Tag: change

How to Create Conscious Intention

How to Create Conscious Intention

I’m pretty sure she changed her intention!

Do you remember the last time you made a declaration of intention not to do something? I sure do! In fact, a perfect example leaps to mind. Scott, (my husband), loves sardines. He introduced them to my sons when they were teenagers and they shocked me by actually trying them. (He’s always had more persuasive abilities with them than I have had. Sadly.)

Of course, Scott and the boys also thought I should try them, as I never had. I stated it clearly then, and have repeated it dozens of times since, “I have no intention, whatsoever, of trying sardines. Ever. End of subject.” My very clear statement of intent has not deterred  them from trying again every time they open another odoriferous can of something only a feline should find palatable. My intention remains crystal clear and intact.

Can you remember such a time in your life, when saying “no” felt rock solid? Intention is packed with energy. We feel this energy most acutely when we state an intention about something we don’t want to do and have decided not to do.  However, when we apply our intention toward something we would like to do, things get a little more complicated and mind-field a little muddier. The energy doesn’t seem to stick.

EXPAND YOUR LIFE

A much wiser cat!

An intention not to do something is easy. It leaves plenty of room to change our mind without fear of leaving a trail of guilt or remorse behind. I could eat sardines tomorrow and any remorse I might feel would only be about the discomfort of the experience. It would give the guys a thrill and tomorrow I could restate my intention as if nothing happened. . . or, and it’s highly unlikely. . . I might abandon my intention and sit down with the cats.

Stating an intention to do something, however, carries with it a different sort of commitment. More importantly, it open us up and begins to expand our awareness.  Imagine this: I create an intention to try sardines. What’s the first thing that happens? Panic sets in. Fear. Uncertainty. A desire to abandon my intention.  It demands that I ask questions. What am I afraid of? Is it the physical displeasure? Or is there something more to it?

Your intentions are probably not about sardines. They are more likely about worthier goals. We all aspire to things that feel a little bit out of reach. When we want to bring our aspirations into reality, forming and spending time with our intention is the perfect teacher and an invaluable guide for the process.  It prepares us for the changes that we are inviting into our lives.

Creating an intention consciously is a request to the Universe for the opportunity to expand and grow; it is opening the door of our creative energy and releasing it into the world. We must be ready to wield this energy and allow it to wield us.

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.


Be a part of small group of women who are nurturing their dreams. . . and each other.

Become a VIP member of the NEW Aging Abundantly Circle.

DETAILS

CHANGE IS IN THE AIR

CHANGE IS IN THE AIR

Change happens. What we do in response to it, how we handle the emotional fallout, is often more important than the event itself.

Before Thanksgiving, my husband loaned his “project” car, a 1990 Jeep Wrangler, to his nephew.  Scott, being the endlessly generous man that I married, offered it up easily. Intuition suggested to me that it wasn’t the best idea in the world. I kept my thoughts to myself. People change. Right?

A MECHANICAL WORK OF ART!

Scott's JeepThe Jeep was my husband’s baby, his pride and joy. It has been his one and only creative outlet and escape from life’s weighty responsibilities over the last three years. In that time, he turned it from a well worn vehicle into a gorgeous piece of mechanical art! (At least that’s how he sees it.) Fresh paint and replaced parts, it was the inspiration for birthday and Christmas gifts from the whole family. On nice days, he’d take it here and there, just for the sheer pleasure of driving it. Otherwise it sat in the driveway for him to admire and work on on nice days.

Scott’s generosity swung around and bit him in the butt. Leaving the parking lot after work, Nephew flew around a blind corner at a high rate of speed and T-boned a truck parked in the lane. All parties involved were fine. The Jeep? Totaled. To make matters worse, we found out about it, 10 days after the fact, from our insurance agent.

CHANGE MOVES IN AND SETS UP SHOP

In a flash, “change” moved in and set up shop. Our plans for the day were lost to emotional turmoil and endless phone calls. When we woke up that morning we had no idea that such an occurrence would take over our week before Christmas.

