billy Lahr
The Mindful Midlife Crisis
Episode 92--Life Lessons from a Cherry Blossom Tree
Show Notes Transcript

This week’s solo episode has a little bit of everything–a travel update from Japan, a history lesson about Kyoto and Buddhism,  a life lesson about impermanence from cherry blossom trees, and a guided meditation about sitting with pleasant, unpleasant, and neutral thoughts.  

If you liked this episode, check out these episodes as well:

  • Episode 88--Strength at Every Angle with Venus Lau
  • Episode 90--It's Not Weak to Speak with Simon Rinne, Part 1
  • Episode 91--It's Not Weak to Speak with Simon Rinne, Part 2
  • Episode 39--Billy Shares the Lessons He Learned during His Trip to Portugal, Spain, and Dakar
  • Summer Session 2--Billy Stretches Out His Comfort Zone Pizza Dough in Puerto Vallarta with Special Guest Dr. David DeMarkis
  • Summer Session 1--How Billy's Pacific Northwest Road Trip Manifested into Anxious Attachment
  • Episode 3–The Only Way Out Is Through: Billy Overcomes His Demons through Mindfulness

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Billy: Coming up on The Mindful Midlife Crisis

Buddhism and Shintoism are the prevailing religions in Japan, which is why there are so many temples and shrines there. One of the prevailing philosophies in Buddhism is this idea of impermanence, meaning everything changes and nothing lasts forever. This is why mindfulness and meditation are often linked to Buddhism, because when we talk about impermanence, what we're really saying is these moments in life both beautiful and tragic, are merely temporary.

So we must learn the importance of being present with what it is we are experiencing right now, because this moment will never happen again. What can we learn from this moment? What can we take away from this moment? Regardless of its pleasantness, its unpleasantness, or its neutrality? Welcome to The Mindful Midlife Crisis, a podcast for people navigating the complexities and possibilities of life's second half.

I'm your host, Billy Lahr, an educator, personal trainer, meditation teacher and Overthinker who talks to experts who specialize in social and emotional learning. Mindfulness, physical and emotional wellness, cultural awareness, finances, communication, relationships, dating and parenting all in an effort to help us better reflect, learn and grow so we can live a more purpose filled life. Take a deep breath, embrace the present and journey with me through The Mindful Midlife Crisis.

Welcome to The Mindful Midlife Crisis. I'm your host, Billy Lahr. Thank you for tuning in wherever you are. The purpose of the show is to provide a platform that gives people the space and permission to share their expertise and life experiences in order to help others navigate the complexities and possibilities of life's second half. But on the first Wednesday of every month, I record a solo episode to share my travel experiences with you and how those experiences are helping me navigate my own mindful midlife crisis, which is actually more of a mindful pivot than a crisis, I would say, because if I'm being honest, I'm feeling pretty good about where I am in my life.

Things are going really well. But if you've been a fan of the show since day one, you know that that hasn't always been the case. So I'm happy to share these experiences with you in these solo episodes in the hopes that my trials, tribulations and successes will inspire you to take intentional action to live a more purpose filled life.

And remember this free and useful information is helpful to people of all ages. Wisdom isn't about one's age. Wisdom comes from our ability to reflect, learn and grow from our own life experiences, while also learning from the experiences of others, regardless of what stage of life we are in. Because you just never know what life is going to throw at you.

So there just might be a story or two from past episodes, whether those come from these solo episodes or the experiences and expertise my guests share with us that help you feel better prepared for the challenges you might face in life or that you're facing right now. Whether those challenges be your emotional, mental and or physical health, your relationships with others, including your partner and your children, your career, whatever curveballs life is thrown your way right now, just know that you are not alone in your experience.

And the conversations I'm having here are with people who have been there before or have done the research to help you navigate these situations with more awareness, openness, curiosity and compassion so you can live a more purpose filled life. And trust me, I take all of these conversations. I'm having the heart as well, and I try to apply what I'm learning from all of these conversations, which is why I enjoyed doing these solo episodes because I think of the show as a running dialog between me and you, the listener, because my hope is that you can see and hear the growth I'm making in my own life.

