How Will You Get There from Here?

Retirement vehicleThe encore stage of life can be the perfect time for Baby Boomers to renew their physical self-awareness. When you leave your full time work world, you can feel like you are waking up from a very long sleep. You now have the opportunity to assess the state of your health and well-being as you design your retirement lifestyle.

What would you discover if you viewed your body as the vehicle in which you will travel through the encore stage of your life? If you compared your body to a car, what would it look like? Would it be luxurious and finely tuned like a Maserati? Would it be tough and utilitarian as a Jeep? Or, something in between?

Vehicle Maintenance Checklist

  1. What is the comfort level of your vehicle? How do you feel within your own skin?
  2. What do you use to fuel your body from the inside? How positive is your mindset and self-talk?
  3. What do you nurture your sensory system with? What do your eyes see? What do your ears hear? What does your skin touch?
  4. How well do you maintain your body with regular medical, dental, vision, etc., examinations?
  5. What emergency services are available in case you experience any physical challenges?
  6. What external conditions do you expose your body to? How healthy and supportive is your environment?
  7. What do you use to decorate your body – hair, clothes, makeup, etc.?
  8. What retirement lifestyle activities do you expect your body to perform and what do you do to ensure its long-term reliability?

As you set out on the journey through the encore stage of your life, what additional preparations and practices will help you maintain your body in peak condition? This is the time of your life to leverage your knowledge, wisdom, and expertise to live a life of fulfillment and contribution with ease.

Janice Williams, Retirement Coach, www.welcomingretirement.com

 

Can You Sit Still For 10 Minutes?

Retire easily with meditationWhat makes you feel stressful about leaving your full time work world and entering into the third phase of your life? Many Baby Boomers experience fear, uncertainty, and doubt as they plan their retirement lifestyle. This is uncharted territory and it is up to you to navigate your own transition. What do you feel when you think about your unknown future?

One effective way to soothe the body and the mind during the turbulent times of changing your life when you retire is to meditate. If you have already discovered the rich benefits of a regular meditation practice, I congratulate you and encourage you to make the most of it to help you make your transition with ease.

If you have yet to try meditating, I highly recommend it as a way to soothe your agitated, anxious mind when you make your transition into your retirement lifestyle. You may have tried meditation and found it did not work for you. Because you will be learning how to live your life in new ways when you retire, I suggest that you try it again.

Sometimes people misunderstand what meditation is and try to make it more complicated than it needs to be. Having taught meditation courses, I prefer to make it as meditation accessible as possible to people so they will experience the benefits of meditating. For me, meditation serves as a doorway to the vast reservoir of stillness that exists within each of us that is the source of our greatest potential. By slowing down your body and your mind, you can gradually become aware of your inner strength and knowing.

Sit still for 10 minutes a day in a quiet location, free from distractions:

  • Sit in a comfortable, upright position, either cross-legged on the floor or in a straight-back chair with your feet flat on the floor and parallel to each other.
  • Set a timer with a gentle alarm for 10 minutes.
  • Close your eyes.
  • Begin to watch your breath as it comes in and goes out, enjoying the rhythm.
  • When thoughts begin to arise, imagine them as mere bubbles and let them float away, returning your focus to the rhythm of your breathing.
  • When your alarm sounds, take in a deep inhalation and exhale it out long. Shrug your shoulders. Rub your hands together. Gently, open your eyes.
  • Take a moment to reflect on what you experienced and write it in your journal.

A daily practice of meditation can relieve the stressful feelings you may have when you make your transition into your retirement lifestyle. Sitting with the intention to meditate is a great beginning. My daily practice of meditation recharges my inner battery, much like I have to recharge my mobile phone regularly.

Much information is available on the numerous ways to practice meditation. One in depth resource I recommend is the work by Sally Kempton at http://www.sallykempton.com.

What would it take for you to sit still for 10 minutes today?

Janice Williams, Retirement Coach, www.welcomingretirement.com

6 Tips for Mastering Your Healing Process

Healing in retirementWhat is your overall philosophy regarding your health and well being? Most Baby Boomers are likely to live longer, healthier lives during their third phase of life compared to previous generations. Even with the best of intentions, the aging process can bring about health challenges that are unexpected during your retirement years.

How you respond to these challenges can influence the quality of your retirement lifestyle. It is important to understand ahead of time what your health and well being philosophy is so that you, and those who support you, will know what type of care you prefer. Some basic choices include conventional care, alternative care, high intervention, or low intervention.

6 tips for mastering your healing process:

  1. Get an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan from chosen health care practitioners.
  2. Do your own research to gain greater understanding of your condition and treatment so you can manage your own care.
  3. Have patience and compassion for yourself during your healing process. You may have kept on going with your daily activities when ill in the past. Now is the time to let go of resistance to infirmities and take good care of yourself.
  4. Trust that you will recover from temporary conditions, even if it seems to take longer than in the past.
  5. Have courage to live with long term conditions so that you still find fulfillment in your retirement. This can positively influence your overall well being.
  6. Engage in the mutual support of family and friends to assist with each other’s treatment and recovery periods during the third phase of life.

