Tag: women over fifty

Mindfulness Mantles by Kay Moates

Mindfulness Mantles by Kay Moates

mindfulness mantles by kay moates

Kay Moates’ artistry is not about Kay and yet she is the essential ingredient in the making of her mindfulness mantles. Every stitch she takes is done in a state of mindfulness, her art is her meditation practice, and her very personal practice a very personal gift to her patrons. Kay, the artist and the woman embodies the spirit of acceptance, love and generosity. Her fundamental  and profound openness to the beauty of nature a blessing of connection to the world and all that’s in it.

In a previous life, Kay was a gifted dancer.  She did more than teach dance, she used it as a vehicle of healing for children. For twenty-seven years she created and directed Imagination in Motion, a creative movement dance company for young children, where dance was inspired by all forms of art and accompanied by improvisational music by a pianist. Through dance the children were taught to express the inexpressible.

There came a time when Kay realized lit was time to move away from dance.  She needed to care for and protect her aging body by reducing the stress that dance was placing on it. The desire for expression, however, was not yet ready to be silenced. She knew she would have to find a new medium to engage her creativity.

This is how Mindfulness Mantles, and her website On Slender Threads came into being. “From moving children through time and space to moving  fibers and stones into Mantles my work continues to focus on calling forth awareness to deepen life’s connections. Into the new I dance…” Fortunately for those of us whose lives she has touched and whose shoulders are now wrapped in the warmth and comfort of a beautiful handmade Mindfulness Mantle, her outreach continues.

Kay creates mantles that are both ornamental and practical. They are decorative, comforting and perfect for meditation and healing.  You will be warmed by her beautiful mantles, but more importantly you will be healed and uplifted.

Here’s how she describes them:

mindfulness mantle
Many include complimentary earth gems like this one.

Mindfulness Mantles ~ a gift for your Soul ~

companioning your journey,
celebrating your changes,
embracing your inner sanctuary,
ever gentling you deeper into being

many shapes, many fibers,
many stones, many colors,
many sizes
whoever you are,
whatever your pain,
there’s a Mantle for You

Created in silence with intention, Kay Motes offers healing and love to all those whose lives she touches.

See them for yourself by visiting her website On Slender Threads. 

Treat yourself to her healing touch by taking a tour

of her latest mindfulness mantels. 

[tweetthis]”Take care of you and there will be more to share with others.” DSander[/tweetthis]


Mindfulness Mantles kay moates 2
Follow Kay Moates’ Facebook page On Slender Threads where she posts her latest designs and positive, uplifting messages. 

Kay’s Mindfulness Mantles make wonderful gifts. They are beautifully wrapped and will be shipped directly to the recipient upon request; perfect for a friend or relative who is ill or going through a difficult transition, a bride to be, to honor a birthday, the possibilities are endless.

 

A GIFT IN A BOX – Product Review

A GIFT IN A BOX – Product Review

Every Fall I seem to receive a mailbox full of product review requests. I’m don’t like to spend too much time doing this but when I see something that intrigues me and I think you might be interested, I welcome the opportunity to give the product a try. Here’s the first with more to come over the next week or so.  Be sure to see the savings opportunity for you at the bottom of the post. If you try any of the items I review, let me know what you think!

KONENKII

Founded by two fearless women making the most of life after fifty, KONENKII i Jan Craige Singer’s (right) and Sarah Smith Jan Sarah KonenkiiWhite’s (left) way of supporting women through the aging process. They are on a mission to add some fun and enjoyment back into the lives of women who have spent a lifetime giving it all away, to children, aging parents, spouses, and so many others. To make this happen they have created a quarterly gift subscription box service, offering a way to treat oneself or a friend without any hassle. 

Each gift is carefully chosen to ease, educate and empower women through challenging times.  I received the Fall gift box and it felt like my birthday or Christmas. I had no idea what to expect. What I found was a clever selection of things I’d never buy for myself but would enjoy as a gift.

Contents included: A selection of fall, tailgating gift items including recipe cards, a flask, a package of yummy nuts, scented soap, portable wine glass, a small rubber ducky, and a book. I think I got everything. Plus lots of cute little notes and ideas.