So that inspires you to seek out the connections between these shared experiences so that you too can take intentional and inspired action. So if you're looking for some ways to help, you better navigate whatever you've got going on in your life from someone who's been through it before, check out some of the other episodes at WW dot Mindful Midlife Crisis dot com or wherever you get your podcasts.

This week's episode has a little bit of everything. I'm going to share some of my recent successes. I'm going to give you a travel update. I'll share a life lesson that I've learned recently, and I'm going to lead you through a mindfulness meditation. So everybody just buckle up. There's a lot coming your way in this episode. Currently, I am in the city that is at the top of my bucket list Tokyo, Japan.

I am so excited to finally have this opportunity to visit Tokyo and explore all it has to offer for the entire month of April. And to be honest, a month in Tokyo doesn't even scratch the surface. This place is huge. It is such a massive city. Oh my goodness gracious. It's like 30 million people here. It is so wild.

How big of a city this is? I can't even begin to explain the scope and the size of this city. Anyway, I'm excited to be here. There's a great energy here. Obviously, with 30 million people, it's going to be that way, right? Tokyo is essentially what this whole trip has been building up to, and it's quite fitting that I'm saving it for the end.

Yeah, I'm going back to Seoul in May, but since I've spent a significant amount of time there, it feels more like home to me. And Tokyo is sort of the icing on this multi-tiered travel cake I've been feasting on for the past 18 months, which is absolutely wild to think that I've been on this adventure for that long.

Just again, to give you a quick update, in March, I spent three weeks in Osaka and then I spent a week in Kyoto, which was absolute, really stunning. And I'll talk more about that in a minute. And then I took a little side trip up to north central Japan and looked out on the ocean from the shores of Kanazawa and Kaguya Onsen, which was another big life moment for me as well, because I have been dreaming about that moment where I stand on the shores of Japan and look out into the ocean for such a long time.

And yes, I've seen far more beautiful shorelines. But this one held a really special meaning in my life because it's always something I've wanted to do. And given the journey I've been on to get to where I am today, it really was an incredibly special moment for me and it's an experience I will cherish for the rest of my life and who knows what will happen after my time in Seoul ends in July.

Maybe I'll go back to the States, or maybe I'll stick around in Asia a little bit longer. I'm leaving the doors of opportunity wide open during this pivotal transition period of my life because I'm starting to build a little momentum here and it's feeling really good. And I think it's important for us to share our successes. So excuse me a bit.

While I indulge in some of my mindful mid-life achievements. So just for the record, no, I'm not just gallivanting around the world and living the dream. I am actually putting a lot of work into growing the podcast. I'm networking with potential guests and sponsors and business partners all so I can keep this show going because in my heart of hearts, I really do feel like the work I'm putting into this podcast is as meaningful and helpful to you as it is to me.

And at this point, I just need to figure out a way to make it financially viable without compromising the quality of the show or begging you for donations. But but if you value the insight and life lessons shared on this podcast and you want to make a donation, go to the show notes and click on the support the show link.

You can also visit WW dot by Mia Coffee dot com backslash AMC podcast, which is also in the show notes. There's also a donation link on the website at WW dot Mindful midlife crisis that all felt gross I'm ready to move on. So speaking of the website it's undergoing a lot right now, making some big changes to it.

So if you haven't checked that out in a while, go take a look. We've added some really cool features like a fan faves page for all of you new listeners out there who are curious as to which episodes our fans enjoy the most. I actually just got an email from the New York City Podcast Network saying that my conversation with Venus Lau episode 88 Strength at every Angle was selected by their staff as a staff favorite.

Huh? So that's pretty cool. That's very exciting. I was pretty jazzed when I got that email. And if you haven't listened to that episode yet, be sure to check it out because Venus drops all sorts of delightful and useful life lessons in that episode. It's definitely not just about fitness. We go deep in her life experiences and she absolutely delivered the goods.

