Episode 204: Unleash Your Resilience - Julie Flakstad on Navigating Midlife Challenges with Authenticity

your next stop Oct 10, 2023

Julie Flakstad is a speaker, writer and founder of The Midlife Truth Project, an initiative aimed at better understanding the myriad of transitions that women face, often simultaneously, as they settle into their 40s + 50s. Having helped create and produce over 350 events, workshops and programs over the past 10 years, Julie is currently working on a documentary about menopause + midlife. An advocate of cross generational learning, she is passionate about bringing women of all ages together around complex and vulnerable topics and her work was most recently featured in Maria Shriver’s Sunday Paper.

Julie also serves as a mergers + acquisitions advisor helping entrepreneurs navigate the process of scaling and selling their businesses. Her other ventures include having founded and successfully sold Blow, a hair-care products and services company, recognized by industry leaders for creating blow outs as a new category in beauty.

Julie holds an MBA from Columbia Business School and a B.A. from Hamilton College. She lives in Old Greenwich, CT with her husband, two teenagers and two Flatcoat Retrievers, Tiko + Bowie.

Follow her @JulieFlakstad and learn more at julieflakstad.com


Remarkable Quote:


“The Midlife Truth Project allows women to pause and connect the dots during this unique time in their lives.”


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Welcome back to your next stop. This is Juliet Hahn. So if you guys have been following the show for a long time, you know, in the summer I do reruns and this was my first recording after having the reruns in the summer. So this was so exciting. I love when I connect with someone that is on my level in the passion, creative world and we can just get into really powerful conversations.

So my guest is Julie. We had the most beautiful conversation. Her story, there's so many pivots, but so many building blocks that take her to where she is right now, which she is the founder of the Midlife Truth Project. You can find her on all the socials, Julieflaxtead and that's F-L-A-K-S-T-A-D LinkedIn instagram. You can also go to her website, Julieflaxtead.com.

You can also go to themidlifetruthproject.com. She has been written up in the Sunday paper with Maria Shriver. I mean, Julie is just doing some really powerful stuff in the midlife world for women. But it's not just for women this episode, because there's so many different little nuggets that Julie shares throughout her life that have gotten her where she is. You guys do not want to miss this.

Enjoy this episode, and I know you're going to enjoy it as much as I did.

Welcome back to your next stop. I am Juliet Hahn. You know, I say this every single time, but I am so excited to bring you a story of someone who is inspiring. So welcome, Julie Flakstad. How are you?

I'm fantastic. It's Friday. It is Friday. It is Friday. And my listeners know your Next Stop had a lot of reruns this summer because that's what I'm doing now, like having highlighting things.

But Julie and I have talked so many different times. And I'm going to take you a little bit through where you can find Julie because I know as you guys are listening to this, you're going to be like, wait a second, I need to know more. I need to know more. So Julie is the founder of the Midlife Truth Project. It is this mean story of women going through the next stages of their lives.

And that's one of the reasons why we connected, because I think at that time that we really were connected. I was going through a lot of crazy hormone stuff. I'm level now, by the way. Still getting my period. For all that you want to know, I'm in the Late perimenopause area.

So just a little side note. But you can find Julie really anywhere. You can find her at the Midlifetruthproject.com. You can also find her on every social. And I'm going to spell her last name for all my Dyslexic listeners.

That is Flakstad. One of the other things, you can find Julie because she is a beautiful, beautiful writer. There is an article, the Sunday Paper with Maria Shriver that it just will give you the chills. And so, I mean, really, Julie, welcome so much to your next. I can't wait to dive into.

Thank you. Thank you. And just to kind of be clear, because it can be confusing with all these different platforms. It's really simply on Instagram Julieflaxtad at Juliefaxtad, and then my website, Julieflaxtad.com, you can find all the information you need on the Midlife Truth project. Might be easier, right?

Yeah. Oh, I love it. I love mean and this is the thing and this is what we're going to get into, the evolving I mean, how we evolve. And we really connected on so many different levels because not only have we both evolved throughout our years, but one of the things that I love so much about you is your drive and your grit. Right?

We talk a lot about grit, but I would love for you to kind of introduce yourself to the listeners and go back to the beginning, like, who is Julie? And I hate know not who is Julie, but where did you grow up a little bit about your early childhood? I love kind of diving into that because I always feel like that really paints a picture for people. And so if you could just kind of give a little background on your. Early you know, I do believe that everyone is the sum of all their parts.

