We have benefitted immensely from being exhausted achievers for most of our lives: we got things done; we solved problems; we took care of others; and, we devised solutions.

Unfortunately, as we rode our exhausted achiever selves across those finish lines, we accumulated stress that never dissipated. It stayed on, taking up residence in our shoulders, neck, low back, knees, feet, and in our foggy, fatigued brains as well.

Stress robs us of sleep and it feeds us foods that we know we shouldn’t eat. Stress increases cortisol and speeds up aging. Each of us has our own unique relationship with stress, but if you’re in my over50 circle of women, you most likely are hanging on to stress.

It’s so strange that we don’t see, feel, hear, or smell that stress. It becomes our new normal. That’s just the way it is. Instead, what we do feel is pain, fatigue, worry, and the sense that something is just not right. Often, we give up and think it is aging and that means it is inevitable.

On a daily basis, it seemed like the right thing to do to apply our much-used, seemingly effective, exhaustive achiever, strategies to our bodies: take charge and fix what’s wrong. I call this a “fix-it” mentality.

For instance, when your shoulder is frozen, you might need to see a physical therapist to do the very focused and particular work to get your shoulder joint moving again. But, unless you understand and respond to the ongoing stress that keeps the muscles of your shoulder locked up and immobile, your shoulder will continually return to its frozen state. This “fix-it” mentality might achieve temporary results, but, ultimately, it works against us.

I have seen the results of this mis-used strategy again and again in the women I have worked with over the past 20 years and that is why my Body Vitality Method is so different.

This fix-it mentality is like “pulling weeds.” This is what we do when we are chasing after solutions by disconnecting from our bodies and letting our achievement-oriented minds drive the precious partner that is our body.

💥 And so here I am, finally, at the 1 crucial thing you must do to live vibrantly at any age. 💥

This thing is not a new yoga class, a new diet, or even a Peloton bike.

This thing is a new kind of relationship with your body and your brain. In the unsuccessful ‘pulling weeds,’ approach, your exhausted-achiever self attempts to fix your body and your mind.

💥 What we need, instead, is a different relationship with our bodies. This relationship is one of growth and connection.💥

Rather than the “fix-it” approach we learned and even, previously, felt that we succeeded with, we now are growing a different kind of ownership, a different kind of agency, a different kind of awareness.

Rather than pulling weeds, we should be “planting seeds.” We need to shift our orientation to our selves and our bodies by learning to notice how we feel when stress takes over and then notice how differently we feel when we have shedded that stress. That’s when a new, albeit, unfamiliar, but very welcome, feeling takes over.

We are learning to live through each day having shedded a little more stress and noticing what now feels positive and nourishing. We can ask if a particular activity or thought pattern feels at home in my body and if it does, we take ownership of that movement. That’s how we build this new relationship, one movement, one breath, one moment at a time.

This new, planting seeds, relationship with our bodies is one that builds recovery and resilience in our depleted minds and bodies. It takes time. It takes awareness. 

And that’s why I have created an ongoing, monthly membership for my #fierceover50 women where you can find the practice that suits your needs at a particular moment. 

The membership includes an ever-growing library of movement, breath, and self-massage practices that go far beyond a set of exercises aimed at fixing what’s wrong with your body. 

Rather, it is a collection of body-centered opportunities to plant seeds, allowing you to grow a new relationship with your body.

In each movement, breath, and self-massage practice, I point you in this direction, asking you to notice and grow your relationship with your body. This means this relationship can flourish without being driven by our now-too-comfortable relationship with stress.

And the results of this new relationship are no less than astounding:

You’ll feel stronger and more vibrant and bouncier than in years. But beyond that (and what’s truly priceless):

Your day to day life choices will come into sharper focus and you will be able to ask yourself at each moment of your day, “Is this what I need to do right now to support me in becoming the self I want to be?””

You can do these practices whenever you decide; there is no set schedule. But you will need some direction and so I write to you every Monday with a suggestion for that week. You should plan on 30 to 90 minutes per week for your practices. 

And, I will be holding two live, virtual roundtables each month where we connect around our challenges, our questions, and our successes. 

This sort of substantial change doesn’t happen overnight and we all need support to sustain our efforts. 

This is what we are doing in the Gathering and I am inviting you to join early as a founder at a special price. 

You can learn more about the Gathering here, at this link: FierceOver50 Gathering

Use the Coupon Code FOUNDERNOV9 to lock in the special founder price of $27 dollars instead of $47. This special founder price is good until November 9 at midnight. Email me at annmerle@annmerle.com   if you want to know if this Gathering is right for you. 

Love and Gratitude,


P.S. I’m smiling because I was so eager, in this blog, to tell you the deep meaning of the Gathering, as I see it, that I might have left out some important details that you have questions about. Feel free to hit reply to this email, if you have a question or, if you’re wondering whether the Gathering is right for you.

P.P.S. You might be wondering about these things:

💥Your price of $27 for the Gathering never goes up, even when others start paying $47. You don’t need to worry about refunds because you are paying monthly and can cancel at any time.

💥Even though I’ll be offering weekly suggestions for what practices to do in the Gathering Practice Library, you can pick and choose from whatever speaks to you.

💥And, even though the Roundtables are wonderful opportunities for support and connection, if you are totally zoomed out, you can still benefit a lot without attending the roundtables. After each roundtable, I will send you a brief summary to fill you in.

Here’s the link with a full description of the program: FierceOver50 Gathering

The new deadline is November 9. And here’s your coupon code: FOUNDERNOV9.

P.P.P.S. I also can’t resist telling you that the beautiful mosaic in the image above was made by my colleague from the Deerfield Circle, Karen Joy Abrams. You can learn about her incredible work, Pieces by Karen, at Karenjoyabrams@gmail.com. Thank you, Karen! 

Content provided by Women Belong member AnnMerle Feldman