Tag: accepting aging

We Have the Key

We Have the Key

 

Mountain Art
Granny Hands
Artist: Jill Pritchett
Click on image to visit her website
“So often time it happens,
we all live our life in chains,
and we never even know we have the key.”
The Eagles, Already Gone 
(Quote taken from Aging Abundantly’s A Little Book of Hope)
 

Sometimes it takes a major crisis in our lives to wake us up. Often it just takes turning fifty to realize that our youth has passed us by and it’s time to get moving, to  look at things differently. Midlife is fraught with issues of aging, as well as, external challenges and there are adjustments to be made; values to be examined; beliefs to be questioned. Enough time has passed for most things for us to look back and really evaluate our choices and to begin to see patterns in our behavior.

I read again and again, in blogs and articles written by women at midlife, about waking up to the need for change at midlife; of divorce, new careers, moving across the country, taking up a significant new hobby and more. There’s a sense of urgency, of the willingness to jump into something with both feet that seems to be driven more by fear than sense. The sense is that it is now or never to break free from the chains of our lives.

In many cases, however, it is more true that the chains have been of our own making, than the externals we view as the source of our bondage. Throwing out our husband may provide temporary relief from our unhappiness. Marriages and husbands are easy to blame for our unhappiness. We’ve had twenty or thirty years to study our mate’s problems and foibles , decades to master the blame game and to divert our attention from ourselves to them for the cause of our misery. Likewise, a job, a boss, a series of circumstances can take our attention from the true source of our freedom.

Making changes will certainly shake up the status quo, but to think these changes will bring about our freedom and happiness is delusional. Until we look inside of ourselves, the changes  we make today will always only bring us back to the unfinished business we still hold, the fears and anxieties we don’t want to face, and too the job of finding the key we hold within us.  The sooner we get down to the real business of breaking free from our false beliefs and in-congruent lifestyle, the sooner we will find true peace.

© Dorothy Sander 2013

Rediscovering Your Gifts

Rediscovering Your Gifts

personal growthWe each carry within us a treasure. Living deep inside, it is a quiet place where we can go to find our untarnished heart and a soul that is still pure. We once knew this place, our place where there is peace and understanding, wisdom and strength, though it may have slipped from our memory.

The hours, days and years that we have struggled and pushed, yearned and stretched toward something more has powered us through our lives. It is “life yearning for itself”. Our desire for something more and incessant discontent led us down many a winding path and along the way we collected bits and pieces of life’s debris.  Instead of tossing the debris aside, we often instead as packaging material to insulate us from the world.

Sometimes we build a wall of anger, of fear, or of resentment, so thick and so profound that we forget our treasure ever existed. When we feel the sting of hurt and rejection we recoil inside of ourselves and do not remember the gifts of understanding and forgiveness we once knew so keenly. The longer we live the more likely we are to have lost our connection to our treasured self, as life’s rubble piles up upon us despite our best intentions.

We may begin to feel as though we might smother, or die without meaning or purpose for having lived. We fear we may wither away into nothingness. We might feel emptiness, an overwhelming sense of loss, or confusion or an aimless uncertainty.  It is precisely these uncomfortable stirrings that are our reminders. They are prompting us to return to the treasure that was born in us so many years ago, to dig down deep inside and uncover that precious someone who still lives and holds a pure and loving heart; who knows the value of trust and forgiveness. She understands the meaning of life and the purpose of her living.

The unearthing process can be approached alone or with the assistance of a friend, a mentor, a spiritual guide, a life coach, a therapist or any of a number of other guides.  There are as many methods of personal and spiritual growth as there are individuals. Here are some of the methods I have used and found helpful:

  1. Guided imagery meditation – A guided meditation by a trained practitioner using imagery and imagination to bypass thought and ego
  2. Solitary meditation – I recommend reading Full Catastrophe Living or any of a number of Wayne Dyer’s books and audios for more information on common meditation practices.
  3. Contemplation and mindfulness
  4. Journaling
  5. Reading or listening to the writings of spiritual teachers
  6. Work with a therapist or life coach to gather some movement if you are stuck
  7. Body work – massage therapy, chiropractic treatment, deep tissue massage, exercise
  8. Self-care – Learn listen to and follow the directives of your body, mind and spirit. If you feel tired, sleep. If you feel restless, go for a walk. If you feel stressed, meditate or make an appointment for a massage. Say no to demands that are being placed on you that cause your body to constrict.

