2013: Year of Challenge

2012 was my back to basic year. It helped me get back to who I am as a person and get certain parts of my life back on track. Sometimes it is good to go back to basics and work on the easy stuff.

2013 is my year of challenges. I am challenging myself to take it up a notch. Each month will have a different challenge.

Meat

Meat (Photo credit: yum9me)

The first challenge is the Whole 30 challenge.

 

http://whole9life.com/

I am going to do my best of eating no grains, dairy and sugar. I am going to evaluate my relationship with food. More information will be available through out the month.

What is your challenge for 2013? What are you going to do differently this year?

Your Spiritual Life Coach
Brett Dupree
www.joyousexpansion.com

Wibbily Wobbily Timey Whimey

]This post is a long time coming. It has been a while since I have written in my blog. One of the reasons is that life got in the way. I had two decently tragic events in my life. One was kind of tragic sort of bummy. The other was devastating to the point of crushing. Death of close family members is never a fun thing. One of the fun parts about getting older is that, unless something happens to me, more and more of my older family members are going to die. Oh joy.

Well this blog isn’t supposed to be a bummer, it is supposed to be a rebirth. Time to come back up from the ashes of things not going as well as I would like and rededicate myself to love and joy. Take what I have learned from the current experiences and use them to serve.

Wibbly Wobbly Time

Sonic Screwdriver

Sonic Screwdriver (Photo credit: Maggie Osterberg)

I have a confession. I am a kind of a geek or nerd. I love Doctor Who. However this post is not about Doctor Who. It is about a concept that I enjoy from Doctor Who. It is about how time works.

A constant message during the spiritual workshops I have been to is that after taking such a workshop that my life can be turned upside down. All of the workshops have mentioned the fact that going deeper in spirituality can lead to radical life changes.

Before my life went through a radical change, I took a wonderful meditation workshop by Intuitive Mind. Nancy Rebecca lead a very fun introduction to meditation workshop. She mentioned that doing the meditation can lead to huge life changes, such as divorce, job changes, moving across country, the normal spiritual life changes. Warrior Sage mentioned that as well. So has Abraham.

Well I digress, I was doing the meditation twice a day, then I had to cut down to one a day. I couldn’t go to sleep after getting so joyed up. How do you fall asleep when feeling awesome and energized? Leave a comment if you know how.

Yoga

Yoga (Photo credit: RelaxingMusic)

After a month of meditating I lost a high paying job. That was a pretty big bummer. Had so many plans. Then two weeks later, my 41 year old Uncle Mike passed on. My Uncle‘s death really put the whole losing a job thing in perspective, because that was a much bigger bummer. On a scale of 1 to 10 of bummer, where 1 is a little bummer and 10 is a huge bummer, it was a million. My Uncle Mike is one of my closet family members. I love him a lot. Losing him on this life plane is very painful.

That got me to thinking about what Nancy Rebecca said about life going crazy after starting this meditation. When being told this I always thought about a cause and effect relationship. I start to meditate and then stuff starts happening.

However I cannot believe that me beginning meditation causes my Uncle’s death. I do not believe I have the power to kill people with just the power of mediation, yet. Just kidding. I also do not believe that my spiritual actions can cause anything to happen in other people’s lives. Spirit isn’t going to cause nearly 100 people to lose their jobs and kill a person just to teach me a lesson.

This leads me to my wibbily wobbly timey whimey theory. For some reason I was drawn to that meditation class. Which was interesting because I was not feeling the need to take a class. I still have my spiritual hubris mode of not needing to learn anything more thing going on. Since time isn’t just a straight line, I believe that without a shadow of a doubt that my spirit knew that a tough time was coming up and lead me to a practice that would help me get out of the funk that tough time would cause.

I have started to meditate again and I feel the cloud lifting. Life has a lot of ups and downs. Events that you do not want to happen will happen. How you react to them and how back you come back to love is your practice. It has taken me a few months to come back to love after my Uncle’s death. If it wasn’t for my spirit giving me some new tools, who knows how much longer it would have taken.

When you feel the desire to take a class or workshop, and then your life goes down the drain, take a moment to thank your higher self. Your higher self guided you to your teachings to provide you with tools to help you go through the rough waves of your life.

By Spiritual Life Coach
Brett Dupree
http://www.joyousexpansion.com

 

Your Year End Checklist

Reflections for Baby BoomersNo matter where Baby Boomers are on the threshold of their retirement, it can be very beneficial to track their transition into their encore stage of life. Before creating visions and goals for your next year, I recommend taking time at the end of this year to reflect back on what you experienced during the current year.

