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In the space of hard choices…

How do I make the choice that’s right for me?


Standing on the station platform of your life, how do you decide which train you want to take?  These choices can be exhilarating AND nerve-wracking.
Like most SHIFT members, I am a midlifer in transition. Every week it seems I am bombarded with a host of small and large choices that will impact my life and the lives of my loved ones – some are easy, but some are scarey-hard.     Have you been standing on that train station with me?  Is your life filled with an onslaught of choices…and you’re not quite sure how you’ll land on the journey that’s right for you?
Which career should I pursue? Should I break up — or get married?! Where should I live? Life decisions like these can be agonizingly difficult. But that’s because we think about them the wrong way, says philosopher Ruth Chang. She offers a powerful new framework for shaping who we truly are.

The link below takes you to Ms. Chang’s TED talk – it could literally change your life.  Or at least get you off the platform and onto the right train.


Guest Blogger:  Susan Krautbauer is a midlifer in transition. She also is a SHIFT board member and a co-facilitator of Saturday SHIFT-IN.  Learn More


Rethink What’s Possible

Life ReimaginedTime for your Checkup?

As a community for people during midlife who are navigating work/life transitions, SHiFT helps its members create pathways to meaningful and sustainable lives. This Newsletter goes to nearly 3,000 people. However, there are 300,000 members of AARP in the Twin Cities!

AARP recognized that people are looking for reputable, practical guidance to help them through all the twists, turns and options associated with this midlife transitions. To help fill this need, they created Life Reimagined: a resource that helps people find fresh meaning, create intentional change and rethink what’s possible. More than the average “self-help” offering, Life Reimagined is a personalized approach with resources that help people figure out where they are, explore options, determine what matters the most, and navigate changes.

SHIFT has joined forces with AARP to use Life Reimagined tools, and five of us have been certified as AARP Life Reimagined Guides. They are designed to be practical, to help people through decisions in the biggest areas of their lives, like careers, relationships, health and wellness. The Life Reimagined methodology is built from decades of research involving six specific practices that guide people through transitions.

At SHIFT we’ve observed the need for new language for people to discuss their transitions and sense of identify associated with their next steps, for reassurance about their choices and a community that challenges and supports them. SHIFT helps people navigate midlife transitions through groups and workshops like In and Out of Neutral, Circles, LifeWork Reimagined. The November Forum is a free, Life Reimagined Checkup and you are invited. Chick here (hotlink) to register!

SHIFT Happens – take care!
David Alley

Change to Find or Create Your Next Act


“Be open to trying something new.”

“Finding Your Next Act” was the title of a recent article in a Merrill Lynch publication which included advice from today’s working retirees for those considering n encore career.

According to their research:

44% said “Do thorough research to find work you like.”

  • 73% said “Be willing to earn less to do something you truly enjoy.”
  • 76% said “Be open to trying something new.”
  • 21% said “Start your own business / work for yourself.”

Merrill Lynch’s June 2014 report “Work in Retirement: Myths and Motivations” lists the top three ways to improve ability to work are: keep up with technology, take classes, and exercise/work out. For some of us that means we’ll need to change a few things. Or as we say around here: SHIFT!

Change is often difficult. We’re creatures of habit and some of these ruts are deep, hard to move out of! However, there is a powerful theory about how to create change we want: intentional change as opposed to change that may be forced on us. Daniel Goleman and Richard Boyatzis suggest it is a process of discovery.

  • Discovery #1: My Ideal Self – Who do I want to be?
  • Discovery #2: My Real Self – Who am I? This includes my strengths – where my ideal and real self are similar, and my gaps – where my ideal and real self are different.
  • Discovery #3: My Learning Agenda – Building on my strengths while reducing my gaps.
  • Discovery #4: New behavior, thoughts, and feelings through experimentation; creating and building new neural pathways through practicing to mastery.
  • Discovery #5: “Resonant Relationships” that help, support and encourage each step in the process.

Theory can help, but it takes practice to create constructive change, and SHIFT is here to challenge and support you! The SHIFT community connects individuals making midlife transitions who seek greater meaning in life and work. Some members of our community want encore careers that combine income with personal meaning and social impact. Others want to volunteer their experience and skills as a way of giving back to the larger community.

SHIFT serves as a compass to help midlifers navigate these transitions. SHIFT also engages employers and volunteer organizations to underscore the essential value midlifers bring to the workplace.

We invite you to join us. Share your journey, talents and ideas. Practice intentional change! Become deeply engaged in discovery with others who also are finding and creating their next acts. How? Go to the website ( and register right now for these great SHIFT discovery opportunities this month!

  • Winding Down and Gearing Up
  • LeaderSHIFT
  • Life Reimagined: Real Possibilities

SHIFT Happens – Take care!client4

David Alley

SHIFT Executive Director

SHiFT Success Story- Bernice Hillukka

SHiFT Success Story- Bernice Hillukka

Bernice Hillukka

The hardest part of career transition for Bernice Hillukka was “putting yourself out there.” After spending 30 years in a career with a financial services corporation, Bernice did not feel challenged and so decided to start her own business. She joined SHiFT, listened to Forum speakers talk about transition and risk and how it is ok to change. She met with people in SHiFT Circles who helped her sort out what she wanted to do with her work experience, recent master’s degree in Human Resources, and value system of wanting to contribute to people’s well-being.

Then she decided to take the plunge and start her own business. Bernice is founder and sole owner of Harmony Services, a daily management service for people who need help with tasks such as money and bill management, housekeeping, errands, groceries and cooking. To build her business, she now has to network to get customers and she finds putting herself out there a whole new experience. But she is grateful to be on her own, making decisions with a view to human needs, and for the support she received from so many others making their own transitions. To pay it forward, Bernice has volunteered to support the SHiFT Executive Board as an administrative assistant.

You can learn more about Bernice and her business at

If you have a story to tell about how SHiFT helped you successfully manage your transition, I’d like to hear from you. Please contact me at Marilyncondon@ or contact Shift’s new Editor-in-Chief, Valerie Rose Redmond at

–Marilyn Condon

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