Archive for November, 2007

Happiness the Easy Way

Posted on November 28, 2007. Filed under: Inspiring Each Other | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I happened upon a lovely little practice that’s easy to do, requires no outlay of money or additional resources, and can change lives in profound ways.  Sometimes the simplest of exercises are the most effective and this is one of them.  I just had to pass it along to you.

Dr. Martin Seligman is a world-renowned author and the founder of Positive Psychology.  His work at the University of Pennsylvania provides an innovative approach to the practice of psychology as it focuses on all things positive. Seligman’s research has demonstrated that it is “possible to be happier — to feel more satisfied, to be more engaged with life, find more meaning, have higher hopes, and probably even laugh and smile more, regardless of one’s circumstances.”

You can join “Authentic Happiness,” a free service, and take a variety of scientifically tested questionnaires, surveys, and scales that measure your satisfaction with life and your “happiness quotient.” However, my favorite technique is so simple that there is nothing required other than a few moments of your time. 

Seligman suggests taking a minute at the end of your day to reflect upon three things for which you are grateful.  These could be events, people in your life, your own character traits and strengths, the weather, or what you had for dinner. The goal is just to acknowledge three aspects of your day that brought you pleasure.

As you do this, you will start to notice that more and more experiences in your day are positive. And, all of a sudden, these happy moments will increase dramatically because that is where you are placing your focus. You’ll begin to get far greater enjoyment out of your life and will start to appreciate those around you much more. 

Even if you’re a “Doubting Thomas,” just give it a try.  Happiness is a state of mind and this simple daily exercise will go a long way towards helping you find abundant joy and meaning in your life.

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The Grooviest Generation

Posted on November 19, 2007. Filed under: Aging With Attitude | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Okay, the baby boomers may not have been our country’s “Greatest Generation.” Tom Brokaw already awarded that distinction to our parents and few would argue with his choice.  Nevertheless, I doubt that many could deny that we represent history’s “Grooviest Generation” and this accolade is of no small consequence.

We boomers spearheaded multiple movements, rebellions, be-ins, and love-ins in our generational commitment to changing the world for the better. And, although we fell short of the mark in many ways, we also achieved great successes. For these, we should be rightly proud.

Better yet, for the fashion conscious among us, we pulled all this off chicly clad in rainbow-hued tie-dies smartly accessorized with multiple strands of brightly colored love beads. Style-wise, we were the opposite of Goth—color was our credo and the brighter the better!

So, it comes as no surprise that such a vibrant generation will not slip quietly into old age. We are, after all, the ones who drove the “youth movement” and that spirit still defines us in many ways. We remain outspoken, rebellious, demanding, and are still “forever young” in our outlook and our attitudes. Best of all, our sense of humor is better than ever and we can enjoy a good laugh at a few of our foibles.

In this spirit, I’d like to invite you to view one of my favorite animations. Walt Handelsman has captured our essence as aging hipsters. As you watch it, you will have little doubt that we were and still remain a generation that defined and embodied what it means to be “far-out groovy!”

 

 

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The Richness of the Moment

Posted on November 13, 2007. Filed under: Inspiring Each Other | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Do you ever feel like you need to refocus, reinvigorate, or redirect your work life? Are you searching for a greater sense of inner fulfillment and meaning in what you do?

By the age of fifty, many women report a driving desire to make significant changes in numerous aspects of their lives. Due to shifting hormones, the years past menopause are especially likely to bring about a need to transform our daily activities and experiences in a number of substantial and significant ways.

My friend, Erica Ross Krieger, a.k.a. the Wellness Coach, has some wonderful suggestions to help us live in greater alignment with our true passions and purpose. She has designed a seven-part process entitled, “Living in the Richness of the Moment,” and I invite you to visit her blog and check it out.

Each section addresses a different aspect of adding value and meaning to everyday actions. What is more, Erica provides proactive exercises and life affirming steps we can take to make small changes that will enrich our every experience. She teaches us to savor the present and live each moment to the fullest, to release unimportant but time-consuming activities, and to focus on taking “right actions” in making everyday decisions.

