Better With Age

Yesterday (Saturday) I turned 67 years young! I don’t feel 67, I am told I do not look 67, and I probably do not act 67 – or what we used to believe it means to be that age. When I look in the mirror I see me. And every year as photos show, I change. However I am still the one and only me. We are all different. One size does not fit all. We are unique and special individuals living out our life and how we live it is our choice. And I intend to live to a healthy, happy, radiant and thriving 105! 

A favorite Birthday tradition for my husband and I is to run the number of minutes in our age. Yesterday we enjoyed and powered through a 67 minute run mostly on the beaches, sprinkled in some hiking on the trails, climbed 100 steps, and then walked home. What a wonderful 2 hour + outing. The day was picture perfect. Some fog, lots of sun and blue skies, waves crashing, birds singing, and fresh air all around. 

Birthdays for me are days to practice self care. My day started with giving thanks for another day to be Alive! A special card from my husband. Lots of well wishes from friends and family, close and far, on all social media platforms. And a few mailed cards, ecards and texts received. Then a run, hike, yoga, special Birthday coffee, and spending time just being and doing what I want to. And that always means a peaceful and loving day with my husband. No cake but delicious chocolate avocado mousse with fruit. (Again, my way may not be your way, but it is authentically me!)

I even ran into a friend and colleague that recently moved back to the neighborhood.  An unexpected delight to reconnect.

The night before my birthday, my husband asked during dinner what I would wish for my birthday. I said, without any hesitation, “Another day to be alive!” And that is a mantra I live by. Life is truly a gift. We are the director, producer, and actor. We create our world. We imagine the possibilities. We decide who, what, when, where and how. Even in times when things appear out of control, take a step back, reassess, and reimagine. Then take action and commit to make the changes and revisions necessary. You can rewrite how your story plays out. You have the power, strength and resources within you. Call upon them to propel you forward.

Choose Life. Choose Love. Choose Health. Choose Prosperity. Choose Happiness. Choose Peace. Choose Kindness. Find what brings you Joy. 

With Love and Light and Wishes for Getting Better with Age!
Karen

 

 

Resolve to Evolve

Years ago, the local Wild Oats Market in Pasadena, CA,  displayed a banner with this statement. It spoke to me everytime I went there. When they were closing the store, after it was acquired by Whole Foods, I asked if I could purchase the banner. At first, they said no. However the next time I was in there shopping, one of the managers said they reconsidered my request and gifted me with it! I was elated. My husband and I hung the banner above the steps leading downstairs in our home. It was a perfect reminder that continues to inspire us, even though we no longer have the banner. The message is definitely needed today as I observe how we as a society seem to be devolving instead of evolving.

What can one do? How do we shift the thinking? It all starts with ourselves and the decisions we make about the way we want to live our life. Let’s look at the two key words on the banner and their meaning.

Resolve
to find a solution to a problem, to decide firmly on a course of action.

Evolve
to undergo development, change, progress, grow.

Joyce Marter, Psychotherapist and Founder of Urban Balance, published an article in 2014 in the HuffPost: 10 Ways to Evolve and Be a Better Person

  1. Practice Gratitude – Find the good, be thankful. Count your blessings.
  2. Let go of Defensiveness – Be honest with yourself, seek help when needed.
  3. Practice Acceptance – Empower yourself to change what you can.
  4. Forgive and Let Go of Resentments – Learn the lessons and move on.
  5. Be Authentic – Have the courage and confidence to be your true self.
  6. Reflect Empathy – Refrain from judging, put yourself in other’s shoes.
  7. Be Direct – The truth will set you free.
  8. Be Kind and Compassionate – Only say things that are kind, necessary and true.
  9. Have Integrity – Be honest, be clear, do what you say you are going to do.
  10. Love Yourself – Practice self compassion and self care, Celebrate you.

By following the above 10 principles, adding a few of your own, and setting an example, we influence others in their behavior choices and help bring up society.  Who you are and what you do matters! Each of us makes a difference.

With Light, Love and Resolving to Evolve!
Karen

 

 

Mental Health for All

The theme for World Mental Health Day 2020 is:
Mental Health for All
Greater Investment – Greater Access

“World Mental Health Day, this Saturday, Oct 10th, is an opportunity for the world to come together and begin redressing the historic neglect of mental health,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization. “We are already seeing the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on people’s mental well-being, and this is just the beginning. Unless we make serious commitments to scale up investment in mental health right now, the health, social and economic consequences will be far-reaching.”

