Tag: aging women

Still Time to Re-Think Your New Year’s Resolutions!

Still Time to Re-Think Your New Year’s Resolutions!

NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION #1: LOSE WEIGHT?new-years-diet

How About Losing Your Girly Thoughts?

By Patricia O’Gorman, PhD  

You have just spent most of the last two months cooking, buying gifts, wrapping them, entertaining, and, of course, eating all those wonderful holiday treats. But now the holidays are over and the new year is here. This might mean you’re now dealing with higher-than-comfortable credit cards bills and a larger-than-comfortable waistline or bottom. 

New Year’s Resolutions 

Enter the New Year’s Resolution. Here you have the opportunity to begin anew, to make conscious decisions that will improve your life—and for many of us, this is to lose weight, especially the weight we just gained over the holidays. Goals are good. There is nothing wrong with having weight loss as a goal, but how you go about fulfilling this particular goal will make 2014 either a great year or another year where you start out strong and fizzle fast.

Your desire to lose weight is just what the multi-billion-dollar diet industry has been waiting for. You are reminded to try the latest quick-loss diet plan through ads on TV and by magazines at the grocery checkout (as you’re tempted by the most delicious-looking desserts in those same places). But will that newest plan really work for you? Maybe it’s time to look deeper at what caused your weight gain in the first place.

How About Losing Some Stress? 

Yes, stress. Those extra pounds did not come from nowhere. You are probably a stress eater. This means when you feel stress, you do something to relieve it, and that may mean eating or drinking to just calm down.

When you feel stressed, you feel you deserve that brownie; it has your name on it, doesn’t it? After all, desserts is just stressed spelled backward!

Consider this scenario: You’ve had a really bad day at work. You deserve a beer or that glass of white wine . . . or two. As part of the eating frenzy that is a family dinner, your kids want spaghetti—seconds, even—and if they’re going to have seconds, you will as well.

Stress is a given in your life. But to lose or reduce it, you need to figure out what is stressing you.

Dieting Stresses You Even More 

If you are a stress eater, if you eat as a way of calming yourself, dieting only increases your stress because you are taking away your stress reducer. This is why diets do not work. Dieting increases your stress. You are now in a no-win situation.

 The Stress of Girly Thoughts 

Focusing on reducing a negative way you are dealing with stress is one strategy. But a strategy with an even bigger pay-off and no back-end payout is to reduce your stress level. And what stresses women out? All those societal messages—those girly thoughts—that tell us we are

  • too fat
  • too young
  • too old
  • too aggressive
  • too smart
  • too boring 

So is it any surprise that you take solace in something that gives give you immediate satisfaction, like eating or drinking? But what if there was something you could do that would accomplish the same thing? Something that would calm you down, give you satisfaction, with no calories?

Challenging Your Stressful Girly Thoughts—A Zero-Calorie Solution 

Learning to talk back to that negative inner dialogue where your girly thoughts are found is one way to do that. How does this work?

  • Identify what is causing you stress. If it is your girly thoughts, then name them. Naming something for what it is gives us power over it. 
  • Don’t let a thought determine how you feel. Don’t feel if this, then that. Having a negative girly thought, or any negative thought, does not have to determine how you feel. It is, after all, just a thought. 
  • Tell your girly thoughts to take a hike. You can choose to not indulge a negative thought about yourself. Instead you can: 
  • tell your girly thought to get lost
  • treat your girly thought lightly, thanking it for its wisdom but saying you’re not interested
  • invite yourself to think of something else, something more pleasant, such as a massage or sitting on the beach 

None of us can control what pops into our minds, but we can control what we allow to be there rent-free.

We can control what we think, and by doing so we can reduce our stress, cut down on our stress eating and drinking, and save some money on all those worthless diet books that we rarely read anyway.

So for a real New Year’s ResolutionSTOP THINKING THOSE GIRLY THOUGHTS! 