I do think people's childhood and know is an important piece of the puzzle. So I grew up in Westchester County to parents who were immigrants from Norway, and unfortunately unfortunately, my parents divorced in the second grade. And I really do appreciate the fact that although difficult, my childhood was difficult, it really did shape who I became, I think, as a person. My father was this larger than life guy who was an entrepreneur shipbroker who wheeled and dealed his way on a big walkie talkie style mobile phone at the time, barefoot and swim trunks, living in the Caribbean. And my mother, on the other know, she was a divorcee very much like one day at a time.

Anne Romano for anybody who remembers that show, kind of trucking to the train station in her sneakers and suit, trying to raise two teenage daughters. She whereas my father struggled with alcoholism, he eventually died from cirrhosis. My mother struggled financially and also with her mental health. So although both of them were tremendous characters, my mom's superpower was being a creative, for sure. It was difficult.

And I think looking back at my childhood, I was someone who really wanted to be fiercely independent, fiercely in control, radically self motivated for being that age, but because I had to. But the reality is, I think I was probably a little girl kind of with lots of little bandaids all over herself, trying to keep it together, right? The way you picture just painted that picture, you could see it, right? You could see your dad. You could see your mom, and you could see these two kids kind of standing on the outside just trying to figure out life.

And what we talk about a lot on this podcast and my other podcast is adults have their shit too. Yes, we do. And when your parents and now that we are parents, it's always interesting, even if you're the most stable person, because you've dealt with your childhood traumas, you've dealt with traumas, there's always things that you're doing that are going to kind of screw up your kids a little, right? And if we can keep it where it's an open conversation and that's one of the things I love, that you're able to kind of go back and talk about that. And I think it's really important for the listeners to hear because whatever traumas that you've gone through, it is important to not and find a space.

So find a therapist, find a friend, find whatever you're comfortable, but kind of unpack that. And that's why I love starting this podcast with going into a little bit of childhood. So if you can take us a little bit now again, because you said we were that fiercely independent child, right? Your mom struggled financially. You were living in Westchester, if anyone knows Westchester.

Westchester is an affluent area. I grew up in an affluent area as well, in New Jersey, divorced parents. So I kind of know when you are in the affluent area and you seem like you're affluent and people don't realize there's always that like, okay, and it's not the wait, how do I survive? What do I do? But you kind of have to do things for yourself a little bit.

Totally getting jobs, doing things like that. So if you can take us through a little bit of that, sure. Oh my God, I definitely had my fair share of that. Again, it's not like it was struggling to get through the day type of struggle, but it was still a struggle. I mean, a child is a child, right?

And so my sister and I were latchkey kids. My mom was they were divorced. My father was not in this country, and we would see him sporadically. He was a presence, sometimes a scary presence, but he was a presence. We had to fend for ourselves.

We took the bus to school, we got home, we made our own lunches. I remember vividly a huge part of my middle school and high school years. I had a paper route. First of all, I played sports, right? But on top of sports and schoolwork, I had a newspaper route, right?

And so for anybody who remembers what a newspaper route was like in the had two newspaper rights. I delivered newspapers to 150 houses. And so to put that into context, for anybody who doesn't know what that was, I literally had to go back and forth to my house and restock all the papers on my ten speed rain or shine. I had to literally throw the newspapers onto in front of some people's steps for 150 houses. And then once a week, I had to go ding dong and ring the doorbell to collect the money from the weekly paper from each and every household.

Right. And I can promise you that not everyone would answer the door. I didn't get paid unless I got that money. So I was persistent. But again, someone can listen.

And this is again why I love stories and how stories connect us. Because you could see, right, we're painting this picture of this kid that is independent and has grit because how old were you? 1213. Yeah. 1213.

14. Yeah. All those years. But I made bank go. I made bank.

Right? I'm sure you did, but you had to go ring the doorbell, and you had to make sure you got the money. So it was probably at times where if it was working parents, you had to go when they were trying to feed their kids. Right. And you had to stand there and wait and do all those things.

Do you have any vivid memories of any place that you knew that they were going to try to skirt you and creative ways that you were like, no, I have to get this money. Because, again, you needed to get paid. Because you're a teenager, you want to be able to buy things, and you don't want to pressure on your parent that, you know is doing the best that they can. Yeah, no, I mean, looking back, I think what I recall from scenarios that have stuck with me today was that and it really did shape who I am was standing in the doorway of all of these different houses. It was usually I don't know why, I think it was like a Wednesday.

