Tuning in better

My journey and tuning in better

It is funny how we somehow disassociate our journey from what we are meant to do in this life.

I’ve spent the past four years living the aging without limits model. I know I had made huge changes in my life after my daughter died. I didn’t put the two together until a week or so ago. Doh! 🤨

Even though I started aging without limits journey very soon after my daughter’s sudden death, I didn’t connect that others may also do the same thing.

For me, grief has been a mighty teacher. It’s been a complete rebirth. Sure, I am still fundamentally the same person… BUT

During the grief, I closed down my connection with spirit -God – the universe, because I didn’t want to be caught in no man’s land wanting to connect with my daughter. I didn’t want to live my life searching for the connection that was no more. Boy! Was this hard.

Probably for the first time in my life, I was completely earth bound. I was so grounded and this was perfect for a while.

Over the past six months, I have been re-establishing connection and it’s proven to be a little bit more tricky than I thought. After all, it was so simple to close. No problem reopening, or so I thought!

Little by little, connection has been regained. This morning has been so, so wonderful. I received new copy for my promotional material this week. I am so excited. I have connection.

It’s like tuning the channel of a radio or TV. You know when you’ve got a good picture. For months, there’s been a lot of white noise. This morning, tada perfect picture. 🎉

For the previous two weeks, I’ve been saying to myself:

I am so grateful now that I write compelling copy

throughout the day and night. Well, we’ll see after this week, whether I’ve achieved this.

Copy is a relatively new skill for me too. See, in life before death, I worked b2b and relied on conversations, presentations and meetings to present ideas, pitch and seal the deal. Now, working in the b2c field, new skills are required to gain clients. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy learning. I am sharing why messaging has been such an issue for me.

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Knowjng what you don’t want is only going give you that

Knowing what we don’t want

There’s nothing new with eating healthy, exercising daily, having people around you for love and support. What is new are the reasons why these things are very important. Research results over and over highlight the significance of taking action to live fully, live long, live well.

Our lifestyle choices, throughout our lives, have a huge impact on how we age, the wellness of our later years and, indeed, whether we reach those later years.

Remember our bodies are magnificent regenerative organisms. It regenerates regardless of the input. Remember the saying – garbage in, garbage out. Our bodies will do it’s best with the ingredients given.

Aging has such a bad reputation. Mostly, we see from those around us how NOT to do it.

We form a mental picture of how we don’t want to be. Sadly, this approach will only bring those thoughts toward us. We’ve all heard of the Law of Attraction – what we think, we manifest.

Today, let’s turn what we are thinking into a picture of how we want to look.

Imagine, you are looking in a mirror of you 30-40 years from now. Who do you see?
A happy person, eyes beaming, lips upturned into a slight smile. Your figure is still gorgeous, although different from now.

Imagine all the people in your life then and how you spend your time.
Are you the centre of a vibrant community where life is still very full and moments seized with the same zing you did in your twenties.

Imagine all the people you’ve helped over your lifetime.
Imagine the legacy you’ve created along the way.

Aging is inevitable. How we do it is up to the individual.

To help you, today, I release the Future You Journalling Meditation.

You can create a picture on who your future self already is and create steps today to meet her again. Use the form below

 

Get the Legals done

Get the legals in place

Your parents may be getting older and still have many years yet. Though, sometimes, we don’t know when illness takes hold and some serious decisions need to be taken. Remember, medical science has increased the longevity and at the expense of health.

The generation in their 70s, 80s and beyond tend to be stubborn in asking or accepting help. If any of the following are not in place, you could be in for a rough ride.

Here are six items to get in place BEFORE you need to use them and they are not in any order.

1. Enduring Power of Attorney or Guardianship

This is not about taking over. It can have a start date depending upon the circumstances. It’s about ensuring the wishes and lifestyle of your loved one is continued. You know your parent’s likes and dislikes, what they like to spend their money on. You can continue the pattern.

The last thing you want is for this to be taken over by social workers who implement legislation.

2. Advanced Care Directive

This details the person’s wishes with regards to medical care. You keep a copy and upload a copy to the person’s online health record. Also, send a copy to all the doctors, your part]ent is a patient with.

This avoids life saving measures undertaken unnecessarily.

3. Last Will and Testaments

I know when I looked at the wills of my parents, they were created many, many years before.

Make sure the Will is in line with their current wishes. Make sure you know where the Will is kept and who the executor is.

If a parent has a brain degenerative disease, then the Will can not be changed.

4. Details of financial documents

Know the account details and passwords of all accounts. If there are any changes ensure these are logged so the record is up to date.

5. Directory of Passwords

You want to be able to close down accounts at the end of life. You will need passwords. There are some accounts where presenting a death certificate will do it. Why add that extra layer when you will already be dealing with so many things?

