Author: Dorothy Sander

Writer.
MOTHER OF THE GROOM

MOTHER OF THE GROOM

mother of the groom cartoonA year ago May, the opportunity arose for me to step into the shoes of the “mother of the groom”. Up until the day I started shopping, I assumed I was too young to play that role! When I began searching for something suitable to wear, I was stymied. Nothing I saw reflected me! They styles were all too old fashioned, too “mother of the bride”, too something my mother would wear!

Clearly I was out of touch with reality.  I was, in fact, ten years older than the bride’s parents! I was the right age for a mother of the groom, and in some cases the grandmother of the groom!  Still, shopping for a dress stirred up a hornet’s nest of conflict. Who was I? Suddenly, a fun and exciting process was morphing into a nightmare of epic proportions, and it was all going on inside of me! (Well, except the part the spilled out on my husband, poor man. I am so blessed.)

EXCITEMENT TURNED TUMULTUOUS

I was blissfully happy and over the top excited about the wedding until the day arrived when I had to decide what to wear, and  I was not loving the unresolved issue  I was facing.  After several tumultuous and agonizing weeks, I began to wake up to the unresolved issues beneath this simple decision. It was not about the choice of a dress at all. (I know you know that!)

Unable to step back from the situation, I could not love the questions and embrace the process of discovery. Instead, I went to war with myself. Precipitated by a family gathering, old conflicts brought my tribal insecurities to the surface. I didn’t like it one bit, but it was exactly what I needed. My goal was to show up as my authentic self, and this is what was required.

So I began to slow things down.  I took time to breathe and meditate, and to live with the unanswered questions.  I let go of my need to know the answers before I even knew the questions. The cause of my conflict slowly rose to the surface.

EXPECTATIONS OF THE MOTHER OF THE GROOM

I was not looking for a dress, I was looking for an expression of my authentic self.  Conflict arose because I was unconsciously trying to live up to the expectations of my childhood tribe. And, they were in conflict with who I am now.  The intensity caught me off guard, but it was a new opportunity for growth and self-actualization.  Even though I believed these issues were resolved, another layer was about to be peeled away.

Choosing a dress for my son’s wedding was a much bigger decision than I understood at first. The decision was a symbolic one, an act of self-expression and an excellent opportunity for me to bring forth another piece of myself.  In order to show up as myself, it was necessary to dispense with any concern I had, both conscious and unconscious, of what I believed others expected of me.  This included, most especially, my big sister and my deceased mother! That’s where the real healing needed to take place.

REDUCE RESISTANCE

Mother of the Groom
Much ado about nothing. . . on the outside!

As I reduced my resistance, the details of the conflict became clearer and my choice of a dress was then a breeze! I knew exactly what I wanted, I just had to let go of all the history that was keeping me locked in indecision. What I chose was not what either my mother or sister would have chosen. It was not what I had perceived initially as appropriate attire for the “mother of the groom”.   What I chose, however, was exactly what I wanted to wear. Poof. The conflict vanished!

I walked out of the store giggling with self-satisfaction, dress slung over my shoulder. I truly did not care what anyone thought of my decision. To me this was proof positive that I had made the right decision and had chosen from the very center of me. It was a lovely feeling and one that continues to bear fruit. Resolving conflicts such as the one that still lived in me prior to this time, doesn’t just make a dress buying decision easier, it gives us back a piece of ourselves. And, it’s ours to keep.

Each time we make a choice from our authentic self we take a step toward inner peace. It is not the absence of problems, but the growing ability to trust the process and our inner guidance with each challenge we face.  Being patient with the process of self-discovery is essential when traveling the path of authentic living. We will never resolve all of our issues, but what we can learn to love the questions and trust the process a little more each day.

Dorothy Sander © 2016

 

Dare to Dream Another Dream

Dare to Dream Another Dream

Will you dare to dream another dream? 

I meet women over 50 everyday who are dreaming big. They are changing their lives, and perhaps more importantly, they are changing the

dare to dream
“The Old Astronomer”
Artist: Charlie Bowater

way they look at life. It’s exciting, and, it energizes everyone around them.  Letting go of regrets and expectations, they are grabbing onto to the moment with a different kind of enthusiasm than they had when they were young. Now, their enthusiasm is tempered with wisdom and experience.

I’ve experienced this feeling and it’s amazing. It doesn’t happen every day for any of us, but even just once in a while is enough to keep me going.

