The Shift with Sam Baker

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Sharon Blackie on embracing your inner hag & the magic of menopause!

Season 10, Ep. 102

How do I want to age? What does the rest of my life look like? Those are questions I know many of you have given A LOT of thought. Well, my guest today has some answers.


Dr Sharon Blackie is a psychologist and folklorist who is passionate about reimagining the ageing process for the better. Her last book If Women Rose Rooted was an ecofeminist sleeper hit about finding your place in the world that was passed from woman to woman with the words “you MUST read this”. 


Her new book, Hagitude: reimagining the second half of life, does JUST that. What, she asks, would ageing as a woman in the west be like if we embraced it. If we saw it as an adventure, not something to be dreaded, dodged, denied. At its heart is the radical idea: what if older women knew how to use the power and influence many of us don't know we have. What if we recognised our value? What if we wrote our own narratives?


Sharon joined me to talk about the power of myth, embracing your inner hag and why she’d rather be the old woman in the wood than a boring old fairytale princess any day. She also told me what she learnt from THREE midlife crises, her decade of hot flushes and the joy of no longer having skin in the mating game.


I found this conversation so motivating and inspiring. I hope you do too.


* You can buy all the books mentioned in this podcast at Bookshop.org, including Hagitude and If Women Rose Rooted by Sharon Blackie and the book that inspired this podcast, The Shift: how I lost and found myself after 40 - and you can too, by me!


* And if you'd like to support the work that goes into making this podcast and get a weekly newsletter plus loads more content including transcripts of the podcast, please join The Shift community. Find out more at https://steadyhq.com/en/theshift/


The Shift (on life after 40) with Sam Baker is created and hosted by Sam Baker and edited by Emily Sandford. If you enjoyed this podcast, please rate/review/follow as it really does help other people find us. And let me know what you think on twitter @sambaker or instagram @theothersambaker.

More Episodes

1/17/2023

Kit de Waal on race, class – and her exceedingly cool hair! - THE SHIFT REVISITED

Season 10, Ep. 116
Over the Christmas period and into January I'm going to be replaying some of my quiet favourite episodes of 2022. This week is the brilliantly outspoken author Kit de Waal. This episode first aired in July.---Today’s guest is the award-winning writer, Kit De Waal. Until she was 21, Kit had never read a book voluntarily. But once she started there was no stopping her. Kit started writing in her mid-40s and published her award-winning debut, My Name Is Leon, at 56. Since then she has used her success to work tirelessly to promote the voices of working class writers. Using some of her advance to set up the Kit de Waal Creative Writing Fellowship (aka the Fat Chance scholarship!) and editing Common People, an anthology of working class writing.Now she’s turned her attention to her own childhood. Her memoir, Without Warning And Only Sometimes, is the story of growing up in poverty, one of five children with a Black father and Irish mother who brought them up Jehovah’s Witness…Kit joined me from possibly the most envy-inducing workroom I’ve ever ogled via zoom (and I’ve ogled a few!) to talk being single and reclaiming your own space at 60. We discussed race, class, privilege, the impact of a childhood spent not stepping on the cracks and why she hates that “fucking overused word resilience”. Plus why she’s not interested in a man on the downward slide, being a Tuesday friend and her exceedingly cool hair* You can buy all the books mentioned in this podcast at Bookshop.org, including Without Warning And Only Sometimes by Kit de Waal and the book that inspired this podcast, The Shift: how I lost and found myself after 40 - and you can too, by me!* And if you'd like to support the work that goes into making this podcast and get a weekly newsletter plus loads more content including transcripts of the podcast, please join The Shift community. Find out more at https://steadyhq.com/en/theshift/• The Shift (on life after 40) with Sam Baker is created and hosted by Sam Baker and edited by Emily Sandford. If you enjoyed this podcast, please rate/review/follow as it really does help other people find us. And let me know what you think on twitter @sambaker or instagram @theothersambaker.
1/10/2023