10 Questions for Review and Reflection

Read through your calendar, journal, and any other documentation you may have used to record the events of this year. Give yourself uninterrupted time to do your review and reflections. Ask yourself these 10 questions:

  1. What overall pattern or trend did you discover for the year?
  2. What is one achievement that you are most proud of?
  3. What helped you to make that achievement happen?
  4. What stood in the way of achieving what you had planned?
  5. What do you want to work more on in the coming year?
  6. What will be different next year?
  7. What unexpected gifts or challenges did you experience this year?
  8. What do you wish you had known at the first of this year that you know now?
  9. If you could wave a magic wand, what would you make happen right now?
  10. What title would you give this year to fully describe it? – The year of ____________.

When you take the time to thoroughly review and reflect upon what you experienced in the current year, you honor your time, your energy, and your effort. It can be viewed as the stepping stone for what is to come next and can serve as a guide for you when you create your vision and goals for the upcoming year.

What did you learn from your review and reflection of this year?

Janice Williams Retirement Coach, www.welcomingretirement.com

 

 

Gun violence clues lie in early childhood nurturance and neglect

So long as we dwell on red herring surface issues such as gun control, the underlying issues can never be addressed.

Has anyone noticed that none of the shooters are female?

Rather than rehash old arguments regarding gun control and mental health availability, maybe we should look into how we raise and nurture our sons, our male children in this country such that some of them explode into violence.

A late teacher of mine, Charlie Kreiner, once asked us a question I will never ever forget,

“What do you have to do to a male child such that he will agree to kill and be killed in the name of masculinity?”

I ask: “How do we engage with our adorable, delicious, joyous, and loving male children such that they grow up to perpetrate domestic violence and become killers?”

I suggest that there is a clear connection between gender-related nurturance neglect, developing emotional numbness, and the capacity of any individual to perpetrate violence.

Evidence is emerging in neuroscience literature. Watch and listen to neuroscientist VS Ramachandran speak in the TED Talk The Neurons that Shaped Civilization.

The roots of our capacity to empathize lie in early childhood and in the manner we as young children are treated, or not.

We learn that young children are born with an enormous capacity to mimic, mirror, and to reliably reproduce the world they experience. But the number of mirror motor neurons shrinks by about four years of age and their capacity to learn shrinks as well.

Emotionally neglected children do not develop into adults who have the capacity to feel the consequences of their actions.

It is impossible to feel the pain of another if your capacity to feel at all is stunted or missing altogether. Sometimes it looks like the violence perpetrated on elementary school children; other times it looks like domestic violence in the home.

Gun control is a red herring. The clues to the origins of gun violence lie in early childhood nurturance and neglect of children.

Do You Practice Life-Long Learning?

Learning in encore yearsWhat will your identity be when you leave your full time work world and enter into the encore stage of your life? This stage of life gives baby boomers an opportunity to branch out and explore new ways of being and doing during their retirement years.

One support for clarifying your new identity is life-long learning. If you were totally immersed in your professional world, the learning you experienced over the years may have been focused on acquiring work-related knowledge, skills and abilities. How will learning manifest in your retirement lifestyle?

Expand your expertise

You can build on the expertise that you already have, as well as explore new learning topics, resulting in numerous benefits. Should you want to take another form of employment or volunteerism, you may need to update your skills in order to be relevant and successful. Perhaps you have always wanted to learn about a particular subject and never took the time to do so while you were working. If you plan to travel, you may want to learn a new language that could make your travel experience richer.

There are other benefits you can receive from learning new subjects. Brain science is learning more and more about how learning stimulates the brain cells and can slow the aging process. When you learn about new subjects, you can also become a more interesting conversationalist. And, in the learning process, you will meet new, like-minded people.

Share your expertise

Your encore stage of life is a prime time to share your existing expertise, as well as your newly acquired knowledge. You can teach the subject matter to others, either in the form of employment or as a volunteer. As you teach, you continue to learn more about the subject as well as yourself and interacting with others. Lastly, you will leave a legacy of the value of your expertise with others who learn from you.

How to enhance your expertise

There are numerous ways to refine what you already know and learn about new subjects that fit your retirement lifestyle, such as:

  • Online learning
  • Universities, colleges, community colleges
  • Professional associations
  • Centers for life-long learning
  • Government agencies

How will life-long learning enrich your retirement lifestyle?

Janice Williams, Retirement Coach, www.welcomingretirement.com

 

Hanukkah memories: sour cream or applesauce?

Lighting the Hanukkah Menorah

“Applesauce or sour cream?” will be one of the most hotly debated issues around family tables this Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights.

The Jewish holiday of Hanukkah begins this coming weekend and will last for eight days. The holiday celebrates the triumph of the Maccabees over the Assyrian Greeks 2300 years ago and of the re-consecration of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.

Families everywhere will soon sing festival songs and light Hanukkah candles on a Menorah, an eight-branched candelabra, adding one candle each night until the candelabra is completely filled with light on the very last night of the festival holiday.

