Don’t Travel Alone The Aging Process; Learn From Others

January 4, 2012 by  
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I have always liked having older folks as friends.  I’m talking about people in their 80s and 90s.  The reason is pretty simple: they’ve been there and done that.

At some point in our western social and cultural development the pendulum of wisdom swung from the elders to the young.  Experience became secondary to the glow of youth and in the process we – young and middle aged – lost plenty.

In our shortsighted view of the world we have forgotten that regardless how many diets we follow or how much cream we buy, we will all age or die. But instead of having a road map from the people that have gone through the process before us, we end up having to discover the way all over again by ourselves. Questions like: is life still worth living when we look like prunes, can we still have fun when we have to move a little slower, can we love, can we have intimacy, what are the things in my life now that when I get to be in my 80s I will realize were not worth losing sleep over, go unanswered.

My neighbor is 87 years old and she lives by herself.  She travels either to Hawaii or Vegas once every two months.  She flirts and her social life is intense.  I ask her questions.  From her I learned it is possible to be content at any age.  It is possible to still be curious about life. It is still possible to want to love.  And it is still possible to be physically active.  I look at her and I realize – unlike what I hear and see from the media – that life is worth living at any age.  She inspires me.

I hope I will have her around for a long time so I can continue to get directions as I travel through life’s journey.

Please read on…

Get Happy: 5 Surprising Resolutions from the Wisest Americans

By Karl A. Pillemer, Ph.D.

Work. “Ask yourself: Are you glad to get up in the morning?” When it comes to your job, the elders propose a diagnostic test: How do you feel when you get up on a workday morning? You may be ambivalent about your job and have your ups and downs. But when it comes down to it, how do you feel when you are having that first cup of coffee?

Are you at least in a tolerable mood, looking forward to something about work? If instead you feel dread and foot-dragging, the elders say it may be time for a change. As Albert, 80, put it: “It’s a long day if you don’t like what you’re doing. You better get another job because there’s no harsher penalty than to wake up and go to work at a job you don’t like.” …Continued

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Difference Betweeen Self-Confident People And Second Guessers

September 2, 2011 by  
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All people have doubts about their self-worth; from the most successful to the least.  So what is the difference between someone who seems self-confident and someone else who is timid and seems to be always second guessing themselves?

  • First is how people deal with their inner-chatter.
  • Second is the level of importance we give to others and to occurrences

We all have the harsh critic inside whose sole purpose seems to be to put us down.  “You won’t succeed at doing XYZ”,  “Bad things always happen to you, just you wait”,  “You are not smart enough”, “You are not capable enough”, “You are not pretty enough” and so on.

The trick in dealing with the inner critic is to gradually and constantly stop listening to him/her until it becomes just noise.  It sounds easy but it actually takes committing to changing the way we live our lives.  It takes – whenever the voice within starts to scream – to distract our minds and not wallow on its destructive monologue.  It takes substituting the negative with positive aspects of ourselves.  That is what self-confident people do.  They have the critic.  They just don’t give him/her a podium.

The next trick is to realize nothing singularly can destroy or promote us to the inner-circle of the happy and successful.  A life time spans over decades of successes and failures.  Both sides of the coin exist so we can distill the experience into wisdom.  So remembering that no one person or one occurrence has the power to label our lives good or bad will give us a sense of freedom and experimentation.

And lastly having the courage to continue to challenge our own status quo will impress upon us that we can all live outside of a box where statements like: “You are a loser” or “You are stupid” have no place.

Stepping beyond our immediate present and looking at our lives as a life time, will give us the prospective that in the end what matters are the lessons learned – comfortable and uncomfortable – and the love and laughter we have experienced.

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Turning Loss Into Depth And Wisdom

January 15, 2011 by  
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By Angie Rubin

A couple of days ago, I had lunch with a woman who had been my late husband’s friend.  I had seen her once before since his passing two and a half years ago.

The friend wanted to check in with me and again offer her support.  We talked for a while and then the conversation shifted to her brother.  She said we both had a lot in common; he’s a Buddhist – she said. Even though I don’t know her brother, I intuitively knew what she was trying to say.  She was referring to the quality of acceptance.

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First Steps Towards Finding Contentment

October 18, 2010 by  
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By Angie Rubin

I can’t tell you how to live your life.  Actually nobody can.  I also can’t tell you how to find contentment.  Again nobody can.  But I can share with you, life tools I have had to learn to live and thrive.   As I share, take what makes sense to you and leave on the computer screen what doesn’t.

Accepting ourselves and our lives as they are today is the first step towards appreciating life.

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Surviving Life’s Low Points

August 26, 2010 by  
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Today is my fourth wedding anniversary.   I am here but my husband isn’t.  We actually only got to commemorate our first wedding anniversary.  Chris passed away nine days before our second.

