In this series, we introduce you to groundbreaking women from the Kindra community who are reclaiming the power of middle age.
Meet Amy Schmidt, CEO of AKS & Associates. Amy is also the Founder of Fearlessly Facing Fifty and Meant for More and the bestselling author of Cannonball! Fearlessly Facing Midlife and Beyond.
Read on for our exclusive conversation with Amy.
Please introduce yourself in whatever way you see fit.
I'm Amy Schmidt. I've reinvented myself over and over again. Sound relatable? I've kept the plates in the air while juggling raising three kids, moving 11 times, navigating a new country and culture, losing my parents, and can remember the day that I was sitting in a quiet house (and that never happens). I was asking myself these questions? Who am I? Where am I? And it was at that moment that I knew there was more to do. More to learn. More ways to challenge me. I was Meant For More! So in 2019, the year of turning 50, I launched the award-winning Fearlessly Facing Fifty podcast, wrote a best-selling book called: CANNONBALL! Fearlessly Facing Midlife and Beyond and took the TEDx stage, inspiring women to CANNONBALL with confidence. I'll be taking the TED stage again this fall talking about myth-busting aging and the power of collaboration. Most recently I founded Meant For More Transformative weekend. The inaugural event will be held in November bringing together thought leaders and keynote speakers, facilitating workshops, and courageous conversations about the topics that are most top of mind for women of a certain age.
What is your age and menopause phase?
What is the biggest thing your menopause journey has taught you?
That this is not your Mother's menopause! That there is no need to shy away from the M-word...but shout MENOPAUSE from the rooftops and embrace this time of our lives. And most importantly that you are NOT ALONE. Opening the dialogue and engaging in conversations about this time of our journey is so critical! Heck, if you put 100 ladies in a room sitting in a circle and asked them to stand up and cheer if they've experienced any of these symptoms: sleepless nights? vaginal dryness? weight gain? brain fog? night Sweats? The room would erupt and might just register on the Richter scale. When women come together and share their stories - their journeys - a community is formed - and there is so much power in community! And that's the power in our menopausal journeys; we are a force!
If you could give one piece of advice to a younger you, what would it be?
To love yourself more! To love every inch, every jiggle, every wrinkle, because it's all part of your story - and as the historian of your life - to share your story with others. Don't put things off and let procrastination or perfectionism stop you in your tracks...just start (and start ugly) because being uncomfortable and getting out of your comfort zone is key to allowing yourself to create those CANNONBALL moments in your journey!
Imagine you’re writing your memoirs right now. What would the name of your current chapter be?
Chapter Title: Be the Guest of Honor in your own life
Like a kaleidoscope, our roles are ever-evolving and have many facets – daughter, sibling, spouse, mother, friend, partner, professional – which are beautiful and complicated. As women, we master the art of reinvention as we are continually multi-task and re-evaluate as we move through our journeys.
We peer into a kaleidoscope, and the facets form something exciting and unique. Shake the kaleidoscope, look again, and a completely new vision is created. We are unique and different, and as I always say, "we are the historians of our lives". Be bold and brave. Share your voice and your story. Create those cannonball moments when you step outside of your comfort zones and start ugly. When we hold our lives to the light and look at the pieces, we see infinite possibilities and know we are Meant for More.
As women of a certain age, we need to permit ourselves to become the Guest of Honor in our own lives. Treating ourselves with the love, respect, and thoughtfulness that we treat others. I have always believed that when women come together, magic happens. I have seen this firsthand as a podcast host, author, and speaker. I also have seen that women tend to put others before themselves and that the self-love component is diminished. From the hundreds of interviews, I have conducted, and by stepping outside of my comfort zone to take action, I have launched Meant For More. Transformative events for women to come together and gift yourself an in-person weekend to come together with extraordinary women and become a better version of yourself. You will be treated as the #GoH.
What is your morning routine?
A wake up at 5:30 and always start my day by inhaling a deep breath and saying THANK YOU. I then spend 15 minutes digging into a devotional, with some lemon water in hand and then set my intention word for the day. One word that I will focus on for my day - maybe it's peace. Maybe it's joy. Maybe it's patience or perhaps it's love. But I will focus on that word - apply it to my day - and make check-in at about 2:00 pm to make sure I'm staying on track. I also never check my phone first thing - and every morning after I finish my lemon water I have to have a coffee.....and then off to walk or workout! Mornings are my favorite time of the day!
What is one piece, person, or practice that relaxes you?
A practice that relaxes me - is centering myself and feeling grounded with 3 minutes of deep breathing - nothing special - just literally looking away from my computer - and setting aside 3 minutes to breathe - refocus and gain clarity - it's a lifesaver for me, as I run at record speed every day.
And I have to share that the person that relaxes me is my husband - there is something about that unexpected hug or the times when he just walks over and puts his arms around me. I feel safe. I feel loved and I feel a sense of calm come over me.
When you think about the stage of life that you're in, what are you most excited about?
I am most excited about the opportunities ahead, I'm excited to treat myself as a guest of honor - with the love, respect, and kindness I have earned and deserve. It is so often that we undervalue ourselves - or make ourselves out less significant than we are. We second guess ourselves or keep commitments to others but not ourselves - this is our time! Our time to operate from a position of power - but realize the beauty of not being in control and realizing that we've earned this. It's time for the realization that we are meant for more. More laughter, more self-love, more challenges, more opportunities for personal growth.
What do you think is the biggest myth or misconception about menopause?
That everyone's journey is the same. Just as we are the keeper of our stories - we are on our unique menopause journey - but you don't have to go through it alone - talk about menopause with your friends. If you need help, ask for it. If your doctor isn't taking the time to answer your questions or concerns - find a new one. Cherish this time of your menopause journey - and treat yourself with the love and care you deserve. Grant yourself permission to rest and restore when needed. Practice an abundance of self-love - you deserve it.
What is your favorite Kindra product and why?
The Daily Vaginal Lotion and Applicator along with the Sleep-Enhancing Supplement are my personal favorites. Vaginal dryness is real - and something that so many women of a certain age deal with. It's one of those courageous conversations that women need to have - and share. And of course - sleep is essential for so many reasons and can be a struggle for so many women as they toss and turn while their minds race. I have found the sleep supplement to ease me gently into a night of restorative and restful sleep.
Join Amy at Meant For More!
I am on a mission to change that narrative at midlife and beyond from crisis to opportunity. At the end of every day, my goal is to inspire someone to GET UP GET DRESSED, and GET GOING in a way they might have dreamed possible. It's our time ladies...let's no let our light be dimmed or diminished....but let's shine a spotlight and highlight this time of our lives - let's inspire one another to act and realize that we are Meant For More.
Registration is limited to 150 women - and you can register here.