Kat Farmer has the answer to all your "my wardrobe hates me" dilemmas - THE SHIFT REVISITED

Season 10, Ep. 115
Over the Christmas period and into January I'm going to be replaying some of my quiet favourite episodes of 2022. This week, let stylist and Instagrammer Kat Farmer motivate your wardrobe overhaul. This episode first aired in March.---Totally lost sight of your personal style? Feel like your clothes hate you? Whether it’s the result of two years in and out of lockdown, emerging from the motherhood tunnel or the advent of menopause, many of us no longer have a clue how to get dressed.Enter this week’s guest: Kat Farmer, better known by her instagram handle @doesmybumlook40 - best friend to every woman with nothing to wear for who they want to be today.But scroll back a decade and Kat wasn’t a style savvy influencer with hundreds of thousands of Instagram followers, she was a mum of three small children, in her late thirties, who had completely lost her way.Kat’s now written a book - Get Changed, finding the new you through fashion - a typically friendly and low-key guide to just that.TBH I was hoping that when I spoke to Kat I’d also get a free wardrobe detox - bloody covid! Instead, we ended up on zoom talking everything from reinventing your career to why clothes are the key to our identity, how the fashion industry is finally wising up to older women and why her rule of three will put an end to all your shopping mistakes.You can buy all the books mentioned in this podcast at Bookshop.org, including Get Changed by Kat Farmer and the book that inspired this podcast, The Shift: how I lost and found myself after 40 - and you can too, by me!And if you'd like to support the work that goes into making this podcast and get a weekly newsletter, please join The Shift community. Find out more at https://steadyhq.com/en/theshift/• The Shift (on life after 40) with Sam Baker is created and hosted by Sam Baker and edited by Emily Sandford. If you enjoyed this podcast, please rate/review/follow as it really does help other people find us. And let me know what you think on twitter @sambaker or instagram @theothersambaker.
1/3/2023

Poorna Bell on the unexpected power in being 40 - THE SHIFT REVISITED

Season 10, Ep. 114
Over the Christmas period and into January I'm going to be replaying some of my quiet favourite episodes of 2022. This week's, journalist, power-lifter and body image and mental health activist, Poorna Bell, is just the tonic if you're having a January moment. This episode first aired in July.---By her own admission, today’s guest, award winning journalist Poorna Bell, wasn’t looking forward to 40. She feared, as society had taught her, that it might be the beginning of the end. And so, she set out to prove herself wrong. Poorna has written two memoirs about grief and mental health in the wake of her husband, Rob’s death by suicide. And followed those up with Stronger, an inspiring reevaluation of women’s strength interwoven with her own discovery of power lifting (I kid you not. This woman could bench press Johnny Depp - but I fear she’d have to join the queue.) It’s no surprise that Poorna has become an advocate for diversity, mental health and body image. Now she’s turned her hand to fiction. Her debut novel, In Case Of Emergency is a warm, funny, immensely entertaining story of friendship, sisterhood, being single in a couples world and a brown woman in a white world.Poorna joined me to talk about taking back power, finding her strength and how fitness changed her. Why she’s all in favour of marriage but has no plans to get back on the relationship escalator, why ageing is her superpower, finding clarity post-40, her search for midlife role models as a brown woman and embracing being a 40something goddess.You can buy all the books mentioned in this podcast at Bookshop.org, including IN CASE OF EMERGENCY by Poorna Bell, and the book that inspired this podcast, The Shift: how I lost and found myself after 40 - and you can too, by me!And if you'd like to support the work that goes into making this podcast and get a weekly newsletter plus loads more content including transcripts of the podcast, please join The Shift community. Find out more at https://steadyhq.com/en/theshift/• The Shift (on life after 40) with Sam Baker is created and hosted by Sam Baker and edited by Emily Sandford. If you enjoyed this podcast, please rate/review/follow as it really does help other people find us. And let me know what you think on twitter @sambaker or instagram @theothersambaker.podchaser token: 0XeeihrspYQYlmZOFLzt