6. Health Crisis

Where your parent has an episode of poor health and is in need of medical assistance, it is far better to take them to emergency department or the GP rather than calling an ambulance. The ambulance crew’s primary role is to save lives and get the person to hospital. The health directive may not be acted upon at this time. Your relative may have interventions contravening their health directive.

If you can stay in control, honour the wishes of your parent.

This is a complex area and I am expressing my opinion rather than legal opinion.

For Australia, these websites are a good starting point:

End of life in Australia
advancedcarelanning.org.au

It is better to seek advice before an incident or emergency because, you will only need to address this rather than all the legalities at the same time.

Feeling good with laughter

Feeling good with laughter

Laughter feels so good. It releases serotonin and endorphins which helps balance the stress hormones – cortisol, adrenaline and dopamine. Yet, when we are stressed or unhappy, it is one of the last responses we do.

Yet, laughter is essential for us to feel connected with people. It’s a way humans bond together. We are social animals and respond best in the company of others rather than living alone. This is not saying that we have to all be extroverts. The mix of social activity and alone time is according to each individual. I’ve noticed that the older I become the amount of time between social and alone has changed. Although, it is easy to become more alone leading to isolation.

How can we ensure we make the most of laughing?

1. Release all the unresolved loss and grief inside us.

Grieving puts us into a negative space and this is, perhaps, why it is avoided. If we don’t resolve all the losses in our life, they become ever so heavy burdens.

A simple way is to find a buddy who wants to share releasing the loss journey with you. For each loss, write a letter sharing all that you gained from the relationship plus the times you were annoyed and angry. Finish of the letter with ‘Goodbye’ and your name. Set up a time for your buddy to read aloud each others letters. There must be no judgement or discussion about the contents of the letters. Continue in this way until all the losses have been released.

When I mention losses, these can be so varied and include:

  • Friendships that finish abruptly
  • Lovers
  • Marriages
  • Jobs
  • Cars
  • House
  • Change in social status
  • Homelessness
  • Loss of health, even if temporary
  • Pets
  • Grandparents
  • Parents
  • Extended family
  • Partner
  • Child

Grieving releases all the negativity and gives you an opportunity to gain wisdom. You notice a lightness of heart.

2. Start a practice of gratitude or Gratitude Journal

This is complementary to releasing losses. You can become grateful for the losses for the lessons they gave you.

Set a side 10 minutes a day to write down ten things you are grateful for. There are so many things – seeing the sunrise, the sky, rain, a smile, appreciation of what people do for you, remembering the joy you give by doing things for other people, their appreciative acknowledgement of your impact in their lives. There’s gratitude in the bed you sleep, the food you eat, the body you have, the car you drive. This list is endless. Every moment of the day can have something to be grateful for.

Gratitude fills our inner reservoir. It lightens our mood and raises our vibration. I refer to this as our breath of life. As we breathe in Gratitude, the out breathe is that of generosity.

We can also be grateful for how we show up in the world; with what we do with that out breath. This may be acts of kindness, spending time with someone; giving your full attention to another person, giving wonderful hugs full of love. This list is endless too. There is no need to give money, although, in some circumstances, it may be appropriate.

We make the most impact as humans by how we leave people feeling. The easiest way is through love and time.

Now, we are light, full of love and positive energy, let’s start on the external activities

3. Stay/Get Connected

This is also intrinsically linked to Doing Something New and a really great way of increasing the opportunity for humour and laughter.

People who are socially connected laugh more.

This can be anything. Here are some pointers:

  • Starting a new hobby
  • Doing an art class
  • Doing an exercise class
  • Joining a new social group
  • Calling friends you haven’t been in touch with for ages and having a chat and/or arranging to meet up.
  • Take up a new sport whether it’s free or lots of money, it’s the activity, the social activity that’s important.

Start small and build momentum with little wins. Little things to give positive feedback and encourage you to repeat, repeat and repeat some more.

The big thing, here, is not to worry about what people think. Associate yourself with people who like having you around; who show you appreciation (rather than taking you for granted.)

With the inner work, all these outer activities will help you regain the frequency of laughter and maintain your positive vibe. You’ll be in demand. People gravitate to people that leave them feeling fabulous.

The bonus is you feel fabulous too. There’s no limit on how far this positive spiral can take you.

Take action today. A small step each day brings rewards. Faster than you think!

 

 

Put the brakes on ageing

Put the brakes on aging

Have you heard people, or even yourself referring to a momentary loss of memory as a ‘Senior Moment.’ There isn’t any such thing. It’s a display of memory decay. Researchers have found developing brain fog in your 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s is a sign of trouble.

The good news is that it’s not irreversible. By adopting new habits, you can maintain your brain power. Ever wondered why some people have excellent memories until the day they die while others lose theirs long before they physically die.