It was typically when I started to collect, and I had to make conversation right. With adults, and I had to look them in the eye. I had to smile, regardless of what kind of day they were having or how many kids they were trying to feed as they were kind of digging through their wallets, trying to find the exact, whatever, $2.39 that I needed to collect whatever it was, is that I had to converse. I had to connect with them. And that has really continued to be a red thread in my life through everything up until what I'm doing right now with the Midlife Truth Project is this ability to connect with someone where they're at the time I don't think it was a meaningful conversation, but just that ability to connect based on where they were at and stand there courteously curiously politely, and wait for them to give me what I needed, which at the time, was like, $2.39.

But also, regardless not regardless of their day, but also regardless of your day. And that's what I think is also really important because it's also like, okay, I have to put my big girl pants on and get this done. Yeah, I mean, at the time, I really think, and maybe I do think people suppress a lot. I don't look back on that and think about I don't think I thought at the time about where I was in the scheme of all this. I just had that will and to use your term, that grit and that determination of saying, I'm getting this done.

Because the bigger picture was that getting that money to me, felt like control.

It was my own independence. It allowed me to exist in my social sphere, to do the things that I wanted to do and not need anybody, which was way more important to me at the time. And I continued to have that mindset for decades rather than how I was doing emotionally. Right. And so we all know where that story is going.

Right? Well, so then this brings me into college, and I want to get to the Midlife Truth projects. But I would love still, because I know you have some really key points in your life that were really pivotal. And I'm going to have you tell a little bit about how you drove yourself to college yourself, and then again, I'm going to have you share that, but then jumping to when you were like, no, I'm getting this job because I have this plan in my head and I know I want to get it. And again, I can see that little twelve year old being like, no, I need my 2.39 sense.

Right? That twelve year old being like, no, I'm sorry, I need that. And so that, again, as you guys are listening to this, I want you to think back in your life about things, moments that you're like, wait a second, I can see that red thread. I can see how that all and I call it connecting the dots, but how those dots continue connect, and you use them as a stepping stool. So again, if you can just take us a little bit through the college.

Yeah, no, for sure. And there are so many red threads, and I am such a believer in connecting the dots. And that is why I love the Midlife Truth Project, is because I'm able to help women in these interviews to connect the dots within their own lives and the period of life that they're going through right now, which we're defining as midlife. So how that kind of I continued on in college was with this kind of ultimate determination of saying, really being very clear about what I wanted and what I was going for. I knew, based on looking around me, that even though my parents were immigrants, and even though they never took me to a single college interview, we did interviews back then at colleges and tours.

They never took me on a college tour. I somehow managed to visit these schools get to these interviews. And even so much as I drove myself to I went to Hamilton College in upstate New York, and I drove myself up there. In fact, that's not true. My boyfriend at the time who was older than me, drove me to college, right?

And I will never forget what it was like pulling up there. I lived in this dorm called Kirkland, and it was tutor building, exactly what you would see in the movies and all of these kind of Volvos and other preppy cars pulling in and comforters with lots of floral prints and all these parents moving in, their young daughters. And I remember getting out of the car with kind of two duffel bags. I think I had a carton of wine, which is crazy to me. I don't think I literally carried the carton of wine in, but I think I had it in my bag.

And I just kind of sauntered in and was like, all right, this is my jam. I guess I'll take the top bunk.

And a lot of these girls came from very fancy boarding schools and private schools. And I had gone to a 2000 person public high school, so I had done all the kind of stuff that I needed to do kind of early on. So I felt like college was, for me, about other things and just socializing. And then I love that you remember our initial conversation about some of these points that kind of will of saying, I knew I wanted to go abroad for junior year. I knew what I wanted.

And so similarly, fast forward one experience that I think exemplifies that is saying, I know what I don't know, but I know how to ask the right questions. And that is something, actually, that my father instilled in me. He said, you're getting an education. You're going to college. Not because you're supposed to remember what you learned in that econ class, but you just need to know what are the right questions you need to ask to that accountant, right?

