What Is Your Vision for a Balanced Retirement Lifestyle?

Life balance in retirementWhen you retire from doing the frantic busy-ness of your full time work world, who will you be? A common question is Are you a human being or a human doing? As a Baby Boomer, do you recognize the difference for yourself?

Your transition into your retirement lifestyle will give you the opportunity to explore your life balance of being and doing. You will have the time and space to contemplate who you have really been all of your life. And, you will explore doing new activities. What do you envision for yourself?

Human Being

Where does your beingness come from? Your inner spirit has been the undercurrent serving you throughout your life. What do you experience when you connect with your inner being – peace, love, happiness, joy? Your retirement lifestyle will be greatly enriched when you tap into the vast reservoir of your spirit. To become familiar with your experience of connecting to your inner being, reflect on times when:

  1. You are in a beautiful, natural setting and feeling very peaceful
  2. You are open-heartedly serving the needs of another with love
  3. You are enjoying happiness of laughter in the present moment

Human Doing

In your full time work world you may have lived a life filled with doing activities at a frenzied pace to meet obligations and expectations of others. When you retire from all that, you have the chance to choose what you do and how you do it. What is the graceful pace that you will choose so that you live a life balanced with being and doing in the third phase of your life?

My Experience

Like many people, my professional and personal activities kept me very busy at a hectic pace. This eventually caused my immune system to falter and I had to learn to live my life at a more graceful pace in order to restore my good health.

I have two anchors that help me live my life in balance. One consists of my physical fitness activities which give me the strength, endurance, and flexibility to go about my day with ease. The other is my daily meditation practice which allows me to reconnect with my inner spirit and know that I always have all that I need within me.

What is your retirement lifestyle vision for living a balanced life of doing and being?

Janice Williams, Retirement Coach, www.welcomingretirement.com


Let Your Light Shine to Reach Your Potential

It has always mystified me how some people never get done what they had planed on doing in life.  They get caught up in what is known as paralysis by analysis and never get really started living.  The old Chinese Proverb that says “A journey of 1000 miles begins as a single step”, is so true in reaching our potentials.

I read a story the other night that really makes my point.

A few nights ago a peculiar thing happened.  An electrical storm caused a blackout in our neighborhood.  When the lights went out, I felt my way through the darkness into the storage closet where we keep the candles for nights like this.  Through the glow of a lit match I looked up on the shelf where the candles were stored.  There they were, already positioned in their stands, melted to various degrees by previous missions.  I took my match and lit one of them.

How it illuminated the storage room!  What had been a veil of blackness suddenly radiated with soft, joyous golden light!  I could see the freezer I had just bumped with my knee.  And I could see my tools that needed to be straightened.

“How joyful it is to have light!”  I said out loud, and then spoke to the candle.  “If you do such a good job here in the storage closet, just wait till I get you out where you’re really needed!  I’ll put you on the table so we can eat.  Or I’ll put you on my desk so I can read”.  I took down the lit candle, “I think I’ll put you in the living room where you can light up the whole area.”  (I felt a bit foolish talking to a candle—but what do you do when the lights go out?)

I was turning to leave with the large candle in my hand when I heard a voice, “Now, hold it right there.”

I stopped.  Somebody’s in here!  I thought.  Then I relaxed.  It’s just my wife teasing me for talking to a candle.  “OK, honey, cut the kidding,”  I said in the simidarkness.  No answer.  Hmm, maybe it was the wind.  I took another step.

“Hold it, I said!”  There was that voice again.  My hands began to sweat.  “Who said that?”  “I did.”  The voice was near my hand.  “Who are you?  What are you?”

“I’m a candle.”  I looked at the candle I was holding.  It was burning a strong, golden flame.  It was red and sat on a heavy wooden candle holder that had a firm handle.

I looked around once more to see if the voice could be coming from another source.  “There’s no one here but you and me,” the voice informed me.

I lifted up the candle to take a closer look.  You won’t believe what I saw.  There was a tiny face in the wax.  (I told you you wouldn’t believe me.)  Not just a wax face that someone had carved, but a moving, functioning, fleshlike face full of expression and life.

“Don’t take me out of here!”  “What?”  “I said, Don’t take me out of this room.”

“What do you mean?  I have to take you out.  You’re a candle.  You job is to give light and joy to others.  It’s dark and scary out there.  People are stubbing their toes and walking into walls.  You have to come out and light up the place!”