My experience

When I awoke one morning and discovered that the right side of my face was paralyzed I felt very confused because I had no idea what would have caused it. At first, I sought out conventional medical care where I learned that I had Bell’s palsy. I also learned that conventional medical care knows of no true cause of the condition, nor how to cure it. Then, I spent time researching Bell’s palsy to satisfy my own understanding of it. And, I sought out a wide variety of alternative care practitioners to experience their treatments. Finally, I settled on a regimen of treatments that continue to help me regain the functionality of the right side of my face. Throughout my long recovery process, I have been so grateful to have a wonderful support group of friends who continue to inspire my patience, compassion and courage.

What is your overall philosophy for your health and well being during your retirement years?

Janice Williams, Retirement Coach, www.welcomingretirement.com

For some, Parkour Vision is a destiny, not a choice

A respected friend has a toddler who likes to climb. Of course she needs to keep him safe. This causes me to write the following reflection.

When our son (now almost 20 years old) was a toddler, he needed to climb. We tried to not say, “you need to come down.” We tried to simply find times, places, and ways for climbing to be safe. It was gut-wrenching for me, the mom, sometimes.

Our son’s need to climb is, and was, genetic. My husband grew up “rock hopping” in Billings Montana. My husband and son are coordinated, well-balanced, and sure-footed.

As a family, we always kept our eyes open, looking for places to do some rock hopping or a bit of recreational (not technical) climbing in the beautiful outdoors and even in developed settings.

When our son was in about ninth grade, he discovered the movement art of Parkour and it resonated with him in a way that was compelling. We are lucky to live in a time and place in which the people who lead the Parkour community approach it from the point of view of “Parkour Vision.” These young world-changing leaders practice and teach the Truth that Parkour causes you to move through any environment – physical, intellectual, emotional, or spiritual – by seeing the obstacles and devising a path through, over, under, and around them. It is a fully-embodied metaphor for what we want our young people to learn and develop into adult-world survival skills.

Because Parkour had such a strong natural call for our son, he wanted to “make the case” to mom and dad in a way that would invite us to say “yes.” And so he did. He wrote an essay with the right balance of informality, combined with some information and purpose. We said yes.

That was more than four years ago. The Parkour Visions folks have developed and grown a non-profit organization for the purpose of teaching the movement art and life skills of Parkour at an indoor gym. Along the way, they have developed curricula, methods and inventions to share with others. Our son has not had time in the past couple years to train at the gym regularly, as much as he would like to, and as much as we would like it for him. The rhythm of a rigorous academic life makes it challenging to work all the physical distances between home and school and gym, while working the school commitment with integrity.

But the movement art of Parkour is part of his life and his vision and his approach to life. Parkour, and the Parkour Visions people, have been formational to the independent-thinking young man who inherited his father’s balance, sure-footedness, and so on.

When our son was a toddler, we arranged our lives to look for safe places, ways, and times to honor his intrinsic need to climb. When he had reached “the age of reason,” we, as a family, decided that in Ireland, we would not visit the Cliffs of Moher, because, honestly, there could be no assurance that our son would stay far enough back from that dangerous edge. We visited an amazing set of caves, instead – rock hopping of a different kind.

It is better for our son if mom does not always see the movement life that he is comfortable with. That dynamic tension between any young man’s abilities, and any mother’s caution, is simply the way of the world. It is not a matter of right and wrong. It is right for our son to develop his own good judgment about how to develop use his movement skills, and it is right for a mother to find it a bit gut-wrenching.

 

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?

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.

 

“Call holding for the doctor” (in 200 words)

Medicare expects physicians to talk to patients’ family members on the phone if necessary. How many times have you heard that in a doctor’s office?

Here is the policy:

Services by means of a telephone call between a physician and a beneficiary, or between a physician and a member of a beneficiary’s family, are covered under Medicare, but carriers may not make separate payment for these services under the program. The physician work resulting from telephone calls is considered to be an integral part of the prework and postwork of other physician services, and the fee schedule amount for the latter services already includes payment for the telephone calls.

Source: “Medicare Benefit Policy Manual, Chapter 15 – Covered Medical and Other Health Services,” Revision 151.

The quote has a couple unfamiliar terms, but most readers probably “get the gist.” Translating the bureaucrat-ese into plain English would sound something like this:

for the money that doctors are allowed to bill Medicare, we expect them to talk on the phone to the beneficiary’s family, if needed!

But you never hear that in a doctor’s office.  If your only source of information is a medical office, the information is filtered through their preferences and convenience.

 

Senior Travel

Returning from the RV shop where I had our RV “Rex” (for Rexhall) winterized and my bank account considerably lowered I started thinking about reducing the size of our rig. Getting a new compact unit for Seniors.  Looking around I came across the rig pictured below.

The new senior travel rig.

It’s great for our use.  Easy to load, pack and easy to hook up.  You can even get one of those new hybreds to pull it.  You don’t have to worry about slide outs and size restrictions in the parks.  Storage is easier when we are not out camping and operating costs are much lower.