Or that whatever person to figure out the answer. So it's not about knowing. It's about knowing what to ask. And so fast forward, I'll never forget in my 20s as well, I had just moved to Norway because I had decided again intentionally, I was going to move to Norway after college because the 1994 Winter Olympics were happening in Littleahama Norway. And I don't know if I mentioned this, but my parents were immigrants to this country.

I had gone back and forth to Norway every summer to visit parents, by the way. Flew alone with, like, the Paddington Bear white little envelope around my chest saying, hello, all you pedophiles. You can take me because I'm flying. I'm by myself. Anyway, so I really wanted to go back to Norway after graduating.

And what perfect. There was no better way than to kind of hitch myself to the Olympics bandwagon. So anyway, so fast forward. I mean, I could tell you stories about how I got that job and how I used kind of my superpower of kind of connection and finding maniacally, trying to find the answer towards getting my first job at Sports Illustrated, which was like the miracle job post graduation. But the story I was going to tell was after my gig at Sports Illustrated, I found myself in Norway.

I wanted to stay there. I was living in a small apartment at the time with my sister. We had decided we were going to live for a full twelve months in Norway. And long story short, I ended up in conversation with somebody who said that they were going to start the first professional Norwegian golf championship in the country of Norway. They had never had a golf championship, ever.

Mind you, I had never played a round of golf in my life. And I thought to myself, well, who do I know that knows somebody that knows golf? Right? Well, sure enough, I remembered the Solheim family. They own Ping Golf, or they did at the time.

Ping Golf is one of the biggest golf companies out know. I had met them at the Olympics with Sports Illustrated, and I had connected with them, and I felt like I had a good communication with them, for lack of a better word. And so when I found out that this championship needed a top sponsor, I picked up the phone, I called Alan Solheim, president of the company, and sure enough, again, fast forward, didn't know a thing about golf. Called my father. What's, like par three?

What's par five? What's this? What's that? He answered the questions that I needed to know. And within two and a half months, I had sold the top sponsorship to Ping Golf for this championship and made a 10% commission on that sale, which set me up for the next year.

And I was like 20. Right? So this is again, what I want people to take away from this. And this is what I love so much about stories connecting. But this is also what I love so much about your story is you can see again that little girl standing on that doorstep being like, I need my $2.39, right?

And then thinking about all the people you connected with. And as you said, your dad had his demons, but your dad also had some great things that he taught you. And it was connect with people. And it's not that you and this is what I want people to think about because there's people that have personalities to do it, there's others that don't. So when you don't have a personality connect, you have to use other tools to be able to do that.

You definitely have a personality that connects. So it also is a benefit for you. But what I want people to know and hear is that, and I know you shared this with me, it wasn't that you were 100% confident all the time, but again, that independence comes back and you have goals. So it's like, okay, I need to set aside feelings, and I know what my goal is in life, and I need to kind of not think about what kind of day I had. I know what I want and need.

And so if you can kind of build off of that a little. Yeah, I mean, because mind you, I had chosen to stay behind in Norway. I was going to live there for a full year. I didn't have any money, and I can promise you there was no support from where? From back home.

My father had made that very clear post graduation. So I had to make money, right? So I could either waitress seven days a week, or I was going to close this contract anyway.

I think in life, look, I think you have to really sit back and say to yourself, what do I pause? Take time to reflect, figure out how you're going to be intentional about what you want, and then what is in your arsenal, what is in your toolkit, how can you get there, right? And I say this, mind you, because if I really were to be honest with myself and look back at my kind of 30s in particular, and then even my forty s, I don't think I took time to pause. I think that my grit, my unwavering need to be independent kept driving me. So much so that I think I said yes to a lot of things because they kind of were in front of me.

And I was like, yes, I'm going to go for that. I'm going to go for that. And I had this drive, right? I don't think that I really sat back and chose to pause and say, okay, where am I right now? What do I like about where I am?

What do I not like about where I am? And what kind of changes am I going to make to get to where I'd like to go?

I think that's why fast forward. I'm doing this Midlife Truth project is because I want to give women an opportunity to pause and reflect. And the interview is one part of being able to do that. So just to kind of go back, you answered what I was getting at because it really was again, it's not about being 100% confident in what you can do. Because a lot of times we say yes to things that we know we can figure out, and that comes again with a building block.

So your life, you have built this confidence, right? So if you maybe didn't have the childhood you had, or you didn't have the paper out and you didn't have this and you didn't have that, would you be as ballsy? I like that word for you. Would you be as ballsy to be like, wait. I know I can close this.

