Month: September 2013

Women of Wisdom Quotes

Women of Wisdom Quotes

Midlife brings with it the opportunity for growth and exploration of our inner worlds. It prepares us for our wisdom years, prodding and guiding us along our path to wisdom. It is not always an easy journey, as we have much to learn, but it is a powerfully important one, both for ourselves and those we leave behind.

Women have been gifted over the generations with deep wisdom, perspective, compassion and the ability to speak the truth. We stand to learn so much from those who have gone and go before us, as they carry the scars of great learning that may ease our own journeys. When we follow their lead, while listening to the winds of our own inner spirit, we can navigate the course of our lives, going where we are led, finding what we find, and giving what we have to give.

Take heart. Stand tall. Lean on the pillars of the many wise women that travel at your side and into the winds of fortune and change, knowing that you are not alone in your journey. Be lifted up by all that carry on the tradition of the wise woman, and breathe deeply the gift of life.

© Dorothy Sander 2013

Martha Graham quote


 “Nothing is wrong—whatever is happening is just “real life.” ~ Tara Brach




“It is worse to stay where one does not belong at all than to wander about lost
for a while and looking for the psychic and soulful kinship one requires” 
― Clarissa Pinkola Estés




 ” Almost all of my middle-aged and elderly acquaintances, including me, feel about 25,
unless we haven’t had our coffee, in which case we feel 107.”
Martha Beck 


Erma Bombeck-001


“Solitude matters, and for some people, it’s the air they breathe” 
― Susan Cain


Beyond - Three Voices For Peace




Lois Wyse




Ethel Barrymore Quote



Annie Lennox


Annie Rolphie


barbara kingsglover quote


betty friedan




caroline Myss quote




erica jong


Mary Tyler Moore quote








Oldest paraglider 3




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Do You Carry Life Insurance?

Do You Carry Life Insurance?

Many older women are struggling to make ends meet.Women have come a long way in the work force in my life time. They’ve made great strides in the business world and in their ability to earn an income and be self-supporting on many levels. Research  shows that women are now the sole or primary breadwinner in 40% of U.S. households. In one generation, women have gone from being stay-at-home moms, caretakers, and minimum wage earners to business owners, degree holders, and professional level wage earners.It has precipitated an enormous change in the life style of the average American woman.

Interestingly enough, there are still some areas of self-care to which we have not given enough attention. While women are earning more, they are not taking the same steps to protect their earnings and future financial well-being that men typically take. According to research quoted by Royal Neighbors of America,* one of the largest women-led life insurance organisations, women purchase only 69% of the life insurance coverage that men purchase. In other words, we are not protecting our financial assets to the same degree that men do, and if something happens to us and our income is lost, there is nothing for our families to fall back on.

Have you thought about what it would take to replace you in financial terms, if God forbid, something should happen to you? I had an opportunity to come face to face with that concept after being involved in a serious car accident and subsequently fighting my insurance company for compensation for the bare minimum of what it has taken for me to recover my quality of life. What if I hadn’t been so lucky? What if I hadn’t walked away from that accident? What financial burden, or replacement income would have been left behind to care for my family? I had nothing in place for such an eventuality. Using Royal Neighbor’s Insurance Calculator I was able to look at the hard, cold facts and see exactly where I would leave my family from a financial standpoint. It wasn’t a pretty sight!

Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  1. How much will it cost to pay off your debts such as a mortgage, credit card payments, auto or other loans, if you were to die prematurely?
  2. What are your ongoing expenses? Don’t forget daycare, tuition, grocery, and energy bills.
  3. Would your family be able to pay its bills? Nearly two thirds of financial decision makers admit they would have trouble paying everyday bills within a few months.3
  4. Do you have enough to pay for funeral expenses? The average funeral costs about $7,000.4

Perhaps it’s time we take the next step in owning and honoring our success and our value as human beings. We have worked very hard to value what we have accomplished in an emotional sense, but have we put the same amount of energy into owning and valuing it in a practical sense? We will never be immune to the winds of fate, but we can take responsibility where we can to protect those we love.

*Royal Neighbors of America – Their Story


In 1888, at a time when women weren’t supposed to be educated, weren’t supposed to handle business or financial matters, weren’t considered worthy of financial protection, and weren’t even considered capable of voting for the governmental leaders who would represent them, Marie Kirkland of Council Bluffs, IA, put an ad in a local newspaper asking women to meet to plan a “social.”
Eight women responded, and from that first meeting, they began to build an organization that empowers women to be the best they can be. Chartered as a fraternal benefit society in 1895, Royal Neighbors was one of the first to insure women and children. Today, it remains one of the largest and oldest women-led insurers providing financial products, member benefits, and volunteer programs to its more than 200,000 members.

