Dr. Barbara Collins believes women deserve to feel empowered to create authentic choices in their second half of life.
Dr. Barbara is President and CEO of Positive Trends, Inc., a professional speaker, professor, blogger, and author. She is a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She brings over 25 years of experience in education, training, and organizational development to her signature presentation and book entitled It’s Your Turn: Find Your Authentic Self and Fetch It! Her new book Power in Midlife and Beyond – 14 Ways to Create an Authentic Life is available at www.barnesnoble.com and www.drbarbaracollins.com.
Her presentations help women discover natural strengths to manage the longevity gap. Women today are living beyond midlife trying to figure out what’s next. She has written numerous articles for her newsletter, magazine publications, and blog. Her online course lifeafter50.drbarbaracollins.com will be offered in late June 2021.
Dr. Collins was the manager of Training and Development for Independence Blue Cross for eleven years. Following an invitation to assist CoreStates Financial, now Wells Fargo, working in Total Quality and Diversity initiatives for five years. Currently, she is an adjunct professor at Rosemont College in the Masters of Science in Leadership program.
When and why did you start working with women in health?
When I stopped working after 30 years as an educator, and executive in two major corporations I was fortunate to have a plan about what to do next. I planned my second half of life in my late forties.
I didn’t want to stop working at the typical retirement age but planning my midlife journey was important to discover interests and skills to live a meaningful future.
My mother was the impetus to create choices on how to live after 50.
Planning a meaningful second half was an amazing process. I coach and teach women, using a five-step process to rediscover/discover natural strengths and skills.
Mental health is a critical issue for women aging forward. When women stop working many feel a loss of identity. Not knowing who you are in midlife can lead to over-drinking, boredom, loneliness, and sometimes depression.
What are the three most valuable lessons you’ve learned in the process?
- There is more to me that I don’t know. Doing the inner work to discover natural strengths is worth taking a pause.
- Life just doesn’t happen. It feels powerful to create choices on how you want to live in the future.
- Discovering your authentic self is the most liberating and freeing feeling in your second half of life.
Of the work, you do what matters to you most?
That I’m fulfilling my purpose in life. I want to serve women to be who they are. If I can help one woman live her life on her terms then I’ve fulfilled my purpose.
A favorite anecdote from your work so far?
Five years ago a woman read my book and attended one of my book signings. She listened to my talk about the power of creating choices in midlife. Her time was limited to do anything else because she was still working. She decided to give thought to doing the inner work to discover what brings her joy. Three years later I received a box of the most delicious peanut brittle ever tasted. She started her own company. Her company is well known in North Jersey. Her story always brings a smile to me.
In your opinion, what do women need/want to cope with and/or navigate their health/menopausal journey?
I think women want to navigate their health journey by being prepared for the inevitable in aging forward in their second half of life. There are numerous health and research articles about how women’s bodies are physically impacted by aging.
Taking control of our bodies is important for women. We cannot control or change our gene pool but staying healthy is our responsibility. I am way into the second half of life, but I feel twenty years younger in my brain. Navigating the physical part of my body is critical to feeling powerful, and living with intention.
What should women read, watch, or do for their own comfort this week?
Midlife Awakening by Katheleen A. Brehony. This is one of the best books that describe the midlife journey. She brings an interesting perspective using references to human growth and development.
Comforting reads any biography about women in midlife. The biography of Diahann Carroll and Something More: Excavating Your Authentic Self by Sarah Ban Breathnach
What are your thoughts on the potential impact of the ZONE on folks experiencing thermal discomfort?
I’m not sure I understand the question. I’ll give it a try to respond.
ZONE is a wonderful way to help women feel they are not alone in thermal discomfort. Thermal discomfort is the silent distraction that only allows women to complain and suffer. ZONE will have a major impact in helping women feel in control of the discomfort in numerous life situations.