Right? You had the confidence and the will, but you weren't always 100% comfortable in your skin. And so that's what I want people to hear. It's like, some people think that they can't go for it because they're not completely ready. They're not completely ready.

They're afraid of the failure, where you weren't afraid of the failure. And I truly believe the stepping stools that you had as a kid, that paper out being one of them because it was probably so many times people said no or that you couldn't get them, and you're like, I got to be creative. How do I figure this out? How do I figure this out? And you realized, okay, I can use this.

I can do this. I can create this to be able to get what I need. And again, not a need, a selfish need. That's what I don't want people to think about. It's not a selfish need.

It's not like an ego thing. It's really you knew where your strengths were, and you were able to really build off of that. And again, I go into this so much on all my podcasts about knowing your strengths and weaknesses and really helping when you're a parent thinking about that for your kids. And it's not a negative to be like, okay, this is not one of your strengths. I mean, this is a little bit more of a weakness.

So let's kind of focus on these strengths and help you build on that. There's really not a question in there. It's more of like, and you answered it, but we don't always have to be 100% completely confident in that we're going to be able to figure something out, but we know that we're going to be able to. It's almost like a knowing it's like, okay, I might not be comfortable today. I might have had a shit day, but this opportunity came in front of me.

I need to put my big girl pants on and be like, Let me go for it. And I think that really embodies who you are. And again, I think you always had a great plan in your head, this is what I want to do. And so I would love for you to take us now down the path of you decided you wanted to go to business school, kind of take us through how that came about. I think half the battle is knowing what your strengths are, knowing what you know, and knowing what you don't know, and also using creative solutions to figure out how you're going to supplement.

Right? I knew very early on that I could connect with people. I knew I could get the $2.37. We've kind of beaten that one down. And I knew that if I tapped into the right people, I could land a big sponsorship contract.

Right? I knew that by looking around. I knew, for example, I'll give you another I think a powerful story, which I actually have never shared publicly. So this is the first timer. But I knew that I wanted to go to business school, right?

I knew that that business school, especially going to a top business school, was a huge door opener. I saw that from people around me. And so I was living in Norway at the time, and I wanted to go to Columbia Business School for me. I wanted to get back to New York. And that was the at the time.

It was actually the number one business school in the country. Maybe it still is. I don't know. And so I took the test, the GMATs. I studied for it.

I got all of the recommendations and did everything, filled out the application, wrote the essays, you know, the jam. And so I sent it, mean, every weekend, right? There was no Kaplan or Princeton review for the GMAT. I had to buy the book and have it sent, and on a boat, practically, to get the book, and I buried myself in the library. Well, I sent it in, and for some reason, I have no idea why, I pulled up the application one day, and lo and behold, believe it or not wait for it, I spelled Columbia wrong.

I spelled Columbia like the country, and not with a U, so with an O instead of a can, like you're like, what? How is that possible? Yeah, I get it in today's age. But back then, they didn't have spell check, wasn't that reliable, okay? So they had looked at Columbia as if I was spelling the country, not the institution.

So the academic mean when I mean, to tell you, when my heart literally came out of my chest, I saw all of my dreams, all of my aspirations of going to the school just, like, crumbling, right? So what did I do? I said, Well, I can't fix what I wrote, but I can try to convince the school anyway that I'm the right person to go there. So I literally got a ticket, bought myself a ticket, got myself to the US, found out who the head of admissions was, literally went to Starbucks, bought two cups. I sat on the floor.

It was, like, 730 in the morning. And I waited on the floor outside her office until she walked in. I saw the picture of hers. I knew it was her, and I literally said, Linda me. And I'll never forget her name, Linda Mean.

I said, do you have three minutes to talk to you? I just got here from Norway. I have applied. I just need to talk to you for a few minutes. And what was she supposed to so, you know anyway, as the story goes, I explained to know why I was applying, why this was the only school I was applying to, why I absolutely knew it was the right school for me.

And the blunder. That I had done on the application and why that happened. All I have to say is that three weeks later I'm sitting in my office in Norway and on the fax machine because that's what we had back then. I get a fax from her, congratulations, you've been accepted to Colombia. Big smiley face lending me in and I still have that paper.