When my kids left for college I decided I needed, no wanted, to make significant changes in my life. Up until that point, I was driven by the desire to meet the needs of my children and family. I spent most of my life in hyper-put-everyone-else-first mode – you know the one that seems to have taken over the psyche of women of our generation?

NURTURE YOUR DREAMS

Nurturing and watching over the less able is hardwired into our DNA as women. And as the expression goes, it’s a blessing and a curse. The problem for me has been that this mindset can become ones whole identity. Then, we tend to forget, or shove aside, other aspects of our personalities, abilities and interests.  Boomer women who chose the career track , some with children and some without, are telling me that they have come to realize that there’s more to life than achieving and being successful and they have gone to work realigning their lives with a fuller version of themselves.

Women over 50 are taking advantage of the opportunities allotted them via that better health and longevity and writing a new chapter in their lives. We forget that is also a new chapter in history. Women are starting second careers, traveling, giving back to the world in whatever way their essential selves are calling them to do.  Jan, at 50, started a home care business in Knoxville, TN. She saw a need and decided to fill it. Mary sold everything she owned and moved to a farm where she is living a simpler, more fulfilling life. I left our family business and began to write full-time. The sky is the limit for anyone who is willing to take a risk and follow their dreams. Will it be perfect? Nothing ever is, but it is always an adventure.


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COME HOME TO YOUR SOUL SELF

COME HOME TO YOUR SOUL SELF

soul self
Night of the Mystic by Freydoon Rassouli, an Iranian-Born, American abstract surrealist and visionary artist and author.

When the world knocks you about and you feel as though you’re living in a foreign land, come home to your soul self.  It is always there, waiting for you.  You will recognize it as the place inside of you that is safe, familiar, and always sane. We all have this place . . . the core, essential, authentic place in our being.

Painful, difficult, mind-boggling events happen in our world every day.  We are shocked, dismayed, angry, disoriented confused, and afraid.  What happened to the world we once knew? we say to ourselves. Innocence lost. We do not know where or how to ground ourselves. This experience is trauma. An experience that our mind can not make sense of throws our psyche into disarray. This is the definition of trauma.

OPPORTUNITY AWAITS US

The events we experience in life, no matter how confusing or alarming, always offer us an opportunity. They elicit powerful questions when we dare to listen for them. The question that most often arises is “why is this happening to me”.  This is a trick question to divert our attention from the harder questions. It is one that has no answer but will waste our time and drive ourselves crazy as we struggle to answer it.

When we look beneath the why question, we come to the how and what questions, and the answers that will bring us home to our soul self.  For example, when we ask, “How am I to understand what is happening to me in a larger context?” or, “What can I learn about who I am and my place in the world from this experience?”, we are heading in the right direction.

Will I dwell in anger, or, live in fear? Or, will I look for the cosmic meaning and purpose for myself and the world? Will I give in to victimhood, or will I go inward and forward, by building trust and deeper, more honest connections? When we look for the choice point in this way, we are driven to ask more difficult and more important questions. Then, we offered a choice.

some home to your soul self

Each and every time we reach a choice point while taking time to listen to our inner guidance we have the opportunity to choose. Our choosing and acting upon our choice not only strengthens us but anchors us more profoundly in our soul self.  When we spend life skimming the surface, afraid to ask what we believe, instead only asking what we “think” we miss out on the vastness and the mystery that is awaiting us. It is only our fear that holds us hostage – our fear of emptiness, void, silence, nothingness, annihilation. Only… fear. Not reality. HOPE is always ours for the asking.


HEMP OIL – Is it Good for You?

HEMP OIL – Is it Good for You?

Hemp oil is all the rage these days. It seems it’s the latest best new thing for our health. When I was asked to review a hemp oil product I Hemp Oilhesitated.  I’m a bit of a late comer to whole foods and natural remedies. From a philosophical standpoint I’m always open to new ideas and an ever-expanding view of life, but when it comes to ingesting things I don’t understand I fall back on my upbringing.  My English mother made it abundantly clear to her five children that the only things worth ingesting were meat, vegetables and potatoes, in small amounts three times a day. She’d throw in a multi-vitamin on occasion for good measure. It served me well in the psycho-tropic drug era, but things have changed.

