Wednesday, January 9, 2019
I was having dinner in Dublin, feeling very happy and spoiled when I received a powerful reminder to always be grateful. All through my meal I noticed my server working very hard and seemed much busier or at least more attentive than anyone else.
As I was getting ready to leave she asked where I was from in the US and then told me she was moving to New York. She had been selected from an event in Ireland to work in the US. She was so excited and very nervous.
What a fantastic opportunity for a young woman from eastern Europe who I'm certain has had challenges that I can't even imagine. Suddenly I felt a strong sense of the immense privilege that I've been blessed with. Thinking that even the most meager upbringing in America is beyond what many people have in other parts of the world.
She was very surprised when I gave her my number and asked her to let me know how she is doing or if she needed anything. I felt humbled and immediately grateful for such a wonderful life.
Wednesday, September 26, 2018
Sometimes, as we age, our true essence can begin to fade. A life that was once vibrant and grand can become subdued and pale. You continue on, day by day, with what needs to done and, in many ways, you feel like you are just going through the motions. When this happens, your spirit feels diminished.
After I turned 60, I began to believe that this new state of being was a natural progression and was simply a new pace that I would become accustomed to.
Rekindling the Vitality That I Lost
There were aspects of myself that I felt must be a thing of the past, something from my youth that was not part of who I had become. I was not unhappy or unfulfilled, but, I had lost a great deal of the zest I had previously felt throughout my life.
At the very moment that I needed it most, I met someone kind and gentle who helped to coax me back to my true self. With a little tender persuasion, I quickly responded to all of the life I still had before me and realized how good it felt just to be alive.
There is a Spanish word that describes this reawakening perfectly – “reverdecer” – to make green again, to revive.
Now it feels as if my spirit has been renewed and I have a sense of hopefulness that I have not felt in a very long time. All of the sudden, everything feels possible again.
It Happens So Gradually
We don’t plan on letting ourselves slip away, but, it is so subtle that we may not even notice. Time passes and, slowly, we lose some of the drive that we once had.
It’s not until something dramatic occurs that we remember how we once felt. Then we rediscover all of the enthusiasm that we still have in our hearts.
Just like a daffodil that lay dormant during the winter, in the spring it sprouts and comes to life again. It even bursts out of the snow with a beautiful, irrepressible life-force that cannot be denied.
Reconnect With What Makes You Happy
Do whatever you can to restore and maintain your vitality. It doesn’t matter what it is. It doesn’t matter how big or how small it is – if it brings you joy, you owe it to yourself to do it.
If you can’t do some of the things you used to do, then it is time to find something new. It is never too late to create the life you want for yourself.
Anything that makes your heart smile will breathe new energy into your life.
There are so many wonderful ways to continue to nurture and feed our spirit and all of them make life worth living.
How have you changed since getting older? What are the things you do now to keep joy alive in your life? Join in the conversation and share your stories!
Monday, August 13, 2018
We are not victims - we are survivors. What we have endured at the hands of those who said they loved us was tremendous, but it gave us strength we did not know we had and taught us that not only would we get through those difficult times, but we would thrive.
Knowing that even the worst could not diminish us is our greatest achievement.
Knowing that even the worst could not diminish us is our greatest achievement.
There are very few women who have not known some type of assault, harassment or intimidation in their lives. Holding onto the anger and resentment does not punish the one who hurt us, it only ties us to the pain. If we really want to break free we must find a way to forgive them as well as ourselves.
Forgiveness does not condone the behavior or change what occurred, but it gives us the power to release the bonds that held us.
It is time for women speak up and shine a light into the shadows that have concealed the truth. We must stand together, support and encourage each other in a way only another survivor can.
Love and kindness can heal the wounds and help us be whole again.
Thursday, July 12, 2018
I’m learning each day to look forward to what is coming as I stand where I am today. Being present in my life right here and now has created an appreciation for all that I have and an eagerness for what is yet to come. Every change I make takes me to that new and exciting place.
I have been toying with the idea of retirement for several years now.
Taking small but significant steps toward that end. I kept waiting for that grand event when I would know that it was time to finally take the leap. What I realized after turning 60 a couple of years ago, is that it was more of gradual tip-toe than an actual jump.
Fear is a compelling thing, and just letting go of all the security and control of what I thought I needed to be happy was very difficult. Most days, it still creeps into my brain and I feel slightly overwhelmed by the fact that I have chosen to not continue to work full-time.
I remind myself that I do have passive income and have not yet tapped into my retirement savings but something about not reporting to a job at a required time feels like stepping into a great void. I’ve never been concerned about what I will do with my time when I retire, I have many passions that give me great joy and satisfaction, but I do still worry that I’m being unrealistic about how much money I will need.
What I must remember is that this is not an all or nothing situation.
At any point that I feel like I am financially insolvent or even approaching it, I can simply get a job. I’ve never had a problem finding work and I don’t believe I ever will. That is the big safety net I have and if I can keep that in mind then maybe I will be able to let go of some of my concern.
It is essential that the only work I do now is what makes my heart happy. Actually, that should be the minimum criteria for anything I do for the rest of my life. It is not something that is generally accepted – the expectation is that you will work hard all your life, struggle and sacrifice to get ahead and then fade into the sunset, anything else is perceived as selfish or irresponsible.
