A Whiter Shade of Gray

senior-3336451_1920In the last several years, there has been growing popularity in older women and men being chic, fascinating and featured in magazines. Well, why not? Older people have this “been there, done that” attitude and are going to continue doing what they want. Old does not mean slow, stupid or even about to die.

Our bodies are aging, each and every day. We know that. Yes, our brains do too, but that does not equate to being senile. We have a wealth of experiential knowledge that helps us to make quick and powerful decisions. We are no longer burdened by the “image” society has picked for us. We can sky-dive if it so pleases us. We can get married when we are in our 90s. If we want to wear florals, stripes and sequins all in the same outfit, so be it. “Insta-Grannies” are all the rage now. I won’t list them, because by now you will have seen, read or are following most of them.

Is this a fad that will slowly fade away as many of these icons pass on? A fad is something that gets worn out and loses its appeal. If we are all aging, then we are all fads. So why not be so individually cool that you never outlive your time?

active-cyclist-elderly-264073What these ultra-cool elders are really showing us is that you must keep going and growing in order to live your best life. Having your 60th birthday, or whatever age you deem to be old, is not an automatic indicator that you must now move to an assisted-living facility and wear Velcro shoes. A continually stimulated brain will spur you into stimulating your body. Walk, dance, climb, hike, swim, sky-dive, whatever challenges you want to place upon your body – just go for it. Be safe; just because you can do it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t care for your body. Our muscles don’t recover as quickly as they used to, and our bones aren’t as strong as they used to be either.

barca-473854_1920Are you a widower and think that because your spouse of 50 years is gone, you should just sit alone in your tiny new apartment? Au contraire, my friend. Loneliness will kill you faster than your one martini with dinner. Why not a companion to share that martini with? There is no social demand that you be married. Living in sin, if you call it that, is far more fun than withering away by yourself.

Many seniors become entrepreneurs. Done with the working-for-someone-else world, many active adults start new businesses built upon hobbies or passions. We have a lifetime of skills and workplace savvy to make it lucrative.

How about a little Botox, sculpting, or other cosmetic enhancements? False eyelashes and eyeliner aren’t just for the 20-something set. Whatever you choose to make yourself look and feel better should be just to make yourself feel better, and not about what anyone else says.

old-2742052_1920Growing older isn’t an easy thing. The changes in your body can be very frustrating. The lapses in memory are annoying. Don’t let them overwhelm you. Be kind and loving to yourself. Use them as opportunities to slow down and savor the moments of each day. You now have time to do all the fun things you put off while you were working and raising children.

You might even have time to go sky-diving with your grandkids while wearing your new purple-sequinned jumpsuit.

A-Dior-able

images[5]On February 12, 1947, Christian Dior launched the “New Look” collection from his Paris couture house. The world was recovering from World War II, and its austere, masculine clothing. The New Look returned the feminine silhouette with a full bustline, tiny waist and curvy hips. I believe that it reminded the world that the feminine, nurturing energy was returning. It was criticized as being a wasteful luxury when times were still lean. Thus is the power of the feminine energy, to create, to nurture, to honor the need to pamper our souls.

Today, my Sweetie and I attended the Dior exhibit at the Denver Art Museum. The show is in its final tour, ending on March 17th. The exhibit included dozens of beautiful gowns and suits, beginning with the classic “Bar Suit” categorized by a creamy fitted jacket and a black, calf-length full skirt. Think Lucille Ball in her heyday. From the simple suit to fabulous gowns of detailed embroidery and gems, lean silhouettes to curvaceous sweeps, all stunning in this gorgeous collection.

 

I, myself, enjoyed the blatant outrageousness of John Galliano. Highly satirical, if you studied the garments closely. One fabulous gown, that I failed to take of photo of, (God knows why not), which I dubbed “Queen in Bondage”. Bejeweled red satin, the bodice was a tightly fitted corset style with the seeming intent to expose the breasts, although there was a bit a fabric tucked in to keep it decent. Or so I assume. The skirt flared out from the knees, mermaid style, looking almost impossible to move in. The entire garment was capped by an innocuous-appearing crown. Luxurious, over-the-top, this gown defined Galliano’s evil genius. Too bad he couldn’t limit his antics to design instead of running off at the mouth.

