My husband and I were sitting in the main plaza of Dolores Hidalgo, a Mexican town a few hours north of Guanajuato. We’d traveled here by bus to explore its offerings. As we sat people gazing, a horse-drawn carriage with a lovely young senorita smiling in the back arrived in front of the Church of the Grito. Images of Walt Disney’s Cinderella flitted into my mind; the scullery maid turned princess for a day, arriving to meet her Prince Charming.

We could now see the groom and groomsmen at the other end of the church courtyard. They emerged with the usual excitement and anticipation, jittery nerves evident as they elbowed other. A closer look revealed the princess’s arms outstretched. Who knows why, but I imagine it was her way of welcoming and embracing her new life to come as a bride, wife and partner.

That’s the stance we should all take when approaching our life and making our dreams a reality. Arms outstretched, ready to embrace, enfold, and accept the dreams and life we are living into. It’s an “I’m ready and waiting” stance. The jaded and cynical may simply put it down to youth and naivete, but there is a hope and welcoming that comes when you outstretch your arms. Its a body posture that says, “Regardless of what comes my way, I’m ready to embrace the opportunity.”

Too often when I’m coaching people to envision their life dream, the comments that invade their language are related to wrong timing, other people’s expectations, or just human vulnerability. The body image that comes to mind is arms crossed, protectively covering the chest and heart. And perhaps this is the heart of the matter; our personal vulnerability as we approach something new, different and not yet fully formed or known.

There is a hope and welcoming that comes when you outstretch your arms #ClearPathForward #Women #midlife #transition #dream Click To Tweet

So how do you metaphorically change your body language from one of vulnerability and reluctance (e.g. arms crossed in front of you) to one of eager acceptance and invitation (e.g. arms outstretched)? A few ideas:

  • Start small. You don’t have to change everything all at once. You can start small, change something simple. For example, today I am going to stop saying “I wish my life were different.” I’m going to take an action, such as scheduling a meeting with my boss to discuss areas I can make a difference.
  • Determine the worst case scenario of what could go wrong. Most people shy away from this, but it can be so life-affirming. When you determine the worst case scenario, have a backup plan in place to address those outcomes so you can then put your mind at ease. The reality is that the worst case scenario you imagine almost never occurs. But if it does, you are prepared and ready.
  • Create a support team. Whether it’s family, friends, people at work, referral sources, or somewhere else, consciously build your support team so that they are there to encourage you, ask questions, and celebrate your successes.
  • Acknowledge your emotions, anxiety, and concerns as perfectly acceptable and human. And also realize that within you are courage, strength, resilience, and tenacity. You have the grit to surmount whatever impediments or obstacles come your way. So go out and fake until you make it, because deep down you know you will.

ACTION: What’s your metaphorical body stance right now? What are one or two actions you can take today to reach out, invite and embrace the life you want?

Kathy Hart’s driving passion is human change and transformation. Her goal is to provide professional women in midlife (ages 40 – 65) with the support and resources needed to re-imagine and lead even more abundant, joy-filled and purpose-driven lives. If you are a woman wanting to reclaim your voice, realize a long-held dream, or just live your life to the fullest, take concrete action by contacting Kathy at The choice is yours!

Services that Kathy offers:

  • 1:1 coaching to support the next journey into your midlife transition
  • Trusted advisor for leaders navigating work changes and requiring an expert guide
  • Speaking and workshops on human change and transformation
  • Small group work and team development to boost the group’s performance