Modern medicine failed me one too many times and a complex world left me searching for better solutions to my health concerns. No more would a pat on the head and a prescription from my doctor serve me.  Little by little, I stuck my toe in the waters of “natural” remedies. Fortunately, I had a willing and very patient guide, and my outlook has forever changed.  So here I am facing down Hemp oil, wondering if I dare. After all, it has cannabinoids on the label. Sounds suspiciously like marajahooch, and I’m too old for that stuff! But, I decided to take the risk because if it does what they say it does, I’m in!

First of all, Hemp oil does not contain THC, the stuff in marijuana that some of us once found so appealing. In fact, it’s a slightly different plant, as you will see in the graphic to the right. So rest easy and read on.

HERE’S WHAT’S GOOD ABOUT HEMP OIL

Hemp Oil in Your Diet

Hemp Oil Receptra PrimeHemp oil, a vegetable oil, is derived from hemp seeds. Low in saturated fats, it is high in antioxidants. Added to your diet it naturally addresses muscle and joint pain and arthritis by reducing inflammation. In addition it reduces the risk of heart disease, cancer and blood clots, according to the “Journal of Nutraceuticals Functional and Medicinal Foods”

According to RECEPTRA  who sent me the sample, “Research is surfacing that shows hemp oil’s antioxidant content is ideal for removing toxins from the body that cause inflammation. Inflammation, “a silent killer”, can lead to muscle and joint pain as well as a variety of other diseases and conditions. Using Hemp CBD Oil, like Receptra Naturals, is a great way to battle the complications of inflammation-causing toxins, as well as potentially prevent its/their existence entirely.”

Not all Hemp oil manufacturers are equal. Across the board, Receptra received high marks. Cannainside reports: “Unlike many of the brands out there that claim to test their oils, Receptra Naturals uses a third-party laboratory to test their products and post the results online. Yes, you can go to their website, identify the batch of your product, and view potency, mold, and heavy metal lab results. Isn’t it about time the rest of the industry catch up?”  See more reviews below.

Hemp Oil for Your Skin

The sample I received from RECEPTRA is a dietary supplement, but Hemp oil is also great for the skin. Hemp oil skin products can be used to alleviate dry skin. Rub it directly on dry or cracked areas. Use it on hands, feet, cuticles, nails and to remove makeup. It’s also used to condition hair, reduce acne and eczema. Research has found it to be an effective treatment for atopic dermatitis as well.

MY EXPERIENCE with RECEPTRA PRIME Hemp Oil

I’ve only been using it a week but so far it’s a painless process. Whenever I start something new, I start out very slowly. The directions say to use a full dropper 2 to 3 times a day. I started with 1/2 dropper once a day, and am now taking a full dropper once a day. I started it with plenty of aches and pains so if it helps I will be sure to let you know!

What natural remedies do you use?

 


Receptra Naturals Review

Receptra Naturals Review: Pure Hemp Extracts for an Active Lifestyle

 


 

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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Receptra Naturals. The opinions and text are all mine.

We Start With Suffering, Then We Turn the Page

We Start With Suffering, Then We Turn the Page

Suffering is just the jumping off point. It is the kick in the butt to do something different. We hurt. It motivates us to look for ways to relieve our suffering. We don’t always choose the best fixes. Some are dead ends. Others, however, lead us to places we never imagined going. Surprises await us at every turn. Miracles are born. Veils are lifted. Our sorrow grows into purpose and a broadening of our perspective. We discover there is more buried within than we ever knew. This is the miracle of transformation.

Suffering to Transformation

Yesterday, I read a post by author/memoirist/blogger/writer/friend, contributor to Voices of Wisdom series, Kathy Pooler. The title captured my attention when it appeared on my Facebook page buried among the endless political posts and a reminders of the recent act of terrorism. Turning the Page: A Memoir Moment smacked of hope, at least for me.

TURN THE PAGE

Suffering turn page“Turn the page” became my mantra not all that long ago, when I was at a crisis point in my life. While listening to REO Speedwagon’s song Roll with the Changes on headphones, hoofing it on a health club treadmill, I decided to face my fears and do what I always wanted to do — write. It was time to make some serious changes in my life and each time I heard “So if you’re tired of the same old story, Oh, turn some pages”, I knew I had to accept things I didn’t want to accept and move forward. It was a call to loosen my grip, let the winds of fate take me somewhere unexpected and to risk the journey.

There are things in life we can not change. The past for one. Physical disabilities for another. But, it doesn’t have to be the end of the story.  In fact, it can be the very beginning of a new adventure. Kathy describes with depth of experience and understanding her journey to acceptance and it is more than clear to the reader how much richer her life will be because of it.