“But you can’t take me out.  I’m not ready.” The candle explained with pleading eyes.  “I need more preparation.”  I couldn’t believe my ears.  “More preparation?”

“Yeah, I’ve decided I need to research this job of light-giving so I won’t go out and make a bunch of mistakes.  You’d be surprised how distorted the glow of an untrained candle can be.  So I’m doing some studying.  I just finished a book on wind resistance,  I’m in the middle of a great series of tapes on wick build-up and conservation—and I’m reading the new bestseller on flame display.  Have you heard of it?”

“No,” I answered.

“You might like it.  It’s called Waxing Eloquently.”

“That really sounds inter—” I caught myself.  What am I doing?  I’m in here conversing with a candle while my wife is out there in the darkness!

“All right then, I said.  “You’re not the only candle on the shelf” as I blew the candle out!

As Max De Pree said, “We cannot become what we need to be by remaining what we are.”

<strong>So step out and begin letting your light shine.</strong>

TEAM of One

TEAM of OneI was having lunch with a colleague of mine the other day and he asked me how my latest project was going.  After lamenting about how much I have left to accomplish.  I felt compelled to add something that made me feel really strong.  I said, “Never underestimate the power of a great team behind, beside and in front of you.”

As “Father’s Day” has come and gone and I am knee deep into the process of publishing a book based on some of my father’s infinite wisdom he imparted on me when I was young.  I can’t help but think about the day he retired for the last time (and yes, he has retired twice).  I was asked to speak and before I uttered a single word I looked out over the audience and saw the faces of the people my father had touched and those who were with him along the way during this part of his journey.  I’m not sure what possessed me to say this, but as I  thought about him and where I was in life, I said.  “Each of us walks a path that at times that was paved by those who come before us.”

So as I am knee deep into publishing this book I wanted to say “thank you” to everyone who has helped make this dream possible.  Continue reading “TEAM of One” »

Writing session after TwD – Part 2

I told the following story about grocery rescue, my TwD friend captured it and emailed me a first draft. It is one way to write together. We will write together again June 5, from 2:45 to 3:45, and other TwD participants are welcome to participate. Tomorrow I may be giving editorial feedback on a collection of my friend’s writing. It is inspiring to be in the company of writers.  Join us by the fireplace at Friends, Philosophy, and Tea for a second cup of tea; draft your next blog post, be part of the conversation a bit as we all improve our writing practice. We will discover how to move our writing along.  Here is what my friend and I made possible in less than an hour last week:

I wish there were more “grocery rescue” volunteer drivers.  That way, it would be easier to find a substitute driver when I go on vacation. Being a grocery rescue volunteer is a very important part of my life.  In less than three years I have personally carried more than 15 tons of donated food to the local food bank, and the only cost to my family has been 2 hours per week of my time plus the gasoline to drive 2 miles per week.

How much money would I have to earn to feel as though I could donate 5 tons of food per year?  That’s 10,000 pounds!  For reporting purposes, a food bank might value donated food at a dollar a pound. So food bank arithmetic would tell me that a dollar value of the food that I carry each year is about $10,000. I do not feel as though I have $10,000 every year to give the food bank, but I do feel as though I have 2 hours every week to give the food bank. And my 2 hours a week makes it possible for the food bank to obtain the fresh food that my local supermarket is eager to donate – extra that they do not wish to throw away.

I wish more people would donate time to their local food banks, so that there could be more grocery rescue drivers and more substitutes for us.   The Food Lifeline Network is the umbrella organization through which my local grocery rescue operation takes place; Hopelink is the social service agency that operates my local food bank. The experience enhances my life, values, and community connections.  It has formed me and benefited my family and me, every bit as much as any food bank client has benefited from the food obtained by my participation.

Stop Doing It or Start Charging For It

Wow! This empowering, liberating, affirming, respectful, and somewhat scary message dominated part of the March 27 TwD session. Karin Q was the good natured, curious, courageous, authentic, valuable expert whose knowledge base and practices were the subject of discussion. What a gift to the group that we could all hear, and hopefully learn, so much in the “laboratory” discussion around what is near and dear to her heart.

Later in the day, I felt a jolt! I have already established a market rate for the personal advocacy I have done with friends and family for twelve years! Some years ago, a young adult friend was hit by a car and sustained disabling injuries. She had no local family, and so our family simply said, “We are your family.” I was with her every day for a while, then intermittently for a long time. It was gift. It is simply “what we do in the world.”