Also, don't let the episode number of that conversation fool you because when you include the summer sessions that I did last year and the September meditation episodes, my conversation with Venus was actually my 100th published episode. So I'm incredibly proud of that achievement and I'm so happy that Venus was my guest for that milestone episode. Also, my recent two part conversation with Simon Rinne, episodes 90 and 91 was selected by the Good Pod's app as recommended listening, and I am incredibly proud of that achievement as well.

In other news, I'm going to be doing some guest blogging for a couple of different print sources, so I'll be sure to include all of those articles and their publications on The Mindful Midlife Crisis website. So once those are available, I'll let you know. I'm also adding more free mindfulness resources to anyone who joins the Mindful Midlife community by signing up for the newsletter.

So if you're not, subscribe to the newsletter yet and you don't want to miss out on some of those useful mindfulness resources, be sure to join our happy, healthy and loving community. Speaking of mindfulness resources, I am currently finishing up my Mindful Teacher Certification program with Shawn Fargo through mindfulness exercises. Soon I will have a ten session reflect, learn, grow Introduction to Mindfulness course that I'll be offering everyone and I'll make that available on the website.

My hope is to have that ready by July, but in the meantime, I will be leading one hour mindfulness sessions on Monday evenings at 8 p.m. Central Standard Time. To all of you out there, interested and learning more about how to navigate the complexities and possibilities of life with more mindful awareness, curiosity, compassion and openness. Each session includes a quick check in, followed by a 10 to 15 minute mindfulness meditation.

And then we close the session by discussing what came up for you during the meditation, how you can use that newfound awareness in your day to day life, and how, when and where you can continue practicing mindfulness on a regular daily basis. This is essentially what I've been doing with the Soul Share Meetup community on Tuesday nights Korea time.

But I also wanted to extend this to the rest of you. So if you'd like more information about that, go to the shownotes. Click on the virtual mindfulness sessions link and fill out the form so you can get access to the virtual meditation room. You can also go to the website, which again is WDW dot, Mindful Midlife Crisis dot com and click on the banner at the top if you want to join us for some virtual mindfulness sessions every Monday at 8 p.m. Central Standard Time starting April 3rd.

So they're already up and running. Feel free to join us. As I said at the top of the show, I just spent an incredible, incredible week walking around Kyoto, the old capital city of Japan and walking around Kyoto is exactly why I came to Japan. I've always been fascinated with the ancient traditions and architecture of Japan, and Kyoto embodies both.

I cannot do this city justice with words, but I tried to capture its beauty with my camera. So if you're not following me on Instagram @mindful_midlife_crisis, go there and check out my travel picks from Japan, Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand, and Korea. I love talking about my travels, but what I love even more is being a pseudo tour guide and helping people plan their trips so things go smoothly for them because it can be hard to navigate a foreign country you've never been to before.

So if you're going to any of those places and you're like, you know, maybe I'll ask Billy for some advice or some travel tips on how to get to there, or what to check out, what to eat, that sort of thing. DM on Instagram or shoot me an email, a Let me help you make the most of your experiences in those countries that I've visited.

If you're curious where else I've been, you can check out episode 39 where I talk about my time in Portugal, Spain and Dakar, and you can check out summer sessions one and two, if you're planning a road trip to the Pacific Northwest or if you're planning some fun in the sun in Puerto Vallarta. Anyway, speaking of tour guides, one of my favorite things to do the first or second night I get into a city is book a tour.

I usually Google free walking tours and then insert the city name. And I always find a free walking tour that helps you get oriented around the city, and then you just leave the tour Guide A nice tip for taking you around. I especially like the food tours because I'm not a foodie at all, so maybe don't message me about what's about where to eat because I'm not a foodie at all.

As I'm going to explain here a little bit later. I don't seek out local restaurants because I'm kind of a picky eater. We've talked about my disdain for seafood, so these food tours, they give me a chance to really expand my palate. Besides, I just get way too overwhelmed with all of the restaurant choices in these large cities with all their local cuisines.

And when I don't know what any of the food items are on the menu, it just feels like a burden to make the quote unquote right choice. And the other thing is, I'm traveling on a budget, so I rarely splurge on a high end meal because honestly, the few times I've done that, I usually walked away saying that was good, but I don't know if it was worth that extravagant price.

