Stepping WAY outside of your box!

November 5, 2009

yoga stretch comfort zoneI wish the Oprah Show was always as inspirational as it was yesterday!

She brought on a few women who had been feeling midlife awful, with issues like divorce, single motherhood and job loss.

They were feeling helpless and hopeless, like victims in their own lives.  One women described herself as “paralyzed by fear.”

Oprah gave Ali Wentworth the means to help these women step beyond their own internal limitations.  She introduced them to their new selves.

The women first tried a few rounds of roller derby, then took a sky dive together, and finally disrobed on a beach and ran naked.

You may be thinking “So what!”  If so, go try a few of these challenges and then get back to me.  Stepping outside of your own box changes lives!

How do I know?  Believe me, I know a thing or two about stretching my comfort zone.  I left mine entirely back in 2004, and I’ve been living outside of it ever since!

First I started my own dating service after I lost my job.  I figured I needed a job and a date, so what the heck!  That led to an amazing new relationship.  Falling in love at 49 felt like a gigantic leap of faith!

Since then, I’ve tried out a few different but related careers: writing, public speaking and even writing my first books.

I want to spend my time here on earth doing what I’m best at, and there’s only one way to find out what that is, experiment!  One thing is for sure:  I LOVE living outside of my comfort zone and I’m never going back into my BOX!


Letting go of the old you

November 1, 2009

leap_of_faith blog sizeAs strange as it may seem, it is often difficult to let go of the old you, even when you are loving the new person you have become.

Unfortunately, it is essential to let go of your past in order to allow the new you to blossom.

It can be tough to clear out all those nasty old negative voices in your head that keep insisting you will never be smart enough, attractive enough or good enough.  As much as you want to clear out your own internal clutter, letting go of those old familiar critical voices can be a challenge.

Why?  Because if those voices are indeed wrong, than you have no more excuses for not living up to your full potential.  Before you knew exactly why you did not have the life you wanted, now there is nothing standing in your way.

Still, you have to let go of your old identity for your new one to emerge.  It’s just too uncomfortable standing in two worlds at once.  It’s time to take a leap of faith and embrace everything about this new you!

It’s like when I first met Mike in 2005.  We had started living together and things were great with us.  I knew I needed to sell my old house because I didn’t have any money left, but I was so afraid to commit to my new life with Mike…what if things didn’t work out?  What then?

It was time to take that gigantic leap of faith and make the absolute commitment to my new way of life, with no lifeboat to jump back onto if things didn’t “work out.”  It was time to embrace the new me in this new world Mike and I were co-creating.

It is really no different than taking in your pants after you have lost the weight.  Do you believe in yourself enough to commit to a new lifestyle?  Do you you trust yourself enough to believe in this new future you have created for yourself?

Where does authenticity come from?

October 11, 2009

Unfortunately, for many of us, true authenticity can only come from finding ourselves in desperate situations.  I am speaking from personal experience here.

I recently spoke to a room full of newly unemployed people, folks who had never really known that kind of desperation before.  At the end, the first question was,

“Do you have to reach that point of feeling like you have very little left to lose, before you can begin to acknowledge and appreciate your own uniqueness?”

My only answer was, “I did.”  Before that point, I still believed I had all the answers.  I still believed in the traditional American dream and felt like it was working for me to some extent.  In other words, I was still willing to ignore my deepest personal need to become my best self, because I had some sort of marriage and job and that felt safe.  Don’t fix it if it ain’t broken!

But when that all crumbles before your eyes, when everything you thought you knew about yourself and your future is no longer true, desperation CAN lead to inspiration.

The same can be said about marriage.  If you have a mediocre marriage that meets a few of your needs and you feel safe, you may stay in it, because the alternatives look grim.  But when that marriage ends, you are forced to become much more creative when thinking about your future.  You realize now anything could happen, and that can be refreshing and terrifying at the same time.

But if you are willing to take the necessary risks and take the time to invest in finding a better future for yourself, help is available.  If you are certain you don’t want to go back to the same old, same old or your life feels like it has turned into a 9-to-5 way of dying, you are now ready to change for the better.

You may be ready to find the courage inside to explore what you were put on this earth to do!

Remember: do-overs are indeed possible before it’s all over!

What’s GOOD about a life crisis?

September 9, 2009

leap_of_faith blog size“Only those who risk going too far, can possibly find out how far one can go.”  -T.S. Eliot

We all know what’s bad about a crisis. We are usually taken by surprise by a major change we didn’t see coming, one that is really tough to adjust to.

I can’t say I didn’t see my divorce coming,  I just wouldn’t accept it. Then one day my husband and I decided together that it was simply what  needed to happen, for each of us to find happiness in the long run.