IMG_20190303_115107239 (1)Like all art, fashion is beauty in the eyes of the beholder. For women in general, it is the living expression of our soul. You can wake up in the morning ready to deal with what is likely going to be a sh*tty day, and instead, choose to arm yourself with a great outfit. Fake it ‘til you make it, or so they say. Dressing in your favorite outfit, because you know you look fabulous in it, will change the day into something great. And I hate to disappoint you guys, but women don’t usually dress for men unless they are hunting for a husband or boyfriend. As designer Betsey Johnson said “if girls dressed for boys they’d just walk around naked at all times”. Just notice when you are in a public place, most of the women are looking at each other and often commenting about shoes and handbags.

Why? Because we are just f-ing adorable.

Love Is All Around Us

hug-2702900_1280Tomorrow, February 14th, is Valentine’s Day, another retail gold mine involving chocolates, roses, teddy bears, more chocolate and occasionally something sparkly.  A time when we declare our love for someone through gifting.  Nothing wrong with that, gifting is always about expressing our love and appreciation with material items.  A gift, like our love, is with the intent of lasting value.

But for many people, tomorrow is Thursday, just another Thursday in a long list of Thursdays.  That is not meant to be sad, either, some people just don’t care about V-Day.  Some people don’t have a romantic partner and don’t care about that either.  But for those that don’t have one and do care, tomorrow can be a difficult reminder of the single state.  It is during those times, that one must remember that love can come in many forms and from many places.

We were created out of love and joy, not just from our birth parents, but from the Creator.  No matter your upbringing, environment, personal characteristics or anything about you, you are loved and you are lovable.

Have you ever reached down to pet a puppy?  Unconditional love and joy bounces up and licks your fingers.  Or waved at a baby in a stroller in the grocery store.  Their little eyes focus on you, sparkling a little as the hint of a grin curves their lips.  A hug from a friend you haven’t seen in a long while.  I could keep going with a list of every molecule of love that surrounds you, but I don’t have that much time to write and the file would be too big to upload.  That’s a lot of LOVE!

But the biggest love of all, is the love you feel for yourself.  When you love yourself, accepting all your warts and faults and farts, you will never do without love in your life.  You are lovable so there is no way you can’t not love yourself.  Got that?

Love is not just all around you, it is eternally within you.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Oink

pig-3914574_1280Pigs make oinking noises, along with squeaks and grunts as their form of communication.  Pigs are social creatures, intelligent and contrary to popular belief, like to be clean.  Apparently, all that lolling in the mud is a way to keep cool.

In the Chinese zodiac, the pig is a sign of wealth.  We have just entered into the year of the Earth Pig, leaving behind those yapping, territorial Dogs.  It is time to lick our wounds and snuggle up to the oh-so-social Pig.  And it’s no wonder we started the year with a clean-it-up frenzy, Piggies like clean spaces, which makes inviting their friends over a true joy.  Party carefully with the playful Pig, they are known to overindulge.

Work hard, play hard motivates the Pig, but they often have trouble setting clear goals.  You will want the Pig on your team, because their bright spirit enthuses those around them.  Help your Pig friend or partner to make a good financial plan lest they spend all their hard-earned cash.

The Year of the Earth Pig promises to be pleasant and congenial, and oh boy, we could sure use some “friending” after being nipped on our butts by the Dogs.  Take some time to rest and reconnect with your besties, and not just electronically.  This Pig likes to touch.

You-nique

img_0628Cleaning up your stuff and your life is getting rid of what does not serve you or doesn’t make you feel good.  Cleaning up means allowing your authentic self to come out.  If you can’t be you, who will?

Living a good life means being yourself.

Some people say that they don’t know who they are.  Well, if you have done the clean up work then you know who you aren’t.  What you are left with helps to define you.  Living your life as a lie can cause deep suffering within your body.  Trying to conform to other’s ideals of who you should be can actually cause cancer and other life-threatening diseases.  Who wants that?  You can only live your life for yourself, because you must live within yourself.

