Getting Real…Again!

Who am I?
What are my strengths?
How do I want to spend my time?
What matters most right here and now?

These are some questions I’ve delved into over recent months and I find myself closer to answers that feel real – authentic. I also find myself building a more real – authentic – version of my life…again. It’s a process, you see. Something to check in on periodically and readjust accordingly.

Now with the answers, my action list becomes clearer:
• Clean up this website, making it simple and easy on the eyes
• Add blog posts that are true to my voice, values and ideas
• Purge office files and contents to make room for more of what I now love to do – upholstery projects!
• Improve skills daily – read, listen, watch others and…
• Make mistakes! They are great teachers
• Simplify and clarify my outplacement contract work – be available for projects that are fun and fit into my personal schedule.

That’s for starters.

Getting real – becoming more and more true to me. It can’t help but happen, of course, that I’ll then be more real and true for others. Maybe you will find the same is “true” for you.

“This above all: To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.” (Shakespeare)

Live your True Authentic Life

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It Must be a Duck!

You know the saying, “if it walks like a duck, and sounds like a duck, then it must BE a duck”?

Many times, we just don’t want to admit it – that it IS a duck.
“I’m sure she didn’t mean it that way.”
“He’s just having a bad day.”
“Probably something I ate – I’m sure it’s nothing.”

Well, perhaps they DID mean it that way, a bad day had nothing to do with it, and your body is trying to tell you something important.

It all comes down to trusting ourselves, our intuition, our bodies’ signals. At some level, we all know what’s right for own selves. That little voice that normally keeps us on track gets buried under shoulds and others’ needs. Keep that up and we can’t hear it anymore and forget what its little voice sounds like.

Listen up! Listen to YOU and YOUR thoughts and YOUR body. Get still and quiet… and honest with yourself. What’s working? What’s not? What needs to change? Trust that little voice.

On the outside, change may seem ridiculous – that job is so prestigious (yet the hours and the boss are crazy), the house is so great (yet the mortgage is out of control and creates a lot of stress), the car screams success (yet its visits to the shop are way too frequent), and surely the kids will call and visit every weekend (yet they ARE starting their own lives).
(There’s that duck, quacking its way into our awareness.)

So, what now? What’s next for you?
First step: Admit change is in order. Something’s up and not working. Get clear on what it is and commit to making things better. You may have to let something go.
Next step: Be open to more authentic, fitting opportunities. New doors open, brilliant ideas come to mind, and the right people and resources show up.

Who knows YOU better than YOU? Trust yourself. Pay attention. Get real. YOU know the best path. Do what it takes to get on it, and then stay on it. Keep moving along that amazing lifelong journey you deserve. And do notice the ducks!If it walks like a duck...

Choose to have a great week!

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I HATE It When That Happens…

… You know… when NOTHING happens. When nothing goes my way and every new idea just seems to fizzle out. Blah.

That’s where I’ve been the past few months – feeling fizzled out and blah.
Ever felt like that yourself? What did YOU do?

I wallowed a bit and then remembered, “Hey, this is not my usual M.O. What’s up with you, self? Let’s move on outta this blah place.” And then I asked, “OK, what now?”

I made some choices and …
Took a class to explore something new
Said “no” when I might’ve in the past said “yes”
Got reacquainted with my tennis racquet
Called another batch of contractors
Did some self-care to help cure a virus

Better. Much better. And you know what? Things are happening.
Well, truth be told, they always were. I just couldn’t see them. I was stuck and needed to wallow and feel the discomfort so I could get that positive, clear perspective back. It’s a process, this thing we do every day – living… being human.
AND it’s high time we give ourselves a break, mix it up some and make new choices to get moving in the right direction…whatever direction is right for you.

What now? What’ll you do next to make good things happen?

You can start by…
Choosing to have great week!

By the way, this is KICK #100! Thanks for sticking with me. Happy Spring!

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Joy to You and Me

Tis the season to be jolly! Fa la la la la, la la la la

Are you there yet? Jolly, that is?
Feeling the joys of the season, the excitement in the air, the hustle-bustle of shopping and prepping? Ready for some fun and family gatherings and good food? It all points to being jolly… doesn’t it?