As I listened to my husband’s end of the conversation with the insurance agent, I knew exactly what had happened and I was spitting nails angry.  It was not a surprise to me. Forty one years old and notoriously irresponsible, the flashes that he was growing up swayed Scott more than they did me. The adrenaline started pumping through my veins like  Shanghai Maglev.  I made the bed, did a load of laundry and washed the dishes in the five minutes he was on the phone.

Scott’s response? Total self-control. He dove straight into his head, pushed his feelings as far away as possible, and started a to do list in his head. I knew he was heartbroken and angry, and I knew in time he’d wake up to his feelings. He was not, however, ready to face the onslaught just yet.

He hung up the phone and decisions lined up awaiting navigation. On the surface, the decisions involved dollars and cents and boiled down to how we could recover the loss financially.

The underlying choices, however, would determine the long term fallout and the ability of those involved to learn from the experience and move on.

NAVIGATING CHANGE

The love of old vehicles runs in the family! My son’s purple VW is behind Scott!

This event was did not create serious life altering change, but it carried with it many of the components necessary to learn, or practice, dozens of life’s lessons. Change is like that. It shuffles the deck, deals, and then waits for us to play our hand.

My biggest challenge was navigating my anger. I was only indirectly affected and so my path was somewhat nebulous. My anger was not. I was hurting for my husband and suffering his loss, even while he was largely unaware of it. I knew it would come home to him in time, but for me it was immediate and present.

Unexpressed anger is a slow burn. It can lead to depression, illness and a growing sense of powerlessness. It sucks the life right out of us and leaves us wide open for future difficulties. Inappropriately expressed anger damages relationships and innocent people. It spills out in passive aggression, sarcasm, irritability, without diminishing the initial anger.

ANGER IS NORMAL

Anger is a normal healthy response. Allowing it, owning it and finding an appropriate way to put it to good use is the challenge. Anger helps us protect ourselves and set boundaries.  When anger arises, if we take time to experience it fully, it will direct us to the issues that need to be addressed. If it doesn’t call for an immediate response, it is best to let allow the adrenaline rush to dissipate enough to recover rational thought. We perceive things differently in the heat of the moment.

PROCESSING ANGER

As I sat with my anger, the following thoughts and feelings arose.

  • How irresponsible! (I value personal responsibility in myself and in those I keep close to me.)
  • How self-centered! (I value thoughtfulness and caring that goes beyond what is in it for me.)
  • How disrespectful! (Scott is deserving of respect from the nephew he practically raised. Inherent in this is appreciation and gratitude.)
  • Fear. Will Scott set his own boundaries? Will he take appropriate action, or will he sublimate his anger and let Nephew off the hook. This always comes back to bite us both.

The action I took:

  • I decided to share some of my thoughts with Nephew. In other words, I told him directly that he had better man up, take responsibility for his actions, and make it right. When he gave me the runaround, not unexpected, I called him back to responsibility and then let it go.
  • Then I through my support behind my husband. I listened and I encouraged him to hold Nephew responsible, but to take control of how things played out with regard the vehicle. In other words, to do what was best for him, not Nephew.

DISSIPATING ANGER

My anger has dissipated. I’m over it. As for my husband, he’s navigating his part of the equation in his own time and way. He has the more challenging obstacles to overcome, but he’s holding his own. His loss is eking out in bits and pieces. It will take time and he’s learning every step of the way because he’s holding the experience loosely.

“Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness. If, in our heart, we still cling to anything – anger, anxiety, or possessions – we cannot be free.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, The Heart of the Buddha:Transforming Suffering into Peace, Joy and Liberation

We get into problems with change and anger when we hold on too tight. When we try to make things happen, force the issue, fix the problem now we operate in a reactive state. We’re wrapped up in our emotions and unable to see the bigger picture. Taking time to breathe and slow down the process results in better decisions and less lingering discomfort.

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INTERLUDE: WHAT IS NEXT?

INTERLUDE: WHAT IS NEXT?

TIME FOR AN INTERLUDE in the Voices of Wisdom Series

late blooming writerI hope you have been enjoying the The Voices of Wisdom Series! I know I have been enjoying reading and sharing the stories of these courageous and magnificent women and I’m so grateful to them for taking the time to share a slice of their lives here with you. We will be taking a short interlude while I take a few weeks to travel, finish my book and collect my thoughts.  In case you missed any of the posts, here’s a recap:

Week One: Debbie Gies, Author shared with us her thoughts on gratitude.