Rediscover the treasure of your heart. It is waiting.

What Does Abundance Mean to You?

What Does Abundance Mean to You?

Lavender Treasure by Artist L. Diane Johnson, a painter, instructor, author and juror, serving art collectors and artists since 1981. She was the Founding Editor and designer of the of the award-winning monthly, Plein Air Magazine, and travels the U.S. and Europe to paint live on locaton. She has authored many art articles, artist training demonstrations, and books. Visit her website by clicking on the hphoto.

What signifies abundance is unique for each individual. It depends on circumstances, frame of mind, our history, our openness to receiving and so much more.  This was brought home to me last week when I participated in a guided imagery session. It was a very interesting meditation!

As we relaxed and breathed deeply, we were invited to close our eyes and imagine ourselves walking along a path beside an ocean. It was a beautiful, relaxing, and peaceful place. As we walked along the path breathing in the salt air and listening to the sea gulls overhead we came upon a cave, hidden away in the brush. It was inviting and our curiosity drew us in. As we explored the cave we turned a corner and there, hidden out of the way was a room filled with treasure. Suddenly, surrounded by incredible abundance, our guide invited us to really take in what was there; to pick things up, look at them, feel them, etc.

Initially I saw big, beautiful treasures, gold, jewels, sports cars, and quickly I moved on to adorable little puppies, fuzzy kittens, beautiful flowers and so much more. After a time of looking and exploring and enjoying what we had discovered, we were told that all of the treasure was ours. We could take whatever we wanted with us when we left. I searched to see what treasures I could carry with me and what I chose surprised me.

First, I chose a Cocker Spaniel puppy, a happy, joyful, energetic little creature that smiled at me. Next, I chose a cute pair of shoes. Then, a beautiful shawl, a big pot of blooming hydrangeas and a needlepoint kit. I was worried that I could’t carry everything until I realized I could put on the shoes and the shawl and the puppy would follow me, running along happily beside me. When the session was over and I reflected on these items I began to understand that what I had chosen made sense. At this particular point in my life these are the things that represent abundance to me.

Reflecting on how each item made me feel pointed the way. The Cocker Spaniel puppy loved me exuberantly and freely and accepted my love with out hesitation. He represented unconditional love, something we all need. The shawl  wrapped me in its arms and filled me with feelings of warmth, comfort and security. The cute shoes made me giggle and feel happy. They represent fun and enjoyment. The beautiful, huge hydrangea blossoms inspired me. They embody inspiration. The needlepoint is structured creativity. All of these things together are what abundance means to me.

When I allow these things in my life: love, warmth, comfort, security, fun, inspiration, beauty, and creativity, I need nothing more. I am full to the brim with everything I need and more. I have more than enough. I have abundance.

I expect that at some future time, the things I choose might be quite different and I plan to visit my treasure chest now and again to see what’s there waiting for me. I invite you to do this little mediation and see you what you find in your cave of wonder. It’s a magical place. I hope you’ll pay it a visit. You don’t necessarily need a guide, just close your eyes, breathe deeply and follow your imagination where it leads.

The Gift of Presence

The Gift of Presence

As a driver, I cut my teeth on the highways and byways of metropolitan New York. Fear of speed and traffic was not a part of my lexicon. A serious car accident, however, changed all that in a flash. My sense of security and control flew right out the shattered window with the glass that sliced my hand to the bone.

I recently attempted to take the highway to a doctor’s appointment that I always took and felt like I’d been through a war by the time I arrived. Adrenaline running through my body at hyper speed, heart pounding, hands shaking I found myself sitting in the parking log completely disassociated. I had no sense of where I was or what I was supposed to be doing. My body was numb and barely a part of me.