That is just not a philosophy that makes sense for me at this stage of my life. I’m very young at heart and I know that I have so much life yet to live and I am ready to find out what is next for me. I want to take the time to explore new people, places and things. There will be somethings that feel right for me and others that I will just experience and let go.
Either way it will be fun to experiment and see what fits.
Trusting myself is key – I need to stay aware of how I am feeling so I can make a change whenever necessary. That is what is happening right now for me, I tend to stay a little too long when I’m not happy and then I start feeling trapped and need to break away. I know that I have so many options and that this is what the journey is all about. I don’t ever need to go back, I just need to stay focused on the present and let the future unfold.
It is time for me to really break the mold and let myself be outrageous in my exploration of what lies ahead. I’ve always had an adventuresome spirit and now is the time to really let it shine. I now want to create the life that I want and don’t need to retire from.
What revelations have you discovered after turning 60? Are you looking forward to retirement or is it a concern for you? Share your stories and join the conversation.
Tuesday, June 19, 2018
As we age, it becomes apparent that we must create new lives. Will we change careers, begin retirement, travel, downsize or stay where we are? What often comes with that are the fears associated with making those choices. We begin to worry about money, our family, our health, where we should live, should we settle down or roam the world.
When we were raising our families, those decisions seemed to be made for us - we must keep a job, take care of the children with all of the responsibility that entails. There was very little free time and what there was usually consisted of weekends or once a year family vacation and then back to the routine.
Now, in our 60s we have to make a conscious choice about what we want in our lives.
Our work is not to make something happen but to learn how to let it reveal itself. It is that time in our lives when we have the opportunity to allow the soft flowing of events to become clear to us and then follow the path that has the most meaning in our lives.
It can be very easy to remain in our old patterns, letting familiar circumstances drive our daily lives. If we look more closely, we realize that we are entering a brand-new chapter and are being given a tremendous gift. The possibility, maybe for the first time, to do something just for ourselves.
For many of us, as this realization sinks in, we employ the same principles of how to get things done – we take action. What is really ironic about this concept, is that the harder we try to make anything happen the less likely it is to turn out in a way that is pleasing to us.
If we can learn to let go we will discover things that we never thought possible.
Letting go is much easier said than done. We are taught our entire lives that we must work and struggle in order to get things accomplished. That hard work is the only way to achieve the results we desire. Always trying to control external circumstances is exhausting and in the end never really possible. We cannot control anything outside of our own self so that is where the work must be done.
That is why so many spiritual teachers advocate practices like Meditation, Mindfulness, Yoga, Prayer and Journaling. Anything that allows our conscious mind to relax and release resistance will provide benefits in all areas of our lives. Just like any other skill, we must learn to develop techniques that work for us. This is not a one-size fits all solution so we must do what feels right for us personally.
It doesn’t matter where you start, you just have to begin.
Like everything else, it is very easy to approach this as something else to manage or control. Trying to unlearn that is the most difficult thing I will ever do in my life. Even now, after many years of practicing many aspects of letting go or allowing, I find myself slipping back into my old habits. It is important for me to do something each day, even for just a few minutes, to reclaim my balance and continue forward.
What works best for me is to keep it simple and find those things that bring me joy. Sometimes it is writing in my journal or going for a walk. Other days it is playing with my grandchildren or planning a trip to some faraway place. It really doesn’t matter what it is, all that matters is that you find ways to release the anxiety and tension so that you can learn to experience the peace that comes from just being in the world.
With that peace comes an unfolding of events that we never could have planned. Bringing to us those very things we thought we had to chase after. It is ultimately more satisfying to have everything we desire come to us in the perfect way and at the perfect time than to try to manipulate or coerce it.
For me, appreciation is a key factor in everything I do. I am grateful for what I already have in my life and look forward to whatever new surprise is on the horizon. I always trust that something wonderful is about to happen and my only job is to relax and enjoy it.
How do you relax and let go? Do you do anything differently now that you are older? Have you had any experiences with how something occurred after releasing control? Share your stories and join the conversation!
Thursday, May 31, 2018
Sitting in my office and softly listening to a message about the Law of Attraction, I asked for clarity. Clarity about my current situation, what I want and desire in my life and how to achieve it. The revelation came swiftly – it’s not about achieving it at all but releasing resistance in order to allow it into my experience. This was a huge moment of perfect insight to exactly what is happening in my life.
Two months ago, I purchased a new house and during that time, there has been ongoing construction and work that needs to be done inside and out before the house and neighborhood are complete. This caused a great deal of stress and aggravation as it was not what I wanted in a new property.
Today, I realized, that all of the construction (roads, pipelines, walk-ways) were in the perfect state of becoming. Everything is in progress, unfolding in the perfect way and at the perfect time. The street cannot simply appear, it needs to be built. Piece by piece, with progress made each day as the workmen show up to clear the land, dig the trench for the water lines and plant trees and flowers for the park.
It is a perfect metaphor for life – everything is becoming what it will be. Someone had a thought, created a blueprint, set forth a plan, gathered all necessary components and began, step by step, to make it a reality. The developer did not throw out the plan simply because it was not completed the moment of conception but knew that this was a process and that it would take time for this project to be completed.
That is a message I so needed to hear right now. I can’t just leap to the end of my story, nor would I want to. I am in the perfect place to begin my new journey, knowing that what is being created is perfect and will become everything I want and need.