Week Two: Kathleen Pooler gave us a glimpse into her dark night of the soul and insights she gained. 

Week Three: I reviewed three memoirs written by women coming to terms with abuse. 

Week Four: Author Joan Rough shares her thoughts on Harvesting Wisdom.

Week Five: Writer and author Lucinda Sage-Midgorden shares a bit of her journey to becoming a writer and author. 

Week Six: Madeline Sharples, writer, editor and author tells us how she turned grief into art.

WHAT’S NEXT?

The series will begin again on October 5th at which time I will introduce you to another group of women with wisdom to share. In the meantime, I am heading west for two or three weeks and wrapping up the publication of my new book. It’s completely done and ready to go, I just can’t seem to settle on a title! It’s really hard to create a cover without a title! I am sure it will happen sooner or later.

[tweetthis display_mode=”box”]“Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.” A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh[/tweetthis]

I am a Late Blooming Writer. I carried the urgent desire to write in a corner of my soul that I set aside again and again.  I did write, but only for myself. I wrote my first poem when I was five. It was about a daffodil.  School interrupted my creative musings and the natural flow of my life. I did not write again, creatively, until I was in high school. Teenage angst drove me back to pen and paper and began releasing the music within me in private lyrical musings, shared with no one.

I’d certainly learned very early in life that I had “no talent” for writing. In fact, I was pretty certain i didn’t have much “talent” for anything. What a ridiculous concept when you think about it. What is talent after all? We are all gifted in one way or another, but it is how and if our gifts are birthed that matters. Too often they lie dormant, abandoned as the world snuffs out our candle. Just children when it begins. Impressionable, pliable children in need of love and guidance. I digress.

[tweetthis]”We are all gifted. That is our inheritance.” Ethel Waters #quote[/tweetthis]

mask
Mask de Venice

From my teen years on I wrote stacks of journals and reams of poetry. My desire to write lived and breathed even though I lived life as something entirely other than a writer. That is until I midlife when I melted down and dove into the fire of change. It was a metamorphosis. Bit by bit, piece by piece I took off the masks I wore and gingerly stepped back into the world as my true self. My goal, my burning desire, has been and will always be to match my insides with my outsides. This is not easy in a world run amok, but it is worth the effort.  I tell you this for a few reasons.

LATE BLOOMING WRITERS

First, I am ardent supporter of late-blooming writers and have been doing so through the Aging Abundantly Writer’s Meet Up private group on Facebook. I also do private coaching as time permits. Writers desperately need support. It’s a solitary endeavor and it’s easy to lose perspective. I’m also teaming up with Christy Steiger, Writer, Teacher, Editor and every writer’s dream writing companion — at least writers like me. She gets it. She understands the writing process from a practical standpoint and is a wizard at un-sticking the stuck. You can meet Christy now in the Writer’s group. I will be introducing her on the site asap. We will both be blogging about writing and the unique needs of the over fifty writer on the Aging Abundantly sister website LateBloomingWriters.com. If you are a writer looking for guidance, support and inspiration, I hope you’ll join us there and on Facebook.

COMING SOON: Book Without A Title by Dorothy Sander

Stay tuned!

An Opportunity for Change – Sometimes It Comes When We Least Expect It!

An Opportunity for Change – Sometimes It Comes When We Least Expect It!

Opportunity for Change
Angel statue in the graveyard of Trzic, Slovenia by ~lordradi

Life delivers the opportunity for change and growth, often when we least expect it. Once-in-a-lifetime events are just such opportunities. When the pot is stirred by events such as graduations, weddings, job changes, loss or a move, it is not uncommon to lose one’s perspective.

The weeks leading up to my son’s wedding brought a heavy load of unfinished-business-stress barreling down on me, not to mention the necessity for getting it all together and showing up for the function itself.  I knew I was facing a challenge and an opportunity for change, but much of it lay beneath the veil of my perception.  I was trying to stay cool, centered and in balance, but the tide of change had its way with me. I couldn’t stop it. I just had to go with it.