We have all been impacted by the events of the last 7 months. Some have been impacted more than others. However we are all having to make changes to every aspect of our lives. The feelings we have range from anxiety, depression, sadness, anger, fear, denial, to excitement, optimism, new beginnings, and hope. What do we need to do? We need to step up our commitment to strengthen ourselves to better handle the transitions. We cannot stop them. 

How do we do that? Well, we start with our thinking. We build up our resilience, we adapt and adjust, we look for the opportunities, we identify what we need to do to improve our situation, we limit our media time, we focus on inspiring and uplifting activities, we take better care of ourselves through nutrition, exercise, rest, reduced stress, and optimism. It all starts with ourselves. By taking better care of ourselves, we can then assist others. We will have clearer thinking and make sounder, better decisions.

During the World Mental Health Day campaign opportunities are being offered, primarily online,  for all of us to do something life-affirming: as individuals, to take concrete actions in support of our own mental health, and to support friends and family who are struggling; as employers, to take steps towards putting in place employee wellness programs; as governments, to commit to establishing or scaling-up mental health services; and as journalists, to explain what more can and must be done to make mental health care a reality for everyone. (as quoted from the Joint press release by the World Health Organization, United for Global Mental Health and the World Federation for Mental Health)

For the first time ever, On World Mental Health Day, the World Health Organization will host a global online advocacy event on mental health. At this event—the Big Event for Mental Health—world leaders, mental health experts and celebrity guests will join WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, to tell the world what we can all do to improve our mental health and how we can help make sure that quality mental health care is available to everyone who needs it. During the 3 hour event you will:

  • learn how WHO, together with their partners, is helping improve the mental health of people in countries throughout the world;
  • hear from national and international leaders about why they are making mental health a priority;
  • hear first-hand why internationally-renowned artists have become mental health advocates and listen to their advice for those who are struggling;
  • and listen to critically-acclaimed musicians perform some of their most popular music.

Tune in from one of WHO’s social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and TikTok channels.

Here’s to your Mental Health!
With Light and Love,
Karen

 

We are all Connected

In addition to the ongoing challenges we face with Covid-19, political division, economic fall out, racial inequality, wildfires and protests, this past week brought the Fall Equinox, Rosh Hashanah and this evening Yom Kippur. No wonder I have felt a bit off! So many things happening at once. Some out of our control. Others not. Time to step back, give myself some space, and nurture my being and regain balance. Some reminders for me and perhaps for you.

I limit the continuous media coverage of all that is going on in the world. I want to be informed, however I am determined to not have it negatively impact my peace of mind. I have responsibility for me. I intend to live a healthy, happy and joy filled life even during chaotic and disturbing times. I have the control of that by how I think, how I act, how I feel, what I do. No one can take that from me.

We are all connected!  In one of my yoga practices this week, the teacher had us repeat aloud this mantra 3 times at the end of the session. It was a perfect close. I reflected on this truth and how this past week conditions outside of me impacted how I was feeling. It is not just other people. We feel the Energy from plants, animals, sights and sounds, the sun, the moon, the wind, the rain, the waves crashing. Everything. Choose your surroundings carefully and make changes when necessary that will enhance your well being. Choose how and what you radiate. You have the choice to be kind or not, be compassionate or not, be forgiving or not, be loving or not. I choose to send out uplifting, inspiring, motivating and positive energy to the world and all that is in it. What are you sending out?

Be flexible with your routines as the seasons change. The shift to Fall, even though we are expecting warmer temperatures this week, was definitely felt in the morning air, the bit of fog, and then the evening breeze. The hours of sunlight started to diminish. Not time to bring out the sweaters yet, but maybe long sleeves. At least I no longer have to get up and run before the sun rises anymore with a flashlight!  And I am looking forward to making soup!

With Rosh Hashanah last week marking the beginning of the Days of Awe, a 10-day period of introspection and repentance, and Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, starting tonight, I have been more reflective this week, even though I am not Jewish. Regardless of your faith or spiritual leanings, we can all benefit from self reflection, self improvement, self compassion and forgiveness.

During these last 7 months, we have all reset our lives in some way. We are adapting and adjusting to the new realitity of a new world. It has been challenging. It has been overwhelming. It has been life altering. Many lessons learned and many more to learn.

