Thursday, July 12, 2018

Step Forward

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

Finding the Path with a Heart

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

What is being Created

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.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Synchronicity – Serendipity – Manifestation

It doesn’t matter what label you use – everything in the universe is connected.  What we call coincidence is really just another way of identifying related events that occur in our lives. 

There are a million little things that happen all of the time and most of them go unnoticed, or if we do notice they are briefly acknowledged and quickly forgotten.  Often, someone will say, I was just thinking about that, sharing their amusement at the happenstance and then let it go as if it is an insignificant event. 

What if every one of those seemingly small occurrences were really part of a much larger scenario?  Subtle little messages that the universe sends out to assist you in the direction of your dreams.

Keeping track of those little things helps to increase the energy and will bring more of those circumstances into your life.  The key is to be easy about it, don’t try to force it to fit your expectation of how it should happen. 

Stay open and allow things to come to you in unusual and unexpected ways.  The more playful you are the more the universe will surprise and delight you. 

When I look back on my life and see the winding, unusual path I’ve taken to arrive at this place – I would never have expected to be where I am today.  It has been an incredible journey and every day I know that something wonderful is about to happen. 

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Restarting Yoga at 61

I practiced yoga many years ago and really enjoyed the focus it brought to the chaos that was going on in my life as well as the physical benefits.  Gradually, I began doing less until I eventually stopped altogether.

Over the years, I have thought about restarting my practice but didn't really find a way that was easy to maintain with my hectic travel schedule.  I need something I can do at home or away, even in a small hotel room that doesn't require any special equipment or clothing.  I also needed something gentle and simple to perform.  Not a torturous twisting into difficult or uncomfortable positions.

After watching the Introduction to Gentle Yoga on Sixty and Me I thought I might give it another try.  So today, when I woke up stiff and achy from sleeping in a not very comfortable hotel bed I decided to see if it might help.

Today, I tried Gentle Yoga Video 1 – Focus on Joints and before I was even half way through my body felt looser and the pain I woke up with this morning was already softening.  The instruction in the session was easy to follow and very gentle on my body.  Cat, the instructor, is very good and gives you a lot of options to modify the movement and stresses to not do anything that is uncomfortable for you.

For me, one of biggest benefits of this practice is the focus on the body with breathing and stretching that improves my flexibility and strength.  After such a great experience, I'm looking forward to working my way through the series.

If you are a beginner or just a senior who might need a gentler approach to this practice you might consider trying this.

Thank you very much to Sixty and Me for sharing these great videos!

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Shifting: Tools and Tips from A to Z by M. Gayle

It never ceases to amaze me how the right message always comes to me at precisely the moment I need it most.   Reading this book was exactly that for me.  I had been struggling with some personal issues and needed some clarity and perspective on how to manage the changes I knew I needed to make in my life.

What I found in these pages was a gentle guidance and support to discover what was true for me.  The author offers complex information in a concise and easy to read format.  The exercises provide a great opportunity to personalize the lesson and delve deeper into self-reflection. 

This is a lovely, thought provoking book that you will find yourself coming back to over and over again for renewed inspiration.  

 Order on Amazon - Shifting: Tools and Tips from A to Z

Friday, June 30, 2017

Last Wish

Today is the 25-year anniversary of my mother’s passing.  She was a very lively and vibrant 69-year-old woman who gave her entire life to her children and grandchildren.  I miss her every single day.

Now at 61, it’s even more clear to me just how very short and precious life can be.  My thoughts turn to my own children – my 2 beautiful and beloved daughters who can only begin to understand the immense love that I have for them. 

Being their mother gave my life purpose and joy that without them I would never have known.  Even as I carried them I knew they would change my life forever but I did not know of the unspeakable love they would bring into my life.

Watching them grow into the beautiful, strong women and mothers that they are has filled my heart in ways that I did not believe was possible.  To see my precious grandchildren happy and so full of life and love is a joy I could never have dreamt of.  My heart had to grow to hold all the love they give!

If today were to be my last, there would be no regrets, just a heart full of gratitude for an incredible life and one last wish that my family know that because of them I have had a truly wonderful life!

Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me - Gladys Knight 
I've had my share of life's ups and downs
But fate's been kind, the downs have been few
I guess you could say that I've been lucky
Well, I guess you could say that it's all because of you

If anyone should ever write my life story
For whatever reason there might be
You'll be there between each line of pain and glory
Because you're the best thing that ever happened to me
You're the best thing that ever happened to me

Oh, there have been times when times were hard
But always somehow, I made it, I made it through
Because for every moment that I've spent hurting
There was a moment that I spent, just loving you.