My Mother’s Day Rant – Wishing you Joy and Happiness

It’s Mother’s Day and my birthday.  I am such a lucky woman.  Totally blessed with loving daughters, a lovely little apartment, a small pension, a great little job that I can do from home (teaching English to children in China online) and more than enough.  My cupboards are generally filled and I am able to have a few of those luxuries that make me smile and add to my contentment.

 

Some people don’t think I have a lot but I have everything that I want and need. To others I have a heaping helping of abundance.  I have so many friends that have been devastated from the military occupation of Palestine – homes destroyed, children murdered……that is what the opposite of my life can look like.

But my joy and sense of abundance is not in comparison to others, it’s just what I feel.  Nothing works more successfully for my sense of joy than writing out my Gratitudes.  This is a habit I acquired more than 20 years ago.  I was inspired by Sarah Ban Breathnach in her Simple Abundance book, by Oprah, and by the Secret (book and film).  I write out 5 things that I am grateful for from the previous day.  If I get off this path and I start to feel lousy, I reboot with this practice and quickly am restored to my grateful and abundant self. I always urge others to just give it a 14 day trial and just see how it feels.

simple-abundance

I love a little self indulgence – cosmetics, having my hair coloured and styled (yup, folks, I am not a real blonde!!), acquiring new clothing (at least, new to me), dressing up my living space, flowers, plants…………..I love surrounding myself with “pretty things” and I love delicious, fresh and healthy food!  I also totally adore my daughters and my grandson!

 

 

I know there are so many people that just can’t acknowledge Joy – they feel so deeply the hurting in our world.  I understand it but if I don’t indulge myself, if I don’t create balance for myself, I won’t have the energy to help others and to be a dissident voice on this planet. I am all about balance.

Now on my Priestess path – my ordination as a Kohenet is just a year away – I believe that we are created in the image of the Divine.  I am so blessed to feel that Love and Inspiration. I encourage those of you who can find that Presence to embrace it – to Love yourself.  I encourage you to acknowledge your Gratitudes, to indulge in what you love, to smile even when it hurts.  “Fake it til you make it, Baby.” The People are rising – let’s change this world.  Let’s make a difference!  Let’s spread love and respect.  This is your day!

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Getting Real About Retirement

 

Ok, time to fess up.  I am not really old enough to retire.  There is no trust fund, no inheritance, no alimony, no lucrative work pension, no brilliantly planned retirement savings account.  Really there is nothing, nada, zero, empty, kaput!  It simply was time to live that life I have been talking about for years….working at what you love so that you never work another day in your life.  How do I plan to do this.

 

I don’t want to go to an office every day.  I don’t want a boss.  I want to be able to travel.  I want time to work at things that just simply bring me joy.  I love writing and that is where this blog comes in.  I get an idea (actually about a million of them swimming around in my head) and then I write and then I am almost euphoric.  When my writing resonates with a reader I am totally euphoric, over the moon, filled with joy!!!  I absolutely love creating ritual and officiating at ceremonies – Weddings, Bar/Bat Mitzvah, Baby Namings, even sad occasions like Funerals and UnbindingCeremonies.  This is my happy place…true fulfillment.

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About 20 years ago, I created  a series of workshops to help women explore who they are and who they want to be.  I absolutely loved this work and I dreamed of a time that these workshops and talks would be the centre of life.  Time flies by and dreams sometimes get lost or put on hold.  Now is the time and tomorrow is too late.

Dream pillow workshop 1

So here I am at 61 years old and starting a whole new life plan!  How freaking amazing is that?  I have a busy schedule set up for myself.  Early in the morning I start by teaching English to children in China for a couple of hours.  Then, breakfast and catching up on emails, social media and my website to see what needs to be done.   I work until noon, then lunch and then a healthy activity.  While I am house sitting near the ocean that means walking, swimming and biking everyday for at least an hour.  When I am in Toronto, I am committing to the same schedule.  We have wonderful community centres with swimming pools and gyms that cost very little and there are discounts for seniors, students, unwaged, low income and more.

Does this appeal to you?  You must start with lists – lists of things you cannot live without.  What is the absolute minimum that you could live with satisfactorily?  What is a list with all your wishes and dreams?  Take time to prepare these lists and edit and edit and edit until you know what you want and what you need.  Next, a list of what type of work would make you feel fulfilled and contented.  It might be what you are doing now or something so far away from that it might surprise even you.  What do you know how to do?  What are your skills?  What do you do that fills you with joy? Meditate and dream on your lists.

The first step for me was starting the plan.  I gave my notice to my employer last January (8 months).  I started planning what the next steps would look like.  I read that if you want to be in a new place next year, you must do 365 things toward that goal and so I started.  Step by step, slowly, slowly and you can get there.  The next big move was becoming a client of Women on the Move (WOM) and working closely with Heather Gamble to develop a plan for success. WOM incubates women entrepreneurs.  It is a sisterhood of women who are motivated for change.

 

planning

I invite everyone to evaluate your life – are you doing what makes you happy?  Are you creating a lifestyle that suits you?  Are chasing your dream or are you actually chasing someone else’s?  Are you working to live or living to work?  There are many seasons to our lives….in our 20’s, in our 30’s, 40’s, 50’s….different goals and different needs.  What is it you want to change and what will you do every day to get there?

 

Do You Feel Invisible?

What is all this talk about being invisible?  Am I invisible because now I am in my 60’s?  Do you feel invisible?  Who is invisible?  C’mon let’s talk.

The first time I heard about this phenomenon was from a woman who put purple and pink in her white hair.  She had extremely thin hair….wisps of hair actually and she said that after turning 60 she had become invisible.  I thought maybe it was just her.

I was wrong!  Women talk about it alot.

This idea makes me feel so disappointed.  I have never felt invisible and I don’t feel it now in my sixties.    I am a woman who wears make-up, buys clothing, colours my hair and tries to be on trend.  It might be frivolous but for me it is fun and a way of expressing my creativity.  I love looking for new ideas, hunting for a great bargain and playing in my closet.

playing my closet
Playing in my closet

I keep wondering if this is about youthful sexuality.  Do women feel invisible because they don’t have that fresh, youthful sexuality that had turned men’s heads or …….construction workers who whistle and cat call?  That always seemed creepy and scary.

I don’t have the answer about other’s invisibility.  I am not going to suggest red lipstick and hair colour.  I am not going to suggest buying new clothes or having a make-over.  That might help someone but I think it is imperative to explore your authentic self. I am loving the direction my career ………….celebrating Life Cycle events with others.  Wedding officiant, teacher, Reflexologist and more.  I am excited to travel more with my newfound flexibility since I am retiring from my commitment as a National Cooridinator. This year my mantra comes from Louise Hay and is inspiring me to take a chance.

mantra
My mantra from Louise Hay

Now is the time to do the things that you love to do.  Reading, writing, crafting, healing, inventing, traveling, exploring…………..whatever it is……….now is the time to do it.

dance with fairies

I believe that if you are happy and fulfilled, if you are smiling, laughing or loving………………you can’t be invisible.  At the very least you are seen and cared for by the people you love.

I am blessed – my daughters love me.   They take time to stay in contact with me, visit me, open up their homes to me.  I have a grandson that fills me up with his laughter and his love.  I am very blessed.  At the same time, I no longer have a relationship with my 4 siblings.  Our dysfunctional childhood and my strong political actions have driven us apart.  I have created a family of friends.  Surrounded by this love, I am certain, I will never be invisible.

Raya, Tovah and Me spring 2016
An outing with my beautiful daughters

What do you think?