When faced with this daunting trip again, I decided I would take the back roads to my destination. It would be worth any extra time to maintain my peace of mind. What actually occurred was even better!

The “back roads” are actually among the most beautiful roads in this part of North Carolina as they meander through the wide open, rolling farm lands. It’s quiet, peaceful and filled with natural entertainment and a blast to drive in beautiful weather in a convertible! Bending and turning and singing my way into the quaint little artistic and bustling streets of a neighboring town, I reach my destination relaxed and even on some mornings invigorated!

Today, on my way home I noticed up ahead a stopped car and what looked to be birds crossing the road. When I came a little closer what I saw was a gaggle of geese traveling very calmly and without care from the corn field on the right to the corn field on the opposite side of the street, stopping traffic in both directions. (Traffic was me and the other guy already stopped!) They just made me laugh out loud! They were so nonplussed! Enjoying the moment and indifferent to any problems they may have been causing. They reminded me of a little group of old ladies,who are so often so totally present in themselves that they are indifferent to any stressed out goings on around them. Weighted firmly in their hips, round and rolling, these geese did not care that they had enormous wings that would quickly carry quickly out-of-the-way. They were enjoying their stroll and being together. It was all that mattered.

Wise old women often carry themselves in just such a way. No longer vexed by day-to-day scurrying about, they know what’s important. They know what matters. They know that now is the moment to savor and enjoy. There is no particular place to go that is any more important that what is. What a gift! The image of these geese crossing the road will forever be an image I carry in my mind of who I want to be when I’m a “dangerous old woman”!

Chia Seeds Are Good for Damaged and Aging Skin

Chia Seeds Are Good for Damaged and Aging Skin

5 Easy Chia Seed Recipes For Fabulous Skin

by Lisa D Liguori

Chia Seeds are really good for your skin!

Do you want a simple tool in your diet that can help prevent free radical damage, inflammation, and premature aging of the skin? I thought so. 

The Teeny Tiny Powerhouse

If you open my fridge, you will see various jars of seeds; hemp, flax, and my new love, the teeny tiny chia seed.

Sprinkles

Initially, chia seeds intimidated me. You too? I had heard somewhere that  you used chia seeds differently than flax or hemp. Flax seeds you grind up and sprinkle on everything you can, or bake with them, or make raw crackers. Hemp seeds you also sprinkle over your food, or make hemp milk, or just eat em by the spoonful. But chia seeds? I just wasn’t sure.

So, I did what anyone would do with a bag of chia seeds in their fridge. I googled it. Wow! Who knew the chia seed, the very same seed we used to sprout on our chia pets in the 60’s (Yes, I had one. Did you?), had such a fan club.

And with good reason!

Nutrient Dense

Chia seeds apparently have: 

  • 3 times the anti-oxidant strength of blueberries
  • 5 times the calcium of milk, PLUS, magnesium and boron which aid in the absorption of calcium (key point)
  • 2 times the amount of potassium as a banana
  • 3 times more iron than spinach

Chia seeds are: 

  • Rich in healthy omega 3’s
  • A fabulous source of soluble fiber
  • Virtually tasteless, tasting like whatever you add them to
  • A plant based complete protein

What to do with chia seeds

1. Replace half the butter when baking, using chia gel.

2. Sprinkle chia seeds on your yogurt , salad or cereal, and add them to your smoothies.

And then, try these 5 Chia Seed Recipes: 

Chia Breakfast Bowl #1

Toss 2 to 3 T chia seeds, 1 T maca powder, 1 T protein powder, 1 t coconut oil, 1 T hemp seeds, 1 T goji berries, 1 T cacao nibs, add banana and blueberries. Place your chia seeds in the bowl first. Add 4 to 6 oz hot water, and wait for about 3 minutes. Your chia seeds will grow and turn into a thick porridge or sorts. Now add your other ingredients and enjoy. Thank you The Holy Kale for this superfood recipe.

Chia Breakfast Bowl #2

Toss about 2 T chia seeds into your bowl. Add a handful of raw nuts of your choice, a scoop of blueberries, 2 tsp. flax seed,  half of a sliced banana, cinnamon and fresh nut milk of choice. Let stand for about 5 minutes to thicken up and enjoy.  Thank you EcoDiva for the inspiration.