I have to admit that camping in our RV is a fun way of life.  I now consider “roughing it” means no cable hookup.  My goal in 2012 is to spend more time in Rex writing my blog posts and maybe another book while enjoying our great northwest outdoors.

Holly days

It really and truly is Holly days time! On my walk yesterday- a cool crisp sunny December day in the Pacific Northwest- I noticed a beautiful holly tree/bush along the side of the road. I was surprised and delighted to see it. I am living in an area that was forest until about ten years ago. It has been developed into a community, with efforts made to maintain some forest and trails around. Seeing this holly gave me hope that this was actually happening.

What a gorgeous and interesting plant holly is! It’s an evergreen plant, so while other plants around are brown and dormant, this plant stands out. Its shiny leaves are the power and heartfelt emotions of green. Its brilliant berries are the courage and passion of red. It even stands out among the evergreen trees. Don’t let the beauty fool you though. This is not a frail plant. The branches are sturdy and straight. The shine of the leaves is a tough coat that protects it, as are the sharp point on the ends of the leaves. Clusters of berries among the leaves appear to be permanently attached; loved by birds, poisonous to people.

It is said that Holly stands for protection and luck, especially during bleak times. People in the past planted holly by their homes for that reason, and brought branches into their home during the winter months. It also is a symbol of stubbornness. Being stubborn often gets a negative rap…but if you think of it as remaining sharp and bright and determined even during times of dark and gloom, the connotation changes. As I have often been told that I am very stubborn, I choose to use this positive connotation…and it is not surprising that I love holly.

So get some holly into your homes! I have seen holly for sale in beautiful bouquets with other evergreen branches. If you are getting it from nature somewhere make sure that you have a sharp knife or small saw as the branches are tough. Be gentle with the bush, take only what you need from an inconspicuous spot and remember to say thank-you! Let it bless your home with luck, protection and stubbornness, and offer you some happy HOLLY days.

 

 

 

Six Steps to a Joy Filled Life

The definition of joy is “to rejoice; a very glad feeling; happiness; great pleasure; delight.  Anything causing such a feeling

 The Thesaurus lists such other words as: gladness, happiness, delight, joyfulness, cheer, cheerfulness, exhilaration, exuberance, high spirits, glee, sunshine, gaiety, rapture, enchantment, elation, ecstasy, bliss, beatitude, beatification, blessedness, paradise, heaven, seventh heaven, and cloud nine.

The six steps to a joy filled life.

  1. Let go.
  2. Forgive others and forgive yourself.
  3. Develop positive relationships.
  4. Develop and use a joy book.
  5. Develop an attitude of gratitude.
  6. Acceptance of joy in your life.

 Step one.  “Let go”.

  •  Get rid of worry and control of others.
  •  For every worry under the sun; there is a solution or there is none; if there be one try to find it; if there is none never mind it.  Mother Goose.
  •  God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.  Courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.
  •  Affirmation:  “I now let go in my life – NOW!”

 Step two.  “Forgive others and forgive yourself”.

  •  Master Mind – I forgive myself for all the mistakes I have made.  I also forgive and release everyone who has injured or harmed me in anyway.
  •  To not forgive and live for revenge is like you taking poison and waiting for them to die!
  •  Only by releasing others and ourselves can we move beyond this point in our personal growth.
  •  True test – Forgive your ex spouse’s attorney.
  •  Affirmation:  “I now forgive myself and others for all harm that has been caused”.

 Step three.  “Develop positive relationships”.

  •  “If I felt any better I’d have to be twins!”
  •  Smile and pay honest, sincere compliments.  Tell them what you like and why you like it.  Then ask an open –ended question about it.
  •  Affirmation:  “I now have positive healthy relationships with everyone”.

 Step four.  “Develop a joy book”.

  •  We gain ownership when we express ourselves in writing and also have a permanent record to reflect on later.
  •  Affirmation:  “I now have and use my joy book daily”.

 Step five.  “Develop an attitude of gratitude”.

  •  By giving thanks, even before we receive, opens our hearts and minds to the great storehouse of prosperity.
  •  Affirmation:  I now give thanks for all things that happen in my life”.

 Step six.  “Acceptance of joy in your life”.

  •  As a perfect child you inherit and deserve a life filled with joy and goodness.
  •  I once read a story about a woman who received some beautiful flowers with a card that only said “From someone who loves you”.  She spent the entire day thinking about who could have sent them – past loves, current love, family friends, etc.  At the end of the day her sister called and something she said caused the woman to exclaim “you sent me the flowers, why?”  The sister said “I noticed you were feeling down and I wanted you to spend the day thinking about people who love you!”  Think about people who love you!
  •   Affirmation:  “I joyously accept and give thanks, believing that God’s miracle working power of joy is in my life now!”

 Summary of the six steps to a joy filled life.

  1. Let go.
  2. Forgive others and forgive yourself.
  3. Develop positive relationships.
  4. Develop and use a joy book.
  5. Develop an attitude of gratitude.
  6. Acceptance of joy in your life.