Being authentic does not mean harming others or things.  It does not mean you get to be an a$$hole.  Being authentic is treasuring the uniqueness of you, the beautiful, spontaneous, quirky, creative, sparkly inner being that radiates with joy.  Now that’s what I’m talking about!

 

Maybe you think you are weird.  So?  What is wrong with weird?  A lot of people are and like weird.  Find them and buddy up.  Maybe you are very traditional and old-fashioned.  Nothing wrong with that either.  Lots of alike-you’s out there.  Spirit wants to grow so therefore, interesting, unusual and quirky people were created.  Spirit loves this.  I think Spirit has a giant paintbrush and a bucket of colors and has an absolute riot dashing them on the canvas of life.  Now isn’t that just a beautiful thought?

 

We just finished some of our decorating projects.  It was a joy for me, because I allowed my artistic side to come out.  I went for bold, with a little bit of quirky humor and that suits my Sweetie too.  It turned out fab, if I say so myself.  I’m sharing a few of the pics with the hopes that you’ll be inspired to allow your inner delight to come out.img_0629

You do you.

Keep Calm and Clutter Down

pillow-650243_1920So hopefully by now you have cleaned out your closets, cabinets and the dreaded garage.  Did some soul work and let go of old issues.  Unfriended your unfriendly friends and put some effort into your romantic relationship.  Maybe you followed the feng shui lessons and amped up the living areas in your home to bring in more of what you need.

Now it’s time to settle in and enjoy your rejuvenated space and self. 

Don’t fall back into those old habits of tossing your dirty clothes on the floor.  Don’t junk up the kitchen counters with dirty dishes.  And for God’s Sakes, do not pile boxes and a bunch of other sh*t in your garage!  (I can’t let go of the garage thing.  My sweetie works out of our garage and it is in a constant state of change.)

Clutter got you into the emotional mess you just cleaned up, and, like the awful relationship you just ditched, don’t go there again.

Practice being organized, by starting with your closet.  If you read the Mari Kondo book, you will know that she recommends sorting your closet by color, then light to dark.  I did this and there many advantages to it.  First, you’ll really know what colors you like because you’ll see you have a lot of certain ones.  That’s good, you won’t buy the ones that don’t look good on you.  Secondly, it makes it easier to get dressed in the morning, because all you have to do is reach for your favorite color and have several styles to chose from.  Once you have taken something out of your closet to wear, put the hangar back in the same place you took it from.  Then you can put the garment back on the same hangar and you’ll be just as organized as when you started.

Follow this simple practice with all your newly organized things: after use, put it back in the same place you took it from.  You will always know where it is and you won’t create new clutter.  Life will run much smoother by following this simple step.  Sure you might annoy the other people in your household, but they are not you.  And who knows, they might follow your lead and suddenly the entire house will be like this Zen peaceful place.

You might feel so calm you’ll have time to sit down and read all those books I’ve recommended.

Feng Swayed

paper-3149117_1920I am re-reading the book “Move Your Stuff, Change Your Life” by Karen Rauch Carter (Fireside books, 2000).  The book is an easy-to-follow guide using Feng Shui to enhance your home in order to improve your life.  It is an awesome book and the techniques work.

Feng Shui originated in China with information dating as far back as 4000 BC.  The concept is to use the energy forces, or qi (chee), in a person’s surroundings to harmonize and enhance the space.  An eight-sided diagram, called the bagua, is placed over the floorplan of the home and reviewed.  Although the bagua is an octagon, it is made up of nine sectors that represent areas in your life.  The layout is as follows:

Front Center: Career
Front Right: Helpful People and Travel
Right Middle: Creativity and Children
Right Back: Relationships and Love
Back Middle: Fame and Reputation
Left Back: Prosperity
Left Middle: Family
Front Left: Skills and Knowledge

