Month: October 2016

Lessons In Letting Go & Finding Balance with Sora Garrett

Lessons In Letting Go & Finding Balance with Sora Garrett

Learning to find our balance again and again, is a valuable skill we practice as we navigate life’s challenges. This is especially true during the midlife years when a plethora of destabilizing happenings beset many of us. The blessing that is born as a result of our hard work is multifaceted. Sora Garret joins us today as the final guest in this segment of The Voices of Wisdom Series. In her article she describes this practice beautifully. Sora is a gifted writer with a gentle spirit whose valuable message comes through loud and clear . . .  Be sure to visit her website and check out her books.

Midlife Reflections on Balance, Menopause & the Joy of Being

Sora Garrett

Letting go
Sora Garrett

I’m turning 50 this year, the foundations of my life solid around me, wisdom woven deep from the rich tapestry of a half century of living. Some days I revel in this feel of solidity—the comfort & freedom it brings. Other days I am cast as water, floating in the elusive nature of things and wondering what I am to do with myself now that I’ve reached so many of my dreams.

Most of my life I’ve found fulfillment through action, the fulcrum of my life based in doing. Finding balance meant stealing time for myself so that I could keep functioning as a working-volunteering mother-wife-friend-entrepreneur.

Balance was also a journey of taking myself to the extremes, testing boundaries, exploring edges to find where I belonged so I could be really happy. My outer life was in well-juggled balance. My inner life was not.

A LESSON IN LETTING GO

Eventually life crashed in around me, literally, and forced me to listen. After a major ski wreck gave me a concussion, I slowed down for a few months. The following year…different wreck, same concussion. Only this time I listened more deeply and finally ended a business partnership that was falling apart at the seams.

It was a huge lesson in letting go, and one that started me on the most amazing adventure of my life—the journey into my essential self.

I’m at least part way there, and the dance of balance is different now, though still illusive. There is less I have to do and more I want to give.

While I still have tendencies to over-do, my evolving spiritual practice keeps me well-watered and connected to my inner being. I really know what it is to overflow with giving that comes from a sincere desire to share. These days, I’m pulled (not pushed) to explore my edges so I can stay fresh & awake to wonder.

FINDING BALANCELetting Go

Rather than looking for some miracle balance point that will bring happiness, I’ve learned to shift my balance in the moment as life blossoms around me.

When I engage gracefully in this life-dance, I find a joy of being that is more fulfilling than any accomplished goal or conquered dream. And as I learn to say no to my habits of over-doing, my soul leads me to give in ever more satisfying ways.

Except there’s this one little thing: my changing body is betraying me.

Some days, I barely know myself, the heavy-fuzzy symptoms of menopause casting a dullness over my otherwise radiant world. More sensitive to almost everything, my physical balance point has become so narrow that I keep falling off. And, some days, nothing I do seems to help.

So I just keep doing what I can, showing up as authentically as I know how, and creating new rituals to support the physical changes as they come. My body has become a new learning edge that is inspiring me to pay attention more closely than ever before…to practice a new dance that will serve me as I enter this next new phase of my life.

TUNE IN TO THE SIMPLE JOYS OF BEING

I’ve discovered that even in the midst of the physical or emotional pain, when I tune to the simple joys of being…walking in the snow, getting kisses from my dogs or hugs from my family, drinking in a most amazing sunset, connecting with a friend, sitting by the fire…my balance is restored, at least for the moment.

And I’m learning that sometimes doing nothing is the best way to keep giving.

MORE from VOICES OF WOMEN

 


Sora Garrett is an author, mentor & life simplification guide who just turned sixty. She wrote this article ten years ago and is amazed at how relevant it still is today. While she no longer experiences the intense symptoms of menopause, her highly sensitive nature has given her a gift for helping women s l o w – d o w n to create lives of ease, joy and overflow.

With her FlowLiving® Mentoring programs, Sora will help you embrace the miraculous and find calm in chaos as you create more space in all areas of your life. Schedule a free illumination session, enroll in a mentoring circle, and find her books & blog @ SoraGarrett.com

SORA’S BOOKS

The Miracle Keys: A Conversation with an Angel

Silent Grace: A Celebration (poetry)

Coming Soon: Ignite Your Inner Star: a discovery guide & playbook for creating your most Radiant Life.


 

“SOMEDAY” IS TODAY with Sunny Lockwood

“SOMEDAY” IS TODAY with Sunny Lockwood

“Someday” begins with a day just like today.

No one knows this better than Sunny Lockwood. This morning I”m happy to introduce you to Sunny  in The Voices of Wisdom series. Sunny reached out to me and said she thought Aging Abundantly readers might be interested in her story. I agreed! I hope it is as much of an inspiration to you as is was to me. There is no time like the present to live the life we’ve always dreamed of living. It can begin today. After all someday is just a day like today.

Al & Sunny Lockwood
Al & Sunny Lockwood

 

My husband and I have always been sort of workaholics. Like others with fulfilling lives, we dreamed of things we’d like to do someday (perhaps when we were older and life had slowed down a little).However, on a Sunday evening in July in 2012, as we waited at a red light, our life changed dramatically.