I encourage each of you to take a look at her work and try out some of her suggestions. As the old Chinese Proverb tells us: “If you want to know your past – look into your present conditions. If you want to know your future – look into your present actions.” It is in the “richness of the moment” that we find our past, present, and our future.

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Six Little Words

Posted on November 7, 2007. Filed under: Aging With Attitude | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

For those of you who read my blog, you know that I’m a big fan of the physiological and psychological transformation that takes place in post-menopausal women and the fact that we older gals get a brand new lease on life. In truth, I do feel stronger, more self-confident, and sassier than ever before. That is…most of the time…

Every so often, something happens that rocks my world and not in a good way. Turning fifty was shocking enough for me and, I’m guessing, for many of us boomers. Adding to the rather distressing number itself, this birthday brought a trinity of assaults that seemed to come in waves.

First, and this took place a few weeks before the actual date, I received an invitation to join the ranks of that fine organization for America’s seniors, AARP. The letter, although carefully composed so as not to offend or imply any messages regarding old age and retirement is not always greeted with unbridled enthusiasm by the recipient. I, for one, immediately threw my invitation in the trash. (I’ve since learned that AARP knows this is a typical response so they automatically issue several opportunities to join.)

The next wave hit at my first doctor’s check-up following the big five-oh. Upon completion of the usual pokes and probes, the physician then handed me a daintily wrapped package containing all of the necessary tools to conduct a stool sample retrieval. “Now that you are in your fifties…” she said, and then began a litany of tests I now needed for my very survival. Believe me, this was definitely not the rite of initiation for which I had hoped or anticipated!

The final assault is continuous and pervasive. Everywhere one looks, be it supplements, exercise guidelines, or dietary recommendations, the instructions are always the same. The vitamins now come wrapped in silver packaging and the warnings for any health related regimes are: “If you are over 50, consult your doctor before beginning this or any other program…” Even more disturbing, many adult day-care facilities aimed at serving the infirm of mind and body, have age guidelines and these, not surprisingly, allow admittance starting at age fifty.

So, here I am, long beyond my half-century birthday and you’d think I would be used to such things by now. But, just the other day, I got another hit. A cheery young clerk, attempting to employ her best customer service skills, unexpectedly threw me for a loop. And, all she did was utter six little words: “Would you like the senior discount?” was her helpful inquiry.

“No!” I responded with a fury that surprised even me. I was shopping in the city that day, had taken care to dress accordingly, and thought I looked remarkably fetching in my finery. Her query came as an unwelcome and unwanted reminder—nattily attired as I was, I am no spring chicken.

So, to all you clerks out there, let me give you some free customer service training—NEVER, EVER, EVER ask about the senior discount! Remember, there is cautionary wisdom inherent to the phrase; “silence is golden.” And, this particular piece of advice is most especially true when dealing with customers who are adjusting to life in their “golden” years.

If we want the discount, believe me, we won’t require any prompts, reminders, or helpful suggestions. Better you go about quietly ringing up our merchandise. Let there be no doubt, should we want to save a few bucks, we feisty old gals will let you know!!

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Stop the Abuse

Posted on November 2, 2007. Filed under: Inspiring Each Other | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Yesterday, I experienced a truly memorable event. I got to be an on-air Boomer Diva Reporter for Women Power Talk Radio. Raven Blair Davis produces a wonderful show featuring “unstoppable women of power” and each program focuses on a different aspect of being a woman over forty.

The topic of this show was of great and vital importance—domestic violence, abuse over generations, and learning to address issues of power and control. Three women shared their personal stories of suffering abuse at the hands of someone close to them. These were filled with emotion, poignancy, courage, and hope.

Although all three women interviewed were accomplished, many of us boomers will recognize the work of Jaisun McMillian as she was a member of both The Platters and Martha Reeves’ Vandellas. Now, she has written a book, a play, and a movie about her struggle to survive an abusive marriage.

I urge everyone who has ever experienced abuse or knows anyone who has to listen to the program. Actually, that means a lot of us as statistics point to one in four women having suffered some form of abuse. The information is critically important and the personal stories shared are unforgettable. You can listen by going to Raven’s site http://www.womenpower-radio.com/

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