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Remembering To Live And Love With Passion

June 4, 2010 by  
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Human Hearts

Human Hearts

We gain many skills and understandings as we get older like wisdom and self-assurance.  But we also loose such qualities as our ability to take risks and expose ourselves and be vulnerable. And that is a pity.

We think twice about pursuing a relationship with someone who we feel passionate about because we are afraid of where our feelings might take us.  And even worse, what if it doesn’t work out?

Or we may be paralyzed to pursue work that we really care about because of again “what if it doesn’t work?”

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Moving Through Grief

May 20, 2010 by  
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When we lose a partner one of the things we also lose is a sense of belonging.  We go from being a team to being an individual.  Sometimes we can even feel disoriented like everyone else has a place to go to except us.  Or that the world is spinning fast and we can barely keep our balance.

This phase happens when we start stepping back into the world.  When we feel we would like to see what else is in the world for us.  This is a delicate time because being frightened can send us into a shell.

During this time it is important to realize 1 – Life as it was is over, and 2 – We have decided to fully experience life again.

Don’t worry about not remembering our loved ones that are no longer here.  We will always remember.  We will always love.  And we will always miss.  But all in a different way.  All giving space to love again.  Because that is what life is: love, resilience, wisdom, experience.

So when you feel off balance take a deep breath and stop thinking.  Go back within and tell yourself you are okay.  Tell yourself one step at a time.

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Mother

May 7, 2010 by  
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The heart of a mother is a deep abyss at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness.  ~Honoré de Balzac

I have just come back from spending ten days in Brazil with my parents.  I had a great time with them; we talked, had lunch and dinners together, and saw a couple of movies.  It was also my mother’s seventy ninth birthday.

I love my mother but ours wasn’t always an easy relationship.   She was always very emotional, and that scared me, and I, a little wild for her.  As the years went on we tried to strike a balance; neither one of us forgetting we were a family.

I’m not a mother so it has taken me a long time to understand how my mother feels about me.  I was made by an act of love, grew inside of her and then fed and protected by her, while I had my eyes on my life’s road.

My mother and I survived all the years of misunderstanding because of the love we have for each other.  That’s the power of love; it keeps you there even when your mind tells you to shut the door.

Today, I admire my mother’ wisdom and her still ever growing love for me.   I’m no longer afraid of her emotions and she has come to understand my singular way of being.

So this Sunday, even though I never pay any attention to holidays,  I will tell my mother how much I love her and how much she means to me.  And I hope our love can color all the roads that lay ahead for me.

Thou art thy mother’s glass, and she in thee
Calls back the lovely April of her prime.
~William Shakespeare

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Wisdom We Already Have

April 18, 2010 by  
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When you look back in your life, how often are you surprised by things you’ve done -which you didn’t understand at the time – but now you recognize as being the right actions?

How many times do you have a peculiar feeling inside when you meet someone or you are about to make a decision?

That’s your intuition, your inner-voice, your wise self letting you know the way to go.  But how often do we turn a deaf ear to it?

I don’t know where our wise self comes from but I do know it gathers information and processes it in a different fashion than our minds do.  I also know somehow that little voice knows what’s best for us every time.

We need to make friends with our wise self.  We need to learn its language so we won’t get so confused when it speaks to us.

Spending time with ourselves is the only way to befriend our intuition because without it we are operating at half capacity.  So if you like to meditate, that’s your time with yourself.  If you don’t, make sure you carve out some time to be quiet.  No phones, no computers, no talking.  Just you and your within.

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Recovering Alcoholic…

May 28, 2009 by  
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I have become an honorary recovering alcoholic. I follow their prayer; grant me the strength to change the things I can, the serenity to accept the things I can’t and the wisdom to know the difference, to the letter.

In the last 9 months of my life I have lost my husband, my savings (I was one of the people that thought I had invested with a member of my husband’s family but was actually investing with Madoff), and my father had a heart attack.

I have no way of fighting life’s current as things just keep coming at me. So all I can do is  stay afloat and concentrate in what I need to do a moment at a time.

Although I have endured much there is something liberating about knowing that I don’t know or have any control in what is coming ahead.  That opens up life to all kinds of possibilities; good and bad. 

It is not that I don’t hold any responsibility in what happens but it truly shows that I should deal with the future when it becomes the present.  So in essence I have an easier time living in the moment.

So many things I never expected have happened to me.  I grew up in Brazil and never imagined living in NY or LA and here I am.  Never imagined working in the film industry or being a widow but that is life.

Of course the best thing about realizing that nobody knows anything is that I no longer spend any money in psychics or tarot readers.

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