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Archive for March, 2012

The theme of my blog is “realize your dreams.”  I hope that does not imply that when a specific aspiration is fulfilled that the quest ends, and now we can stop and stay there.  I believe the journey toward our life transformation will always lead us to new places, if we allow ourselves to keep open to the possibilities that are before us.

I recently discovered the blog Aging Abundantly, written by Dorothy Sander. I love her message, and the way she expresses it.  I was especially moved by yesterday’s entry: What Do You Long For?  Read it and take it to heart, as I did.

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Cheers and a standing ovation for people who share their passion for dance, music, and theater by putting on a live show for us!  Yesterday I was delighted to be in the audience of an entertaining performance called Reflections on the Danube “from the Black Forest to the Black Sea.”

Ethnic Dance Theatre, a Minneapolis-based dance troupe that has been creating great experiences for performers and audiences since 1974, brought us along on a journey through the countries of Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania. It presented the history and culture of these countries in song, dance, and swirling colorful costumes of embroidered aprons, vests, ribbons, and jaunty caps.

 The show tickets were my gift for my husband (happy birthday, Honey!)  Our friend, Kathryn-Sonja (pictured with me in the lobby after the performance) is one of the dancers.  We love to see the skill and exuberance she brings to the performance.

During the show I was fortunate enough to be seated by a young girl who was bubbling over with excitement as she whispered to me that her mom was one of the singers.  She joyfully sang along under her breath to the songs she had heard her mother practicing at home.  I asked the girl if she was a singer too, and she told me she performed in the children’s choir at a St. Lucia festival in December.  Here comes the next generation of performing artists!

One of the best things about live shows is the interaction between the performers and the audience.  We are in it together!  I encourage those who are interested in the performing arts to indulge their passion—learn it, do it!  The rest of us?  We can support the arts by enjoying a show and cheering on the performers!

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I am currently writing an e-book, titled Realize Your Dreams: An Action Plan for Life Transformation.  Until it is published (in about one or two months), I will occasionally share with you an excerpt from it:

I think the reason I was able to (finally!) eat healthier and lose weight was in part because I created a colorful dream collage with a written list of my desired weight-loss results right in the center of it.  

The collage still serves as the cover illustration for a healthy eating binder I put together.  Early in my journey I looked at the collage and read the reasons I wanted to lose weight several times a day.  If I hadn’t had that visual inspiration and reminder, it would have been easy to lose my commitment and revert to my old, unhealthy behaviors.  I still slip sometimes, but my collage helps me regain my motivation…

It is one thing to know and believe something, but I think the key to a successful change in life is to keep your intentions fresh in your mind every day – several times a day to begin with, and ongoing as necessary! 

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I read with interest a recent posting by Susan Kiernan-Lewis: The One Thing You Need to Know to Have a Great Life.

Sticking with Susan’s theme of referring to popular movies to help craft our personal philosophies, I’ll choose the scene where Glinda, the Good Witch in The Wizard of Oz, told Dorothy that she had the power to go home all along. 

We all have the power within us to create the life we want to lead.  What keeps us from tapping into this inner knowledge and direction?  Depending on the individual, it could be responsibilities to others, the distractions caused by the commotion in our heads and in our lives, fear of making changes, or inertia–not knowing how to take that first step.  Sometimes we have to find a place of peace and make a point to listen to that quiet voice within ourselves and believe we have the right to take the first step toward realizing our dreams. 

My journey started when I went back to college (at age 50+) to get my Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication Studies.  Once I took that first step, I felt empowered.  I am developing my capacity to be my authentic self, and exploring my own creativity.

I believe each individual has a unique path to self-fulfillment.  I’m currently writing a book to inspire other people to take that step and create their own journey of personal transformation.

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The new name “Realize Your Dreams” refers to all of us and our best aspirations—who we are and what we want to accomplish with our lives.  Consider this to be an extension of the previous title, “Midlife Transformation”. 

I want to use this site to explore how we each define ourselves.  Do we know what our purpose is, and are we fulfilling it?  If not, what is stopping us, and how can we do it better?

Beyond that, I want to discuss our individual “Life Experience Lists” (some may call them “Bucket Lists”).  These are the actions and events that allow us to enjoy life to the fullest.  What is on your list – the things you have done and the things you want to do?  Are you taking actions to realize your dreams?

I changed the photograph at the head of this blog to one of my personal favorites.  Yes, that is me, standing on Whitehaven Beach in the Whitsunday Islands in Australia.  It has to be one of the most beautiful places on earth.  I asked my husband to take my picture because “This is what happiness looks like!”  I hope you and I both have future adventures and experiences that can bring the look of happiness to our faces.

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Don’t you just love it when you come across something that just makes you smile and say “Yes!” ?  That happened to me just a few days ago when I read the following:

“A major principle in Traditional Chinese Medicine is the idea of meridians, along which qi (or ch’i) flows. As carriers of our vital energy, lifeforce or lifebreath, our meridians supply nourishment and connection for our internal organs, and can have a noticeable impact on our health.

I find it interesting to extend the idea of meridians to areas of my outer life, too. I wonder: How is my energy connected to the individuals and community around me? Which of my energetic channels are open and free-flowing? Which channels seem to experience more congestion or contraction? What blocks my energetic self?

So this month, I invite you to notice and explore the multitude of meridians in your life. Creativity. Friendship. Prosperity. Gratitude. Kindness. Health. Service. Love. How might you reduce or eliminate any obstructions, and open to the fully-realized, incredible life you deserve?”

 That piece was written by Elke of Harbin Hot Springs.

I am very familiar with the concept of Qi, and I love Elke’s perspective on applying the concept of energy flow to other areas of our lives.

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Tonight NBC News featured a “Making a Difference” segment about midlife women serving in the Peace Corps.  As youngsters in 1961, many of them felt the call when President John Kennedy announced the formation of the Peace Corps.  At the time life led them in other directions, but now they are ready and able to fulfill the dreams of their youth.

 At age fifty-plus they bring their professional and life experience to their new positions, according to reporter Chris Jansing.  She concluded the report by noting that these volunteers, working with families to fight malaria and other diseases, are “helping children live to be adults – not bad for a second career.”

I briefly had the Peace Corps dream as a teenager – I thought it would fulfill a desire to see the world while helping others.  But the idea was too big — it scared me — and I never seriously considered it.  I admire those who did serve – then and now. I am inspired by women my age who are willing to trade a comfortable life for one of working to improve conditions in poor areas. 

The Peace Corps is looking for more middle-aged volunteers.  Was that your dream in the 1960’s? How about in 2012?

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