And it was again, just such a staunch reminder know, we make mistakes. We know what we know. We have only the tools that we have, right? But there's always an opportunity to circumvent. There's always an opportunity to raise your hand and say no to eke your foot in the door and just get yourself those three minutes that you need to make a difference.

I love that. I do want to jump into what you're doing now, but I wanted the listeners just to get that painted picture because again, what you're doing now, the magnitude of what it is going to do and we're in the early stages. This is what exciting. This is why I'm so excited to have Julie on now because I'm just letting you all know that are listening. You will be watching this on the big screen at some point because it is beautiful and you know this grit of this woman and when she has something that is in her mind that she knows is going to benefit because that's the other thing, is there's a benefit behind it.

It's not just a self project. This is for all women. And because of what Julie has been through throughout her life, she is able to be that person that's like, okay, you know what, I'm going to be the one that's going to be able to deliver this. So can you just give us, just take us through this. How did this all come about?

Why did it come about? And you guys will be able to listen to the excitement that happens, which is my favorite thing when you feel the passion behind someone's voice to just get ready. Well, just a wind up to it is, I will say, because I do think all these stories are great and wonderful and yes, I've had different but I like to be really honest about my career. My career looks more like an EKG than it does a hockey stick. And I'm okay with that.

As I've aged, I've kind of let go of this idea that we're going to get a gold medal for some senior executive title or we're going to get a gold medal for a six figure salary. I think it's about living true to who you are, identifying what your family values are and what's important to you at any given point in time. I will say that I'm very proud that I've always managed to keep my toe in the working world again, EKG or not, because that has proven to be really valuable for me and who I am and what I have needed and what I continue to need as my family ebbs and flows and needs different things. So that being said, I could spend another half an hour talking about the different hats that I've worn and different types of career things that I've flowed in and out of. But I would say for everybody out there listening, just follow the breadcrumbs, right?

Know what your strengths are. Follow the breadcrumbs. Like go inward and ask yourself at the end of each week when did I feel lit up this week? And keep doing more of that. I mean, at the end of the day, you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.

I also believe you're the average of what you're reading, listening and digesting. So that being said, all following all of these different breadcrumbs through the last kind of 1015 years have led me to really meaningful connection and whether it be through the different events and programs, workshops, projects that I have been working on. And it led me to really focus in more on what women care about, right? And have a being in conversation with women and where I ultimately have kind of honed that is I'm passionate about revealing the truths about women's lives, right? And I'm happy to use myself and my own vulnerability as an on ramp for those conversations.

I think we as women benefit so much from sharing cross generational wisdom, from sharing with each other. And I think we need to foster a world where we are all of us more vulnerable and opening ourselves up because that's when we grow, right? So that's kind of the backdrop to this is I've been working in this space around women's issues and being a writer and a speaker and an advocate around things that are important for women. And based on my own midlife experience, particularly my own experience going through perimenopause and menopause, I felt very alone. I felt a certain degree of shame.

I hit menopause. But menopause for anyone out there listening is when you actually have gone twelve months without a period. That's the day you hit menopause and the day after you're post menopausal. So I hit menopause at call it 47, right? Which was early and I had a whole host of different systems symptoms.

It was a lonely time for me. I remember having very puberty like meltdowns and emotions and mood swings. I mean, let's be honest, menopause is adult puberty through that. It was amazing. When I look back on it, I was going through all of that at the same time where my friendships were evolving, the dynamics within my household, both with my children and my spouse, were changing.

My mother was growing older, I had questions about financial security and really the one that hit me like a ton of bricks was what's next? Who am I today? What do I want? And what is this next chapter going to look like. So these tectonic shifts are all going on while you're not feeling great, right?

To put it mildly. And when I got to the other side of that a few years later and I won't bore everyone with my journey, that's a whole other podcast episode. And it's not boring, but yes, no, we can have you on a million. And I do write articles and I do a lot of speaking about that, but I realized that no one should go through this alone. So I wanted to create a platform where women had the opportunity to share their midlife truth stories and really give them an opportunity and give them permission to pause and reflect about where they are in their lives, wherever they are in their midlife journey, to actually say things out loud.

And I have had the unbelievable privilege to I think we're about, like, upwards towards 75 women that I have sat with and had this hour long interview with, and I video them and audio them. And so it's a real time capsule of what are the truths that women are facing in their lives as they transition into midlife. And we talk about all of it. We talk about everything I just said. We talk about the changes in our bodies due to perimenopause and menopause, evolving friendship, changing family dynamics, financial security, aging parents, and this question of what's next?