But there came a time that she said, “You have always said it isn’t about money, but the reality is the responsible party has taken responsibility for this situation and I have received a check. You gave me the gift that you could give when I needed it, and I fear you will not allow me the same privilege.” I said, “My friend, of course I will accept a gift with gratitude. Just as you did. But this was never a marketplace transaction between us.” We did not discuss numbers, she simply wrote a check that represented value. And let’s just say that no one needed to fear getting in trouble with the I.R.S. over excess gift taxes, but….. the gift was sizable.

The details of that year have faded from my memory, but I knew our discussion yesterday applied to me in some way.  All afternoon I wondered, “what would be a market value for my expertise?” To my surprise, these events came back to me. I did the math in my head and called my friend saying, “I am so grateful for a gift you have given me that I never appreciated before right now. So I called you immediately. Remember the events of all those years ago? Well…. because of you, I can say to future clients, ‘my going rate is [a certain amount] per hour.’ ”

I came to TwD hoping to gain what I needed to simply write a blog that others might benefit. And that will happen. Soon. I have developed content and a blog name, acquired a domain name, and I depart today on what I regard on a WordPress learning retreat. I hope to have a blog to share with you next Tuesday.

I never imagined it might be the start of an income stream. It is not an income stream the family needs to keep the lights turned on, but value is value. The words “Stop Doing It or Start Charging” apply to me.

Change Your Pace ~ Change Your Life

Life is a journey to be savored every step of the way.

What is the pace of your steps on your life journey?

  • Do you race through each day or each activity to finish it so you can move on to the next?
  • Are you on automatic pilot with a laser focus on your work world, trying to do it all in overdrive?
  • Do you feel disconnected from family, friends, and yourself?
  • Are you burned out, depleted, exhausted?

The third phase of your life is a time to change your pace

In order to thrive in the third phase of your life – ages 50-75 – you may find you want to change to a slower pace and feel uncertain how to do it. This can be a time of inner growth and self-discovery and being of service for you. In contrast, the first and second phases of life – ages 1-24 and 25-49 – are filled with growing in the outer world and striving for success.

Four ways to achieve a more easeful pace

  • Make mindful choices and intentions about how you want to be and what you want to do each day to savor your life journey.
  • Enrich your connections with family, friends, and yourself.
  • Restore your health and well-being – mentally, physically, and emotionally.
  • Engage in activities that bring you satisfaction intellectually, productively, and recreationally.

My Experience

The pace of my journey in the second phase of my life was on overdrive. I was laser-focused on my work world, always striving for success. I put all other aspects of my life in the background until finally I reached the point of burn out. My immune system was depleted and my doctor ordered me to slow down, get well and change the pace at which I lived my life.

I learned that I can choose how I live my life. Through restoring my health and well-being, I discovered that the inner journey of self discovery is as important as the outer journey. I explored a wide variety of activities to increase my enjoyment of life in my outer journey. My daily practice of meditation has been the most direct route to self discovery in my inner journey. Life balance for me is choosing to live each day savoring both my inner journey and my outer journey with an easeful pace.

What is the pace of your steps on your life journey?

Feng Shui – Interface of People, Buildings and Nature

pond and trees

Select the correct site

Harmony between buildings, nature and people is the function of feng shui. How can you create this harmony in your environment? The best way to do it is to start with selecting the correct piece of land for your building project. When you begin with land that supports your well being then you are ahead of the game.

Choose land without steep slopes that can drain away your money. Stay away from T intersections, highway overpasses, fast running water and land with ravines. Instead choose land that is basically flat where you can build far enough away from the road to avoid heavy vibrations.

Too much or too little

The soils should not be too dry, too rocky or too wet. Each of these can cause various problems for you. Vegetation should be healthy on the land you choose. Trees should be in good condition and growing well. They should not be overly large or too close to the building. Some kinds of trees should be avoided such as willow trees which thrive in wet areas and grow quickly. In addition to indicating wet conditions the roots can interfere with drainage and sewer lines. Some trees are messy and attract insects and snakes. So be careful what kind of trees you choose.

painted desert

Be aware of your surroundings. Is it too hot or cold and windy? Are there strange smells?  If your land is too exposed such as the top of a hill you will constantly be battered by sun, rain and wind. The views may be magnificent but eventually you will find it to be too strong for comfort. Your house will also suffer and deteriorate. If you live downwind from a factory, paper mill or a farm you may be assaulted by smells that can be very unpleasant and eventually will affect your health.