But when I lost my job, I was taken completely by surprise!  At that time, no one could have convinced me that this was a good thing!   It was one of the worst times in my entire life.  I struggled mightily with myself and my fate.

But today, I see how I needed for these misfortunes to occur, for me to wake up and begin to live my life with more integrity.

So what’s GOOD about a life crisis? It quickly knocks us out of our comfort zone, and then demands more from us. When more is demanded, more is given.

If I hadn’t lost my job, I never would have started my dating service for those 40+.   I never would have had the experience of starting my own business, struggled with those circumstances and I probably wouldn’t have met my lovely new husband. Then I wouldn’t have moved, gotten the money from my old house, and used that to start seeing a career counselor who slowly talked me into doing exactly what I had always wanted to do.

We never know what one small change in our lives might lead to.  Sometimes we just need to feel the fear and do it anyway.

Life crises can force our hand, pushing us into a whole new world of risk and benefit. We may feel forced to take risks we would never have considered before, and in this way, learn much more about ourselves and our full potential.

A new take on the traditional singles scene

May 20, 2009

WindjammerThrill-seeking singles who find themselves bored by the typical movie, dinner dates have found a more exciting way to meet people — adventure dating.

A cottage industry is emerging to meet the needs of adventurous singles who want to meet others in mid-adventure, see them in their true light, and completely out of their comfort zone.

On Sundays in the summer, River Runners of Buena Vista, Colorado invites singles to come run the rapids together, play beach volleyball, cook out or soak in the nearby hot springs after a group river adventure.

Adventure dating brings singles outdoors and into contact with other adventurous types and provides excellent opportunities to see the “real” person on a first date.

For those a tiny bit less adventurous but with more time and money to spend, some cruise lines offer singles cruises.   Here’s an article that tells more about your options there.  And here’s a Singles Guide to Cruising.

My husband took a week-long Windjammer singles’ cruise a few years before we met and had a marvelous time!  Of course it helped that it was mostly single women and him!  He visited a nude beach and quickly learned that the residents there weren’t going to speak to him until he took his own clothes off.   Then they were plenty friendly!!!

Come to think of it, I got to know many of my friends and boyfriends in my early twenties, by first going on road trips or camping trips with them.  It’s a more natural way to get to know others slowly, while life is coming at you!

“How to love a 50-year-old man”

April 21, 2009

healthy-interdependence-for-blogis  an interesting Google search that got somebody to this website, but it left me wondering how loving a 50-year-old man is any different than loving anyone else.

So how DO we love another with enough closeness and distance and acceptance of our differences?  The first question is WHY we love any one else.  Is it only because they fulfill some of our needs?

Or because we find new and interesting parts of ourselves by hanging out with them?  Or simply because we feel good being around them.

When I first met Mike over four years ago now, we both immediately felt seen and appreciated in ways neither one of us had ever experienced before.  We also felt understood without much explaining necessary.  The best way I can describe it is that we created a unique energy field between us when we were together.

There was absolutely no question that we  completed each other in some very essential and yet indescribable ways, like we had been searching our whole lives and yet never really expected to find such a safe place to be in the same space with another human being.

How do we love each other?  By caring enough to notice everything about how each of us are feeling moment to moment.  By being sensitive to when we really need to be alone with ourselves, and when we need to be together to experience true connectedness.  By telling the other when we’ve had a bad day and crave extra attention and love.  By taking full responsibility for ourselves and our actions towards each other.

I now know more than ever that mature love is defined by being more concerned about the health and comfort of the one you love than yourself, but in a healthy way.  It’s called healthy interdependence instead of co-dependence.  I believe it is the highest level of human connectedness, feeling strong and loving enough within yourself to have something to offer others.

It’s probably best to think of learning to truly love yourself as your basic training ground for learning how to love others well.  How do you know when you are loved?  How do you feel about yourself right now?

Psychic connections between partners

April 13, 2009

blog_telepathyJohn Agno’s post on Shared Thinking is fascinating on the blog carnival today!  The research discussed there is mainly about shared thinking between twins, even those that did not grow up together.

This phenomenon does not only occur between twins.  Mike and I are constantly amazed at the many ways we share thoughts between us.  In fact, we’ve started testing it and in this way have realized it’s constantly happening when we’re together.

We notice it most often when we are driving around together and one of us will say something.  That’s when the other realizes that we are sharing thoughts at exactly the same time.  We are beginning to think we communicate best when not speaking to each other!

We will look around at our surroundings and then think the same thing at the same time.  We also seem to come to the same conclusions at the same rate of speed.  Call it mental telepathy or whatever you like, but it is definitely a special power between us and we love it!

How many of you have experienced something like this with others?