Tag Archives: Health

Our Passionate Lives

My biggest goal in life is to live with passion and to discover new passions along the way.

In the first half of our adult lives, we are constantly defined by our relations to others such as parents, children, spouses, and bosses.

In the second half of our lives, we can choose to design a new identity. We have the time and the options to find and follow an undiscovered path to our passions.

My research and observations tell me that mature women, those 50-something’s, some nicknamed “Cougars”, have truly taken possession of the second half of their adulthood, and I love being part of that group.

We’re bold and passionate, bursting with vitality and, yet, joyfully mellow.

Age brings its own brand of insecurity. Do you ever feel that women over 50 become invisible to some men? Some men over 50 seem to be looking the way of the younger, thinner, blonder type. (Maybe they have the same worries about their passionate lives as we.)

At first, we may think we can no longer attract a man’s attention…even our own man. Some introspection focused on the positives can help that fear fade.

If we look around, we begin to see celebrated women such as, Raquel Welch, Helen Mirren, and Diane Keaton held as the epitome of “middle-age”. This is a giant signal with flashing lights that we need to embrace the perks of being our age.

What are the benefits of our age?

We have what younger women have, and more!

  • We have energy, enthusiasm, wit, passion, drive and wisdom.
  • We have more control of our lives, a deeper confidence, a soul-soothing, inner harmony.
  • We are amazingly imaginative when we need to develop a network of companionship, fun and purpose to sustain us.

Now is the time to intensify our other attractions.

passion propels your dreams, passionate life

If you look inward and find no sense of mastery, no belief in yourself, don’t despair! Passion and mastery can be created. Challenge yourself with a specific action, something new you’ve never done before.

Recruit a support system, including those who love you. The experience of succeeding and the positive feedback from your supporters will be the final step in securing the belief that you can create a new identity, one that will liberate you.

With this reawakening of ourselves, we become fortified for whatever lies ahead. Life throws us curves, illnesses beset us or those around us, beauty fades, age takes our loved ones.

Life was meant to be lived. Curiosity must be kept alive. One must never turn his back on life. –Eleanor Roosevelt

Curiosity must never die. When one door closes, another opens. We have to have the courage to walk through the door without looking back.

We can tap into the skills and talents that have lain dormant, unused. We can search for meaningfulness. We deserve lives full with quality — great emotional and physical health, relationships that enhance our being, a purpose that helps us grow.

You don’t have to be over 50 to adopt this way of living, either. Anyone at any age is capable of bringing more passion into their life.

Living with passion should be on everyone’s life list, right? My passions keep me learning something new everyday! That’s most of what makes up my Life List!

How do you live your life with passion? Tell us about something new you’ve tried recently. Is it on your Life List?

Be sure to come back on Friday! The fabulous Sonia Medeiros will be here to enlighten and entertain!

10 Personal Commandments for Living Well

Welcome back to the Life List Club! If this is your first time here, check the archives for some amazing posts. If you missed Sherry Isaac’s post on Wednesday, you can read it HERE.

We all have a set of rules we live by, whether we state them or not. They may reflect our values and morals, our thoughts on how to be the best we can be or simply lists of things we carry in our heads and use everyday – ‘I will do this, I won’t do that’.

I definitely won’t do anything illegal. I won’t deliberately hurt anyone. I will love my family. I will take care of my responsibilities. I will be accountable for my behavior. I won’t lie, cheat or betray.These are a given, for me. Let’s go deeper…let’s give these bones some muscle:

(Bet you couldn’t tell I’m a list-maker…hence the Life List Club. Without a list of goals, plans and to-do’s, I’d lose my way.)

1) Eat – Healthy, that is. No diets, no forbidden foods. Just lots of good-for-you-food. Whole grains, fruits, vegetables, eggs, low-sugar-fat-free yogurt, chicken/turkey/fish, olive oil, nuts and a little bit of dark, dark chocolate.

Leslie Sansone, walk at home program

Great walk-at-home program.