Are you in balance

What about what you see around you? Anything you see will affect you. Surround yourself with beauty both inside and outside of your building. Are your surroundings in balance? Are you the largest building in the area? When you stand out this, you can become…

To continue reading please visit Real Feng Shui Solutions

all rights reserved © Diane Kern 2012

Financial Recovery – a Book Review

I work with small business owners on the personal side of being in business. One of the most personal aspects of business, which is usually the least talked about is personal and professional finances. However, what happens when a business owner is sloppy about the finances? Bankruptcy, closed doors, lost jobs, broken dreams are just the beginning. Let’s say it just isn’t pretty.

Because small business owners are among those suffering during this economically stressful time Andrew Barber-Starkey of ProCoach Systems suggested I read “Financial Recovery” written by Karen McCall. What is happening as a result of my read is clarifying inspiring and enlightening to say the least. Having read it I immediately thought of my some of my clients who are struggling and recommended it to them. They, like many of the people in her case studies, are seeing positive results.

Are you plagued by Under earning? Doing without? Making do? Overspending? Why? Do you find yourself making choices you know are not in your best financial interest but rationalize your way around those choices anyway? Why? Karen gets you to the root cause behind those choices. But she doesn’t stop there. She provides good solid steps for getting out of debt and changing those behaviors for good. It isn’t necessarily easy to make those changes, but she provides you step by step instructions with real life case studies showing how those small steps can make a big difference. She also provides software designed for those of us for whom working with numbers is a major challenge all of its own.

Are you ready for something different for yourself, your kids, and your business? Check out “Financial Recovery”. You’ll be glad you did!

Cleansing body and soul

The word “cleansing” may strike fear into the hearts of many. Depending on your outlook, it can mean many things, to many people. Cleansing & Nutrition has become a multi billion dollar industry and has many long term benefits. So, why should we… cleanse the body? Let’s dive into the problems and solutions and get educated before we say…no thanks.

First of all, I am talking about whole body cleansing. Not just one specific area, like the colon. By cleansing the WHOLE body, we are releasing toxins, stored in fat, that have attacked our body. Toxins are hanging out, in ALL areas to doing damage. Toxins come from lots of everyday things we have in our environment, home & car. Toxins are everywhere. They are in pollution, computers, hairsprays, makeup, cellphones, gasoline, carpeting, and products we use everyday. How did they get there?…. well as you go about your day, you ingest and assimilate them unknowingly. You smell things, you touch things, you eat food. The organs like the liver, pancreas, kidneys, gall bladder, etc, are filtering the inflow of foods, toxins and nutrients storing the good AND the bad.

PCB’s, Antibiotics, Hormones, Toxins, and a plethora of GUNK, are waiting to wreak havoc on our bodies and internal organs and cause what we know as “leaky gut”. This leaky gut can cause cancers, infections and a multiple array of gastrointestinal “crap” to happen, including IBS, irritable bowel syndrome. (Yes, I meant to use that word, crap.) Our fecal waste is the elimination route of these toxins. BUT, we are not eliminating toxins like we are designed to do. We are storing toxins in our FAT, something very foreign to our “operating systems” for our bodies. We are supposed to eliminate them & poop them out. Butt, (pun intended) humans are getting fatter and fatter every year, causing our bodies to become MORE toxic everyday. The FAT CELLS are where the toxins like to live, so the more fat we have, the more toxins we store.

Get the picture yet?… That’s why Cleansing is so important. I was not aware of any of this until I did my own in-depth research and actually tried some cleanses. I now am a walking talking library of information on this topic. The general public does not know this stuff….nor do they care, unless it affects them. And studies now conclusively show…1 out of 2 of us WILL get cancer, and get VERY sick, unless we do something NOW about eliminating these harmful toxins from our bodies.