I wasn’t worrying about anything in particular. It was more like this giant, multicolored cloud over my head. Sometimes the pending celebration felt over the top exciting and at other times I was pretty sure it was going to rain down doom on me.

I’ve had many an opportunity for change since the accident, now six years ago, give or take. I’ve struggled to regain my resilience and equilibrium not only from it but from events of my life before it. I understand now that my ” come apart”  was just as much a result of the life I’d lived up until the accident as it was the accident itself. In fact, I’ve come to see the accident as a gift. It woke me up, even as it sent me reeling into a “dark night of the soul”.  It gave me the gift of opportunity — opportunity for change.

The wrenching impact the accident had on my life, inside and out, forced me to relinquish perspectives and beliefs that had paralyzed me throughout my life. It’s been a hard-fought battle, but when I headed west last September, I realized I had turned the corner.

It’s uncomfortable, at times, being a whole different person. I don’t respond and react to things the way I used to do. The chaos that ran around in my head and interfered with my relationships is gone. I show up, just as I am. That surprises me, but I’m pretty sure that’s the way we are supposed to be! I don’t worry problems to death. I think about them, feel them, let them roll around inside of me and then I either act on them or set them aside. I prefer now to share the wisdom I’ve gained rather than my problems. It just makes more sense.

I was overjoyed when I learned of my son’s engagement. I loved the woman who came into his life and mine and I was so, so happy that he was happy. As the date approached and plans needed to be made, I froze. I couldn’t move forward. I didn’t seem to be able to get myself to make flight reservations, or buy a dress, or do any of the things I thought I would be eager to do. For six weeks leading up to the wedding I wrestled with demons, demons that had no cause to wake up until a family event such as a wedding landed on my doorstep. It was an opportunity for change.

With guidance, support, determination and effort I was able to lay to rest another layer of outdated beliefs, fruitless expectations, and I eventually came out a little more me. It was necessary. It was liberating. It was, painful. I took several more steps to set the record straight for myself, to align my outside with my inside. I said things I needed to say. I did things I needed to do. Of course speaking what is true for oneself does have its consequences. For a year now, people have been dropping away like flies. I am discovering that what I was told I would discover when I dared to let go of unhealthy relationships, was true – – in the empty space my tribe has begun to show up.  Wow, what a difference!

I continue to learn that diving deep is seldom easy; that unwrapping and removing our masks is an ongoing process and challenge, particularly for those of us who are part of the scar clan – the deeply wounded. I’ve also learned that it is always possible to heal from the past, to become more resilient, and find greater inner strength. We may no longer have the same physical capacities we once had as we age, it’s a bit more challenge when stress arrives on our doorstep from a physical standpoint.  We do however, have many other skills and abilities that more than do the job. Our bodies may yell at us and buckle under with physical eruptions when we push our limits.  It may take longer for us to recover from stress, both internal and external. Our inner capacities, however, only increase and expand. We are so much more than we were — beneath the surface.

Perspectives change. We change. Life changes.

Change is the one constant in life.

Life events are an opportunity for change and growth.

We can choose to fight it or we can learn from it. The more often we are able to gird our loins and learn and grow from the process the more often we will be carried on the wings of angels to a richer, more meaningful life.

OTHER POSTS YOU MAY ENJOY

How Long Does It Take for a Wound to Heal

The Masks We Wear

Be Patient Toward All That Is Unresolved In Your Life


LEARN ABOUT EFT (EMOTIONAL FREEDOM TECHNIQUE)

Chrystal Honeycutt, ND, RH, AHG has been my go to person for support and guidance as I learn to manage and deal with PTSD, and stress overload. She taught me to use EFT to help re-ground myself during stressful times and process my feelings around change and past trauma. She recently posted this video on her You-Tube Channel. It is a clear introduction to the process and if you’re interested in learning the process and using it I highly recommend you take a few minutes to watch it. After an introduction to the process she exhibits tapping on the subject of change.