Dr. Patricia GormanDr. Patricia O’Gorman, Ph.D is an internationally-recognized public speaker known for her warm, funny, and inspiring presentations, coach, psychologist, and a consultant to Lifescape Solutions in Delray Beach, Florida. She is noted for her work on women, children of alcoholics, and trauma, in the child welfare, mental health, and substance abuse systems. She is in private practice in New York.  READ MORE

Author of eight books including: 

Healing Trauma Through Self-Parenting (2012)
12 Steps to Self-Parenting (celebrating 25 years in print)
Coming in April in 2014:  Out Your Girly Thoughts . . . Embrace Your Strength
“Wild Geese” by Mary Oliver

“Wild Geese” by Mary Oliver

Wild Geese

The above image is from: Quotes By Women

 

Mary Oliver was born in 1935 in Ohio. As a young poet she was influenced by Edna St. Vincent Mallay and has received much critical acclaim over the years. “Known for its clear and poignant observations and evocative use of the natural world, Oliver’s poetry is firmly rooted in place and the Romantic nature tradition”, according to her bio on PoetryFoundation.org.  “A prolific writer of both poetry and prose, Oliver publishes a new collection every year or two.”

The following poem was published in 1986.

Wild Geese

by Mary Oliver

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting-
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

from New & Selected Poems (Harcourt Brace).
Selecting the Right Assisted Living Facility

Selecting the Right Assisted Living Facility

18916073_sChoosing to place your aging loved one in the care of someone other than yourself or another family member is a difficult decision. But, the bills are piling up; you have a busy job, and barely enough time to spend with friends and family. This is the realization that you can no longer care for your aging parent(s) or relative without risking their safety and your family’s financial and emotional well-being. You need help! But how do you choose the right assisted living facility?

Far too often have we heard and seen abuse and neglect at assisted living/nursing facilities.  Here are some helpful tips and things to look for that will put your mind at rest and guarantee the happiness and safety of your parent or relative.

The Facility

The quality of the facility itself is very important. This is where your loved one will live, eat, and sleep. Naturally, you want it to be a pleasant place that only encourages the comfort and happiness of your parent or relative. As a general rule, you should always look for reviews and inspection reports concerning the specific assisted living facility you are interested in. Here are three important factors that indicate a good facility:

1.   Cleanliness – The facility should feel fresh and clean. Check furniture, corners, windows, etc. to determine how thorough cleaning personnel are. Use your nose. Believe it or not you can generally get a feel for the cleanliness of a facility based on how it smells.   

2.   Outdoor Areas – Investigate the upkeep and use of the available outdoor areas around the facility. Make sure they are safe, spacious, and enjoyable. 

3.   Living Corridors – Check the living corridors. Question cleaning maintenance and the size of the room to ensure easy use, comfort, and safety.

The People Pay close attention to the staff. These are the people that will be caring for your aging loved ones daily. Are they friendly? Do they listen? Are they caring? Be sure to meet and talk with some of the staff while observing their interactions with current residents. There should also be an ample staff-to-patient ratio for your loved ones maximum care and comfort.

The Care To ensure your parent or relative is being properly cared for, here are some important questions you can ask and things you can do to determine a good assisted living facility:

  • Questions You Should Ask Yourself

Do you imagine you or your loved one being comfortable?

Are the staff and residents friendly, open, and inviting?

Are the current residents properly dressed and well-groomed?

Does the community feel fresh and clean?

Do the staff smile and treat residents with respect?

Does the area feel safe and secure?

  • Things You Can Do

Visit often and sometimes without warning

Be involved in care, medication, daily activities, etc.

Get to know the staff

Have other family members and friends stop by and visit

These tips can help you determine whether or not the facility you are considering is one in which your parent(s) or relative would be happy to live. Use your knowledge, trust your instincts, and guarantee your aging loved one’s comfort and safety by selecting the right assisted living facility.

***********

This article was brought to you by Country Club Retirement Campus. They provide independent and assisted living apartments, rehabilitation services, and long-term and short-term healthcare  services at four locations in the Ohio area. You might enjoy taking a moment to visit their website.

Embrace Your Child’s Heart

Embrace Your Child’s Heart

"Little Magic" by Susie Pryor Oil on Canvas 40 x 36
“Little Magic” by
Susie Pryor
Oil on Canvas 40 x 36

The midlife transformation that begins in earnest at fifty, and that many of us have already spent a decade or more navigating, is a turning point for many. The dark, confusing period of time, during which everything around us is shifting,  is so disconcerting that it drives us every day, with much earnestness, to examine ourselves and our lives. Have we been living in accordance with our deepest beliefs? What are our beliefs? What governs the decisions we make and the steps we take each day?

The process of questioning is the first step in the reconfiguration of our perspectives and, subsequently, our lives. It’s a tremendous opportunity to delve deeper into our hearts and souls, deeper than we may ever have gone before.  The journey teaches us everything we need to know to begin to discover and to practice new thoughts attitudes and patterns of behavior that will bring us closer to becoming the wise women we were born to be.