I also think that it's a totally pretentious Instagram foodie and traveler influencer thing to do. Like you're not Anthony Bourdain. Dude, stop trying to be as cool as Anthony Bourdain, Just be you. Which, if I'm being honest, is another thing I'm trying to figure out. Who is this post educator Billy, which is a topic we'll explore at another time.

Because if you're going through a midlife pivot like I am, I imagine you're probably thinking something similar, probably trying to figure out who am I? So anyway, I do not prioritize meals when I'm traveling solo because I'm usually off exploring by myself. I am totally one of those guys who can walk around all day and go until three or 4 p.m. without eating.

So when that time rolls around, I'm just like, okay, what's quick, what's easy, what's familiar? Because I don't want to overthink it because I've exhausted all of my brain space and all of my energy into getting to and from my destination for the day. And even if that destination was simply walking around aimlessly and taking in the sights, I just don't want to think anymore.

It's just too much. I just want something quick and easy to eat. That's going to fill me up and know for the record, I'm not eating at McDonald's or some shitty American fast food joint when I'm traveling. I don't even go there when I'm not traveling. I haven't eaten at a McDonald's since 2014, and before that I hadn't eaten at that McDonald's since 2007.

So I'm not going that cheap, but I'm not going that easy. And I'm not going that terrible of food. That's just not my thing. But did I have a 7-Eleven bento box here for lunch? 100%. It was cheap. It was delicious. Actually. The 7-Eleven meals here in Japan are quite good, so I don't feel bad about that whatsoever.

It did a job, let me put it that way. It did its job. So here's what I do when I'm traveling. I like to find a local spot near my accommodation and I become a regular there ordering various dishes off of that menu. I did that in Shanghai and the family who owned that little restaurant was so kind to me every single day for the two weeks that I was there.

And because I'm a solo traveler, I just want that feeling of comfort and familiarity every once in a while. Because one of the biggest things I'm struggling with these days is a lack of stability and routine. But again, that's another topic for another time. Also, I view eating as a social experience, especially when it comes to eating foods from another culture.

I can't really enjoy the cultural significance of a meal if I don't know much about it or if I don't know much about the culture. So if I'm eating by myself, I just wanted to taste good enough and I just wanted to fill me up anyway. Besides a food tour, another type of tour I enjoy is anything that relates to the culture or history of that specific region of the country.

Because as cool as things look, it's nice to know why they're there and what meaning they have to the people who live there and the people who once lived there. So that brings me to Kyoto. Kyoto is one of those Japanese cities that survived World War Two for reasons we'll get into shortly. But my tour guide the other night said people often say the only things to see in Kyoto are temples and shrines.

And they're right. And it's these temples and shrines that are so well preserved that add so much charm, character, history and tradition to the overall experience there. So it's nice to understand the cultural significance behind them. And we're going to explore that in a little bit, too. So as I mentioned, Kyoto was not bombed during World War Two, even though it was actually one of the original prime targets for the atomic bomb that eventually destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The reason it wasn't incinerated by the atomic bomb was because the US Secretary of war at that time, Henry Stimson, spent his honeymoon in Kyoto and he considered the city to be far too beautiful to fall victim to such an imminent, catastrophic fate. I actually went to Hiroshima a few weeks prior to arriving in Kyoto, and I visited the A-bomb Dome and Peace Memorial Park.

And the park itself is quite stunning. It's beautiful. It's peaceful. But the remnants of the old Hiroshima Prefecture Industrial Promotion hall serves as this cold, chilling reminder of the devastation that was laid upon Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War Two. I have yet to visit the Pearl Harbor National Memorial, but I have been to places like Auschwitz and Sachsenhausen, which is another concentration camp in Germany, and I've been to the World Trade Center Memorial and the same chilling vibe that permeates the air in those places is also palpable in Hiroshima, despite the serenity of the park.

And I think that connects well to something one of my tour guides said the other day about the cherry blossoms. We are in full bloom right now in Japan. It is absolutely spectacular. I couldn't be more excited because seeing the cherry blossoms in Japan has been on my bucket list for years. But there's no way I could have imagined how beautiful they look, especially in a traditional city like Kyoto.