So stay connected to better understand and evaluate how things impact you. Then take the time to reflect on what you need to properly reset your balance.

With Light and Love,
Karen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unprecedented to Pivoting

Considering what we have all been through the last 6 months and are continuing to go through, it is interesting to listen to and hear everyone’s perspective. What becomes apparent are the buzz words to describe what is happening.
I have noticed we have gone through unprecedented times to now focusing on pivoting to the new realities.
Within the last week, I have encountered this word and action in so many ways.

  • During my yoga practice the teacher directed us to pivot right to transition into a new posture.
  • On an email I received from a recruiting outfit, the CEO indicated how quickly their clients have pivoted and adapted to what was required and needed to thrive.
  • In Tony Robbin’s tag line for his World Summit Live Virtual Events, he states how the 3 full days will enable you to gain the knowledge and confidence to pivot your life, business or career to thrive in today’s shifting world.
  • A local news headline states how pivoting to outdoor workout classes brings back a sense of community and normalcy.
  • Entrepreneur Andy Shallal and Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programs Victor Mullins at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business recently discussed pivoting business strategy in the midst of a global pandemic, economic distress and racial protests in the webinar “Pivoting is the New Normal.”

So what does it mean to pivot? To pivot is to turn or rotate, like a hinge. Or a basketball player pivoting back and forth to protect the ball. When you’re not talking about a type of swiveling movement, you can use pivot to mean the one central thing that something depends upon.

The term pivot has become a buzzword referring to a significant business change — ranging from mild to dramatic. A pivot is usually intended to help a business recover from a tough period, or survive after experiencing new competition or other factors that make the original business model unsustainable.

It also refers to how all of us have pivoted in our personal lives and have redirected and reimagined our routines and rhythms, making new ones as we go along, shifting priorities and setting new parameters.

So although the word is being heavily overused these days, it is so spot on in communicating what is of paramount importance right here, right now. We all have to do it, one way or another. We can not just sit back and wait for the old normal to return. It will not. Decide how you want to create your new reality and pivot in that direction.

With Light and Love,
Karen

 

 

Step Up or Give Up

These are interesting times indeed. I can only speak for myself, however when I am faced with chaos, disruption and problems, I go into overdrive. My nature is to fix it, solve it, deal with it, or find a way through it, coming out stronger, wiser, and empowered. That is not the case for everyone.

I have been reading articles on how people are dealing or not dealing with Life as it is today. Many just want  to pull the covers up over their head, stay in their pajamas, forget above exercising, eat and drink whatever, and binge watch the news or programs mindlessly. Out the window go schedules, routines, disciplines, plans, dreams and caring. Without a clear future in sight and lack of direction and purpose, one can become disenchanted, depressed, anxious, fearful, frustrated, isolated and lonely. It doesn’t have to be that way. However the choice is yours.

So in today’s reality, I continue with what works for me and in many cases, step up my game.  Running, practicing yoga,  eating nourishing foods, getting dressed, following my skincare regimens, brushing and flossing my teeth, staying inspired through my readings, my writing, spending time in nature, listening to music, watching performances, and carefully selecting media programs. I am blessed to be in a loving and very special relationship with my husband that enriches me every day. My self care practices are of utmost priority to me and provide me with the confidence and encouragement to keep going. I am investing in me. For I want to keep going. I have a passion to live life on my terms. And I can only do that because I put myself first. By so doing, I can then also contribute to others, help others, be kind to others and show compassion.

The choice is yours. How do you want to live your life? What you do today will impact all your tomorrows. You create your world. Yes, we need to be flexible and adaptable with all that is going on, taking detours and going left instead of right. It is your attitude and approach that will make all the difference.

So, what will it be for you? Will you step up or give up? Will you stay under the covers or will you joyfully jump out of bed creating your beautiful day? As you wake up in the morning, make a conscious decision. Choose how your day will unfold. Proclaim it. Affirm it. Then, do it!

With Light and Love and Passion for Living,
Karen

 

 

 

What day is today?

How many times have you recently asked or heard someone ask “What day is today?”

