Tag: midlife

Midlife Trauma & Transformation

Midlife Trauma & Transformation

Stina Persson is an illustrator based in Stockholm, Sweden. She has been working for many famous corporations, such as Coca Cola, Absolut Vodka,Sony Music and popular editorial magazines as Harper’s Bazaar, Flaunt, Elle UK, Marie Claire, etc. Here is a collection of her watercolor paintings. CLICK PICTURE FOR MORE INFORMATION
Stina Persson is an illustrator based in Stockholm, Sweden. She has been working for many famous corporations, such as Coca Cola, Absolut Vodka,Sony Music and popular editorial magazines as Harper’s Bazaar, Flaunt, Elle UK, Marie Claire, etc.

MANIFEST ME

Midlife brings many changes, some are incredibly good, some extremely challenging. We are happy to discover a sense of confidence and freedom we may not have known in our younger days. We take on new challenges, try new things and sometimes even start over completely. Our sense of self and identity begins to take form in deeper ways. Many of us face deep and challenging questions that often bring to light traumas we may have experienced as children or even throughout our lives that now seems to impede our progress. This is a rich and complex issue that I hold close to my heart. I have therefore begun to delve into this issue in a new blog ManifestMe2014. If you have suffered trauma at any time in your life, or are finding it difficult to find yourself or your path at midlife and beyond, I urge you to follow this blog.  It might just offer you some of answers you have been looking for, or launch you on a new and fertile path in your journey toward health and wholeness. I hope you’ll join me in this new adventure.

 

Dare to Dream – There’s Still Time to Make a Bucket List!

Dare to Dream – There’s Still Time to Make a Bucket List!

(Before I begin, I want to thank Bufferin* for selecting me to join its “Bufferin Bucket List” initiative. If it weren’t for this initiative, I might not have taken the time to sit down and really think about my “bucket list”, let alone actually try to achieve the items on it! Now I’m really fired up!  I’ve also entered the Bufferin Bucket List Sweepstakes on Facebook and I hope you will too! More information at the end of this post.)

* * * *

In spite of the fact that everyone has been talking about “bucket lists”, including a movie devoted entirely to this concept, and we know it’s a good idea, it’s not always My Bucketeasy for some of us to dare to dream loudly enough to come up with our own list. Life has a way of interfering with dreaming if we let it, and dreaming is required for this assignment.

One cannot dare to dream if one cannot dare to hope and I know I am not alone in feeling gosh darn hopeless at times. By the time we reach fifty our life experiences, and traumas large and small, have accumulated to the point where we are less resilient, less able to get ourselves back up off the ground when we’re knocked down.  So, we don’t dream. We don’t want to be disappointed again. But dreaming, is exactly what we need to do to pry ourselves loose from our beaten down, fatalistic, and hopeless perspective.

Dreaming is something everyone can do. We just need the courage. It doesn’t take money, nor does it take significant time. In a matter of minutes one can create a scenario in one’s mind that just might end up changing one’s life. If nothing more, dreaming changes our state of mind and outlook.

When I decided at last to create my “bucket list”, I put on some soft serenity spa music that I found on Spotify. (I’ve discovered that this type of music is often played uninterrupted by the usual commercials when you are a non-paying member.) I closed my eyes, took several deep, slow breaths and just let go of my cares, little by little. Then, I directed my thoughts to this one question: If I could do, or experience anything, what would it be? Slowly, bit by bit, simple images began to emerge: the ocean, the rocky Maine coastline, a cottage on a bluff, fresh cool air, the smell of salt, the sound of the waves crashing on the rocks…the first item on my bucket list was easy.

I would give anything for enough time in such a place to relax, write, walk on the beach, and just be. My practical mind immediately said okay, two weeks in a cottage on the Maine coast, but when I closed my eyes again I knew that two weeks was not enough time and I allowed myself to dream bigger…a month. That was a true act of courageous dreaming for me!

Each time we indulge our imaginations and dream, it becomes just a little bit easier to allow our dreams to expand, to ask what if? Maybe? Could I?  Because when it comes to dreams, anything is possible. Sometimes, I’ve noticed, dreaming is as good as reality in lifting my spirits, even if it never comes true. Sometimes it’s better. The truth is, dreams do come true, every day. When we give ourselves permission to listen to our dreams we step into the world of possibility.

WHAT’S ON YOUR BUCKET LIST?

Creating my own person “bucket” is a powerful way to make your dreams more tangible. Here’s how  I made mine:

Step One: Write down a few wishes you, or your family or friends, would like to accomplish on each clothes pin. (Learn how to play the piano, travel to Europe, etc.)

Step Two: Pin them around the bucket.

Step Three: Once you’ve accomplished each item take the pin down and throw it in the bucket. Once you do one item on your list you’ll be eager to do more!

I’d love to hear what’s on your list!  Let’s inspire each other! Don’t forget to enter the sweepstake. You might just be a winner and earn a little extra cash to help you obtain your dreams!

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Bufferin Bucket List Sweepstakes Details:

  • Bufferin Bucket List Sweepstakes will run from February 18 to March 14, 2014.
  • Entry is done via an official entry form, which includes a required field in which the entrants will need to enter their own personal “bucket list” item
  • Bufferin is giving away a $1,000 Amex Gift Card and a full-sized bottle of Bufferin to three (3) randomly selected entrants who share their bucket list items. Winners chosen February 28, March 7 and March 14
  • Winners announced on the Bufferin Facebook page along with their bucket list item(s)
  • Learn more at www.facebook.com/bufferin

* Chances are good that you’ve heard of Bufferin! It’s been around for as long as I can remember. Here’s what you need to know about this product:

Bufferin® Buffered pain relief tablets:

  • Are the only non-prescription non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that’s gentler on your stomach
  • Are formulated by combining the pain relief of aspirin with three different buffering agents. All work together to temporarily relieve minor aches and pain and reduce fever while neutralizing stomach acid that can cause stomach discomfort
  • Is tough on pain and gentler to your stomach than plain aspirin
  • Helps get keep your aches and pains at bay while you continue with your daily activities
  • Are available at Walgreen’s and Walmart stores nationwide
  • Learn more at www.bufferin.com

 

Get the latest information on Bufferin at www.bufferin.com.

This is a product-provided, sponsored conversation that contains affiliate links. I received a full-sized bottle of Bufferin® Buffered Aspirin and the craft supplies for my own personal use. All opinions, text and experiences are my own.

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.

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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.