So, the more fat we release, and eliminate from our bodies…the healthier we become. It’s pretty simple. Mostly it’s a matter of the nutrition and food we put into our bodies. Our society and world over the past 50 + years has produced fast foods & the “quick, grab and go” meals. We have all become used to stopping or eating on the go at the many fast food chains. We are consuming burgers, fries, and over processed foods with unhealthy results, not realizing how bad they really are or what is happening to us in the process. Did you know?… An 8 0z. carbonated beverage can PARALIZE your immune system for up to 12 hours….robbing your body of calcium, which shuts down the body from doing it’s job. I didn’t either! Most nutritionists know this, try to tell us, but we don’t want to listen. Humans like sodas and carbonated beverages. Well, after finding this out, I quit. No more carbonation for me. Many of us already know it also robs our bones of the calcium it needs, creating osteoporosis, too.

Most of the foods we eat nowadays is nutritionally bankrupt, not providing us with  what we need. The soils we raise commercial foods in, is void of the organic compounds and micro organisms that the vegetables and fruits need to thrive in. That’s why people are looking at buying ORGANIC foods…because they know, the nutritional content is higher in these foods. These ORGANIC fields and orchards have not had the pesticides sprayed onto them…..which in turn get into the soils to kill the living organisms…that we need to produce healthy foods. It is a vicious cycle. Produce more food to help feed the world vs nutritionally bankrupt food = disaster. We are immobilized by lack of knowledge, and based in fear.

This vicious cycle is literally KILLING us. Back in the 1950’s the cancer rate was 1 in 12. Today, the cancer rate is 1 in 2 according to some studies. With all the money and research being spent, we have not slowed down the rate, at which we are getting sick. We have not yet come to grips, that WHAT we are eating & NOT EATING, and the problem is slowly killing us.  What we need to know is this: Isagenix & others, have products out there to help us.

We need to get off the hamster wheel and re-think what our bodies are craving. They are really craving GOOD NUTRITION… not junk food and sodas. Our bodies are well designed machines that thrive on building lean muscle with pure proteins.  We need water, exercise, nutritionally dense foods. Our bodies need to be able to eliminate toxins…and they will, if we give them that opportunity.

So, how do we get that opportunity?  Where do we look for cleansing products? There are so many products out on the market. Many that do a lot of different things, all in different price categories. I have found one in particular that I like, and will share it with you. It is called “CLEANSE FOR LIFE”  by Isagenix. This product is designed to cleanse the whole body. You have 3 different ways to use it; a simple 1oz everyday, a moderate 16 oz one day a week, or a deep 2 day 32oz cleanse every 2 weeks. The product tastes great. You drink it like you would a glass of juice. The amazing results follow and you feel healthier, just knowing you are doing something GOOD for your body. There is no running to or being close to a bathroom, like some people think. Most people start with the 1 day, 16 oz a week cleanse, to really let the body know you are “cleaning house”  on a certain day. This allows your organs to REST, during the 24 hour cleansing fast, while the products are doing what they are intended to do. You drink 4 oz of cleanse, 4 times a day, for a total of 16 oz. You are also allowed a few “approved snacks” too…but that’s it. This cleansing day, is to clean out the GUNK!. It’s so vital and important to your overall health and wellness that I highly recommend EVERYONE do it. A bottle is approximately $32.00 which is only $1.00 per oz.   A small price to pay for being healthy and doing something good for YOU. The benefits of CLEANSE FOR LIFE are so vast and intricate that it’s hard to go into all the details… but it is wonderfully liberating to know YOU can help to fix your own problems and that YOU are part of the solutions. Nutritionalls dense fods do make a difference in our health and wellbeing. Enjoy cleansing for peace of mind, body & soul.


What’s In The Way of Your Feng Shui

high tension towerThere are thousands of things in your environment that have an impact on the way you work and live. Some of those things you can see such as furniture, walls, decorative objects, streets and rivers. Others you can not see such as electromagnetic fields, heat and cold, odors, the wind, chemicals and the like. These environmental situations  affect your ability to think, be healthy, and have good relationships. Your success in business and your quality of life can be improved with the enhanced opportunities Feng Shui provides.

Feng Shui takes what is found in the environment and uses it for your advantage. By creating appropriate landscapes and roads Feng Shui brings energy to your door. What is this energy? Every thing in our world is full of energy. Think of it as food. We all need food to survive. The higher the quality of the food the better our health. Since energy is all around us in many forms all we have to do is gather it for our benefit. The practiced Feng Shui consultant is trained to recognize and direct this energy for you.

lobster stew and veggies

When that energy arrives at your door then what? Let’s go back to the food analogy. If the food is on your plate but you never open your mouth to eat it then it does you no good. If your door is in the wrong….

To finish reading this article please go to Real Feng Shui Solutions