Month: September 2015

When Plans Change – And, they always do!

When Plans Change – And, they always do!

I have been on the road for over a week experiencing vistas far beyond my imaginings. Sure, I’ve seen pictures of such sights, but the reality is grander, more heart and soul-stirring than a picture can ever convey. (I’ve snapped a few thousand myself!) What I’ve seen and experienced has put me on sensory overload, and today I’ve shut it all down in order to rest and re-group.

Windmills
Windmill farms have erupted all across Kansas since I traveled that way 10 years ago. Landscape has been completely changed.

Our initial plan was to end our journey at the Grand Canyon before turning around and heading home. We are currently in Durango, CO. Yesterday, we visited Mesa Verde and last night we hit a wall. We’ve driven 2,500 miles and have that much more to drive. So, our plans are changing.

I’d love to go the distance, but we aren’t as young as we used to be. I also long to immerse myself more slowly in my surroundings…to really experience what I am experiencing. I’ve barely acclimated to the altitude and climate change, let alone taken in all there is to take in.

If I were twenty, or thirty, or even forty I’d turn around without hesitation. But, I’m 64 and life and finances being what they are, envisioning another trip seems harder to do. Even as time seems to go more quickly, doing things seems to take longer. The combination makes long-term planning harder to do!

Garden of the Gods
Garden of the Gods Colorado Springs, CO

Today, I am feeling sorrow for what won’t be this time around; frustration for needing to wait; awareness that I have limitations; deep gratitude for what I have already been able to see and an awareness that I have finally learned to accept when enough is enough.

I’m promising myself a trip to the Grand Canyon by air — and plan to put the hard work into this promise to make it happen. Still, there is the recognition that life is just like this. It’s not perfection. We will never get to do, or see, or be all we want to do, or be, or see, and we must never stop trying and dreaming. Allowing ourselves to hope and be propelled toward something of value has its value. It keeps us living and immersed in life.

1-IMG_2508Sometimes we have to wait. Sometimes we have to rest. Sometimes we have to heal. Sometimes we are in an in-between time when we are uncertain of what is next.  We may not know the reason or purpose for the waiting, or even know what it fully means to move forward.  That’s just the way reality is constructed. Choosing to accept what is…leaning into the waiting instead of fighting it or wishing things were different, frees our energy for the present.  I’ve waited 64 years to make this trip. We’ve talked about traveling across the country to see the Grand Canyon since before our children were born. We may hate that we are being sidelined, but everything is exactly as it should be today. We really don’t know what tomorrow will bring.

Buddhist TraditionLife interrupts our plans all the time, by accidents, illnesses, and circumstances beyond our control.  When we are sidelined, for whatever reason, our job is to tune into the guidance, the lessons, the messages that are being given to us in this moment. When we tune into what our body, mind and spirit we will begin to see where our attention is needed.  The down times, the sidelined times, while frustrating and often painful, are more often than not the times when we learn the most. Most importantly, the outcome is often not the disaster we envision. Even when things look the bleakest to us, vast opportunity exists for an outcome we can’t even imagine, one that may be far superior to what our mind chatter likes to tell us.

As with all things, life is a question of balance, and sometimes we need a kick in the butt to get things back in balance.

I was reminded today of this beautiful prayer by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ.


Patient Trust

Above all, trust in the slow work of God.
We are quite naturally impatient in everything
to reach the end without delay.
We should like to skip the intermediate stages.
We are impatient of being on the way to something
unknown, something new.
And yet it is the law of all progress
that it is made by passing through
some stages of instability—
and that it may take a very long time.

And so I think it is with you;
your ideas mature gradually—let them grow,
let them shape themselves, without undue haste.
Don’t try to force them on,
as though you could be today what time
(that is to say, grace and circumstances
acting on your own good will)
will make of you tomorrow.

Only God could say what this new spirit
gradually forming within you will be.
Give Our Lord the benefit of believing
that his hand is leading you,
and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself
in suspense and incomplete.

—Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ
excerpted from Hearts on Fire

– See more at: http://www.ignatianspirituality.com/8078/prayer-of-theilhard-de-chardin#sthash.Q3INg6lS.dpuf

 

Women Stylin’ At Every Age

Women Stylin’ At Every Age

872d92d844a37a5f642ca43d8275024bI was having breakfast this morning in downtown Kansas City, Missouri with my two sons and their girlfriends. They took us to this great little French restaurant that was rumored to have to-die-for pastries and coffee. Sadly, they were only serving coffee due to the holiday, but while we were waiting I saw a woman of wisdom and beauty who lit up the restaurant. White haired and slender she was dressed in bright patterned stretch pants and a colorful stylish top. She reminded me for all the world of the Advanced Style model in the photo to the left. Behind the counter was another gray-haired woman with bright purple streaks in her hair. Aging Abundantly women are not holding back when it comes to style!

Beauty, style, color, adornments, like the proud male birds that capture our attention and give flight to our imaginations, women are born with a love of beauty and being beautiful. I will never endorse or promote the altered reality of the fashion industry. I choose instead to honor the unique radiance of each individual female at any and every age; those who choose to search for inner beauty and allow it to spill over onto the canvass of their life. Some of the  most beautiful women in the world right now are doused in wrinkles and scars, and salt and pepper hair. It’s all a part of their charm, the very essence of their charisma.

Today I wish to celebrate the women digging into their souls to express beauty. Blogs and websites by the dozens are popping up all over touting style and fashion advice for the woman over forty. What I’m happy to see is the tenuous trend toward real and away from Madison Avenue fashion models, even gray-haired ones. Real is much more beautiful to me. Healthy is beautiful, regardless of size or proportion. Eyes that reach into a woman’s soul and call forth her history are beautiful. Hands decorated with age are beautiful, those filled with love and strength. As my mother lay on her deathbed at ninety-seven years her hands still pulled on my heart-strings and spoke to me of beauty, strength and love. She was a woman of grace and style, without pretense or airs. Her hands said it all.

The new Aging Abundantly woman is coming out with a more realistic approach to style and fashion. She is not buying into cultural norms and dictates, but is instead taking a stand and helping to turn the tide toward soul beauty, beauty with values, beauty with creativity, beauty with meaning and purpose.  Mrs. American Made who believes it is important to support the US economy when buying anything is a perfect example. Did you know that only 2% of the clothing sold in the U.S. is made here? I learned this stunning fact when I paid visit to Ana Bogusky’s website. 

Jody’s Touch of Style is styling “real” women in their 50’s, 60’s & 70’s. Her focus is on using what is already in our closet and finding a way to get creative with it. “How we dress echoes our visual voice!” she tells her followers. She presents her styles using three real models from three age groups, 50’s, 60’s and 70’s and you can even vote on whether or not you like the outfit she puts together for each. 

Then there is elegant Annette, who radiates style and class while sharing her personal outfits photographed in the beautiful countryside of Bavaria, Germany on her website Lady of Style. At 52 it is clear she loves a feminine, classic look and current trends. Her motto: “There is no age limit to style. Live healthy and look age-amazing!” 

A Well-Styled Life by blogger Jennifer Connolly believes “style is more than what you wear, it’s how you live your life”.  She offers plenty of shopping tips like her recent post about buying glasses online in The Modern Way to Order Glasses. Jennifer offers tips and advice for finding our inner beauty and confidence as well as our outer style. 

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Long white or silver hair is growing trend among boomers.

You may also enjoy:

Chic At any Age

40+ Style

Not Dead Yet Style

The Fabulous Journey

Fifty Not Frumpy

You may enjoy checking out these Aging Abundantly Pinterest Pages for tips and ideas:

Stylin’ Is Ageless

Beauty Is Ageless

Long Hair Styles for Women Over Fifty