Here are three strategies to put the brakes on aging today:

1. Become a lifelong learner

Take stock of the skills you have. Are they best suited for today’s job?
The difference between a lifelong learner and reader is the action taken from the information received. Look at new ways to do tasks. This may not be sufficient in the longer term; it is a great momentum starter.

Just because you’ve always been [this way] doesn’t mean you need to continue. For example, in the past three-four years, I’ve developed a lack of confidence. I could have put that down to life and settled. Instead, I have worked on building up my confidence. Lacing in confidence shows up where you least expect it. For me, it’s the gym. Stretching further is a real show point.

Start a new practice. It can be gratitude, meditation, exercise. To some extent, it doesn’t matter what you do, just do it wholeheartedly and fully in the present. Any thoughts about yesterday, tomorrow or later today are irrevelant as you are doing a new practice. Stick at it. A new habit takes around 300 repetitions to stick. Even then, we can still relapse or relapse with a twist.

2. Avoid repetitive activities

Our brains are magnificent. It’s role is to make life as efficient as possible. Even when we are doing complex routines like teaching or fixing complex equipment, our brain can complete these using less and less energy. This is the same as doing more and more difficult crossword. Sudoku and other puzzles. Our brain loves novelty as it starts firing up new pathways, making new connections. Give your brain what it craves. It’s good for you 😄

3. Dedicate 15 minutes a day

Research shows that with just 15 minutes a day, you can change your life; change your brain health. Choose something to do that helps you in your life, is enjoyable and possibly builds on the previous two strategies. Everyone has time to do something new. If you watch TV at all, there’s time.

If you don’t have time to do these, then you are saying you don’t want to live.

 

 

Why I love gratitude

There’s a lot around about gratitude and it is easy to nod and say, yes I am grateful for everything in my life. At an intellectual level, this may be true. The proof of gratitude is in our behaviour. It’s effects how we show up in our lives.

Think of gratitude as being our in-breath. Breathing in all the things we have, the people who support us, love us and we love, Nature. That we have the sunrise, sunset, clouds, rain, trees, flowers and animals.

There’s all the teachers and mentors we’ve had, the heart-ache, losses that have led to learning more about ourselves. There are the books we read. Not just that there are books. Also, that a person toiled for months over the words, sentences, paragraphs and chapters.

Take a moment to cast your mind over today and all the things you’ve experienced… electricity, hot water, air conditioning/heating, chair to sit on, table to eat from, radio/music, mobile phone, a tablet or computer.

Cast you mind even smaller, the fact we saw these things, felt the chair, used our limbs to get to the table and eat what we had prepared. How about our parents for helping and supporting us with these basic functions.

Even smaller, we can be grateful for our body, the digestive system, our brains for enabling us to feel, think, remember and make choices. We are also able to learn from our choices.

How wonderful life is. Even when things could be better, we have so many things to be grateful for.

Gratitude is our in-breath. Breathing in all that is positive in our world. It transforms how we feel.

Gratitude is the fuel of joy.

When we are joyful, we complete tasks with a hop, skip and a jump. We have our eyes open wider, we are more supportive of those around us. We smile more. We give more.

It’s in that giving where the clues of an attitude of gratitude show up.

In the out-breath, in our actions of generosity are the footprints of the in-breath.

Generosity shows up as a compliment, giving your appreciation to people in your life, even if they are there momentarily, such as the checkout operator.

Everyone wants to be seen, received and accepted. You can give this gift to everyone you meet by having eyes open to spot how you can genuinely give a compliment. Do a kind act. Show your appreciation, even it is just a smile and saying hello.

Yes, we can also be generous on grander scales. If we start small, the out-breath of generosity can effect every person we meet during the day.

What is even more delicious is the actions of the out-breath become food for the in-breath, gratitude. If you’re not quite sure….

I write in my gratitude journal:

I am grateful to helping the woman with her shopping.

This is like a thank you to me for taking the time to open my eyes and be of service to another person in the moment. It took a minute at most and yet, even though I gave. I also received.

Just as we breathe, we breathe in for our bodies to process and breathe out the processed air.

Let gratitude be your guide on what you are breathing in for processing into generosity on the out breath.

Gratitude works so much better when you write down what you are grateful for. Just thinking about them doesn’t activate our feelings. It’s the feeling of joy we want to activate. It’s best done through writing or speaking.

I find keeping a gratitude journal is like a diary, a record of what happened over the past 24 hours.

When things aren’t going so well, that’s when the power of gratitude journalling really kicks in. Of course, you have a choice, not to right anything and this will lead to a lowering of the amount of joy we experience.

Instead, we search for the positives from the lesser great day. We search for the learning, the act of forgiveness, the intention behind the act, seeing the situation in the best light.

This is where the in-breath becomes pure gold. We start showing up in the world differently – with joy, no matter what.

Start your gratitude practice and let me know what happens to you. Can only take a week… but, keep it up… a year later you will truly be different

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