It was a perfect evening. The blue sky held a golden sunset glow. We’d been to the beach earlier and the pounding surf still filled our heads as we waited for the light to change.

Suddenly,  a texting driver slammed full speed (60 mph) into us, totaling both cars in an explosion of glass and metal. I’ll never forget the grinding, screaming metal as her SUV tore through the back end and then the side of our Toyota Carolla. Although seatbelted, we were tossed about as our car crumpled.

Both vehicles were totaled. Fortunately, we suffered no broken bones. But we were bruised and banged up, and our summer was ruined as our days filled with doctor appointments, wrangling with insurance companies and trying to find a replacement car.

We ached for weeks.

I complained loudly about drivers who fool with their phones, wishing I could get them all arrested and thrown in jail.

But my ranting gave way to the awareness of how lucky we were to be alive.

If we had not been wearing seat belts. If our airbags had not inflated.  So many ifs. Yet, here we were. Alive.

The realization that life is fragile and brief changed our lives. It woke us up.

We realized anew how all the little gifts we take for granted — the sweet fragrance of roses or lilacs, the welcome chill of ice cream on a hot day, the comfort of prayer, the pleasure of a kitten’s purring, the delicious smell of newly cut grass or fresh-brewed coffee — all these everyday blessings can be snatched away in a moment.

You can be doing nothing more risky than sitting at a red light, and the next moment you could be hooked up to monitors in a hospital, or lying cold in a morgue.

Everyone knows the truth that life is temporary. But until we take that truth seriously it’s just a distant theory as we rush through our busy days.

Al and I suddenly took that truth to heart. As we focused on how lucky we were that the wreck didn’t kill us,  we decided to start doing some of the things we’d dreamed of doing. It’s not like we had great life goals we’d been putting off. But we both enjoy travel, love seeing what’s over the next hill or around the next curve in the road.  We’d camped up and down the west coast.

And for years we’d toyed with the idea of taking longer trips, perhaps a cruise to somewhere interesting. But we’d talked about such travel in a dreamy, someday sort of way.

Now, feeling grateful to be alive and whole, we decided to actually take part in that “someday” travel.

First on the bucket list was a cruise through the Panama Canal. Al is a retired engineer, and he’d dreamed of going through the canal (one of the greatest engineering feats of the 20th century) since he was a child.

Online research revealed a 17-day cruise through the canal that we could afford and we signed up. The trip from San Francisco to Fort Lauderdale was fantastic.

Traversing the famous canal from the Pacific to the Atlantic in the same way ships have been traversing since 1904 was a thrill beyond compare.  The trip was so amazing that we actually wrote a book about it: Cruising Panama’s Canal, savoring 5,000 nautical miles and 500,000 decadent calories.

So what began as a dream come true trip, grew into a writing/publishing venture.Today is Someday

Cruising Panama’s Canal was named an Amazon #1 best seller in 2014 and continues to sell in both paperback and ebook formats at Amazon.com

Since that first cruise, we’ve taken other wonderful trips and have written three more travel memoirs.

One of our books, Cruising the Mediterranean, was named an Amazon best seller in two categories: Senior Travel and Venice Guidebooks and Travelogues.

Readers from around the world have written that they love our books. We’ve been asked to talk about our travels at retirement communities, senior centers, book stores and service clubs.

Making our travel dreams come true has been fascinating and fulfilling. It has led to new endeavors — writing our travel memoirs, speaking about our travels. And our adventure continues as we schedule more trips and write about them.

We write to encourage others. Everyone carries dreams within their hearts. The dreams may be small or large, but often they remain Someday is Todaylodged inside. Al and I want to encourage readers to grasp those dreams and make them come true.

Whether it’s earning a college degree, or traveling to a far away place, we encourage you to do it. Do it now, while you can. Tomorrow is not promised.

Believe me when I say that making a dream come true is deeply rewarding. How satisfying it is to achieve something you’ve always dreamed about. That accomplishment comes with enriching memories and stories to share. And you can never tell where your dream will take you.

Ours has taken us on cruises and tours, to book stores, libraries and travel clubs. It has enlarged and enriched our life as we’ve shared our travels through our books and presentations.

Who knows where you’re dream will take you?

A few photos from our trips:

Someday is Today
Venice’s Grand Canal was a busy and beautiful highway.
Someday is Today
he Parthenon in Athens, Greece, was spectacular.

Today is Someday
We stayed in a small hotel close to the Rialto Bridge.
Someday is Today
One of the many stunning sights in Istanbul.

 

SUNNY LOCKWOOD has been a newspaper editor, magazine editor, daily newspaper reporter and newspaper columnist. She holds degrees from San Jose State University and Santa Clara University.

AL LOCKWOOD is a retired electrical/mechanical engineer. He is a fine art film photographer, a ham radio operator and an enthusiastic traveler. The sweet photograph of Sunny & Al, at the top of the page, was taken in an Athens coffee shop in 2014. Al and Sunny had ducked inside to escape a sudden downpour.

Visit Sunny’s website 

Connect with her on Facebook.


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