My journey led me back to my original self, the unique individual that was born so many years ago, but was never allowed to exist. There is such a clear connection to myself as a child that it is almost eerie. We think, or I used to think, that that child was not wise, nor was her personality formed.  I was wrong. That child held as much wisdom, if not more, than this woman does sixty years later.

Discovering the wise child that lived in us then, and reconnecting with her now, can be an informative and valuable process. The untainted beliefs, abilities, dreams and hopes that she held are still very much alive today. We may have just forgotten them, or buried them, or replaced them with our culture’s beliefs, or our families.

Reconnect with your child heart, by closing your eyes and going inside. Spend a few moments breathing deeply and relaxing. When you feel calm, remember back to a happy moment in your childhood. Allow your adult to spend some time talking with your child. Ask her questions. Ask her what she is thinking about, and what is important to her. Get acquainted.

Repeat this exercise often. Give her what she needs. Be the parent she needed then. Listen to her heart. Together you can heal each other and carry her wisdom forward into today.

No matter where you are on the midlife transformation journey, there’s is something to learn from our inner child.

Dorothy Sander © 2013

WE HAVE THE KEY

LISTEN TO YOUR HEART

The Holiday Blues

The Holiday Blues

christmas-fireplace-wallpaperhd-fireplaces-wallpaper-christmas-desktop-fireplace-with-nj67mz92The holiday season is winding down. If you’ve made it this far and haven’t had a bout of the blues, you’re doing great! Pat yourself on the back and keep whistling a happy tune. Your positive energy will surely spill over on someone who could use it!

For many, however, the holidays bring up all sorts of issues, unfinished business with family members, reminders of loved ones no longer with us, and as we get older, oh, so many memories! It’s not surprising we feel melancholy throughout the season. Nothing can trigger a memory faster than the smell of pine, or the taste of a candy cane. For me, cracking a walnut brings back a childhood stocking filled to the brim with fresh walnuts, fruit and a little bit of candy.

The holiday season is a time we may need to a reminder to be gentle with ourselves. Take a little extra care and a little extra focus on being kind to yourself. If you’re feeling lonely, don’t be afraid to reach out to a friend or neighbor. They may be lonely too. Treat yourself to a long, leisurely bath while listening to your favorite soothing music. Go to the library and check out a novel you’ve been wanting to read. Go for a long walk. It will not only raise your endorphin levels and boost your spirits, it’ll help you sleep better. (I went for three walks yesterday! I slept like a baby last night.)

Always remember, “this too shall pass”. You will get through it. Routine will return. New adventures are just around the corner. Above all, you are loved, and you matter.

Dorothy

A Tradition of Anticipation

Patient Waiting – The Gift of the Unknown

Inspirational Books by Dorothy Sander
Inspirational Books by
Dorothy Sander
Room for Silence

Room for Silence

"Remembering Eternity" Painting by Autumn Skye Morrison
“Remembering Eternity”
Painting by
Autumn Skye Morrison

Spending time in silence each day has become an essential part of my life in recent years. As a young person I valued the idea and practice of quiet meditation, though I was seldom able to do so in a comfortable, consistent fashion. I was too busy searching for answers and direction in more immediate and tangible ways. I was too arrogant and full of my own sense of things, too unwilling to give up control, especially of my thoughts.

Now, there is room for silence. I’ve discovered that when we come to understand that all of our efforts to live successfully according to the world’s, will ultimately fail to fill the hole in our hearts that remains when we are disconnected from the source of all that is,  we can begin to understand the value of silence. It takes decades of trying and failing to see the absolute necessity for giving up control of one’s destiny and to finally rest in the peace of what is.

I was reminded of this beautiful poem by John O’Donohue posted on Facebook today by Woman, which is a great page that you might enjoy following too.

To Bless the Space Between Us

by John O’Donohue

To all that is chaotic in you..
let there come silence.

Let there be a calming of the clamoring..
a stilling of the voices that have
laid their claim on you..
that have made their home in you..
that go with you even to the holy places
but will not let you rest…
will not let you hear your life with wholeness
or feel the grace that fashioned you.

Let what distracts you cease.
Let what divides you cease.
Let there come an end
to what diminishes and demeans..
and let depart all that keeps you in its cage.

Let there be an opening into the quiet
that lies beneath the chaos..
where you find the peace you did not think possible..
and see what shimmers within the storm.