Chia Energy Bars

This one is from Vegetarian Times. 1 1/2 C pitted dates, 1/3 cup raw unsweetened cocoa powder, 1/3 cup whole chia seeds, 1/2 t vanilla, 1/4 t almond extract, 1 C raw slivered almonds or pistacios. Place dates in food processor; puree utnil thick paste forms. Add cocoa powder, chia seeds and vanilla and almond extracts. 1. Pulse until all ingredients are combined. Add nuts; pulse until nuts are finely chopped and well distributed through date mixture. 2. Spread large sheet of wax paper on work surface. Transfer date mixture to wax paper, and use paper to press mixture into 1/2 inch thick rectangle. Wrap tightly, and chill overnight. 3. Unwrap block, cut into 8 bars and re-wrap. Enjoy.

Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding

1 c non-dairy milk such as soy, or almond, 1 t vanilla, 2 t raw cocoa powder, sweetener of choice – to taste, 3 T chia seeds, 1/2 to 1 C berries of choice (or other fruit). 1. Place milk, vanilla, cocoa and sweetener of choice (I still love a good quality agave) in the blender. Blend well. 2. Pour milk mixture into a bowl and add chia seeds. 3. Mix well and stir every 15 minutes or so. It will take about an hour for it to thicken and absorb the liquid. 4. Refrigerate and add fruit just before serving. Thank you FatFreeVeganKitchen!

Cinnamon Chia Seed Granola

1 C oats, 2 T chia seeds, 1/2 t cinnamon, 1/4 t nutmeg, 2 T honey or maple syrup, 1 T coconut oil. 1. Preheat the oven to 300 and grease a cookie sheet with coconut oil. 2. Combine the first 4 ingredients in a bowl. 3. Slowly stir last two ingredients into the mixture till all is coated. 4. Spread granola onto prepared baking sheet and bake for approx. 15 minutes. Stir half way through. Let cool and enjoy. Thank you Shape Magazine.

I pretty much sprinkle chia, hemp or ground flax seeds on everything and everything to ensure I get my healthy fats, and essential fatty acids that are crucial to good health, and fabulous skin.

Have you tried chia seeds yet? Do you have a good recipe or suggestion as to how to use them? Do share!

Lisa D. Liguori, Founder of StyleEssentials.com

 

Lisa D Liguori is the founder of Style Essentials, a green healthy-beauty marketplace, featuring mineral makeup, botanically based organic skincare, and even a bit of handcrafted jewelry, all with a serious personal touch.

Visit StyleEssentials.com or join her on Facebook for green beauty and healthy lifestyle tips.

You can also download your FREE Report on The 10 Easy Steps To Detox Your Beauty Routine Here.

 

Finding Security at any Age

Finding Security at any Age

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about life in the past sixty years it’s that the ground is always shifting beneath my feet. Even when I think nothing is changing, it is. It may be only a slight shift in perspective that comes on the heals of a an article I read or a friend’s comment. Or it may be as  life altering as a global economic collapse that snatches financial security out from underneath me or an unexpected medical diagnosis that changes the landscape of my future. What I know now, that I didn’t know when I was younger is that unexpected change is the rule rather than the exception.

We can plan and scheme and work to our heart’s content to institute measures to prevent unwanted change  and to create only good outcomes. But we cannot plan for everything nor can we foresee what will come our way. Our fear driven efforts to control our world are really quite useless.

The good news is that if we can accept the limitations to our control over the future and become instead like a leaf in a stream, then we can  tap into our real strength and real place of control…our response. Not that we shouldn’t do the best we can to create an external life that is comfortable and secure, but our real efforts are more wisely spent finding our inner security and comfort. When we find a quiet little corner in our hearts where we feel safe, secure and loved then we can face any eventuality without being destroyed.

Life is good. Life is good when we live from the inside out.

Thanks for stopping by. You are important to me and you make a difference to my world.

Dorothy