Well, to be honest, it took me several days, but I’m getting there… jollier by the hour. My house is decorated in beautiful lights (thank you dear husband), most of the shopping is done, and my family in Tucson is excited about our arrival later this week.

The Joys of the Season. The Joys of Living.

I’ve had Joy on my mind …

Joy, as some spiritual beliefs will say, is an inherent quality of ours. It’s an underlying trait we all have – the ability to experience and live in it, Joy. And, as you’ve heard (seen) me say here many times, it’s all a matter of choice as to how we experience our lives.

Even in the face of dire circumstances, outcomes we wish were different, struggles and troubles throughout our journeys, we can still choose how to see it. I propose we all choose to see it with Joy. Even a little bit. Everywhere. Especially this time of year.

Name it – Joy – and then claim it – it’s yours.

Let this holiday season’s music and sounds cheer you. Let the abundance of gift ideas on store shelves brighten your spirits. Let smiling faces spark smiles in you, and let yours spark theirs. Let the wrapped gifts under your tree inspire excitement. Let a child-like wonder light upon you. Let a hug linger and feel loved and treasured.

You are, after all, loved and treasured. You bring Joy to the world and it is contagious.
Like peace, it starts with you and drifts out to the rest of us. Even a little grin, a gentle hello, a handwritten note has the power to spark Joy in loved ones and strangers alike.
It starts with you.
No wonder we love and treasure you.

Ahhh. I’m feeling more and more jolly now! I feel Joy from sharing these words with you and that’s brightened my day. Thank you for reading. Thank you for spreading Joy wherever you go. You have many choices throughout your day. Thank you for choosing Joy!

Joy greetings

Wishing you much JOY this holiday season and every single day!

Joy to the world, Joy to you and to me, and to all the boys and girls, and the fishes in the deep blue sea.

Choose to have a joy-filled, great week!

Here’s a little playlist of cheery music to brighten your space:
Silver Bells, Martina McBride
Jingle Bell Rock, Sam Evans 
It’s the Most Wonderful Time of Year, Andy Williams 
Sleigh Ride, Amy Grant
White Christmas, Michael Buble 

And because of the fishes in the deep blue sea, here’s Joy to the World by Three Dog Night 

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy New Year!

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…And ANOTHER Thing…

Not really. NOT one more thing! I am up to my ears in things like papers and books and spatulas, tee shirts and ballpoint pens!
I’ve been purging and organizing this summer in preparation for home remodel projects, you see.

“DO NOT bring one more THING into this house!” is my motto.
“Ok, then you will ELIMINATE 3 others if you bring in a new one.”
“Alright, if it’s REALLY cute, then bring it on in and add to the rest. What the heck?”

You see how well this organizing project is working?

“Don’t own so much clutter that you will be relieved to see your house catch fire.”
(Author/professor Wendell Berry)

That’s right. I want to remodel, not burn the thing to the ground, although that sure does sound easier.
Time for a little “tough love” directed at oneself…

“Out of clutter, find simplicity.” (Albert Einstein)
Ok, that sounds much better – the goal of all this decluttering being simplicity, clearing, organizing… a little peace of mind. Aaaah…

You know that feeling after cleaning out your closet or a kitchen cabinet or junk drawer? (you DO have a junk drawer don’t you?) That’s what I’ve actually been feeling after going through all this “stuff” no matter how painful.

Last week I went through a box of greeting cards received over many years. Then I sorted and threw out a bunch, and I mean a BUNCH, of ballpoint pens. After that, file folder upon file folder of notes, articles and assorted work stuff. “What crazy things to keep” I said. “Yeah, but they’re MY crazy things” I replied, and keeping them seemed like a good idea at the time.

Do you have some of these crazy things? Is it time for a little sort-through?

After a little mental berating of myself, I got to thinking there must be a better, friendlier way to approach this dilemma of so much stuff. Here’s a thought or two:

Instead of…
”I can’t believe I still have all this…”
How about…
“It’s a good thing I held onto these for a while. Now I can let them go.”

Instead of…
“How did I accumulate so much…”
How about…
“Of course I have all this. This is what I was focusing on all those years.”

And rather than…
“What was I thinking when I bought all these…”
Try this…
“I must’ve had the money and need for these. What a great plan that was then.”