 


 

Konenkii Fall Box
I opened the box and this is what I found! The white thing on the right is an unbreakable wine glass! (If it was un-spillable that would be even better.)
Flask
Cute flask!
Nut mix
Yum! Delicious nut mix! (Gone.)
Pumpkin Spice Soap
Smells good enough to eat!
New York Times Best Seller
Always love a new book!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


So there ya have it! it was great fun. Would I subscribe to this service for myself? Not likely. It would, however, make a great gift for a friend who could use a boost. Everything about the box says “personal touch” with women like us in mind. I plan to keep an eye on the women behind Konenkii. I expect to see great things coming from their site. They also were kind enough to offer my readers a discount on their next purchase. Just use the code below to receive 10% off any order. Let me know what you think.

Please use ABUNDANT10 to receive 10% off any order. 

Konenkii Gift Box
Much prettier picture than mine!

 

There’s No Such Thing As A Perfect Marriage/Relationship

There’s No Such Thing As A Perfect Marriage/Relationship

Lovers
© Original image design by liz kapiloto Click pic for more information or to purchase.

I continue to be surprised by women over fifty who are still looking for that perfect someone. I admit that I might be doing the same under different circumstances, but I have been in a marriage for thirty-four years and I’ve learned that what is often said is true. There’s no such thing as a perfect marriage. There’s no such thing as a perfect relationship.  Perfection is a construct, one of the shadows many of us live under that draws us away from the truth. If we are dissatisfied with our relationship(s) it’s an indication that it’s time to take a deep, hard look at ourselves. Relationships push us harder than anything else in life to dig deep and dig often into who we really are and to own what we know to be true. It requires that we be honest with ourselves.  Honesty supersedes resentment. When resentment builds we are in a mindset that falsely believes that another is the cause of our unhappiness.  If it weren’t for you, then I’d be fine. Passing the buck leads to many divorces, I suspect.

It is as difficult to be joyous, peaceful, and comfortable with another human being as it is to be do so on one’s own. We cannot and will not be at peace with another until or unless we are at peace with ourselves. Therein lies the challenge of marriage. Marriage take honesty, self-esteem, courage, the willingness to be vulnerable and the ability to bear the shame of making a mistake. It takes telling the truth, owning our own feelings and beliefs even when they are not pretty; it requires taking a good look at who we are as individuals and what we create together. It’s staying committed to riding the waves and surviving the storms…together.  We are surprised when we find that many of the storms are taking place within the relationship, within the dynamics of two people just trying to love and understand one another. We come to the erroneous conclusion that something is fundamentally wrong with the relationship when this happens.  It is quite likely that there is something wrong with our relationship with ourselves.

There are dynamics in every relationship, both good and bad. We like the same movies, we hate that the other leaves his/her shoes in the middle of the living room for us to trip over. We love his courage, strength and commitment to his work; we hate that he doesn’t have the self-confidence to own all that he is. It bugs us more if we are not owning all that we are. It irritates us more if we also leave our shoes lying around.

We may see our spouses flaws more readily than we see their strengths when we are feeling out of sorts. When life is good, so are they. I have always encouraged my friends to seek love – endlessly if they have to – because I believe in love. I am committed to love in all avenues of my life. But, love is not always what we think it is when we’re in the midst of our longing. I used to fall in love regularly, with people, ideas, fads, movies. Love came easily to me. Enthusiasm for something thrilling swept me away. I dove head first into new endeavors for the love of it – for the way a new idea made me feel. I needed to feel good to help alleviate the pain.  This feeling of being caught up in, enamored by, infatuated with is a wonderful feeling, but it is a bit of a psychosis.  It has all of the same characteristics. In other words, we are not seeing reality in those moments. We are not seeing the whole picture. I believe we should savor these moments, though I experience them less often than I did in my younger days, perhaps because my pain is not quite as deep, but we must not depend on them. We must mourn their loss when the ride is over and move onto a deeper, richer connection.

When looking for a long-term relationship it will always be the friendship that two people have, the genuine knowing of one another that carries them through. Not the sparks, the great sex, or the feelings of love. Feelings of love are elusive, as all feelings are. They are not a reliable source of commitment, nor will they always be present to guide us through the rough patches. When we look in another’s eyes and see our self, our soul reflected back to us, then we have everything we need to carry us forward. It is not a look of infatuation, of adoration, or a glassy-eyed connection. It is an honesty that makes us feel vulnerable, scared even, but true. Most of us never dare to really look at another and experience them looking deeply at us. In long-term relationships, really looking at one another falls by the wayside as habits of connection take its place. This is a mistake. We must look often and look long. This is how we stay connected to the heart of the relationship itself. It is how we stay connected to our vulnerability. That is where the truth lies in every relationship.