Up and down the river streams Here, the cherry blossoms lean out over and above you like these beautiful canopies with their white and pink petals. And people are just in awe of how spectacular they look. My favorite way to see the cherry blossoms is at night along the river, because they usually have some sort of spotlight on them and they just radiate with the night sky as their backdrop.

It's just this incredible sight to see. And I feel extremely fortunate about the timing because it can be tricky to plan a trip to Japan if your goal is to see the cherry blossoms because they go into full bloom at different times of the year throughout the country. So if you're bouncing around like I am, it can kind of be a game of hit or miss.

For example, I was way too early to see the cherry blossoms in Osaka and they are just now starting to fall from the branches and litter the sidewalks here in Tokyo. But in Kyoto, I got to see them in full bloom and it was an absolutely incredible experience. So one might ask, why does Japan have so many cherry blossoms?

Well, this is why it pays to go on one of these cultural tours, because you might just learn something. And as it turns out, you can also apply what you learn to your own life. So why are there so many cherry blossoms lining the streets of Japan, especially since they truly serve no purpose outside of providing beauty to the cities they bear?

No fruit. Cherries do not grow from cherry blossom trees. They are only in bloom for, I don't know, like 2 to 3 weeks out of the year. And then the leaves fall off and you're left with a bunch of barren tree branches. So what's the point? Why are there so many cherry blossom trees in Japan? Well, it comes back to Buddhism, Buddhism and Shinto ism are the prevailing religions in Japan, which is why there are so many temples and shrines there.

One of the prevailing philosophies in Buddhism is this idea of impermanence, meaning everything changes and nothing lasts forever. This is why mindfulness and meditation are often linked to Buddhism, because when we talk about impermanence, what we're really saying is these moments in life, both beautiful and tragic, are merely temporary. So we must learn the importance of being present with what it is we are experiencing right now, because this moment will never happen again.

What can we learn from this moment? What can we take away from this moment? Regardless of its pleasantness, its unpleasantness, or its neutrality? So according to the tour guide, the Buddhist monks of the day planted cherry blossom trees to serve as a reminder that what's beautiful in this world will one day go away. But in another season it will bloom again.

This time it will be a different experience. And if that isn't a metaphor for life, especially mid-life, I don't know what is. So here's what I want to do. I want to take a quick little break. And then when we come back, I want to guide you through a mindfulness practice where you visualize what's beautiful in your life right now.

Thank you for listening to The Mindful Midlife Crisis. Thank you for listening to The Mindful Midlife Crisis. If you're enjoying what you've heard so far, please do me a favor and hit the subscribe button. Also, giving the show a quick five star review with a few kind words helps others find a benefit from this podcast just like you are.

Finally, please spread the wealth of free knowledge and advice in this episode by sharing it with the people in your life who may find this information and my mission to help others live a more purpose filled life valuable. My hope is that these conversations resonate with others and inspire people to live their best lives. Thanks again. And now back to the show.

Welcome back to The Mindful Midlife Crisis. Today, I'm talking about the life experiences, the cherry blossom trees in Kyoto, Japan taught me about why it's important to be present with the beauty in life. So as I mentioned, these cherry blossom trees line the rivers and channels and Kyoto, and one of these river walks is known as the Philosopher's Path, which links non Zen Ji Temple to ginkgo Coogee Temple of the Dead.

Those justice and you also pass a couple of other temples on the way. And according to Wikipedia, the reason it's called The Philosopher's Path is because there were 2/20 century Japanese philosophers and Kyoto University professors named Nishida Kotaro and Hajime Tanabe. And I hope I did those names justice as well. And it's believed that these two men would walk this path along the channel on a regular basis just to get some exercise, while also contemplating the impermanence of life.

So that's what we're going to do. So I'm going to invite you to join me for this mindful meditation. You can choose to be seated or lying down during this mindfulness practice. But if you're going to follow along with this practice, please make sure you are somewhere safe. If you're driving, please wait until you're off the road to do this practice.