Each sector can be enhanced with “cures”, using elements, colors, mirrors, crystals and many other items.  The enhancements will build up the energy in that sector for whatever you are trying to accomplish.  For example: you are unable to sustain a romantic relationship.  First, take a look at your bedroom.  Does it look like a space for couples?  Or do you have one nightstand, with one lamp and a picture of a single person above the bed?  Switch it up and put two of everything in there, make some room in the closet and hang a picture of a couple, preferably embracing, above the bed.  Secondly, what room is in the Relationships and Love corner of your home?  The bathroom?  You can’t remove that, so use the cures to amp up the love energy.  Keep the toilet lid closed.  Tie a red ribbon around the drain line of the sink to keep the energy from flowing out.  The color cures for this are red, pink, and white.  Buy a pack of kids valentines cards and make a collage on the wall.  Not your style?  Put them in the cabinet drawers or tape them inside.  The cures don’t have to be seen to work.  Do all of this with the intention of attracting the best partner for you.  And then watch the magic happen.

The book has a chapter for each of the nine sectors and explains what is bad in that area and how to enhance it.  You really can make a difference in your life with quick, simple cures.

I am still in the clean-it-up mode.  I have been doing some “up” decorating in my home.  I say up, rather than redecorating, because I am mostly just adding some artistic enhancements.  A little paint, some pillows, a piece of accent furniture and some artsy stuff.  Taking it from average-nice to “Bam!” as Emeril would say.  I’m following up with a read of this book to see if I need to pep up any of the bagua areas.  I have a pack of multi-colored construction paper (yes, that works!) and a scissors to cut specific shapes out of the paper.  These can be stuck on the back or underside of furniture to ramp up that area.

I may be easily swayed by my desire for a good life, but why not?  We all deserve to be prosperous, loved and happy.  Use the energy forces inherent in your space and allow them to help you.  Oh, that’s the Helpful People and Travel, right front, area of your home.

Get Junked

 

Happy New Year, everyone!  It is time for new beginnings.  Put 2018 behind you, keep the love and the lessons and lay down the plans for what you want to manifest.

Can’t get stirred up for that yet?  Did you stir too many cocktails the night before?  Suck down some Alka-Seltzer and get to bed early and let your dreams open you to the possibilities.

Still can’t get there?  It might be time to look at your surroundings and see if chaos and clutter are keeping you from moving forward.

Chaos is negative energy.  Clutter creates chaos.  So it stands to reason that your clutter is keeping you stuck.  It is time to purge the sh*t that is no longer relevant to your life.  Start by looking in your closets and dresser drawers.  If you haven’t worn it in the last two years, because it doesn’t fit or you don’t like it, then get rid of it.  Keeping it out of guilt or the idea that “it will fit someday” just keeps you bogged down in too much stuff.  And just think, if you get rid of what you don’t need, you make room for things that you love and feel good wearing.  The positive side is that if you donate your items, someone else will benefit and love what you have let go of.

Make a full sweep of your kitchen.  How about that pasta machine that you tried and hated?  Or those chipped and cracked dishes?  Chips and cracks represent weak foundations.  Don’t you want your food to support you?  Ratty old dish towels and smelly sponges need to find a new home in the trash.  Get rid of what you don’t need and you will feel lighter and a healthier mindset will form.

How about those bathrooms?  Expired meds need to go to the pharmacy or prescription drop off, especially old, unused painkillers.  Pretty bath soaps are pretty if you use them, otherwise they just collect dust.  Makeup you don’t like, and so what if you only used that lipstick once.  If the color is bad for you, it isn’t going to change while it is hiding in the back of the drawer.  Leaky faucet?  That represents money going down the drain.  Same thing with the toilet.  And by the way, everyone – not just the guys – must close the lid.  That is the biggest energetic loss of money.

Once you purge the kitchen and bathrooms, give them a good cleaning so you open the energy to good health.

Go through the garage like Sherman going through Atlanta.  Yes, I mean it.  If you can’t get your car in the garage you have too much sh*t.  If you have moved in the last 10 years, and you still have unopened boxes sitting in there, then you probably don’t need what’s in them.  I’ll give you a pass if it is being used as a workspace, but if you want to draw more prosperity to you it will also need a good purging.