Since 1895, Royal Neighbors of America has not only provided coverage to their members, but other benefits such as scholarships, disaster aid, health discounts, and the opportunity to volunteer and give back to one’s community. Their focus on and interest in providing a means of giving back is unique in the industry.

Full disclosure: I am participating in a Vibrant Influencer Network campaign for Royal Neighbors of America. I am receiving a fee for posting; however, the opinions expressed in this post are my own. I am in no way affiliated with Royal Neighbors of America, nor do I earn a commission or percent of sales.


When A Dream Dies

When A Dream Dies

Carol Jung dreams

There comes a time in each woman’s life when we look at our best efforts and see only the failure. We started with a dream or a mission or a purpose.  We put ourselves behind it, believing without a doubt that we were on the right path. The path was to take us on a marvelous journey to an ideal place. We devoted days or weeks, months or years to our vision, only to wake up one morning and realize our dream has failed or vanished.

What then? What do we do when we find ourselves curled up in a ball in the corner wanting to hide, the pain too great to even acknowledge? We ask ourselves over and over, what went wrong? What did I do wrong? What could I have done differently? And why, oh why, did it turn out this way? We want to curse the world, or the person who demolished our dreams…perhaps it is ourselves we wish to demolish…blaming ourselves for the failure, for our inability to see the future when we made our commitments. We all know that seeing the future is a gift given only to a few, if any. And yet, we expect it of ourselves.

Perhaps we are asking the wrong questions as we try to break through the confusion and the pain. Blaming others is futile even if it is a survival instinct. Blaming ourselves is equally as disastrous. The real question is what can I learn from this? What can I take forward with me into the rest of my life? What does this experience tell me about who and what I am — the good and the bad? These are the questions of growth and survival.

Life is a learning experience and sometimes we have to learn the same thing over and over until it takes. As painful as that may be, we eventually do learn, and then we have a gift to pass along to others. It is a gift that every woman has to give as she ages. Previous generations looked upon it with reverence and respect — it is the gift of wisdom. It is the most we can hope to gain from our life’s difficulties, but it is a gift that keeps on giving.   

© Dorothy Sander 2010 Excerpt from Caring for Mom

Every Day We Have A Choice

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How to Manage Menopausal Symptoms

How to Manage Menopausal Symptoms

1952887_sI don’t know about you, but menopause arrived in my life when I wasn’t paying attention and it came in great, arcing swirls of confusing symptoms, that ebbed and flowed in an annoyingly unpredictable fashion. In my forties, I was blissfully unaware that the night sweats I was experiencing was actually peri-menopause. Furthermore, moodiness and irritability were a part of my very nature, that I blamed when I could on PMS. And weight gain? Another life long problem. So, really, how was I supposed to know, not only what was happening, but what to do about it?

Getting a Handle on Menopause

By the time I reached fifty, I was more on top of things and very proud of the fact that I was being pro-active about my health and my symptoms. My mother not only had been utterly clueless during her menopausal years, but wild and crazy, in a very reserved sort of way. The bottom line is that I didn’t learn a thing from her about how to manage my symptoms, but I did learn from reflecting on her behavior, talking to my sisters about their experiences, and comparing notes on general family trends. We all shared similar characteristics to one degree or another, and that may be true for you as well.

Talk to Your Female Relatives

Talking to your female family members can provide you with a great resource. It may help you, not only to identify confusing symptoms, but to be more accepting of some of the emotional aspects that go along with hormonal fluctuations.  My two older sisters and I discussed treatments and self-care methods that each of us had tried enabling us to zero in on a solution more quickly. Chances are good that if something worked for your sister or your mother, it will work for you. Friends can help, but not with genetics.

How Are You Coping with Menopausal Symptoms?

Menopause is different for everyone. For some, it is predicable and manageable, but for  women like me, it’s hard to pin down the symptoms and it is a challenge to manage them. Thanks to the increased conversation and growing awareness of menopausal symptoms and treatments, there is more information and alternative treatments available to us than there was for our mothers. Being aware is the first step toward finding the right treatment regimen.

HRT vs. Natural Treatment Plans

Many women are choosing to avoid HRT therapy, preferring a more natural route that includes changes to our diet, increased exercise and the use of natural supplements.  I did a little of everything, leaning heavily in the natural direction. Choosing a supplement or a treatment plan depends on  your goals  and how much discomfort you are willing to tolerate. There are wonderful new natural products available now, that were only beginning to come on the market when I began my journey through the menopausal years. Estroven is a product that I used when I was experimenting with treatment options, and one that I found very helpful. It has come a long way in recent years, now offering a line of products for specific symptoms. They even have a product to help manage weight gain. Supplements, changes in your diet and exercise can help smooth out the waves of your menopausal symptoms and help our bodies  regulate our weight,cope with hot flashes and mood swings. Thumb_a0b1506a-101c-11e3-8b77-22000afd2dc7 September is Menopause Awareness Month. To help prepare for menopause, check out Estroven’s website to browse their product suite as well as tips and tricks for managing the good, the bad, and the sweaty! This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Estroven. The opinions and text are all mine.