We have limitations. But, they need not break us or ruin our lives.  We may start with suffering, but we can end with transformation.


HOPE MATTERS

Finding Hope quotes

Earth Day ~ “It’s Not Nice to Fool with Mother Nature” ~ #ScienceMarch

Earth Day ~ “It’s Not Nice to Fool with Mother Nature” ~ #ScienceMarch

Earth
Click on photo to watch video on YouTube

Earth Day brought this infamous quote to mind today. Do you remember the old Chiffon Margarine commercial famous for the one liner, “It’s not nice to fool with mother nature!”? Of course you do! The actress Dena Dietrich delivered her lines with such style they lasted longer than the commercial, or the margarine!  A classic commercial, you can still hear the one liner spoken today, at least by our generation!

These are crazy times. It’s a pleasure to escape back in time for a moment and revisit simpler times. Old movies, classic music, and even commercials remind us of simpler times when our world seemed safer.  Back then we weren’t afraid to eat Chiffon Margarine or drink out of a hose.  Drug stores did not sit on every corner and we didn’t even consider that the food our parents served us might be harmful to us.  Most of us grew up in a world in which a visit to church or synagogue was a part of week.

THE GIFT OF THE EARTH

earthRomping in the woods was a natural part of my life as a child, and Earth Day gives me an opportunity every year to reflect on the value of the natural world. For me, it’s not just about global warming and National Parks, although it is that, it’s about the restorative life energy nature gives to each of us when we seek it out.  It’s the interior value of a walk in the woods, or watching a sunset or the waves as they crash on the shore. There’s nothing else like it.

I can easily imagine life without Chiffon Margarine, which had a long an interesting history. It seems those who created it first began selling it in 1954. A corn product out of Texas, it was the first soft tub margarine to come on the market.  My family used it, did yours? I never liked the taste. Butter was infinitely better in all respects.

Chiffon Margarine sold to Kraft in 1985 which became a part of Nabisco in 1995, and then became a part of Con-Agra in 1998. Con-Agra stopped distributing Chiffon in the United States and Canada in 2002. It can still, however, be purchased in the Caribbean. (Wikipedia) So went the fate of Chiffon Margarine. We are healthier for its absence from our diet, that is, if we ignore the rise of fast food restaurants and snack foods!

THE GIFT OF SCIENCE

The events that gave rise to the Science March on Earth Day this year have given us  an opportunity to reflect on what really is good for us, as individuals and as a nation. Like the earth, we have taken so much for granted in our lifetime. We were so busy with our lives we lost sight of the bigger picture. It wasn’t that we weren’t doing our best and contributing to the betterment of our corner of the world, we just became a little too self-focused.

We’re a nation of individualists. That has its advantages. The disadvantage, however, is the tendency to believe that everyone else thinks like we do, and that everyone else’s life is like ours. Being self-focused may get things done day-to-day. It doesn’t mean things will continue as they are in the world unattended to. We became so accustomed to our government watching our backs about everything, from the quality of our food to the quality of our earth. We trusted them implicitly. There didn’t seem to be any reason not to. After all, the government managed to impeach Nixon when he crossed the line. They generally know what they’re doing. They will keep building National Parks, and maintaining our highways, and protecting the environment from big business.

The upside of the political nightmare is that we are now taking the time to revisit our values as a nation, to remember and restate exactly what it is we stand for.  We had forgotten who we were. Complacency had taken up residence.  So lost in the minutiae at election time, we stopped paying attention to whether or not the people we elected shared our deepest values. Furthermore, we assumed that we were all, more or less, on the same page, but without open dialogue and communication we can’t know this for sure.

POLITICS & MARRIAGE

Our political world is much like a marriage. Communication is foundational and without it, problems will and do arise. It is time for us to collectively restate our values, beliefs and goals as a nation. Only then can we unify, stand together and work together to keep this country great. It’s up to us. It’s not just up to our leaders. So I say march on scientists! March on women! I am thrilled you actively voice your values, not only to the listening ears of our leaders, but to the people who elect them.  The majority of us are cheering you on and stand to benefit from your tireless efforts to make the world a better place.

The earth is a gift. Science is a gift. Freedom is a gift. Let’s never forget it, and let us continue be vigilant and stay informed. As we work together to get our already great nation back on track, know that we are becoming stronger than we were before.


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