Once upon a pre-pandemic, a small cohort of women gathered in New England to face their fears and bare their souls together in the hopes of healing. And healing happened.
How we spend our days is how we spend our lives. And yet, so often our days are spent on autopilot, going through the motions without really living. If we're not careful, life can pass us by without us ever really experiencing it. We can choose to live each day with intention and purpose. One way to do this is to "walk your talk" - that is, alignment of actions with words. In other words, doing what you say you're going to do. It sounds simple enough, but walking your talk can be a challenge.
We laughed, cried, walked, and leaned in to the collective Womens' wisdom among us as Spirit moved us each toward our next steps on that beautiful October weekend.
Fast forward three years and we are forever changed by what changed us. Life, love, and pursuit of happy-ness abound regardless of what life has thrown our way. We practiced leaving our drama at the door and focusing on possibilities that weekend. It is a practice that has served us well even through the most unexpected societal and familial changes.
My newly beloved and I returned to that location in New England for our nuptials last October. It was a full-circle moment for me and a blessing for us to introduce our closest friends and family to this hidden healing place on the lake.
Now that 2023 is upon us, I'm being nudged by the Universe and feeling a renewed energy to continue the work that was birthed back then. A few things have changed - my hair color, for example. But the heart and soul of the message remains. Don't settle for the story you've been sold. Don't fight your way out of it. We can truly rise above the limiting beliefs imposed on us along the way. Together we can find the support to embrace what was, what is, and what it yet to be.
Don't fight, don't flee, just stand.
And hold someone's hand. Life is better in love.
For people with body dysmorphia or diet mentality, the days after a food holiday like Thanksgiving can be especially problematic. Your body may have taken on too much, but your being may still be wanting something more.
Here are 5 things you can do to stop the shame cycle running in your head and tune in to that small, still voice in your body that is your guiding light.
Day 1: Just notice. Don’t run ahead to fix what you think is broken. Practice feeling at ease in your body. Without judgment. Keep that feeling with you all day long.
Day 2: Make peace with your body - your past expectations, your future fears. You can love your body every day, as-is, in each moment. Appreciate all it has done, is doing, and can do to keep you safe and secure.
Day 3: Be grateful for the way your body wraps itself around your soul and carries it through this world of experiences and enlightenment.
Day 4: Love your body for what it has taught you and what is yet to be revealed. Know that your body has your back even when you may have thought it was the enemy.
Day 5: Trust that the God who created you is the One who will receive you in the end - from perfection to perfection with a LOT of learning in between. Your body is the reflection, not the substance of who you are.
Life is meant to be lived, felt, savored. This body is the vehicle given for the journey. Stop wishing for something other than the one and only unique precious body you were given.
It is enough. YOU are enough. One day at a time.
Let's face it, retirement is not always what we thought it would be. Dreams of travel, event planning, and catching up with close friends often get sidelined by the reality of day-to-day life. But it's never too late to change course!
Imagine a bright, fulfilling future post-retirement even as society is pushing the stereotype of “old and Irrelevant." Here are 5 fun ways to re-engage in activities that will makes a difference:
1. Retirement your way means you get to choose:
2. Uncover-Recover-Discover who you were born to be. Children are magical before life gets hard. If you feel beaten down, connect the dots all the way back to childhood and remember what you dreamed of and wished for in child’s play. When work and play meet again, it sparks joy. And isn’t that what we wish for most in retirement?
3. Think differently about work. I retired early from corporate work because I lost tolerance for office politics. The world since Covid is much different than the one we first quarantined from in 2020. Employees have stronger voice and choice than ever before. Employers learned that they can achieve profits with greatly reduced overhead by allowing remote or hybrid workplaces. Mutual trust is required for sustainability.
4. Don’t settle. It’s a sellers market out there with good paying jobs open to every age and skill level. Consider whether you want the socialization of being with co-workers all the time, some of the time, or none of the time. Explore, interview, learn what feels right, and stay with the thing that makes your heart happiest. By now, we know life is short so don’t waste one precious minute.
5. Build a life you love. Join a club or group, travel again, take up a new hobby, volunteer, find a passion and purpose and pursue it for pleasure. Yes you can make a difference. You just have to want to, and take baby steps to get there.
6. Connection matters. Retiring can be a great opportunity to reconnect with old friends. Whether it's through social media, email, or good old-fashioned snail mail, staying in touch with your friends is always a good idea. Bond with your family where you can. It may be taking care of grandchildren or just spending quality time together, family is always important.
7. Mind the body-mind connection. Staying physically active is crucial for retirees. My work in nursing homes taught me preventative steps to maintain independent living. Major glute, core, and leg muscles affect both balance and toileting. The two biggest reasons people need caregivers, closely followed by memory care. Dancing helps jog your memory and keeps joint limber. Swimming reduces stress, mentally and physically. Seniors need assistance if either body or mind become too much to self-manage.
8. Plan Ahead. Retirement is a great time to start planning for the future. Whether it's financial planning, estate planning, or simply making a bucket list, it's never too early to start thinking about what's next. There's no need to feel like retirement is the end of the road. There are plenty of ways to stay engaged and active in retirement. By following these tips, you can make the most of your retirement and enjoy a bright, fulfilling future.
As the world opens up post-pandemic, so do our options. #GiftsofCovid
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