The issue at stake surrounds the humble Latke, a potato pancake, Hanukkah’s signature food. There are a wide variety of opinions regarding how to make latkes correctly, what they should taste like, and whether a latke is best eaten with a liberal application of applesauce or sour cream. Every family has a slightly different recipe and public heated debates have been held surrounding latkes, their use and preparation. I am a sour cream stalwart.

What was Hanukkah like for you growing up? How did your family prepare latkes? Or did your family like make sufganiyot, ball shaped fried doughnuts instead? Has someone actually written down the family recipe?

Did you family give Hanukkah Gelt, spin the Dreidel together, exchange gifts with one another, Christmas-style. Some families give a gift for each night, some only once, and some give no gifts. What are your family’s festival traditions? How has the Hanukkah celebration changed for your family over the years?

Use can ask these questions and find other questions like these on the Memoriesbroughttolife website. Use them as a guide to recover your parents’ and grandparents’ memories of Hanukkah. There are pages you can use either stand alone, or as part of a family Living Legacy LifeBook.

To obtain these free pages, click on the Downloads tab on the Memoriesbroughttolife website and be guided through a very simple process, entering your name and e-mail address to be provided complementary access to all downloadable files available.

These are irreplaceable memories well worth keeping, valuable memories providing a window into the lives of our ancestors.

Discover Your Family Treasure

Stories of familyThe encore years of life offer Baby Boomers a time for reflection and conversations to discover valuable family stories. When you uncover the stories you hold for your own life you create greater awareness of how you fit into your family. And, when you share your stories with others in your family, you expand their perspective of their own lives, as well as of the family as a whole.

Reflections on your own life stories can help you design your retirement lifestyle. What do you remember as the most important? Are there any repetitive themes? How can they inform your choices for the next stage of your life?

Discovery Process

There are many ways you can discover your family treasures, including:

  • Journals and diaries that you and others have kept, or currently write.
  • Asking other relatives what they remember about events that you remember – their memories may be illuminating.
  • Allow other relatives to interview you with their own questions which you may never have thought of.
  • Record your discoveries to share in the future by writing them down, or by making audio or video recordings.

Sharing Your Stories

Family members may think they know each other well when they have grown up together. Other relatives may know each other superficially because they see each one another infrequently. Instead of keeping conversations on a mundane level, I encourage you to share the wisdom you have accumulated throughout your life when you reach your retirement years. Your stories will allow others of all generations to know and appreciate you more. Your perspectives on life can inform family members of new ways of experiencing life.

Throughout the ages, and in other cultures, the wisdom of the elders has been highly regarded. I recommend that you gather your own stories and the stories of your family and actively keep them alive by sharing them with one another often.

What family treasures will you discover in your encore years?

Janice Williams, Retirement Coach, www.welcomingretirement.com

Pearl Harbor memories

Where you, your parents or grandparents on the Day of Infamy?

Nothing would ever be the same after that day, December 7, 1941, the day Imperial Japanese airplanes attacked U.S. naval fleets and air force bases in Hawaii.

That day, that would be known as Pearl Harbor Day would be remembered as the day our nation’s view of itself and of its role in the world altered forever and laid the groundwork for the world we know today.

Before the end of the Second World War ended, millions of American would be drafted to serve in the American armed forces and citizens everywhere would join together to support a national war effort.

And it all began seventy-two years ago this week, December 7th, 1941.

How long did it take them to learn of the attack in the days before television and Internet?  How were their lives affected? Did your family plant a Victory garden,  collect tin foil, or participate in scrap drives for the war effort? Do they remember rationing? How did rationing affect your family and community?

Use can ask these questions and find other questions like these on the Memoriesbroughttolife website. Use them as a guide to uncover your parents or grandparents memories of that historic day. These are pages you can use either stand alone, or as part of a family Living Legacy LifeBook.

To obtain these free pages, click on the Downloads tab on the Memoriesbroughttolife website and be guided through a very simple process, entering your name and e-mail address to be provided complementary access to all downloadable files available.

These are irreplaceable memories well worth keeping, valuable memories providing a window into the lives of those who not only remember December 7th 1941, but who actually lived through that historical day.

Kennedy assassination memories: Where were you that day?

November 22, 1963 was the day that changed the history of our nation, much as the events of September 11, 2001 did thirty-eight years later.

It was the day that President John F. Kennedy was shot while riding in a motorcade with First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy and Texas Governor John Connally in Dallas Texas.

I was only thirteen years old standing up in the eighth grade English class of Junior High School 145 in New York when the announcement came out over the school public address system that our president had been shot. It was a moment that is forever etched in my memory.

Where were you; where were they the day President John F. Kennedy was shot?

Use the complimentary templates you will find there as a guide to recover and record how you, your parents or grandparents experienced the day President Kennedy was shot, how it changed our nation, our families and communities and add them to your personal Living Legacy Lifebook.