It sounded funny at first, however with our routines, rituals, activities and daily patterns disrupted, shaken and rearranged, we have all been confused as to what day it is. At first we were all stunned by what was happening. Somewhat paralyzed.  Without attending school, going to an office, not being able to get a haircut, a manicure, having your teeth cleaned, having your housekeepers come, going to a restaurant, attending a wedding, going to church or temple, no girls lunch dates, seeing a play, going to a concert, practicing yoga at the studio, no shopping except for essentials, Life went on hold. All everyone talked about was the virus, the economy, the racial discrimination, the killings, and having to social distance, wash and sanitize your hands frequently and wear masks. Days seemed to roll right into the next, and appear identical. To remain relevant and in tune to what was happening, commercials even captured this sentiment in their advertising. It became a common and understandable feeling to not know what day it was.

However we do not have to be confused or stumped. As businesses and services open up, begin to plan certain activities on certain days and times. Create new routines, patterns and rituals that will better define a Tuesday from a Friday from a Sunday. 

As you plan you will begin to look forward to those activities and will most likely remember how many days till it happens. Other than routines I have and like to do daily, like go through a limited number of online papers reading mostly headlines, check emails, social media, online music, shows, and other performances for inspiration, I differentiate the days of the week by doing certain activities on certain days. I have listed a few of those below:
Sunday – I usually write my posts to publish on Mondays, enjoy a leisurely walk with my husband, we get a hard copy of the paper and we enjoy weekend coffee.(for those that know me, you know the ingredients!). The day is usually mellow and peaceful.

Monday – My post publishes and it is a run day, weight day and usually yoga. A true self care way to kick off the week.

Tuesday and Thursday – run days with my husband and an outing in the afternoon, that could include grocery shopping, a drive, some other home improvement shopping, or just ordering take out food.

Wednesday – Housecleaning every 2 weeks, run day, weight day and perhaps afternoon activity.

Friday – Run day, weight day, and yoga 

Saturday – Run and hike day with husband, weekend coffee, free flowing afternoon and evening.

As you can see, I have a schedule that helps me know what day it is. However I also have some flexibility built in for unexpected surprises and ideas of what to do. I realize I have more freedom and ability to live a more free flowing, simple and casual lifestyle at the beach being retired. I give thanks for that and am grateful.

Regardless of your situation, we can all tweak the way we do things to improve, to motivate us, to enliven us, find joy, be excited and feel alive. Every day can be unique and different.  I encourage you to look at the days of the week, identify activities and plug them in. Pretty soon you will no longer question what day of the week it is and you will have meaningful activities and looking forward to events on your calendar.

With Light and Love (on Sunday),
Karen

 

Living in a Bubble

The concept of living in an invisible bubble started many years ago while I was a retail executive. I would often supervise several management trainees during their career. One of the challenges they had was how to deal with criticism from senior management. They thought they knew it all. They never expected to be yelled out for a sign that was crooked! (true story). It was definitely a learning experience necessary for their growth and development. So many burst into tears! I have had to calm them down and shift their interpretation of the incident. So I would advise them that in order to protect themselves they needed to zip up an invisible bubble around them. Have it be clear, flexible and allow them to engage with everyone, see everything, and absorb everything. However, it would shield them from the negativity, the rude behavior, the harsh comments that were part of others management style. They needed to learn the lesson and then let it go. These incidents defined whether they could toughen up and rise above how sometimes they were treated. It wasn’t right how they were spoken to. But I had their back. Upon hearing or seeing what happened, I would usually request that the senior executive tone it down and not annihilate the trainees. Use the opportunity to influence, coach and educate them on what needs to get done and how to view the big picture.

I never imagined that the term of living in a bubble would be so relevant today for everyone. I have continued to use my bubble that surrounds me to protect me, nourish me, love and guide me. 

My husband has used the bubble to shield himself from others negativity, rudeness and mindlessness.  Being a very sensitive and loving soul, of which I have always appreciated and loved about him, he has sometimes been unnerved by the way other people behave. His bubble helps him.

In todays environment as we figure out how to adapt and adjust to life and living, you have the NBA in the Disney bubble, protecting them during the pandemic and allowing them to play and for us to enjoy.

I just read how the Tour de France cycling event has the riders and teams in their own bubble as they navigate the course covering over 2000 miles.

And we are all living in our own bubbles due to the stay at home, isolation, quarantining, and social distancing requirements to keep us all safe and healthy.

WOW! A new reality indeed. 

So, how are you adjusting and adapting? 
Are you zipping up your invisible to protect yourself?
And are you helping others to do the same?
We are in this together. 
Be safe.
Be healthy.
Find your joy, happiness and peace.