Wisdom Wednesday – Being Authentic

Wisdom Wednesday – Being Authentic

Being Authentic

Being authentic requires us to change…

and change doesn’t come easily for any of us. In fact, it becomes more difficult with age. Decades of buried hurts and confusion have clouded our vision, damped our courage and our ability to be authentic. We no longer even know where to begin.

We must remind ourselves, however, that we have gained strength along the way. Strength and endurance are beneficial characteristics for digging deep.

When we begin the journey toward authenticity, it’s common to feel as though we’re groping in the dark. We have been temporarily blinded us to ourselves and to what we cannot bear to see or feel.  Our subconscious muted it for our survival sake, so that we might continue to live the life we had in front of us. There comes a time to unearth that which has been hidden in order to reconnect with our true selves.

We must go beneath our facade, even when we don’t know what that looks like or how to go about it. All we know is that it’s time to find and bring forth our authentic selves, and to face all that we have buried and denied and abandoned about ourselves. It’s a primary task of aging.

For some the call is so loud we can’t hear ourselves think, until we stop and start paying attention. It’s time to turn around and face it, whatever “it” is. We must answer the call of our deeper selves. It is time.

“Be gentle with yourself for you are living through a major expansion of your faith and how you use it in the world. You are rewiring decades of old beliefs and shifting how you live your life. This is no small feat. It is OK to feel uncomfortable. Great change often brings with it discomfort and second guessing one’s self. Do not shrink back from this mission.”  ~ From The Celtic Christian Tradition

This period of change is ushering in a new beginning, a new opportunity for a deeper, richer life, one that creates abundance of a different sort.  A phase of deep reflection, of wrestling with our shadow self, of learning to once again let in the light, is a time that contains challenges like none we’ve faced before, an inner war perhaps, a straining toward our interior and away from externals. Being authentic requires work, contemplation, an openness to the teaching of others, and learning to listen to our inner world, to show up and be present to ourselves and all that lives within. Above all, we must learn to be still. Be silent. Be open to life itself.  [tweetthis display_mode=”button_link”]Above all, we must learn to be still. Be silent. Be open to life itself.[/tweetthis]

 

EPIPHANY

epiphany quote CM

Epiphany, is a word/concept that comes from the ancient Greek ἐπιφάνεια, epiphaneia, and refers to a sudden awareness, an awakening of understanding, a striking realization that one’s perception has changed and deepened. The Christian Season of Epiphany, where this word is most often heard, is observed on January 6th and commemorates the manifestation of Christ to the Magus. Epiphany, however, is a rich symbolic word that is open to a wide variety of interpretations. Religious scholars have spent countless hours researching the history, the changes in language and understanding in the context of the words use and still cannot come to any real agreement. As time goes on, the slope becomes slippery. Yet, that is the very nature of symbolic language.

Symbolism is a powerful tool for personal use when delving into spiritual matters. There is no other way to talk about, or describe, that which we know but cannot see. Language is often a stumbling block for conversation as we misinterpret one another simply because we assign a different meaning to a word. I have avoided talking here too much about spiritual matters precisely because the language is so fluid at this point in time. “I had an epiphany” is a statement that means very different things to different people.

In spite of these obstacles, it’s a subject that can’t be overlooked. It’s a subject that is close to my heart. Those who are on the path of personal growth often find themselves at some point along the way here, in the spiritual arena.  One cannot get too far down the road of life without asking a few questions about the nature of life itself.  The spiritual quest is a fundamental thread that has run through my life, a thread that I picked up in earnest a decade ago. I will begin talking more about such things here on Wisdom Wednesday. I hope you’ll join me. I hope you’ll share pieces of your journey and we’ll struggle together with the language issues. Understanding is all I’m after here, growing in faith and wisdom, coming out of the shadows and into awareness of expanded consciousness. I believe, regardless of the words we use, we are all talking about the same thing.

You may also want to join the conversation in my closed group on Facebook:  Aging and the Inner Life

When you come to the edge of all that you know, you must believe one of two things: either there will be ground to stand on, or you will be given wings to fly. ~ O.R. Melling

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You might also enjoy:

Wild Geese by Mary Oliver

More on Epiphany:

Epiphany, The Feasts of the Three Kings

The Season of Epiphany