Now I can let them go and move on peacefully to the next pile. Aaaah…

And some Notes to Self:
Ask Self before buying anything, “do I really love this (thing)?”
Ask Self before disposing of (or keeping) something, “does this (thing) bring me joy?”

Listen carefully to what Self has to say and you’ll take the right action every time.

While there are lots of material things surrounding us, there are also dusty, non-useful, outgrown thoughts that need to be dumped along with the rest. We periodically need to sort through the physical AND the mental to get to that feeling of simplicity and clarity, that feeling of “Aaaah…” I’ve found that once I get rid of the “stuff”, a whole new space opens up in the form of an empty shelf, some extra time, or a place for new healthy habits and thoughts to gather.

We live in a world of abundance – tons of color, lots of good, much love to be shared and innumerable growth-enhancing experiences to be had. YOU choose what you want to keep, throw out, or send along to its next owner, be it things or thoughts.We live in a world of abundance -color, beauty, fresh air

Do I love this? Does it bring me joy?
There’s some simplicity for you.

Choose to have a great week!

 

P.S.Here’s a tune from San Diego area talented singer Ahria about that World of Abundance. Enjoy!

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I’m Eligible for AAR… WHAT?!

Have you received that letter? You know the one, with that big red and white logo, from that organization called… A-A-R-P. I opened it once and it actually was a very nice invitation asking me to join their group of … ahem … older people. So, I tossed it.

Then it came again a few months later. And then again months after that.
Seems it’s inevitable that this letter will show up in the mailbox. It’s as inevitable as, well, getting older. It happens to us all, this getting-older/aging/maturing phe-nom, and in the big scheme of things, who wouldn’t want to keep getting older, marching forward in time, living life to its fullest?

“Age is a question of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”
“Aging” baseball player Satchel Paige said that at the tender age of 42 many years ago when asked how someone as “old” as 42 could keep playing.

He sure got that right. Whether we like it or not, it’s all in our thinking… how we handle this “aging” thing.

I’ve been reading a book by Jo Ann Jenkins, the CEO of AARP, called “Disrupt Aging”. She is a dedicated advocate for changing the way our society looks at aging. She says instead of a time of diminishment, to see it as a time of growth; instead of a burden, to see it as a time of contribution.

Makes sense to me. A lot of sense. And ok yes, because in the not too far off distance, I will be one of those “older” people. And hey, you will too. So let’s start working on that mindset now, practicing being contributors and growing positively and gracefully into our older years.

Oliver Wendell Holmes, that wise American author, said “Old age is 15 years older than I am.”
I really like that one. Old age can be waaaay out there in the distance if we so choose.

In her book, Ms. Jenkins brings up an interesting idea: What if we didn’t know our actual age?

What if you didn’t associate anything about yourself with a number?
What would you do, wear, have, drive, feel, be?
That’s a fun exercise. Take a minute and jot down some ideas on that one. Don’t let a number hold you back.

Unfortunately, she goes on to say, we’ve had it drilled into us that aging is a bad thing, a time of deterioration, dependence and decline. Ugh.
Here’s the challenge she presents: Own Your Age. Embrace it. Feel good about it and all you’ve done so far. And know there’s more good stuff to come. “Experience matters”, she says.

I’ve been realizing that myself, how much wisdom and experience there is to appreciate as times goes on. I’m putting together lots of pieces gained over the years and things are clicking and making sense. It’s that perspective that only age can give you.

Oh, and I finally embraced my eligibility and joined AARP, formerly known as the American Association of Retired Persons. I am now a card-carrying member of that organization dedicated to serving the over 50 crowd and now especially determined to change our society’s view on aging.

It’s the new, forward-thinking AARP, now where that RP stands for “Real Possibilities”.

BTW, how’d you like YOUR carefully crafted, well-thought out, and usually unopened, letter thrown out the minute it hits a receiver’s hands? Think about Ms. Jo Ann Jenkins and her crusade next time you’re ready to toss her letter. Give her words a quick read and remember her mission. Own Your Age.Own Your Age!

I really don’t care how old you are. You are a contributor, valuable, magnificent, wise and wonderful at every age.
Choose to have a great week!

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