With Light and Love from my Bubble to yours!
Karen

 

 

Finding Meaning Everywhere

Yesterday, we had a baby lizard scurry around the house. After several attempts, we successfully ushered him into the backyard. My first thought was to find the meaning and significance of it, because of course, there is one. Here are some insights from Imelda Green’s Trusted Psychic Mediums site.

What does the lizard represent?
1. It is symbolic of being a survivor.
 
There is some extra strength deep inside of you that has not yet been unleashed.
2. It means you should go with the flow.
Have a sense of freedom to just allow things to be – do not resist.
3. It symbolizes being sensitive to things.
Be alert and know when to adjust your approach.
4. Be fast.
React to things quickly – delaying could prevent your actualizing the opportunities. 
5. Be spontaneous and have variety in life.
Repeating the same thing over and over again is not as much fun as trying new things. And the results will be more rewarding.

How perfectly this aligns with what I have been feeling and how I need to incorporate these traits into dealing with all that is going on in today’s world.

Imelda also recommends us to call on the lizard’s spirit when:
1. We want to get back what we have lost. 
Whatever was lost will be replaced with something better and more beautiful. It may not be the exact same thing, but it will be something that is needed  and something that’s best for us.
2. We feel like we’re doing the same things over and over.
I don’t know about you but I often ask myself what day it is as they all seem very similar.
3. When we feel like we’re going through the same cycles again and again, it’s time to introduce something new into our life.
Do something that takes you out of your comfort zone or out of your routine. Be spontaneous, try something different., unexpected. This will give our life the jumpstart that it needs.

4. We need to do some soul searching.
Take inventory. Take the time to be with you. Listen to your inner feelings, thoughts and ideas. Write down your impressions. Map out your desires. Redo your vision board. (reminder to self as I have not updated mine!) Be present and mindful. Be aware of what is all around us.

So together, let’s call on the lizard’s spirit to get us to the other side of all that is happening today, in our world and our Life. 

With Light and Love and the Spirit of the Lizard,
Karen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Those Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer

Do you remember this song recorded by Nat King Cole in 1963?
The song reached #6 on the Hot 100 in the US and was the opening track on Cole’s album of the same name. 

The melody and phrase keep coming to my mind over the last few days for summer has finally arrived in SoCal. This week even our beach community is in the high 80’s. Yesterday, we turned on the air for a bit to cool the house down before going to sleep with the windows open. We can usually count on one hand the number of days we need the air for the entire year! We love our ocean breezes.

How is your summer going? I think we can all say that it is different than any other we have ever experienced. And for so many reasons……… all starting with how Covid-19 is impacting every part of everyone’s life. No one is exempt. 

My challenge to everyone including myself is to really look at how our lives, our routines and rhythms have changed. For some quite dramatically. For others, not as much. We may feel a loss and go through a yearning to go back to how it was. However that will not happen and in order to move forward, we need to accept that fact.

It is time to recreate ourselves. Reflect  Renew  Refresh – The 3 R’s for an Inspired Life.  The title of my writings and photography journal is even more relevant today than when I published it.

During these long days of summer, let your heart open and your mind wander free to see and feel and enjoy Life. There is so much beauty around us. Take a walk. Take a hike. Ride a bike. Smell the flowers. Listen to the birds. Go swimming. Do yoga. Lay on the beach and do nothing. (Remembering to wear your sunscreen of course).

Be thankful for who you are and who you are becoming. You are in the driver’s seat. You are in control – even if it looks like you are not. You get to make decisions on how you will continue to live your life. Your way. Yes, we have had to adjust, adapt, be flexible and flowing as our new reality takes form. And at times it is uncomfortable and scary and not something you want to do. However, just breathe through it.

In yoga, we are reminded to breathe into the asanas. Do not resist, allow yourself to find comfort and strength in the posture. And in tai chi, non resistance is key to the practice. When you do not resist or work against the energies around you but work or flow with them, you become aligned, obtaining a soft and invisible power.

By not resisting the changes and the disruptions and the detours, you can approach your new reality like the nature of water. The strength of water lies in its ability to flow around obstacles and in its suppleness. Its force is soft yet powerful.

So let’s allow these lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer to provide us with the nourishment needed to create our Best Life yet!

With Light and Love,

Karen