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There are days when I feel fantastic about being 53 years old. Maybe I’ve gone for a run, delved into an article about AI and understood more than half of it, or shared laughs with friends reminiscent of my teenage years.

Then there are those other days when I glance in the mirror and notice more wrinkles, or when my husband suggests going to see a band and I decline because I’d rather be in my pajamas by 8 pm. Truth be told!

So when I discovered Chip Conley, today’s guest on Cracking Open and author of the New York Times bestselling book Learning to Love Midlife: 12 Reasons Why Life Gets Better with Age, I knew he would offer a wealth of wisdom on this complex phase called midlife.

In this episode, Chip and I delve deep into the topic. We discuss candidly how his loss of five close friends to suicide and his own near-death experience taught him that mortality serves as an organizing principle for life.

Chip shares insights from his early years of ballroom dancing, where he learned that it’s a powerful metaphor for life: in the first half the ego leads the dance, but in the second half the soul takes the lead while the ego follows.

His primary intention is to shift people’s perspective on aging, advocating for a pro-aging mindset rather than an anti-aging one. With this shift, he emphasizes the numerous benefits, including gaining an additional seven and a half years of life.

Chip Conley is on a mission to redefine midlife. Having disrupted the hospitality industry twice, first with Joie de Vivre Hospitality and then as Airbnb’s Head of Global Hospitality and Strategy, he co-founded MEA (Modern Elder Academy) in 2018. MEA, the world’s first midlife wisdom school, aims to reframe aging and empower individuals to navigate midlife with purpose and possibility.

Our conversation in this episode goes beyond simply discussing the science and stories around embracing midlife; we fully embody it. We share laughter and vulnerability, along with our personal experiences with aging, and as a result, we connected on a deeper level.

Since our discussion, I have felt lighter, more alive, and younger in my mind, body, and spirit. Chip Conley is truly a gift to the world and reframing what midlife could be like for all of us.



Learn more about Chip Conley and his work here
Purchase his new book Learning To Love Midlife here
Follow Chip on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn

Molly’s next 3-month Cracking Open group coaching program starts in July 2024! Learn more here.

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