Four Cheese Ziti Marinara by Healthy Choice – A Review

Four Cheese Ziti Marinara by Healthy Choice – A Review

I had the opportunity to sample a Healthy Choice Baked Entree last night, thanks to Vibrant Nation and being a part of the Vibrant Nation Influencer Network. Somehow they discovered that I love to give my opinion on products and even fill out surveys now and again for free. It gives me a sense of power in an environment where I continually feel powerless – the grocery store!

I love Italian food of all kind so, I chose Four Cheese Ziti Marinara. Looks yummy, doesn’t it?


All frozen dinners are microwaveable these days and this was no exception. I was thrilled to have something quick and easy to cook for dinner, because I was on my own. I popped it in the microwave per the instructions and then on a plate. The weight loss pundits always tell you to make sure your food looks attractive and appetizing; that the experience of eating is important to feeling satisfied; so I pulled out one of my favorite plates, added what was left of my spinach salad from lunch, and scooped the Ziti onto the plate. I poured myself a glass of Merlot and headed to the deck to enjoy my meal outside on a rare cool and dry evening.

As I munched away, all I could think of was how far frozen meals have come since the last time I ate one. It’s reassuring to someone like me, who hates to count calories and hates to cook, to have a healthy, easy-to-prepare meal ready to eat in a flash. It takes all the guess work and hassle out of eating healthy.  Plus, I had Healthy Choice Greek Frozen Yogurt waiting for me in the freezer for dessert. I enjoyed the meal from beginning to end. Thank you Vibrant Nation and Healthy Choice for inviting me to dinner!

If you would like to try any of the many new Healthy Choice Baked Entrees or Greek Frozen Yogurt, you will find money saving coupons from Healthy Choice by following this link:HealthyChoiceVNOffiers

DISCLOSURE: As a participating member  in the Vibrant Influencer Network Healthy Choice campaign, I have been provided with free products and remuneration in exchange for my honest opinions about the products. All opinions are my own and were not influenced, nor reviewed, by Healthy Choice prior to posting. DS




Are You Hooked on Ice Cream? A Healthy Choice

Crustless Chicken Pot Pie – Remember When We Used to Eat Chicken Pot Pie?



Learn to Listen to Your Heart

Learn to Listen to Your Heart

DS quoteOne of the most important things we can do to create change in our lives, at midlife and beyond, is to learn to listen to our hearts. I paid lip service to this idea for years. I thought I was listening to myself, but I came to realize that I had so many complex messages running around in my head that I couldn’t even begin to hear my heart’s directives.  Most of the noise going on inside of me didn’t even originate from me. Little by little, day by day, through discipline and effort I was able to untangle the mess that lived inside of me and cluttered my decision making process and generally wreaked havoc with my life. Your head and heart may not be disconnected the way mine was, but if you’re struggling to make decisions, yearning to follow your heart’s desire but don’t know what that is, or live under a cloud of unhappiness, you can not only change, but find all the answers you need right inside of you.

STEP 1: Tune in to you.

Begin by slowing down, even if only for five or ten minutes a day. Create space in your day to do absolutely nothing. Use this time to relax and tune in to what’s going on inside of you. Pay attention to what thoughts go through your mind, what feelings you are feeling and where in your body you feel them. Don’t try to solve any problems or make any decisions, just notice and name what you are experiencing and let it go. Do this every day if you can or at least several times a week. When the fifteen minutes are up you may want to write down your observations.

Step 2: Identify the voices in your head.

By the time we reach 40, 50 or 60 years of age, we have such an assortment of voices in our heads we may have lost touch with which one is actually our own. We may think we are doing what we “want” to do, but we may actually be following the dictates of the culture, our parents, our friends, our spouse, and even our children. From little day to day decisions, to major, life changing decisions, do you know who is in charge of your life? Do you know who is actually making your decisions and what is behind them?  As you continue a practice of tuning in, you will begin to recognize certain patterns of thought. Some you will be able to identify as clearly your own, others will likely be messages you heard from your parents and significant others. When you recognize a thought that is not your own, make a note of it. Later ask yourself, “is this something I believe?” or “is it just something I think I’m supposed to believe?” This time around, you get to choose which values and beliefs you will hold on to and which you will eliminate.

Step 3: Listen for your inner voice.

As you begin to eliminate the thoughts that are tied to beliefs that are not your own, your true inner voice will become stronger. The more often you are able to say, “yes, that is my true voice. That is a message from my inner most self,” the stronger you will become anchored in the real you.

© Dorothy Sander 2013



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