If you're doing something that requires your full attention, please way to do this practice. Until you find a time where you can be fully present with it. Okay. Okay. So now that we have that out of the way, let us begin by getting into a comfortable position, either lying on the floor with your feet uncrossed, falling away from each other, arms at your side, or if you prefer to be in a chair, sit in a dignified posture with your back away from the back of the chair, chest, proud feet flat on the floor and hands wherever they're most comfortable.

And now that you've found a comfortable position, I invite you to close your eyes. Or if it's more comfortable, simply lower your gaze.

Now, let's take a moment to settle in using our breath. Let's take a long but even inhale through the nose and then slowly let that air back. Go through the nostrils. On the exhale. With each inhale, take slow, even breaths, focusing on filling your belly with air and on the exhale slowly and evenly, expelling the air, gently softening the belly.

Now find the natural rhythm of your breath with each inhale still taking in the air through your nose and filling your belly with that air. And on each exhale, letting the air pass through the nostrils gently while softening the belly.

Use these breaths to quiet the mind by just focusing on each inhale and each exhale, allowing yourself to simply just be. And as you sit here in this present moment, bring to mind what's beautiful in your life right now. What's in bloom, bringing to mind whatever beauty exists in your life. And looking back on how it's grown over time to become the beautiful image it is today.

What seeds did you plant for this beauty to grow? Ask yourself, Where else do I see this beauty around me?

What am I doing to take in the beauty of this season of life?

How can I be more present with the beauty around me now that I know this too shall pass?

Are you prepared to let go of the beauty that's in season when it's the time to do so?

How will you know it's the right time?

What emotions will inevitably come when this season passes?

Now bring yourself back to this image of beauty as it is today, and see if you feel a greater sense of appreciate or awareness or curiosity or compassion or openness. And if you do allow yourself to sit with that feeling, notice where you feel it in the body.

If you feel nothing, simply sit with that feeling as it is rather than trying to turn it into something. Simply sit with that neutrality, sitting with the image of that beauty and sitting with the feeling. And now allow yourself to come back to your breath feeling the air passed through your nostrils on the inhale and on the exhale, exploring the air evenly and naturally.

And now take one more inhale. And at the bottom of your exhale, open your eyes. Take inventory of the sensations of your body and bring awareness to your surroundings.

Welcome back. So what was that experience like for you? What came up for you during this experience? Where did you feel this practice in your body? What thoughts or emotions bubbled up for you? You may feel like writing down what you experienced and what you're currently experiencing following this mindfulness practice. So my suggestion would be to grab yourself a notebook and a pen and put your experience with this practice into words.

If you prefer typing, go for it. Maybe start a little Google or word doc and use it to document your mindfulness practice from time to time. So what we're going to do is we're going to take a quick break and you can pause the podcast to do this. And then when you're ready, feel free to rejoin me for the rest of the episode.

Thank you for listening to The Mindful Midlife Crisis. Thank you for listening to The Mindful Midlife Crisis. New episodes come out every Wednesday to help you get over the midweek hump. If you'd like to contact me or if you have suggestions about what you'd like to hear on the show, visit WW dot Mindful Midlife Crisis dot com and click Contact us while you're there.

Don't forget to sign up for the newsletter to get free weekly meditations as well as free resources from our reflective Learn Grow program. You can also click on the show notes for links to the articles and resources we referenced throughout the show. If you want to check out my worldly adventures, follow me on Instagram. Get mindful, underscore midlife, underscore crisis.

My hope is that my trials, tribulations and successes will inspire you to take intentional action to live a more purpose filled life. And while you're at it, remember to show yourself some love every now and then, too. Thanks again. And now back to the show. Welcome back to The Mindful Midlife Crisis. How are you feeling now that you've processed that mindful meditation?

Do you feel like cultivating a regular mindfulness practice is something that might benefit you moving forward? If so, and if you've found this meditation helpful or useful, or if you're looking for a way to live with more curiosity, openness, compassion and awareness in your life, go to WW Mindful Midlife crisis dot com and click on the banner at the top to get more information about the virtual mindfulness sessions that I'll be leading every Monday at 8 p.m. Central Standard Time.