Not Doing

Not Doing

Photo by Allison Trentelman
Photo by
Allison Trentelman

We are miserable not-doers in this increasingly fast- paced world. No wonder old age terrifies us! We can’t imagine “not doing”, so programmed to do, do, do. Most of our lives have been spent focused on activities of one sort or another. Even with our offspring, most parents of our generation and our parent’s generation were bound and determined to make them exceptionally good “doers”.  Indeed, doers were honored with degrees, monetary wealth, and a resume the length of your arm. We’re still doing it. How many over-fiftiers are desperately searching for something meaningful “to do”?

How does one get comfortable with not-doing? Do we even really see any value in it?  In my last post I talked about the in-between times and not-doing is exactly what’s required of us during those important times when we just don’t know who we are or what direction to head. Our inclination to do leads to filling up our time and space with random activities and endless mental gymnastics, most of which, if you’re like me, amount to beating ourselves up for not doing.

It’s a conundrum. It is inevitable, if we choose to be realistic, that the older we get, the less up and at ’em doing we’ll be doing. There are those who are revered by the media and those of us who read and spread the news, like the seventy seven year old Ernestine Shepherd who lifts weights like a thirty year old man, or Diana Nyad who swam from Cuba to Florida at sixty four. Most of us will never measure up to these women with our physical prowess, but the underlying message is prevalent among aging women in America and beyond that if we are not “doing” we are not of value.

If we are not doing in some form or another, how do we value our existence? What if we sit in a chair and stare out of the window for an hour, or a day, does that not have value? What if we never bake another cake for a charity event, or gather food for the homeless, is it possible for us to still have value? I bore witness to the last half of my mother’s life and she was relentless in compiling and executing to-do lists. She didn’t feel right in her skin unless she had a project under way. My father the same way. Both died feeling in many ways unfulfilled and not good enough.

I run into women every day, online and off, who are unhappy, dissatisfied, restless, uninspired, anxious, despairing and totally convinced they have no value. They deride themselves because they don’t have a degree, or an important job, or their art hanging in a gallery, or a published book, or three grandchildren, or enough money in the bank. How many of us live every day dissatisfied with who we are and what we have?

We get a little smarter as we get older. We care a little less about the kudos and accolades that we sought after in our youth, but I’m pretty sure most of us feel, at least from time to time, like we’re not “measuring up” in the way we are handling the aging process. How should we be measuring ourselves?

At the first of the year I posted my Windows to Wisdom. I’ve been writing and re-writing this little piece for a couple of years. I don’t know that I’m settled exactly on what I have down now, but it’s a summary of the things I’ve come to value as I age, and yet each and every one of them is a kind of “doing” thing, but the kind of doing whose results can’t really be measured by anyone but ourselves. They are non-doing doing things that require no particular physical skill or worldly outcome. They are non-doing challenges that help us improve the quality of our lives on the inside.

If we have to do, if we just can’t stop doing, and I’m not altogether sure that we can or should, let’s measure ourselves not by externals, but by what we are doing on the inside. Furthermore, let’s measure our success by how regularly we focus our attention on developing our wisdom, not on outcomes. Wisdom, like love, spills over. It just can’t help it.

Aging Abundantly Blogs in a Book

Aging Abundantly Blogs in a Book

Best of Aging Abundantly BookBlog posts can pile up and get lost online. I’ve had many requests for an ebook version of the blogs I’ve been posting since 2010 anReleasedd I’ve finally managed to put one together. It’s the first of two volumes. At some point, depending on the length, I plan to make it available as one volume on Kindle and if there is a demand in paperback as well.

It feels as though I’ve come to the end of an era. It’s not that I’ve written everything there is for me to write on the topic of aging, but I’ve gotten past the shock and awe of the midlife adjustments. I’m pretty sure I will never stop questioning and evaluating the process of getting old, but that something significant that happens at midlife, when you change from being young and looking toward the future with hope and anticipation, to someone who values congruence, wisdom and depth in all things seems to be complete, insofar as anything like that is ever complete. My thoughts and writings on the process between then and now are contained in these blogs. Now, I will be leaning into the process of what is next to learn on this part of my journey.

