Wanna live your best life? You can't wait.

live your best life Sep 13, 2019
 

This video was made while my good friend and mentor, Helene Van Manen, and I were camping last fall. We often have discussions like this one about life and how to live it the best way.  Keep in mind that we had been camping for 5 days without showering and barely combing our hair!

Learn more about Helene here.

Today, I'll be leaving on an adventure that I’ve dreamed of for years.

 I’m going on safari in Africa.

 As I write this, I’m pinching myself and realizing that in a few days I’ll be seeing elephants, tigers, giraffes and other animals in their natural habitat in Tanzania.

Last November a very dear friend of mine passed away from cancer. She was a healthy, vibrant 62 year old. After her death, I made a pledge to myself and to her that I would not wait to do the things that I want to do.

I’m not wealthy. But I found a way to do this safari.  I choose not to wait to follow my dreams.

When you listen to the video my friend ...

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Things I wish my grandmother had told me

Four years ago today, my first grandson, Andy, was born.

Since then, I have a 2nd grandson, Rob, along with 3 granddaughters. I love them dearly and as their grandmother, there are things I want them to know. I especially feel compelled to make sure the boys are guided to respect and honor women. And I want them to know themselves and how to express their feelings. 

The following letter was written just after Andy's birth.

I sent the same one to Rob, my 2-year-old grandson when he was born. My hope is that I will be able to role model this wisdom for them but also verbalize it to them. Luckily, they have parents who will teach them these same ideals. 

Here's the letter I sent:

Hello Anderson.

I haven't met you yet but you are my first grandson.  You are the 4th one to arrive and you are met with a sister and 4 girl cousins.  I can only imagine how you will be when you play with them.  As your Gran, I am thrilled because I think that you will learn a lot...

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Climbing Mt. Fuji - learning how to do the impossible Part 2

Part 2.

"To finish the moment, to find the journey’s end in every step of the road, to live the greatest number of good hours, is wisdom."

                                        Ralph Waldo Emerson

In case you missed the 1st part of this story, you can read how we started this adventure in Part 1.  Go here

We had been warned about altitude sickness…nausea, headaches, dizziness. The only way to get rid of it we were told was to come down off the mountain.  My head was starting to bother me now.  More Advil and more water. We kept going.

Indomitable.  Unable to subdue or defeat.  It was powerful to say these words to myself as I heaved my left leg up unto a huge rock. 

In-dom-i-table. I WILL NOT be defeated by this damn mountain.  

I...

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Stayin' Alive on the 4th of July

As we celebrate another of our nation’s birthday this Independence Day, I am reminded of a July 4th post I wrote back in 2011 when my son, Rob, was deployed to Afghanistan. Rob is home now, but re-reading the post today brings all those feelings back to me. It also makes me feel a deep gratitude that he returned with his body, and his psyche, intact. I will forever feel grateful for that.

I still feel connected to those who served in that faraway country.  I am privileged to have worked as a counselor with Marines, Soldiers, Airmen, and Sailors who were deployed and returned from Afghanistan and Iraq. Their stories are chilling, young men who know the horrors of war and are still trying to make sense of it all.

As we celebrate this 4th of July

 I hope that all of us remember our service members & their families.

The ones who are still deployed, still in danger, the ones who are struggling, and the many who are wounded warriors.

Think for a moment about the ones...

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Summertime and the livin’ ain’t that easy

Summer is the best time to sit back, have a barbeque, go for a hike, lay in a hammock, chill out, right? 

Are you doing that?  Confession. I’m not. I’m busy and overwhelmed a lot. 

I looked up the definition of overwhelm to see if it’s as bad as I thought:  Here’s what I found:  “to exist in such great amounts that someone or something cannot deal with them. ”Yep, it’s what I thought. Plus they could have added this part:

 “And you don’t know what to do about it.”

Thoughts of burning down the house (to get rid of clutter) or running away or bursting into tears because there’s so much to do and you don’t even know where to start doesn’t really help, does it? And to top it off, everyone’s taking a vacay. What if you don’t even have the time to figure out how to get away? Geez. Sheer craziness, right?

Here’s what I think might...

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Living Your Best Life

live your best life Feb 11, 2019

Greetings from Port Vila, Vanuatu

Most people have never heard of this tropical island in the South Pacific. Vanuatu is an archipelago of about 82 small islands near the Fiji islands.

Vanuatu

I came here to live over 30 years ago when my sons were 3 years old and 6 months. I was excited but nervous to bring little ones here, especially sight unseen. But I trusted my instincts that we would be safe and we were. And for 5 years I was able to call this place my home.

It was one of the best and happiest times of my life.

Now I find myself here again, watching my 3 grandchildren grow up.

In this photo, you can see I am surrounded by my little grandchildren and my beautiful daughter-in-law, Stephanie. 

The little boy who was 3 (Andrew) has come back to live here where he has created a shipping business with tugboats and barges for inter-island business.

Here are my sons in 1988.  Andrew was 5 and Rob was 3. 

The point of this story is that you never know how life will...

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Making 2019 Your Best Year

These are my 5 grandchildren. Three of them live far away on an island in the Pacific. Our families met up together in March last year in Fiji so I had the pure joy of hanging out with them. It was wild at times because they were all under the age of 4. And I was smiling the entire time. Even now I smile, thinking about that trip. 

Lucky, lucky me. Had I not planned or anticipated this trip, it would not have happened. But I found a way because it was super important to me to be around these 5 cuties.

What I want to ask you is, what fun things do you have planned for yourself this year? What are you planning that will bring you joy? 

Take the leap and decide you're going to choose this to be a great year. Your best year. 

For me, I’m planning on lots of travel and keeping things simpler, spending more time enjoying the people I love.

And being less frenetic than last year.

I was so hyper focused on getting my Ageless Wisdom and Passion online retreat...

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Women's Special Fall Online Weekend Retreat

Friday 25 September - Sunday 27 September

Fall is a time for us to slow down, to ground ourselves and to nourish our bodies. This retreat is designed to help you stop and listen to what it is you need right now. It's a fun and restorative weekend with mindfulness exercises, morning yoga, an online cooking class with the fabulous Chef Bai, healthy recipes to try at home, meditations and group calls to connect you with other women.