There's also a link in the show notes if you want to just click on that. If you have questions about what this experience is like, please feel free to contact me. You're welcome to join at any time, but Just know that regularly attending will get you better results in the long run. I just want to see you succeed.

So if you're not where you want to be in life, I'm here to help you reflect, learn and grow. You're always welcome to share with me what this experience was like for you. So feel free to send me a message on Instagram. I'm @mindful_midlife_crisis or on LinkedIn at Billy Lahr or via email at

I'm always curious who out there is listening and finding value in what I'm sharing with you. And if there's one thing I have learned during this first year of solo traveling, it's this. I should have put more time and investment into my own emotional growth. I was navigating so many life transitions that I never had to think about before and I was dragging a lot of unresolved emotional baggage and residue with me.

So when I tried to make a plan, I was only using the same old rusty tools I had in my toolbox. Luckily for me, I was also having a lot of great conversations with amazing guests who shared their experience and expertise with me and I was able to implement a lot of what they shared into my own experiences so that I could navigate my life a little bit better.

Now, sometimes the challenges life throws our way requires a little more support. And even though I practice mindfulness on a daily basis and I can help you cultivate a daily mindfulness practice of your own. I like processing some of these big life changes going on with me with a betterhelp therapist. Now, again, Betterhelp is still not a sponsor.

I don't know what they're waiting for. Don't they know how much I love their program? They probably just enjoy the free marketing. And you know what? I'm more than okay with giving them a little bit of free advertising because I'm a huge advocate of therapy. Because if you go back and listen to episode three, you'll hear about how therapy and mindfulness not only changed my life, but most likely saved it as well.

So if you're looking for affordable mental health services, you can get a free week of betterhelp by going to the Shownotes and clicking on the referral link. Just to be transparent, if you sign up, I also get a free week, but if you sign up then you'll get your own referral link that you can share. And if one of your friends or family members or colleagues signs up using your referral link, then you get a free week and it becomes this beautiful pay it forward cycle of emotional support and healing that allows us to experience and live with more joy in our lives, which in my opinion, we all could use a little bit more of these days. So check out the show notes for that referral link. I wish I would have started using this service over a year ago when I first started traveling and transitioning because when you're doing something like this all alone, it can feel overwhelming. So it's nice to have a licensed therapist to help you process everything so you can follow through on those life changing daily habits that lead to achieving your goals in life.

And through my mindfulness practice and the conversations I have with my therapist and the guests on the show, I am able to reflect and process what I'm learning about myself so I can put in the work to get just a little more growth over the long term. Do I make progress every single day? No, of course not. But that's because our growth looks more like the stock market.

We might go through a really rough patch that puts our growth into a bear market and we may not reap the benefits for a while. But if we play the long game and we're consistent, disciplined and patient, you'll see that the stock market always bounces back and so can you. It's that lesson of impermanence, the cherry blossoms coming back around full circle here.

This too, shall pass. If you haven't been investing in your personal growth, it's time to make a move. So let your first step be joining our mindful midlife community. Welcome, people of all ages, demographics, and walks of life. And remember this Mindfulness is about sitting in awareness with openness, curiosity, compassion, and non. So if you suddenly become aware that you're not where you want to be in life, congratulations, You are practicing mindfulness.

My job will be to help you guide you through that process so you can reflect, learn and grow. If this episode inspired you to invest in yourself in some new way, please do me a favor and subscribe to the show wherever you get your podcasts. If you're an Apple listener, please consider leaving us a five star review with a few kind words.

And if you're a Spotify listener, give us a follow and click the five stars under the show chart. There are a lot of resources in this week's show notes, so be sure to have a look at those as well. Finally, remember that sharing is caring, and I would greatly appreciate it if you would share this episode with the people in your life who may benefit from having someone, help them be more mindful and productive so they can live a more purpose filled life.

So with that, this is Billy. Thank you for listening to The Mindful Midlife Crisis. May you feel happy, healthy and loved. 

Take care, friends.