So it's a really unbelievable conversation. Yeah. And again, as you guys have heard, Julie, it is a beautiful because again, it's one of those things that are not we were always taught not to talk about this stuff. And I'm going to give a little. We talk about sex, too.

Yeah, but it's so important because I literally just went through I mean, I went through some crazy hormone stuff, realized I was severely anemic, did not know that because I have tons of energy. And I was like, Wait a second. I had to just go through iron infusions. And every time the doctor would say, is your period heavy? And I'm like, I guess.

I don't sit with my friend and be like, can I see your tampon? How many are you putting? Not that I wouldn't, because I am an open book, and my listeners know that. But it's so important to talk about these things. After I was talking to a couple of women, they're like, oh, I just had to go through that iron infusion, do this, do that.

And then I was like, you know what? I need to get my daughter tested because she's been a little tired, I have to say. But life goes on. And she's two years, has just had her period, the most severe anemia they've ever seen, and she's playing sports. I'm like, how are you surviving?

And we eat well, but there's obviously something genetic with us. What we found out is that we bleed heavier and longer. And I was like, they're like, haven't you ever doesn't this bother you? And I was like, I shove paper towels down my pants because I leak all the time, but I just go like, what am I going to do? No.

And I think that is what the red tent, I mean, people for. There are societies that have a red tent where they are sharing this cross generational wisdom. And I think we have to move in a direction where we can share these types of vulnerabilities with our loved ones and with our friends and with our communities. And that's what I'm hoping that this project or I'm not even hoping, I will say with a certain degree of confidence, it is creating some change. I mean, the feedback that I've gotten from women and the emails and the letters and the subsequent phone calls and the referrals is like it really has enabled them to by saying things out loud I like to say we can actually hear it, we can touch it, we can smell it, and we can do something about it.

It's not a depressing story. It's not all like gloom and doom. Oh my God. I mean, the women that I speak to, they are saying that they feel stronger, more motivated, less attached to beauty. It's about lifespan or health span, not lifespan.

There's so many powerful stories of women really using this time in their life to grow exponentially. But there are some real facets that are tough and that women need to know that they're not alone. And just by being able to share their stories, I'm able to kind of connect with them on that. And I'll just add that these themes that are coming out of this work will be is already fodder for more content, more articles, books. I'm pitching right now, a documentary out to a production company out in La.

Really, again, blowing up and amplifying midlife and menopause and what we go through. I love it. I love it. Well, again, we could sit here and talk for days and hours, which we might have to have you back on as this keeps evolving because again, it's important. And for all my male listeners that are listening to this, sorry about the paper towels, but it's important for you guys to know too, because maybe your wives are not talking about it.

Maybe your wives are going through a little bit of emotional stuff and you don't realize because it's not an open thing to talk about in your house. And maybe you need to be the one that was like, you know what? I listened to this podcast. Hey, is everything okay? Is there anything I can do?

Because again, being seen and heard and understood is what we all want as humans, and it can start with just one question to do that. So, Julie, I thank you so much for joining your next stop. Again, you guys can follow Julie everywhere. The Midlife Truth project. But also which is easiest is Julieflaxtead.com.

You can also find her on Instagram, LinkedIn and all the places. But follow this journey because I'm telling you, you're going to be seeing there's going to be so much around this. So, again, thank you so much, Julie. Oh, my gosh, absolutely. Thank you.

It was great to be in conversation with you. Love it. Love seeing your face. Love seeing your face. So you guys know what to do, like rate, review and share.

And again, if you listen to this and you're like, okay, that was an awesome story, but you're not thinking about who this could affect, you might have someone in your life that actually needs to hear this. So you need to share. Male listeners. Again, you might be like, oh, that was a lot of women's stuff. But you don't know who needs to hear this in your family, your neighbor, someone that you're working with.

Share, rate, like, and review. We'll see you guys for another episode of Your Next Stop. I hope you liked this episode of your next stop. Please subscribe to my channel, share with your friends and join in each weekend.

My focus is entirely on helping you follow your passion, even when you feel like you've got stuck in crazy town. There is a way out, its me helping you. You don't have to ditch everything in your life that is making you feel overwhelmed and stuck, you just need some help to navigate it.


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