If you are entering midlife, or anywhere along the continuum of becoming a bearer of wisdom, you may enjoy reading this book blogs. Perhaps it will give you food for thought for your own journey, or at the very least, provide you with a companion along the way. I always welcome feedback and alternate perspectives. These things are a work in progress, always.

DOWNLOAD YOUR COPY

 

Depression – Fighting the Battle

Depression – Fighting the Battle

depression
Cineraria

There is no way to measure the pain of depression. There are no blood tests, x-rays, or questionnaires to determine beyond a shadow of a doubt whether or not an individual is suffering from depression. There are educated guesses. There are circumstances suggesting the possibility and likelihood of its presence. How much suffering can be endured is relative to the individual in all illnesses, but depression has a way of going unnoticed, of being looked upon as a behavioral or character flaw, not only by outsiders looking in but by the sufferer as well.

Depression is a nebulous disease. It creeps on us going undetected and managed through force of will and determination. Those with long-term depression often have not known anything other than a dark state of mind. They don’t know they’re suffering unless, or until, it becomes too hard to handle or their lives are turned upside down by poor decisions made by a depressed mind. It’s a tragic disease. It’s a disease that significantly alters the course of an individual’s life. And yet, there is no effective diagnosis and no guaranteed treatment or prevention.

Depression is widely treated with medication and therapy.  Almost anyone can walk into their doctor’s office, tell their physician they’re feeling blue and can’t seem to snap out of it, and be given a prescription for antidepressants — especially women — especially those over fifty. I have a problem with this. We’re a quick fix society that loves a fast, easy solution to problems. I’m pretty sure there is no such thing when it comes to treating depression. There are too many variables. There are too many physical, emotional and experiential dynamics at play.

Popping a pill doesn’t address unresolved issues. Therapy doesn’t address diet and exercise. Like most things, I’m a fan of addressing the whole person when it comes to most things. We’re way too complex creatures to toss a pill at a problem and call it a day.

TREATMENTS FOR DEPRESSION

  • Prescription Drugs – use is on the rise and prices are getting cheaper. Effectiveness is always up for discussion. They work great for some, not so much for others and not at all for a few.
  • Therapy – a valuable addition to the arsenal. Finding the right therapist is crucial. I always recommend interviewing potential therapists and choosing one with whom you feel comfortable and understood; someone who speaks the same language. This takes work, but it’s worth the effort and saves time and money in the long run. Researching types of therapy can be an added plus. More on that later.
  • Exercise – Research has shown repeatedly that exercise boosts endorphins and energy and effectively fights depression. It also combats stress which also can be a factor in depression.
  • Diet – Food allergies and sensitivities can create a physiological environment for depression or worsen an existing depression. Working with someone who understands and knows how the body reacts to a variety foods and circumstances can be very beneficial, a Naturopath for instance. Research has begun to show the ill effects sugar has on our bodies in general and it may in fact, exacerbate depression.
  • Body Work – Everything and anything we do to improve our health and well-being can help counteract depression. Massage therapy, chiropractic treatments, sauna, etc.
  • Spiritual Practices – Meditation, guided imagery meditation, prayer, mindfulness, reflective reading, etc.
  • Education – Learning something new opens the mind to new ways of thinking and re-directs our thoughts along more constructive pathways. Habits of thought are insidious and take a concerted effort to change. Therapy is one avenue, but reading and studying can also be helpful.
  • New Experiences – Depression tends to cause us to shut down and close the doors to our lives. A new experience  may be like a breath of fresh air that lifts the spirits. This, of course, would depend on the depth and nature of the depression.

SEEK HELP AND SUPPORT FOR DEPRESSION

The bottom line is that if you suffer from depression, chances are good that your quality of life suffers. Seeking treatment and support is absolutely a must. It is not something one can manage on ones’ own. It just isn’t. The sooner this is accepted, the sooner relief can be found. That being said, trusting your instincts and being your own advocate is important. If something feels right or works, do it. If it doesn’t, leave it alone and go on to another option. Do consider a variety of simultaneous treatments. We are, after all, very complex creatures!

filigree-motif_3_md

HOW TO RECOGNIZE DEPRESSION IN THE ELDERLY