It is October 2021 and things seem to be improving here in the U.S. and around the world—mostly. I say mostly because even though Thom and I have returned from traveling during the summer—seeing great sites, enjoying cooler weather, laughing with friends, etc.—I’m still feeling a bit discombobulated. And don’t misunderstand, I’m quite happy to be home where the weather is cooler, my bed is amazingly comfortable, to reconnect with friends and family, and to have stayed healthy through it all. But something still feels a bit off—in me and in the world. Then I listened to Brene Brown interviewing Amy Cuddy and it started to make sense. Many of us, me included, are still immersed in what Cuddy calls Pandemic Flux Syndrome. After unpacking that idea and learning more about what flux is and how it affects us, the fog is lifting.
New Rules For Girls and Women In The 21st Century
Sports have never been my thing. Sure I like to play at a few sports—like pickleball, golf and swimming but usually only with likeminded friends that are there like me, to have fun and socialize—not sweat. So when I heard a recent podcast by Brene Brown interviewing a woman named Abby Wambach, I only vaguely knew who she was. For those of you who are even less familiar than I was, Wambach is a two-time Olympic gold medalist with a ton of other accolades and awards including the highest all time national soccer goal scorer for women and 2nd for international soccer goals for both women AND men. That’s a big deal! At 40 she is retired and has gone on to write a couple of books. Regardless of whether you are a sports fan or not, this impressive woman is able to offer a unique perspective for women of all ages in our times. I found her New Rules to be excellent reminders as we collectively co-create a better world for us all.
Do Seniors Have The Advantage When It Comes To Grief, Loss and Disappointment?
“Life has got to be lived—that’s all there is to it. At seventy, I would say the advantage is that you take life more calmly. You know that ‘this too shall pass.’” ~Eleanor Roosevelt
This morning during my walk I listened to Brene Brown’s new Podcast. In this recent episode she was talking to “grief expert” David Kessler. While I was unfamiliar with his work or his books, I have read the works of his former co-worker, Elizabeth Kubler Ross. After years of research and study, along with their own experiences of loss and grieving, Ross and Kessler offer a road map to any person suffering from loss or grieving. After listening to a great conversation between Brene and David, I was left with several questions. The big one was asking whether it’s possible that those of us over a certain age, say 60-65, have an advantage over the young in these times. Here are a couple of thoughts that popped up for me. [Read more…]
Don’t Believe Your Shitty First Draft
Ever had someone say something to you that felt like a punch in your gut? Even worse, ever have someone you care about do something that felt like a sharp knife in your heart? Fortunately, as I’ve gotten older, my extreme reactions are now further and further apart. But I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that every now and then I still react in ways that are viscerally painful. Then this last week I was listening to a podcast interview of author Brene Brown and she shared something I found brilliant—as well as a perfect exercise to counteract those painful moments that catch us by surprise. And that practice is to remind myself not to believe my “shitty first draft.”
Relinquishing The Need For Agreement Or Understanding From Others
One of my favorite morning routines is walking my dog Kloe. Not only is it healthy for my body (and Kloe’s) but I also make it healthy for my mind by listening to podcasts and other lectures by authors I enjoy. I purposely pick positive and uplifting talks and seminars because I care about what kind of information I am putting into my brain. However, because we traveled so much this summer and although I still did plenty of walking, I hadn’t listened to a lecture in months. This week I downloaded some new ideas from one of my favorite speakers, Abraham-Hicks. And with synchronicity at play, I heard exactly what I needed at this time in my life. That was the loud and clear message that it is time for me to stop my need to alter my behavior to get others to agree or even understand me. [Read more…]
Speaking Up When Speaking Out Is Hard
As a child, I was conditioned to keep my mouth shut if I wanted to be seen as a good girl. I picked up early that arguing was pointless, and that only bitchy girls insisted on being heard. I did my best to fit in and keep others around me comfortable and happy. It seemed logical to maintain the peace rather than escalate any problem. Besides, the affection and positive attention I received by being a good girl made the choice easier. From teenage on, I perfected my sunny attitude using smoking as a pacifier to entertain myself while staying silent. Unfortunately, when I stopped smoking in my early-thirties, my reliable smoke screen disappeared. Thankfully, through the many years that followed, I’ve gradually grown strong enough to speak my mind when necessary. [Read more…]
Letting Go Of the Need To Be Right
I think if you ask most people, they will agree that being happy is more important than being right. But if that’s true, why do so many of us, me included, frequently choose the opposite? For the most part, we hang on to our ideas, beliefs and perceptions as though our lives depended upon them. Even when it is a relatively minor point like what toothpaste to buy, many of us will clutch our opinions like dogs with a bone. Unfortunately, it is easy to see that the more that we insist we are right, the more we alienate others, frustrate ourselves, stymie our growth, restrict our ability to change, and cut ourselves off from our true nature. So I decided during 2015 as part of my 60-for-60 project, to take a look in the mirror and do my best to let go of being so attached to be right—starting now. [Read more…]
Why Good Enough And Done Is Better Than Perfect
I believe that writing is like any other artistic creation. A piece is never really done until the artist says it is—and any artist who shoots only for perfection often doesn’t even start, much less finish their art. That’s why I can agree with Mark Zuckerman who has said, “Done is better than perfect.” But lately I’ve seen a number of other bloggers and writers complain on Facebook and their blogs that they are appalled at the poor writing, grammar and spelling that gets posted on the Internet these days. And I have to admit that a part of me, the perfectionist part of me, squirms a bit when I read that. Maybe because I know without question that my writing isn’t perfect, comments like those spark feelings of doubt or guilt around the merit of my work. So what is it about perfectionism, by a person who doesn’t believe she is a perfectionist, that has the power to make us question our gifts to the world? [Read more…]
How To Feel Rich, Safe & Content—No Matter What
Let me state right up front that this article is not about getting rich or making money. It is also not about the latest in security technology or the suggestion that you should be happy just the way you are. Instead, I want to explore the biggest obstacle to why most of us don’t really feel rich, safe or content regardless of how much money we have in the bank, the circumstances surrounding us, or how great things might be at any point. That big “elephant in the room” is an underlying, all-pervasive and largely unconscious belief in scarcity and lack. In fact, whether you are on the path to a simple or minimalist lifestyle—or just trying to get by as you are—I’m convinced that discovering what I mean by that, growing ever more aware of it, and taking steps to counteract it are some of the most important steps we can ever take to increase our individual well being. Interested? [Read more…]