And finally all those momentos.  Oh, that is difficult I know.  Don’t try and guilt your family members into taking that stuff.  They didn’t want it, which is why you have it.  Photos can be scanned and stored electronically.  If you really want to annoy your family, send them a copy of that Christmas picture when you all wore those matching sweaters.  You know the one.  Mementos are memories and are all stored in your brain.  Gifts are all about the moment of the giving and that someone thought of you.  You don’t have to keep it forever.

Purging is good for the body, mind and soul.  When you release old things, things that no longer serve you, give thanks for the time you had them and how they supported you.  You release all the energy that was collected in that space, which turns to negative when it is not used.  Too much junk makes you feel junky and who wants that?

And maybe, some of that junk could be sold, giving you a little cash to start your new year with prosperity.

The Season of Light

 

background-3009949_1920Winter Solstice.  Full Moon.  Christmas Eve.  Christmas Day.  All powerful moments when the brightest of lights illuminate the dark and reminds us of the magic within and all around us.  A time when manifestation is so powerful, not even the slightest bit of negativity can break it apart.

There is power and hope within this Light.

It is the Light and energy of the Universe.  It is there for everyone.  It is Hope and Love that will warm your heart and keep you going.  It gives you strength and courage to pursue your dreams.

There is much upheaval in the world these days.  Wars. Terrorism.  Government turmoil.  Trade wars.  Border control.  Obesity.  Starvation.  Opioid crisis.  Chronic disease.  Mental illness.  The list continues until you want to crawl into a hole.  But underneath the darkness and difficult times, lies the power of hope.  The light within your heart that gets you up in the morning to take on another day and make it yours.

We can look back in history and read chronicles of world struggles; times so dark it is a wonder we all survived.  But survive we did and survive we will.  All because we believe in the Light and the power of hope.

During this season of Light, look within your heart.  Find the spark that burns inside.  Yes, you have it.  Everyone does.  It pulsates with every beat of our heart.  Know that spark can light a fire, metaphorically speaking of course, that can propel you into a new way of being.  You can move forward.  You can make your life better.  You have that power within you.  Don’t know where to start?  Ask the Universe for guidance and for signs that point to your path.  The Universe sends signs in the form of pennies, butterflies, dragonflies and white feathers.  Take one step towards your dream and ask the Universe for a sign that you are on the right path.  Have faith and trust that you will be shown the path.

And the Light will illuminate your way.

I wish for everyone to begin the New Year with a peaceful heart and to find the Light within.

In The Hunt

cat-3750778_1920We are deep into football season and many teams are in the hunt to make the playoffs.  Most teams have players out of action due to injuries and trading continues throughout the season.  Everyone wants a piece of the trophy.

Throughout our lives, we strive for some trophy.  I could be a real trophy to designate the winner of a physical contest.  It could be metaphorical: the killer job, forever home, beautiful car, great kids or fabulous spouse.  Striving is motivation and carries through the journey of life.

Too often, striving for material things alone leaves us feeling empty or desirous of more.  When we don’t put purpose and soul satisfaction at the top of the list, the result is fleeting.  It is then we must reach deep into the soul and seek the meaning that sustains us.

How do you know what that is?

If there is something you simply must do on a consistent basis, then that is your calling and meaning.  I must create.  Art and beauty soothe my soul.  It can be any medium for me.  I don’t have to pick up a paintbrush or crayon to fulfill that need.  My work life consists of managing money, but even in that lies creativity.  It can be figuring out how to use the money in the best way possible or it can be designing my spreadsheets in a way that pleases my eye.  Creativity comes out in my home or in how I dress each day.  When I am unable to create, my soul weeps.  Depression sets in and life loses its meaning.

As I have previously written, I am in a bit of a funk.  I have limited my article postings and am presently taking a few days away from work to rest and rejuvenate.  I will take some time to just look within and listen to my heart.  To ask myself what I am missing and what I need to bring a happy state back to my soul.  I will work on the manuscript for my book about spirituality.  Exercise.  Right now I am listening to music.  I have been less than my happy self for a good portion of this year and I need to gain that back.

We should always be in the hunt for happiness.  Life is messy and sometimes it is hard to sustain, but our natural state is happiness.  The level can be different for each of us, but it is always there.

Unlike the Super Bowl, it is a trophy that can be had by all.