Tag: art of aging

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
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 Best Part about Turning Sixty

The Best Part about Turning Sixty

The best part about turning sixty is that I’m no longer fifty-nine and dreading the day. I feel liberated!  Now I’m young again! After all I’m just sixty!  I’m good to go for another nine years, well, maybe seven or eight at which time I will probably start the “oh, my God, I’m almost how old?????”

The moment the calendar turned last year and I saw where I was headed, I was overcome with a serious case of dread. Every morning, when I woke up and remembered that I was one day closer to the end of the world, panic set in. I had to wrestle my psyche to the ground before I could put one foot in front of the other and get myself to the bathroom to brush my teeth. Then I’d spend the next twenty minutes talking to myself, stomping out my fears with positive affirmations and wrangling my thoughts with an iron fist onto the day at hand ~ far out of reach from anything remotely related to, shshshhhh….my age.

Now that I’ve walked the green mile and have crossed over to the other side, I can live again. So what? Sixty is just a number. I knew that all along. I just couldn’t make my fears believe it. I have my health (mostly), I’m doing what I love to do (mostly), I have my family (mostly) and I have today…now. If I didn’t know how old I was, if there weren’t any calendars, or ads for anti-aging products, or prescription drug ads, or news about the latest catastrophe, or mirrors I would simply feel old enough to know better and young enough to keep at it.

Life is good. Who cares what my birth certificate says or what the latest fashion magazine thinks I should be wearing or more importantly should not be wearing?

I’m  following my bliss and that’s that. When I’m not, that’s when I need to worry, not simply because of a number on a piece of paper that’s starting to show the wear and tear of time.  That’s my truth and I’m sticking to it! (At least for a while!)