2) Move – Reaching for the remote to change the channel does not count as moving. Walking from the couch to the refrigerator and taking a stroll in the park barely counts. What counts most is a brisk walk, a morning run and lifting weights. But you can also count raking leaves, scrubbing floors and digging in the garden. Move enough to break a sweat. Then you’re burning calories and improving your circulation. (Now you can have an extra piece of chocolate.)

3) Love – Love yourself first – love every bulge, gray hair and wacky personality trait. Then love everyone else – your family, your crazy relatives, your nosy next-door neighbor, the bag lady roaming downtown, the grumpy cashier at Wal-Mart, your pet and all the animals outside your  front door…even the raccoon that tips over your garbage can.   

4) Laugh – Giggles are good, but let them grow into roaring belly laughs, the ones that take your breath away, the ones that won’t stop. Those are the healthiest laughs. You’ve probably heard that laughing decreases stress, increases immune cells and releases endorphins. Did you know it also keeps your blood cells healthy and increases blood flow protecting your heart? (You’ve earned another little piece of dark chocolate yumminess.)

5) Live Simply breathing, working, eating and sleeping constitutes one way of living. Another way is to choose to seek out new experiences everyday. A person’s financial circumstances will determine how far afield one can go to challenge yourself and explore, but there’s something valuable to discover even in your own backyard.

6) Learn – Learning new things is one my greatest passions. How about you? There are unlimited resources for learning and unlimited things to learn. How to write, how to fix a faucet and how to take great photographs, historical events, how to use your smartphone and how to grow broccoli. Learning stimulates the brain, fends off diseases of aging, can help you connect with other like-minded people, prevents boredom and encourages creativity. 

7) Give – Helping and supporting others is good for the soul and it comes back to you in unexpected ways. Give money, kindness, love,  time, attention, food or a smile. Send a cheerful card to an elderly person living alone; take a meal to sick friend; babysit for a harried mother; let someone ahead of you in line; send a goody package to a college student or a faraway soldier. We have so much to give, even when you think you have nothing at all anyone would want.

8) Thank – Gratitude is a gift that is always welcome. A simple ‘thank you’ is gracious. Don’t wait long to give your thanks. It will weigh too heavily on your heart.

connecting to each other like a string of paper dolls9) Connect – People need people. Simple as that. People live longer, healthier lives when they have happy relationships with a loved one or a pet. Building a satisfying relationship requires learning, giving, thanking and loving. Reach out…and touch someone – just be careful where you touch. 

10) Teach – In my opinion, we have a responsibility to pass along whatever we have learned through living. Teaching is a form of giving and connecting. All of us has something to teach others…unless you’ve lived in a cave all alone. But even then, you can teach someone the art of living alone and cooking for one.

Okay, now go reward yourself with some dark chocolate for your endless virtuosity.

What’s in your Ten Personal Commandments? Are you a list-maker like me, or are you fortunate to have the power of unlimited recall? Please share. I’d really like to know.

If you enjoyed this post, please visit me anytime at my blog, Sexy. Smart. From The Heart.

Weigh the Method, Relish the Outcome

If  you visit my Life List, you’ll find a simple goal: Lose ten pounds.

If you don’t visit, you’ll miss all the thrills and sizzle and eye-popping pink on my website, but still be able to keep up with this post.

Moving right along…

I won’t divulge my actual weight except to say I am ten pounds over my ideal healthy weight for my height and age.

I’m fortunate.

No, I don’t expect to look like I did when I was twenty, and I don’t expect to wear the clothes my daughters wear. I’m 47, and a grandmother to boot. This isn’t about ego (much). This is about health: physical and emotional health.

Will I feel good emotionally when my clothes fit well? When I don’t have to undo the top button of my jeans so I don’t cut off my circulation when I sit down? When people stop asking when my baby is due?

You betcha.

But more, this is about health. May marks my sixth year of glorious remission. I know what it means to be without health. I know what it feels like to lack the strength to get out of bed. And, I know how good it feels to know that, sad and difficult as that time in my life was, that time is now a memory.

Ten pounds is not a lot of weight to lose. I repeat, I am fortunate.

And if it weren’t for fear of this little bug called complacency, I’d be, well, complacent.

Complacency means ten pounds would turn to twelve would turn to fifteen would turn to twenty-five would turn to fifty and soon, what had once seemed doable will become an anxiety-ridden nightmare.

I choose to take action now. Hence the entry on my Life List: Lose ten pounds.

First, I must clarify. I officially joined Life List Club in April, but this life list goal went live in January. Ten pounds in one year? Why, that’s less than a pound a month!

Totally doable.

So doable, in fact, that I hardly had to lift a finger. So I didn’t.

In January, I was ten pounds away from my target weight. In February, I was twelve pounds from my target weight. In March, thirteen pounds.

See a trend here?

End of April, I am ten pounds away.

Before you haul out the bazooka and honk me a victory tune, remember, this is exactly where I was four months ago. Conceivably, I could have been seven or even six pounds away from my target. Instead, I’d accomplished nothing. Instead, I stood still, literally, and stood still in the march toward my target.

Such a simple goal, an easy, attainable target, and yet, my train was chugging in the opposite direction. Why?

The explanation is simple. It was too easy. It was too ‘doable’. As life coach and guru Tony Robbins would say, I wasn’t ‘disturbed’ enough to effect the change I needed to make to meet my target.

Time to raise my standards and up the ante. Which leads me to wonder, if you want to be a champion limbo dancer, do you have to ‘lower’ your standards?

I digress.

What does this epiphany mean? First, ten pounds in four months, roughly, half a pound a week.  No, that little red needle on the bathroom scale still ain’t moving at super sonic speed, but I want healthy weight loss.

Diet is not the problem. Nutritionally, I’ve been good. I don’t eat processed foods. I am aware of my carbohydrate intake, but not fanatical–I do not advocate slashing any nutrient from my diet willy nilly. I eat good fats like avocados and cashews, but tempted as I am, I do not eat a full can of cashews at one sitting. A quarter cup of mixed nuts are a treat I am allowed to indulge in every second or third day. I eat between meals to keep my energy up so I do not binge later, but I measure my snacks. Eight corn tortilla chips with tomato salsa fills the void, yet eight chips measured on a plate means I do not fill my face. Dr. Oz advocates colour in our food choices, so dinner is protein on one side of my plate and colourful veggies on the other.

Now, it’s time to exercise. It’s time to reverse bad habits. It’s time to haul my keister out of bed when the alarm goes off and put on my running shoes. I sit all day in front of a computer, so when I switch to the television screen, it’s time to get busy and use that exercise ball and lift those weights and do those squats.

If blog-hopping were an actual physical activity, I’d lose those ten pounds today. With a click of your mouse you can explore the sixties in my Wildflower post, A Woman’s Place, or read a review of Eloisa James’ A Kiss at Midnight at Romance & Beyond.

Thanks for listening, thanks for keeping me honest, thanks for sharing your exercise challenges and successes in a comment, or just say ‘hello’.

Life Really is Too Short (Even When it’s Long)

LilyRecently, my grandmother passed away. And, as is so often the case with the death of a family member, the regrets came along with the sadness. Why didn’t I write and visit anywhere near as often as I should have? Why didn’t I know her better? Why? Why? Why?

I realized that life is really too short not to make sure our friends and family know we love them. It’s too short to put off that visit, call, letter or email. It’s too short not to tell them we love them as much as we can.

Life is too short to create regrets.

It’s too short to put off our dreams. Whatever it is we wish for, no matter howClimbing Silhouette seemingly unreachable, we must strive for it even if it’s only a bit at a time. Whether we succeed or fail or change our minds, we must persevere because life is too short to do otherwise.

And, if life is too short to miss the smallest opportunity to show our loved ones we love them and too short not to seek our dreams, then it is also too short to kick ourselves endlessly in the behind for what we did or didn’t do, should have done, messed up or put off. Each moment is an opportunity to change, to stop taking for granted that there will be time tomorrow. We can seize the here and now.

Life is too short for a lot of things. It’s up to us to decide what and start living it.

I invite you to finish the sentence: Life is too short to…


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In honor of my grandmother. Daughter, sister, friend, artist, wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.  April 15, 1935 – March 28, 2012.